Objective—To document reasons for use of fresh
frozen plasma (FFP) in dogs and determine variables
that apparently triggered the decision to use FFP.
Procedure—Medical records of dogs that received
FFP at a veterinary teaching hospital during a 3-month
period were reviewed.
Results—The 74 dogs underwent 144 transfusion
episodes (TE; a TE was defined as 1 day of transfusion
therapy) and received 252 units (120 ml/unit) of
FFP. Fresh frozen plasma was administered to provide
coagulation factors (67 TE), albumin (91), alphamacroglobulin
(15), or immunoglobulins (19); for some
TE, multiple clinical indications were identified.
Variables that apparently triggered the decision to
administer FFP included active hemorrhage with or
without prolongation of coagulation times, low total
plasma protein concentration, persistent vomiting
associated with pancreatitis, and sepsis. Mean doses
of FFP for each indication were between 8.5 and 9.4
ml/kg (3.9 and 4.3 ml/lb). Small dogs were generally
given higher doses (mean dose, 13.9 ml/kg [6.3 ml/lb])
than large dogs (mean dose, 5.1 ml/kg [2.3 ml/lb]).
Fifty (68%) dogs were alive at the time of discharge
from the hospital.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that FFP plays an important role in the care of
critically ill dogs. Because the supply of FFP is limited,
guidelines for when administration of FFP may be
clinically useful should be developed. (J Am Vet Med