This report describes the diagnosis and management of anemia in a 21-year-old intact female jaguar (Panthera onca). The intent is to present blood transfusion, with either conspecific or domestic cat blood, as a treatment option for jaguars with anemia. The anemia was originally noted during a workup for lethargy and inappetence. The original packed cell volume (PCV) was 17% with clinical evidence of dehydration, as well as azotemia (blood urea nitrogen (BUN): 82, creatinine: 6.0). The patient‘s blood was compatible with feline type A (Rapid Vet- H test; DMS laboratories, Inc., Flemington, NJ 08822). She received a transfusion of 180 mL of domestic feline blood from four separate donors. Recheck bloodwork one week later revealed a persistent anemia with a PCV of 14%. At that time, she received a 120 mL transfusion from her biological sister, who was also type A. Ten days later, the jaguar began refusing food and medications. During another anesthetic procedure, she was found to have a PCV of 19%. She was given 450 mL of blood from a clinically healthy male jaguar. This jaguar did not agglutinate with either type A or type B blood. She was started on Epogen 3 mL IM twice weekly. The jaguar was clinically doing well. Approximately 30 days later, suspected back pain was noted with decreased mobility in the hind end. Due to no improvement with medical management, humane euthanasia was elected. Antemortem bloodwork revealed normal renal values and a PCV of 44%.
The authors would like to thank the staff at both the Reid Park Zoo and Bearizona Wildlife Park for their assistance in the care of this jaguar.