The effect of an additive preservative solution on canine red blood cell posttransfusion viability (PTV) and on selected canine red blood cell biochemical parameters was studied. One unit (450 mL) of blood was collected from 6 clinically normal dogs into the anticoagulant citrate phosphate dextrose, centrifuged, and the plasma removed. The red blood cells were then suspended in 100 mL of a saline, adenine, dextrose, and mannitol solution and stored at 4 degrees C. Aliquots were removed for study at 1, 10, 20, 30, 37, and 44 days. The 24-hour PTV of autologous red blood cells was determined using a sodium chromate (51Cr) label. Red blood cell concentrations of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG), adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP), and pH were also determined. Canine red blood cell PTV, pH, ATP, and 2,3-DPG concentrations decreased during storage (P < .05). The PTV decreased from 94% using day 1 red blood cells to 80% and 75% using day 37 and day 44 red blood cells, respectively (P < .05). Although the mean PTV of the day 44 stored units equaled the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) minimum standard for human red blood cells, the PTV was substandard in 75% of the day 44 units. The FDA standard was exceeded in 83% of the day 37 units. It was concluded that 37-day-old canine red blood cells preserved with a saline, adenine, dextrose, and mannitol solution are of acceptable quality for transfusion.