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Unexpected Assist: A Dog Saved A Cat’s Life With A Blood Donation
August 24, 2013
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These aren't the animals from the story, but they look like another friendly cat and dog pairing. Their names are Trillium and Poncho (Photo: Ohnoitsjamie/Wikimedia)

Cats and dogs: sometimes they help each other out.

Here's an example from Tauranga, New Zealand, where a dog named Macy recently saved the life of a cat named Rory with a blood transfusion.

Rory, a ginger tom, became ill after eating rat poison on a Friday night. Because of the hour, no laboratories were open where the vet could check his blood type or get supplies.

"He was dying. We didn't have time for the cat blood to arrive or be matched," Rory's owner, Kim Edwards, told 3News.

Veterinarian Kate Heller was out of ideas for how to save the cat, so she asked for advice from a companion blood bank. They suggested trying dog's blood.

Heller was surprised by the idea.

"I hadn't heard about it or read about it. It's not in any textbook," Heller said.

But Edwards was willing to give it a try. She got in touch with Michelle Whitmore, a friend from her book club who owns Macy, an 18-month-old Labrador.

Whitmore was surprised, but agreed to let the vet extract some of Macy's blood. The dog was rushed to the vet, donated 120 millilitres of blood, and within an hour Rory's life was saved.

The transfusion worked because cats don't have antibodies that reject dogs' blood. In some cases, a transfusion will allow the cat to regenerate its own red blood cells.

But you only get one chance: a second dose of the dog's blood would have been fatal.

In this case, it worked, and the transformation from very sick back to normal was quick.

Before the transfusion, Rory was "really flat and gasping and howling," Heller told the New Zealand Herald. An hour later, he was purring and "tucked into a bowl of biscuits."

Via The New Zealand Herald

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