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Dog's Blood Saves Cat's Life in a Rare Interspecies Blood Transfusion

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Aug 23, 2013 06:16 AM EDT
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rare blood transfusion helped save a cat's life in New Zealand.( not pictured). The donor was a black Labrador. (Photo : Jeanne boleyn/ wikimedia commons)

Vets in New Zealand saved a dying cat's life by using blood from a dog, according to media reports.

The cat, a 7-year-old moggie Rory, is reportedly in a stable condition after the rare blood transfusion. The cat belonged to Kim Edwards who lives in Tauranga, New Zealand.

Edwards had rushed Rory to a local vet when she heard her howling in pain. She was told the cat had consumed rat poison and needed immediate transfusion to survive. The vet took a gamble and used a dog's blood in a bid to save the cat's life.

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 "We were told that Rory would most likely reject the blood but we would have had about five days for this to happen, which meant we would have had time to find a blood match in a cat," Edwards told The New Zealand Herald.

It was then that Maci, a black Labrador was rushed to the hospital for the emergency blood transfusion. Cats don't have antibodies against the blood cells from dogs so chances of a serious reaction to the blood were small.

Kate Heller, the veterinarian that attended Rory said that inter-species blood transfusions aren't recommended as the wrong blood type could lead to serious complications. However, the vet team that day had no other option but to use Maci's blood to extend Rory's life.

"If you give a cat just one milligram of the wrong type of cat blood it will kill it, but they don't have pre-formed antibodies to dog blood so that was our only option," Heller told Sunlive.

The vet team went ahead with the rare procedure and saved Rory's life. Within an hour of the transfusion, Rory was purring and eating biscuits.

"Rory is back to normal and we don't have a cat that barks or fetch the paper," The New Zealand Herald quoted Edwards.

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