It is common knowledge that cats and dogs just donâ€™t get on well with each other. However, there is an exception in every rule and even arch enemies can help in desperate situations, as in case with a Macy the dog and Rory the cat.
A Tauranga Labrador saved the life of fellow cat by donating blood. He’s perfect now, but three weeks ago Rory urgently needed blood after eating rat poison.
Kim Edwards, cat owner, was frantic last Friday when her ginger tom Rory went limp after eating rat poison, rushing to her local veterinary clinic at Tauranga in the North Island for help.
Vet Kate Heller said the feeble feline was fading fast and needed an immediate transfusion to survive, but there was not enough time to send a sample to the laboratory for testing to determine the cat’s blood type. Actually, the blood laboratory was closed so they couldn’t determine Rory’s blood type, Ms. Heller said.
Edwards called up her friend Michelle Whitmore, who volunteered her black Labrador Macy as a doggie blood donor in a last-ditch attempt to save Rory. Inter-species blood transfusions were not common, nor recommended, Ms. Heller said.
“It’s not something we’ve done before, but it was one of those emergency situations where we didn’t have any other options available.”
Ms. Edwards said when she contacted a friend from her book club who had a pet Labrador, her friend initially didn’t believe her strange request.
“People are going to think it sounds pretty dodgy – and it is – but hey, we’ve been successful and it’s saved it’s life,” Heller told the New Zealand Herald.
“[I had] never heard of anything like that before. I thought she was joking,” says Macy’s owner, Michelle Whitemore.
But Rory desperately needed the 18-month-old Labrador. Macy was rushed to the vet where she donated 120ml of blood, and within an hour Rory the cat was saved.
While the transfusion was not without risk, the owners were aware of the risks and Rory would have died without it, she said.
“It was one of those situations that it was a do-or-die. If we didn’t do it, he would have died so we had nothing to lose by giving it a go.” says Ms. Heller. “It’s very, very uncommon,â€ť she added.
It may sound wacky, but it’s science. Cats don’t have antibodies that reject dogs’ blood, so a transfusion may buy enough time for the cat to regenerate its own red blood cells. But only one transfusion can be done because a second dose of dog blood will be the death of the cat, says 3News.
Edwards said the cat appeared to have come through its ordeal unscathed, seemingly without any canine side effects. Prior to the transfusion Rory was “really flat and gasping and howling”, as one hour later he was sitting up, purring and “tucked into a bowl of biscuits,” Ms. Heller said.
“The vets just went above and beyond… it’s incredible that it worked. Rory is back to normal and we don’t have a cat that barks or fetches the paper.”