Dog Saves Cat with Blood Donation
Rory, a cat in Tauranga, New Zealand, was in sad shape after eating rat poison. In fact, he was dying. The only thing that could save him was a blood transfusion.
It was Friday night and no labs were open to check his blood type, let alone get supplies. So vet Kate Heller sought advice and was told to try dog blood.
"I hadn't heard about it or read about it. It's not in any textbook," says Ms Heller.
Rory needed a donor fast. So Ms Edwards thought fast and phoned a friend in her book club.
"[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.
A cat can only take a small amount of dog blood, but he's a small animal, and it was enough to dilute the poison. Three weeks later, Rory has recovered from the incident. Link -via Arbroath
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120ml is not a small amount for a cat, it's a pretty big transfusion. With that volume, I suspect the cat had a PCV (packed cell volume, or % of blood that is red blood cells) of around 10 - 15. It should be about 35 - 40 in a cat, so that is INCREDIBLY low. The vet stated the cat would have died without the transfusion, and with a PCV like that I would have to agree.
I agree media tends to sensationalise and play into collective fears, because it sells an they exist to make money. But really, the dog-to-cat aspect of this story is what's interesting, and it almost certainly saved the cats life. No-one would be interested in the other aspects of the treatment, which would include lots more than just vit K and fluids.
EDIT TO ADD: 260mL is a typical feline blood volume so the cat had bled out severely. Though, I would imagine Vitamin K and fluids would have saved it.