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Dog saves cat by donating blood

Tuesday 20 Aug 2013 6:35p.m.

Dog saves cat by donating blood

A dog might be man's best friend, but a Tauranga Labrador has made a bigger sacrifice for the arch enemy.

Macy the dog saved the life of Rory the cat by donating blood. He's perfect now, but three weeks ago Rory urgently needed blood after eating rat poison.

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

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.

"It was one of those situations that it was a do-or-die. So, he would have died if we did nothing," says Ms Heller.

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.

"He is not out fetching the newspaper or peeing on power poles or barking yet! He is just the normal cat that we have – playful, friendly," says Ms Edwards.

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