WELLINGTON - Traditional animal rivalries were set aside in New Zealand when a dog's blood was used to save the life of a poisoned cat in a rare inter-species transfusion, reports said Wednesday.
Cat owner Kim Edwards 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.
Instead, she decided to take a gamble and use dog blood to try to save the animal, knowing it would die instantly if she gave it the wrong type.
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, a procedure Heller said she had never performed before and was very rare.
"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.
Edwards said the cat appeared to have come through its ordeal unscathed, seemingly without any canine side effects.
"The vets just went above and beyond... it's incredible that it worked," she said.
"Rory is back to normal and we don't have a cat that barks or fetches the paper."