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Dog Saves Life of Cat

Andrea a normally feisty cat was brought into our Waikari clinic as she was feeling off-colour and quieter than normal. Having met Andrea before, Alana knew just how out of character it was for Andrea to submit passively to a full clinical exam, including temperature without even a mild protest.

As she was so ill Alana wasted no time in transferring her to the Amberley clinic which has more speciality equipment better suited for complex and long term cases. To find out what was going on some blood tests, x-rays, ultrasound and the external lab in Christchurch having a look at some blood slides. It was the blood slides that provided the answer with a small bacteria called Mycoplasma being the cause of the severe anaemia Andrea was suffering from. Normally a cats PCV is around 40%, Andrea’s was 6%, this is what had caused her to feel so lethargic as her body struggled to get oxygen to all her vital organs. Luckily for Andrea, one of our Vet's cat (Blackie) and dog (Ted) were visiting that day, so we took a sample from Blackie to see if she was the same blood type as Andrea. Like in humans, it is critical to ensure they are the same blood type. Sadly Blackie was not the correct blood type, so Ted stepped up to save “the enemy”; as a one time only deal dogs are able to donate to cats. The blood doesn’t last as long but with Andrea being so ill it was decided this was the best course of action. 4hours of Andrea being watched like a hawk by our highly skilled nursing team for any reactions whilst she received the blood resulting in her PCV raising to 13% this is an incredible rise and made all the difference to her chances.

Whilst not out of the woods yet this blood transfusion was a life saving treatment. This allowed Andrea’s body and the antibiotics to start to tackle the bacteria mycoplasma. TLC from the nursing team hand-feeding Andrea and ensuring she felt as comfortable and relaxed as possible kept her strength up when she wasn't interested in food. Her body created new Red Blood Cells to replace those destroyed by the bacteria and the antibiotics killed the bacteria and after a couple of days she started to turn a corner. She was well enough to eat on her own and felt good enough to start to demand things on her terms again. This is always a great moment during treatment when our patients start to feel more like themselves and move towards heading home. Andrea is now back home and ruling her roost again.

If you would like to learn more about blood transfusions and how your cat or dog could become a life-saving blood donor please contact the Amberley Team who would be happy to discuss this with you.

About the author

North Canterbury Vets are a mixed practice which deals with dairy cows, beef, sheep, deer, horses and alpacas as well as companion animals. Our team has an ethical focus to assist in developing and growing our clients' businesses and providing quality health care to ensure that their livestock and pets live healthy and productive lives.

Our Clinics

North Canterbury Veterinary Clinics operates four clinics throughout the Hurunui region.