In a rare inter-species blood transfusion, the blood of a Labrador was used to save Rory the cat in New Zealand. Rory had eaten rat poison, reported the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday. He would have died without an immediate transfusion.
Kate Heller, the veterinarian who treated Rory in Tauranga, New Zealand, told the Herald: “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.”
The blood laboratory was closed, as the incident occurred late Friday night. Without knowing the cat’s blood type, it was a gamble all around, but the transfusion was a success.
Heller said inter-species transfusions are “very, very uncommon” and not recommended.
According to Wired magazine, the earliest experiments with human blood transfusion in the 17th century went wrong when doctors tried to use sheep blood in humans.