Meet Buttercup, an orange tabby who faced a serious health crisis: anemia. According to veterinarians, Buttercup had 7% red blood cells compared to the 35% seen in healthy cats. The cause of Buttercup’s severe anemia is unknown but the solution was clear: transfusion. However, living in the Florida keys posed a hurdle: it would take hours to fly in donor cat blood but canine packed red blood cells were on stand-by. So, in a procedure dubbed “xenotransfusion” Buttercup was infused with canine red blood cells over four hours. Following the transfusion, Buttercup was back on her paws and showing not signs of canine behavior.
To date, this procedure has been performed on 63 other felines to positive outcomes. Why cats are able to sport cross-species blood transfusion is unknown.
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