Homeless Cat Saves Wild Baby Bobcat’s Life

A baby bobcat fighting for her life found a lifesaver in a shelter cat. The young bobcat’s ordeal began just after Christmas when Atlantic Wildlife Institute received a late-night call after the wildcat was found in a homeowner’s barn in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

The bobcat was barely alive – she “seizuring from being hypoglycemic, and so hypothermic that her temperature wasn’t even producing a reading on the thermometer,” her rescuers described on Facebook.

The family drove for over an hour to deliver the ailing cat to Douglas Animal Hospital where veterinarians quickly “went to work” to try and revive the cat, who weighed a mere 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs).

They began by warming her up slowly with a heat disc and protective booties.

“We have no idea what put her in such dire need, wrote Atlantic Wildlife Institute, but they were “extremely thankful” for the family and the veterinary staff that brought the wee cat back from the brink of death.

But the poor bobcat was still in critical condition a day later and Douglas Animal Hospital determined she would need a blood transfusion if she was going to have any chance of surviving.

Douglas Animal Hospital said that the bobcat “was so dehydrated, cold, starved, and anemic (low blood count) on admission that her organs began to fail her.”

That’s when they reached out to the local animal shelter and was given Smuckers, a cat at their shelter. Smuckers was selected to be a blood donor.

“This is Smuckers! The hero of the day was loaned to us by the Fredericton SPCA (THANK YOU!!!),” Douglas Animal Hospital shared a picture of Smuckers on Facebook and wrote. “Donor cats have a physical exam and a full blood panel to ensure they are healthy. They are then cross-matched to ensure they are the same blood type as the blood recipient. They also must be less than 8 years old, more than 4.5kg, and must be neutered. Smuckers checked every box!”

They also shared the special card they use to determine what blood type each cat is, explaining, “It is much safer to do a blood transfusion between two cats that are the same blood type. Both Smuckers and the bobcat were type A! (The agglutination (clotting) of the blood in the “Type A” spot indicates that this is their blood type).

“Here we are collecting blood from Smuckers,” they continued, sharing a picture. “The blood is collected into a syringe with a anticoagulant (prevents the blood from clotting) then administered to the recipient through a special IV set with a filter to catch micro-clots.”

They also revealed that they can safely pull 60ml of blood from a cat of Smucker’s size, but they only needed 30ml for the tiny bobcat. “We replaced the volume we took with both subcutaneous and IV fluids and then he had a snack as soon as he woke up, just like us humans,” the hospital explained. They also reassured readers that it may look like a lot of blood was taken, but it’s actually only two tablespoons!

Courtney, a technician at the hospital restrained the bobcat (now named Fiona) during the transfusion. “We moved the blanket for this photo but for the rest of the procedure her head was covered to help reduce stress.”

“The transfusion was administered very slowly over 4 hours and the bobcat’s vitals were constantly monitored to ensure she was not having a reaction to the donor blood,” the vets explained.

Fiona was closely monitored in the days that followed. “It was touch and go over the New Year’s holiday weekend but with around-the-clock care by our wildlife technician Courtney, aggressive fluid therapy, multiple medications, and slow tube feedings, she began to improve,” veterinarian staff wrote. She continues to be monitored.

“The caution is now seeing if her systems come back without internal damage, too weak to process solid food or oral fluids at this point,” Atlantic Wildlife Instituted added.

Both the Atlantic Wildlife Institute and Douglas Animal Hospital are rooting for Fiona makes a full recovery. “This little girl is still not out of the woods but she is a fighter and our fingers are crossed that she continues to improve,” wrote Douglas Animal Hospital.

As for Smuckers, he went back to the SPCA and is doing great. In fact, Smuckers is doing better than good. His good deed didn’t go unnoticed and Fredericton SPCA announced he has been adopted!

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