Pet Scoop: Cat Gets Blood Transfusion From Dog, Whooping Cranes Need Bird Role Models

Oct. 7, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Buttercup the cat is recovering well after an emergency transfusion using dog blood.
Buttercup the cat is recovering well after an emergency transfusion using dog blood.

Cat Saved With Dog Blood

Buttercup’s owner brought him to Marathon Veterinary Hospital in the middle of the Florida Keys last month when he noticed he was lethargic. Dr. Sean Perry said Buttercup’s blood volume and red blood cell count were low and he needed a blood transfusion. Knowing the cat didn’t have the 24 to 48 hours it would take to get blood from a feline, Perry used the only donated option he had available: dog blood. "We try to stick to species-specific [transfusions]," Perry told ABC News. "But because Buttercup's blood volume was so low, we were able to use dog blood instead of cat blood." Cats are the only animals that can accept blood from dogs, but these transfusions are extremely rare. There have only been 62 cats to have the procedure in the U.S. Thankfully, the move was successful, and Buttercup is home recovering. While Perry still doesn’t know what caused Buttercup’s red blood cell count to drop, he said the cat has now developed red cells of his own. — Read it at New York Daily News

Bear Cub Mysteriously Found Dead in Central Park

Officials in New York are trying to figure out how a black bear cub believed to be less than a year old wound up dead in the city’s Central Park. The female cub’s body was found Monday morning by Florence Slatkin, 79, and her Chihuahua mix, who were out for a walk. Police are unsure how the cub got to the park and whether she was alive when she arrived there. While black bears don’t live in the park, their populations have grown in recent years around the city, particularly in New Jersey. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s wildlife pathology unit was working to determine the cub’s cause of death. — Read it at The New York Times

Proposal Would Protect Fisher From Pot Farms

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to list the fisher, a cousin of the weasel, as a threatened species in Oregon, California and Washington. Officials say the animals are threatened by rat poison used on illegal marijuana plantations, as well as a loss of forest habitat due to wildfire, logging and urban development, disease, other predators, illegal fur trapping and climate change. Erin Williams, who oversaw the analysis for Fish and Wildlife, said rat poisons are regulated but continue to be misused on pot farms in forests where fishers live. — Read it from AP via Yahoo

Humans have been dressing in bird costumes while trying to raise whooping crane chicks.
Paul K Cascio, USGS
Humans have been dressing in bird costumes while trying to raise whooping crane chicks.

Troubles With Human-Raised Whooping Cranes

In the last 13 years, dozens of endangered whooping crane chicks have been born in captivity and learned their survival skills from human biologists dressed in birdlike costumes. The practice has helped establish a new flock of whooping cranes, but officials say the birds raised by humans are turning out to be bad bird parents. They’re now hoping to match some chicks with adult birds who can better fill the role. “We have great success in doing this in that the birds survive," said Glenn Olsen, a veterinarian at the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland. "But they seem to be having trouble nesting and raising chicks, and we don't know how much of the component of raising chicks is innate or learned.” The conservationists are now trying a new method called “parent rearing,” which relies on captive whooping crane parents instead of human handlers in costumes to care for, exercise and feed the chicks after they hatch. — Read it at Live Science

Dog Nurses Tiger Cub at Indian Zoo

Zoo officials in Indore, India, removed a tiger cub from her mom after they believed she was being mishandled. Luckily, they had someone else who could step in to nurse her: a black Lab. The cub is now one month old, and the zoo plans to have the dog continue feeding her for the next month. — See photo at ABC News


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