Nine lives: Hebrew University's Koret Veterinary Hospital transfuses blood to save a jungle cat in critical condition
Feline hero: Tal the blood donor
A several-months-old jungle cat arrived yesterday in critical condition at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Hebrew University's Koret School of Veterinary Medicine in Beit Dagan. Most likely hit by a car, the cat had severe injuries and was losing a lot of blood.
Earlier this week Mahmud Nazer, a Nature and Parks Protection Authority (NPA) ranger, had brought the cat with severe fractures to the Wildlife Hospital, which is located at “Safari,” the Zoological Centre Tel-Aviv, Ramat-Gan. Both the cat’s rear legs and its pelvis were broken. Because he needed a very complicated operation, the cat was transported to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the Koret School.
A preliminary examination revealed that the cat's hematocrit levels were very low and without additional blood he was not expected to survive the operation. However, postponing the operation would endanger the cat's chances of returning to the wild.
And so, as the injured cat was prepared for surgery at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, blood was drawn at the Wildlife Hospital from Tal, a 3-year-old jungle cat. Tal, who lives with his brother Aviad, donated 80 cc's of blood, and the syringes were laced with anti-coagulant to preserve the blood. They were then brought to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Beit Dagan where a blood transfusion was administered. This was the first time the Wildlife Hospital had taken part in such a procedure.
The intricate surgery was performed at the Veterinary Hospital by orthopedist Joshua Milgram. After the cat's legs and pelvis were patched up, he returned to the Wildlife Hospital for further treatment and recuperation.
The little jungle cat appears to be recovering well, and is even standing and walking. In a few weeks he will probably return to his home near Kibbutz Hazorea, where he was originally found.