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Shorthair cat’s life saved after Facebook appeal to find matching blood donor
She doesn’t know it — but little Jasmine owes her life to social media, the quick actions of another cat’s owner and a blood donation from her pet.
After losing an eye and suffering a broken jaw and hip in a horrific collision with a car, Jasmine was rushed to Vets Now’s pet emergency hospital in Glasgow for surgery.
She desperately needed blood following her op, so an online appeal was launched to find a donor.
News of the plea reached Sam Bamford in North Lanarkshire who breeds pedigree Birman cats, and she rang Vets Now to say she could be there with nine-year-old Tyler in half an hour.
“Thankfully their blood groups matched and we were able to help Jasmine who was having such a rough time,” Sam said. “If one of my cats was in such a bad way I would hope somebody would do the same for me.”
Tyler was sedated while donating blood and seemed to be indignant that the procedure required his long Birman hair to be shaved around his neck and on his leg.
Jasmine’s owner Elizabeth, 61, of Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, was overjoyed that Sam had volunteered Tyler to help save the life of her beloved pet.
“When Jasmine was given the blood she very slowly seemed to turn the corner,” she said, but added: “It was 10 days of trauma though, travelling up and down to the hospital to see her and occasionally I had a slight wobble and wondered if it was fair on Jasmine.
“But the vet who looked after her was so encouraging and supportive to me and reassured me she would pull through and I would just have to stay strong.
“Apart from being left with one eye it has not affected her at all.”
Jasmine is a 15-month-old British shorthair pedigree and Elizabeth, who is a wheelchair user, says she is relieved to have her back home, but nervous about letting her out of the house again.
“I lost my husband 10 years ago, so my cat is always my companion. The cat I had before Jasmine died in August last year and I thought I couldn’t go through that heartache again, but then eventually I came round to the idea because coming home to a furry friend is better than an empty house.
“I just can’t tell you how much I love her and I get so much love in return. Jasmine is a cat you can take anywhere. She pops in her basket, and we go for a drive around and about which she loves. I’ve taken her to friends’ houses, and she loves all the fuss and attention — she’s a bit of a diva,” said Elizabeth.
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Vets aren’t able to stock feline blood in the same way they do for dogs, partly because cats’ red blood cells can only be stored for a short time, but also because of the need to sedate donor cats when collecting it.
Neus Elias-Santo Domingo, an emergency vet at Vets Now in Glasgow, said, following surgery, Jasmine was severely anaemic and in dire need of blood.
“Jasmine’s injuries were significant and undoubtedly life-threatening, and they show the risks of cats being hit by cars, especially at this time of year when the nights are getting longer.
“Thankfully our appeal to find a donor for Jasmine was successful, and it’s lovely to have a happy ending to such a traumatic story because Mrs Grant clearly loves her cat a lot.”
Kirsty McLaren, social media and outreach manager at Vets Now, put out the social media plea to find a blood donor.
She said: “I’m delighted to hear about Jasmine’s miraculous recovery, and that the social media plea helped find heroic donor Tyler.
“I’m a crazy cat lady, with two kitties at home and even a cat tattoo, so when the hospital told me of Jasmine’s plight, I knew we had to beat the clock to find her a donor, no matter what.
“It’s warmed my heart to see real-life evidence of the power of social media for good.”
The Vets Now pet emergency hospital in Glasgow — where Jasmine received treatment — is regarded as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the UK.
It’s one of three Vets Now hospitals across the UK that are open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.