Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Kidney exchange for cats

When you read about a kidney transplant for a cat (see below), you might wonder about the kidney donor.  It turns out the transplant involved a living-donor kidney donation in exchange for a home and a life saving rescue from an animal shelter (in which un-adopted animals are euthanized):

Here's the Baltimore Sun:

A $19,000 kidney transplant for a 17-year-old cat? His Baltimore owner says it was money well spent

"Not quite four months ago, Betsy Boyd spent 41 percent of her annual salary on a kidney transplant for her ailing 17-year-old cat, Stanley.

As a condition of the $19,000 surgery, she also adopted the kidney donor, a 2-year-old tabby named Jay"

Tech Times tells us more about the donor Jay:

"Boyd was able to save the life of Stanley, but in the process, also saved the life of another cat.

"One of the conditions of the kidney transplant procedure was that Boyd would have to adopt the cat that donated the kidney to Stanley. The cat was named Jay, a 2-year-old cat who was rescued from the streets and was in a shelter.

"We are just as concerned with the life of the donor as the recipient," said Dr. Lillian Aronson from the Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. "They are saving another animal's life and we owe it to them to save their life and give them a good home."

Boyd not only gave Stanley more years at life, but she also gave Jay a new home."
I don't know if there are journals that publish papers on Veterinary Ethics, but if there are, I anticipate heated discussion of the ethics of kidney donation in exchange for being saved from a shelter.  (Authors will speak with certainty both for and against.)

The fact that most shelters euthanize animals who don't find a home fairly quickly is another issue that arouses some repugnance and controversy: e.g. here's a statement from PETA on why they support that practice:
 ‘No-Kill’ Label Slowly Killing Animals

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