Cornell University Welcomes New Blood Donor Horse
Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA) welcomes its newest permanent working animal: Mike, a 9-year old Belgian draft horse. His job involves a lot of time off lounging outside. But a few times a year when emergencies strike, Mike will play a key part in saving horse’s lives.
"He was originally an athlete, pulling weights for sport," said Kalli Anderson, veterinary technician at the Equine and Farm Animal Hospital. "But he was performing poorly, not eating much, and losing weight. His owners brought him to us on March 16, 2010 to find out why. We discovered he had arthritis in his front feet. The pain was probably hurting his appetite."
The diagnosis put an end to his sport career, but Mike’s visit to CUHA proved to be the beginning of a new career helping the Hospital’s equine patients for years to come. When Mike’s bloodwork revealed that he had the right credentials for the job, the Hospital bought him as its new equine blood donor.
At the time, the hospital’s former blood donor horse, Joan, was 28 and hospital staff had been looking hard to find a good replacement with blood type Aa/Qa negative (the equine equivalent of "universal donor")
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