At first, volunteers at the Nanaimo SPCA thought this 14-year-old terrier was just dirty…but within moments of him being dropped off, they realized that all of the “dirt” was actually fleas. They could tell that he was nearly dead due to immense blood loss. The fleas were literally eating him alive.Volunteers immediately got the dog, called Rascal, into the bath to wash away the excretions from the fleas and try to remove as many as possible. The water that ran off of him was a disturbing shade of orange and red.
Basically…it’s a sea of blood.” Ken Langelier, a veterinarian, said.
Even with the fleas slowly being removed, Rascal still needed a blood transfusion to survive, otherwise he would be euthanized. A German Shepherd, one of the hospital staff’s dogs, was a match for Rascal and donated blood that ended up saving the stray’s life.
The veterinarian was angry. Flea infestations are easily manageable and this case should never have gotten bad enough to threaten this dog’s life. They are currently searching for the original owner to find out who found the dog and who dropped him off. If found, Rascal’s previous owner may face criminal charges.
After blood transfusions and countless baths, Rascal is now expected to make a full recovery and should be ready for a new home in just a few weeks!
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