Flea infestation nearly killed Rascal

Dog nearly died from massive flea infestation

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Did you know that fleas could be deadly? Those horrid little parasites are more than itchy and annoying, they can literally kill if allowed to breed and infest a pet’s body. The BC SPCA highlighted the danger after a dog was surrendered to them with a massive flea infestation.

According to the animal-welfare agency, a senior terrier named “Rascal,” arrived at their shelter with such a tremendous infestation of fleas that he lost approximately 85 percent of his blood.

“I think people understand that fleas can cause itchy skin and irritation, but they often disregard those discomforts,” says Tina Heary, BC SPCA senior animal protection officer. “But many don’t seem to realize that flea infestations can cause a serious threat to the health and well-being of their animals. Fleas feed on blood, which is why poor Rascal was in critical distress when he came into our care. He was literally dying from fleas.”

Rascal had to get blood transfusions to survive – today, the gentle senior dog is in foster care, recuperating from his near-death experience. “The BC SPCA is grateful to the animal hospital and to Dr. Ken Langelier, whose time-sensitive critical care ensured Rascal had the best chance of survival,” Heary said.

Owners are encouraged to discuss the various flea control options for their pets to help prevent them from suffering like Rascal did.

Tips for caring for your pet can be found here.


More news and updates at this link to the National Animal News Facebook page.

In the middle of nowhere, biker finds puppy in a box – read the story here.

Watch these unlikely friends at play -sweet video here.

7 replies
  1. Linda Szymoniak says:

    A couple of years ago, I volunteered to drive a puppy that had been surrendered to the Gary animal control and which a rescue in South Bend, IN offered to take. I arrived at the shelter less than an hour after the pup was brought in, and it was so infested with fleas (and possibly intestinal parasites) that the gums were white. Not even pale pink. The poor thing didn’t even make it to South Bend. The first time I had a rescue dog die in my vehicle and I cried myself sick. I was meeting with a representative of the rescue and she was going to drive the dog immediately to the vet. If the idiot who had this puppy had just treated for fleas, that baby would have still been alive. Another dog I transported from Gary was so dehydrated and drained of blood by the fleas/worms that even though I took it directly to the vet for the rescue, it died less than an hour later. So, I KNOW just how hard this is on a dog (or cat or other animal). I can’t even imagine the suffering these dogs went through. And to think, a bath with some Dawn dishwashing liquid (the original, blue one – the same one they use to degrease animals after oil spills) is great at getting rid of fleas. Or, some flea spray – anything would have been better than letting the animals suffer. Glad to see that this dog is getting better. Sending prayers and a reminder to everyone that fleas are more than just a nuisance.

    • Darla says:

      OMG, I can’t imagine having a dog die during a transport. I would have cried myself sick, too. The suffering that pup (and others who have fleas and/or internal parasites) endured – I can’t even begin to imagine. As you said, a simple pill or spray and all of this could have been avoided.

  2. Nancy Raymond says:

    We just had a similar case where some maggot had 11 dogs, 3 adults, and 8 puppies – ALL severely infested with fleas – one of the puppies died, the adults are still being treated, as are 5 puppies, two puppies are healthy enough for adoption AND this hunk of sewer slime is well known to the local SPCA – another example of a human who deserves the same mercy he gave those innocent defenseless dogs – NONE!!!!


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  1. […] Recently, the BC SPCA highlighted the plight of a dog named “Rascal” who also nearly died from a severe flea infestation – the dog lost 85 percent of his blood from the blood-sucking parasites. Read the story here. […]

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