Fleas Can Kill
On June 2, 2016, a normally bright and active cat named Paul was presented to Longview Animal Hospital in very bad shape. He was almost comatose and could not even lift his head. His gums were very pale, almost white and he had a temperature that was so low it would not even register on our thermometers.
After an extensive examination and blood work, it was determined that Pauls’ main source of illness was his anemia, which was due to a severe flea infestation. Paul’s owner was informed that he needed extensive care and still may not survive.
We immediately started killing the massive amount of fleas, got Paul on a heating blanket to warm him up, started IV fluids and other medicines to get him out of shock and began working on a plan to get a unit of blood to give him a transfusion. We worked with the emergency clinic here in town and got a unit of cat blood within an hour.
Just prior to starting the transfusion, Paul went into cardiac and respiratory arrest. He was dying. While trying to keep Paul alive, his owner was contacted to give a very poor prognosis and to determine if they still wanted us to give the blood and incur that expense.
His owner wanted to do everything they could, no matter the cost, so we proceeded with the transfusion. Almost immediately, Paul began to show signs of life and even lifted his head. We had a small glimmer of hope! By the end of the transfusion, he was even starting to try and sit up. We all began to think that Paul might be our little June miracle!
Sure enough, the next day Paul was standing up, had a normal temperature and was already eating food again. His owner brought a video of Paul playing vigorously just a few days later! He is back to being an active, playful, sweet kitty and we couldn’t be more happy for him and his owner. And we couldn’t be more proud of our team for working together, making the most of every second and not giving up on Paul. Here are the fruits of that labor of love…
The takeaway message is that we all think fleas are a nuisance and are gross, but we often forget that they can kill pets. PLEASE keep your loved ones protected this summer with flea and heartworm prevention! As much as we enjoy telling this story about Paul’s miraculous recovery, we don’t want to have to do it again! 😀
Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment. We can recommend the proper prevention for both your dogs and your cats and discuss treatment if necessary.