Flea treatment and keeping microchip details up to date...

Posted by on 24 January 2019 | Comments

This is Pixie. One of our clients found her in the kitchen eating out of her dogs food bowl so she had a feeling something was wrong! She brought her straight in to get her checked out and see if we could find where she had come from. She did have a microchip but sadly her owners hadn’t updated their details on the microchip database or with their vets so we had no way of contacting them.

Pixie was very skinny, covered with fleas, had pale gums and terrible teeth. We were worried she had injured her leg but it seemed to be her kneecap moving in and out of the joint that made her limp.

We ran a few blood tests and found out she was very anaemic which means having a reduced number of red blood cells. Her concentration of red blood cells (PCV) was 12%, less than half the expected value in a normal cat of 25-45%. Since red blood cells are the ones that carry oxygen to all the tissues of the body she was dangerously ill and we had to treat her quickly.

There are lots of reasons to be anaemic including red blood cells being lost through bleeding or from being destroyed by the body’s own immune system. From blood smears we looked at under the microscope it looked like Pixie likely had a low level of iron which is a critical ingredient for making red blood cells. This iron deficiency can happen in young or underweight animals who have too many fleas feasting on their blood.

We treated her fleas and a few days later after plenty of good food and rest her PCV had increased to 20%, a much safer level.

If poor Pixie hadn’t had her fleas treated her organs would have soon been too starved of oxygen to cope and she would have died.  It’s rare we see anaemia from a flea infestation thanks to the brilliant range of treatments we have to choose from. Most pets get treated when they become itchy or with some cats when they get a rash if they are allergic to flea saliva. Our main flea treatment “Bravecto” actually prevents fleas as well as treating them so if used regularly your pet never has to suffer from them.

Pixie spent 9 days at Blue House convalescing, but it will take a few weeks for her to fully recover. Iris’s Cats In Need have agreed to take her and after she has had some dentistry this wonderful charity will be looking for a forever home for her.