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My dog has fleas: Tiny insects can cause major damage – even death

August 1, 2017

The BC SPCA is highlighting the importance of flea prevention and treatment after a dog recently surrendered into BC SPCA care nearly died from a massive flea infestation. Rascal, a sweet senior terrier from Lantzville, is now recovering after losing approximately 85 per cent 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 was rushed to Island Veterinary Hospital for emergency veterinary treatment including life-saving blood transfusions. Now in foster care, the gentle canine is recovering from his ordeal.

“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 says.

“We strongly encourage pet guardians to consult their veterinarian about flea prevention, which costs considerably less than having to treat an infestation. It is also important to note that flea control products for dogs are very different from flea treatments for cats and that using the wrong product can be toxic for your pet.”

To find out about the proper care and treatment of your pets, visit

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