How one Ipswich dog saved another from certain death

A VITAL blood transfusion between two Ipswich dogs has saved one from certain death.

On Tuesday about 10pm, a six-month old Kelpie Cross was brought into the RSPCA after she was found lifeless in the yard of an Ipswich home.

The dog named Xena was weak, her gums were paper white and the pup could barely move.

Tests for the deadly parvo virus were run immediately by the team on night shift.

Xena, a 6-month-old dog from Ipswich, almost died because she had so many fleas.
Xena, a 6-month-old dog from Ipswich, almost died because she had so many fleas.

The test came back negative but a closer examination revealed the real cause of Xena's dire condition.

Fleas.

There were so many of the parasites covering Xena's body there wasn't enough blood to sustain her weak body, RSPCA vet nurse Tui Foulkes said.

"Her skin was just crawling," Ms Foulkes said.

"It was the most fleas I have ever seen in my life."

 

Xena, a 6-month-old dog from Ipswich, almost died because she had so many fleas.
Xena, a 6-month-old dog from Ipswich, almost died because she had so many fleas.

 

Vet Dr Sarah Kanther immediately concluded Xena was anaemic from the thousands of fleas draining her blood.

Xena was given a tablet and sprayed with Frontline treatment but it wasn't enough.

"The whole triage bench was covered in fleas. They had started dying and we were combing them off her but we quickly realised we would need a blood transfer," Ms Foulkes said.

 

The triage bench was covered in fleas after Xena was treated at the RSPCA.
The triage bench was covered in fleas after Xena was treated at the RSPCA.

 

"The vet said; this dog is going to die if she doesn't get a transfusion straight away."

Fortunately the perfect candidate was in a surgery next door being desexed.

Staff acted quickly, taking 450mm of blood from the large Labrador cross and rushed to transfuse the blood into Xena.

"Within an hour she was sitting up and wagging her tail," Ms Foulkes said.

 

Xena, a 6-month-old dog from Ipswich, almost died because she had so many fleas but was saved by an emergency blood transfusion.
Xena, a 6-month-old dog from Ipswich, almost died because she had so many fleas but was saved by an emergency blood transfusion.

 

"Before the transfusion, her temperature was really low at 32.2 when we first started and it slowly started rise after the blood transfusion.

"It was quite horrible.

"The next morning, she was outside in our kennel blocks running around and eating. She was completely back to normal."

Ms Foulkes said it was warning for pet owners that flea treatment was necessary for more than just eliminating the annoyance of having the parasites in your house.

"You might not think fleas can be life threatening for your pet but with that many, it can," Ms Foulkes said.

By Thursday, Xena was walking, eating and playing.

 

The donor dog whose blood saved Xena.
The donor dog whose blood saved Xena.

 

"She's bright, she's snuggly and very loving. She comes straight up for cuddles," Ms Foulkes said.

Xena's previous owners surrendered her to the RSPCA and after a couple of weeks in care, Xena will be ready for adoption.

Anyone wanting to adopt Xena, should register their interest with RSPCA Wacol.



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