Dog Who Lost 85% of His Blood To Horrific Flea Infestation Gets Life-Saving Transfusion

Rascal’s face looked like it was covered in dirt, but when veterinarians took a closer look at the senior dog, they saw that it was a flea infestation, one so bad that Dr. Ken Langelier said he had never seen one like it in his 40 years of practice.

What looked like dirt, was actually fleas. Screenshot via BC SPCA

The 14-year-old terrier had 100,000 of the blood-suckers on him and had lost more than 85% of his red blood cells. His fur was a dark copper color – stained from his own blood.

The fact that he was still alive was a miracle in itself. But when the Nanaimo SPCA dropped Rascal off at the Island Veterinary Hospital on Vancouver Island, BC, they weren’t sure the pup was going to make it.

Dr. Langelier wasn’t about to give up. And he had help from a German Shepherd named Katie.

“I looked at this dog and said ‘You’re not dying on my watch, baby,’” said Langelier. “Terry, who works here, had a universal blood donor, rushed home and brought her dog in.”

Rascal’s fur was dyed copper from his blood.

Rascal had a 4 hour blood transfusion that gave him his strength back, and thanks to Katie, Rascal pulled through. And after several baths, Rascal is flea-free.




SPCA animal cruelty investigators are now investigating the case and trying to track down Rascal’s owner, who could face criminal charges.

As for Rascal, he got to meet his savior, Katie recently. Although the two are unaware of their connection, you could say they are now bonded by blood.

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