Cat Rescued From the Brink of Death After Worst Case of Fleas Vet Has Ever Seen Now a Treasured Family Pet

Cat Rescued From the Brink of Death After Worst Case of Fleas Vet Has Ever Seen Now a Treasured Family Pet

A kitten that had to be rescued from the brink of death after suffering from a severe flea infestation has made a miraculous recovery and is now a treasured family pet.

Little Casper nearly died after he was rescued from a home in Blackpool at just six weeks old in September 2016.

Pharmaceuticals company MSD Animal Health is now sharing Casper’s story as part of its Big Flea Project – an initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of fleas and encourage pet owners to talk to the vets about flea protection.

The kitten was taken to The Veterinary Health Centre in Lytham, Lancashire. The practice owner and vet Siuna Reid described the case as the worst she had seen in her 26-year career.

Video footage shows little Casper whimpering in distress as the parasites crawl all over his face. The fleas had sucked so much of Casper’s blood he was anaemic. His blood sugar and packed cell volume (PCV) levels were so low he was dipping in and out of consciousness.

Casper’s two siblings, who were also taken to the practice, were pronounced dead on arrival, and Casper had to be given emergency life-saving treatment.

Eighteen months on and Casper now lives with the receptionist who checked him into the practice, and new pictures show him happy in his forever home.

Vet Siuna Reid said: “I vividly remember treating Casper. He was brought in by the RSPCA one evening after he was rescued from a house.

“Casper’s fleas were the worst I had ever seen in my 26 years as a vet. His two siblings had already died. The fleas had sucked so much of Casper’s blood he was anaemic, and he was dipping in and out of consciousness.

“There was a point where it looked like we would have to put Casper down, but I wanted to do my best to stop that from happening.”

Casper’s packed cell volume – a measure of his red blood cells – was just 8. A healthy number is considered to be between 35 and 43.

Siuna said: “His PCV levels were not conducive with life. We had to give him a protein fluid. It took around three or four days before Casper’s condition was no longer life-threatening.”

Casper was finally discharged from Siuna’s care on 9th October 2016 – 19 days after he was admitted.

He was adopted by the practice receptionist, Helen, who fell in love with the black and white moggy during his stay in the practice.

Casper is now a fit and healthy young cat and has become the perfect pet to Helen.

Helen said: “Casper is now a fit and healthy young cat and happy in his new home. I had lost my seventeen year old cat about four months previously and was still missing her dreadfully when the RSPCA brought the tiny collapsed kitten into the practice.

“I had never seen as many fleas on an animal before and was shocked that he could actually die from the infestation.

“Over the next few days he battled on and I sat with him, grooming out the flea dirt. As he recovered I was still unsure about taking him home, but his fantastic little character began to make its way into my heart.

“Casper is now a much loved member of the family and I’ll make sure he never has another flea again!”

Big Flea Project vet, Hannah Newbury, from MSD Animal Health said: “Casper’s story is truly shocking and highlights the dangers fleas and other parasites can have to innocent animals.

“Flea infestations can occur in this way when we forget to treat our pets. At least 12 weeks’ continuous flea treatment is needed to break the flea life cycle and so it’s really important for pet owners to keep on top of the treatment process and to treat their pets year round.

“Thanks to Siuna and her steadfast dedication, Casper is now able to live the happy, healthy life that all animals deserve.

“This summer we will be travelling across the UK to highlight the dangers fleas pose, as well as offering handy tips to keep them at bay.”

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32 thoughts on “Cat Rescued From the Brink of Death After Worst Case of Fleas Vet Has Ever Seen Now a Treasured Family Pet

  1. Léa says:

    Madame Simone was far from a kitten, three years old, when she came to live with Colette and the human. However, I’m no vet, but I had never seen such a mess of fleas and that includes outdoor and feral cats I seen. What a bath she had… Next month it will be two years since her arrival and not a flea in sight. If someone doesn’t want to subject the felines to harsh chemicals there are several organic, essential oils that can and do safely protect these lovely dears.

    • franhunne4u says:

      *rant mode on*
      Chemicals and harsh. Yes, H2O, the chemical element without which there would be no life, very harsh. NaCl, aka salt, can kill you – but it is also necessary for survival.
      The human body?
      “Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Only about 0.85% is composed of another five elements: potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. All 11 are necessary for life.”

      Vitamin C – aka Ascorbin-Acid to the chemists – ‎C6H8O6
      Or check the evil chemical Cobalamin:
      “Cobalamin (Cbl) is a general term that is referred to a number of compounds, that have cobalt ion in the middle, hence the name of the compound. Cobalt ion is surrounded by four nitrogen atoms from four tetrapyrrolic corrin rings.
      Cobalamin is a vitamin from the vitamin B group.”

      We all want to live without poisoning ourselves and our pets. But CHEMICALS are just the parts our life consists of. We ourselves are made out of chemicals – and phosphor and sulfur are nothing you or I would think healthy, it turns out, we need even that!
      And while WE are made out of chemicals, so is the rest of nature.

      Take one of the main “essential oils” – tea tree oil:
      “Tea tree oil is toxic when taken by mouth. Although there is little evidence of efficacy, it is typically used in low concentrations as a folk medicine for attempted treatments of skin conditions. Tea tree oil is claimed as useful for treating dandruff, acne, lice, herpes, insect bites, scabies, and skin fungal or bacterial infections. However, the quality of the evidence for efficacy in these conditions is minimal.Tea tree oil is neither a patented product nor an approved drug.”
      And sadly, this “not patented nor approved” is true for other essential oils, too. As is the lack of efficacy.

      The reason why those are NOT drugs – they are not reliable in concentration and vary plant by plant in their chemical compound. The “evil” chemical industry on the other hand guarantees that their medications ALWAYS HAS THE SAME AMOUNT OF efficient ingredients.

      No, I do not work for the chemical industry, but one of my colleagues once was working in there, and an uncle in law had studied chemistry, too, before he worked on fuel testing.

      I am careful myself about what I use for cleaning my flat, but all products have been tested for child-friendliness (i.e. if a child crawls along the floors it should not come into contact with something harmful, of course DRINKING that stuff is still not recommended). And so, if I have to clean the transport box of my cat after we return from the vet (hint, she relieves herself in there for shere panic) I use a product from the chemical industry. I dilute it into water (the evil chemical H2O). And I use the “mildest” one I can find. But to use tea tree oil would be dangerous (my pet should not lick off that kind of chemical)
      “Tea tree oil products may contain a range of chemical combinations containing over 98 compounds,[citation needed] with terpinen-4-ol as the major component. And in dogs and cats, death or transient signs of toxicity (lasting 2 to 3 days), such as depression, weakness, incoordination and muscle tremors, have been reported after external application at high doses.”
      [all quotes from Wikipedia]

      Really, what would you rather choose? A reliable and well controlled, tried and tested medication or some probably toxic, quite random “snake-oil”?

      *rant mode off*

      • Léa says:

        Alas, you are preaching to the choir which I find is often the case as others prefer to keep their head in the sand, up their ass or… just claim ignorance. While I do admit the use of a few essential oils, I am careful and would not presume to test it on my darling divas. One of my felines has the same problem when going to the vet or when she came home that first day from the refuge. I myself have severe sensitivity to chemicals and do not use common house cleaning products. Plain old vinegar and a bit of baking soda still can do wonders. Over the decades, this body has been subjected to more pharmacuticals than I care to remember. Consistently, my body has reacted poorly. For some skin issues, I was given a cream with cortisone… need I say more? I tried a bit of organic coconut oil and the problem was taken care of. Oh dear, I feel a rant coming on myself…

        • franhunne4u says:

          Cortisone has its uses, but it cannot be a longtime remedy for its side-effects. http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/14/12/5144
          Too chemical information for me, as I am not that good at chemistry – but that is some of the chemistry behind coconut (water).

          Coconut oil is mainly used against dry skin problems. That is why it can be used against dandruff (some dandruff is just a sign of a dry scalp).

          I did preach to the choir as I wanted to make a stance against some snake-oil buyers still trying essential oils on their cats. Don’t, just don’t – unless a trustworthy, scientific orientated vet tells you to. Because yes, vets want to earn money, but they also have not the least intention to kill a patient – after all a patient alive is what makes them money. Same goes for MDs.

      • Marc-André says:

        True spoken. A life without chemicals would not be possible.

        And as a wise man once said even water is deadly in too high concentration. 😉

  2. erinthecatprincess says:

    So close to tragedy for that little guy, but sadly to late for the rest of the litter. I get my vet to tell me when I’m due for treatment that way I have an appointment, treatment and check up all in one. We love a happy ending, and a happy family cat.
    Purrs
    ERin

  3. Livie livie says:

    That’s awful. I didn’t know fleas can be so dangerous to animals. I’m glad that Casper has recovered and now live a happy healthy life with his loving family.

  4. Authoress51 says:

    Ugh, That video made me itch. So happy Little Casper is healthy and happy, now. Special prayers he stays that way; as, Casper was my dads name. (now deceased).

    • Marc-André says:

      Yes 🙁 I almost decided against including the video but when I thought without the video people won’t understand how terrible this was!

  5. Lauren says:

    Casper is an example of rare determination to survive in the presence of abject agony , and benign providence to return him to life and the joys of what kittenhood should be.

      • Lauren says:

        Once in a while a kind, competent human enters a wonder cat’s life and rescues the precious created being. I am so very thankful for Paladin, and our Humane Society’s veterinarian. In one morning, she neutered, de-wormed, and vaccinated him. We returned home with him, only he was no longer feral. He was truly altered. He explored our house, desired petting and being around us, and played with toys. Now he’s a wonder cat. ^-.-^

        • Marc-André says:

          Awwwww so glad Paladin finally got his vet visit. You should do a little post about him for us. 🙂

          • Lauren says:

            The vet visit that included his being neutered was back in March. I’ll work on getting a post put together.

          • Marc-André says:

            We need to do a vet visit for neutering soon… our new family member has decided to get into heat before we could get it pushed in and the vet doesn’t want to do it while she is in heat…

            Much to the demise of our male cats that she keeps pestering for you know what… she doesn’t quite get that they are not interested. 🤣

  6. The Hinoeuma says:

    His cries of agony made me cry. That was pitiful. I don’t like seeing the babies suffer. I was pleased that he not only survived his ordeal but, became a new companion & friend to the lady who had recently lost her older kitty. They helped each other.

    When I was in 4th grade, I decided I wanted to be a vet. I took a 4H class to see a neutering surgery. So much for that idea…I nearly passed out. Ugh. Weak stomach…

    • Marc-André says:

      Yes I almost didn’t want to include the video. But thought no people must understand what the poor kitty went through. 🙁

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