Flea-ridden dog itched so badly that it bit off its own tail

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A PET dog was driven so frantic by a flea allergy that he bit off the end of his tail in desperation, a court heard.

On Tuesday, owner Shelley Blackwell was sentenced to 120 hours community service, banned from keeping animals for three years and fined £1,000 after an RSPCA prosecution.

She was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to her dog, called Sambuca, by failing to provide adequate parasitic control and also failing to provide veterinary care.

Ms Blackwell, who lives in a Central Milton Keynes flat, was also ordered to sign Bull Terrier Sambuca over to the RSPCA.

He will now be found a new home.

The court heard how Sambuca was covered in open, weeping sores from an untreated flea allergy when the RSPCA saw him in April last year.

He had been scratching and biting so much, in a bid to gain relief, that he had chewed the end of his tail off, leaving a bloody wound.

Ms Blackwell told Milton Keynes magistrates she had treated her dog with off-the-shelf flea products from a pet shop but these had not worked.

RSPCA Inspector Sue Haywood said after the case: “For the sake of spending £20 or £30 on proper flea treatment from the vets, all this could have been avoided.

“This should be a warning to everybody who has dogs or cats.

“If less-effective flea control remedies fail to do the trick then you must go to a vet and buy prescription treatments.”