A Milton Keynes vet is warning of the danger of common fleas after performing lifesaving blood transfusions on 10 kittens over the past four weeks.
Fleas literally suck blood out of animals - or humans - when they bite them, and a heavy infestation can lead to a condition called Flea Anaemia.
Andre Cilliers, veterinary surgeon at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, has now fired a warning to pet owners to raise awareness.
He said: “Flea Anaemia occurs when the fleas have drained so much blood that the animal is left severely weakened. In younger and smaller animals, this can be life threatening.
"We are very concerned about the increase in cases we are seeing and urge pet owners to discuss the best preventative protocol with their vets.”
Carol Spindler from Milton Keynes and North Bucks branch of the RSPCA said the increase in cases of Flea Anaemia this year has caused a drain on branch funds and filled foster spaces to capacity.
"We can’t stress how easy it is to prevent, so please, talk to your vet and get a recommended treatment as soon as possible," she said.
The transfusions were carried out with blood taken from special donor cats in MK.
Carol said: "All the hard work put in to help these kittens would not have been possible without our hero donor cats, who bravely donated blood to save them. We are so grateful to these cats and their owners for their help."
Tips to deal with fleas include:
Always ask your vet which product would be best suited to your pet, some products may not
be as effective as others. Make sure you never use dog specific flea treatments on your cats,
as some of these are highly toxic to our feline friends.
Treat your pet regularly to keep on top of fleas, always check the product information or
speak to your vet regarding your pet’s individual needs.
Make sure you treat all pets in your household. Even if you have only seen fleas on one
animal, they will jump between pets and species to continue breeding.
Treat the environment. Flea eggs and larvae can survive in soft furnishings so it is important
to treat the house as well with an appropriate household spray. Regular vacuuming and
washing bedding regularly will also help limit the spread of fleas.