BY NICOLAS FERNANDES
A hero dog has given blood to his fellow pooch and saved her from being killed by THOUSANDS of fleas.
Xena, a six-month-old Kelpie Shar Pei cross, from Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, came into a local animal rescue center so weak that she could barely stand.
After tests found that the tiny insects had drained 85 percent of the pup’s blood, doctors concluded that without a transfusion, she would die.
But Rubble, a one-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Mastiff cross in the next room, was able to save her life.
Before he came to the rescue, the puppy’s organs were no longer working due to her extremely low red blood cell count.
Xena was adopted on April 21 and her lifesaver is currently up for adoption.
Dr. Sarah Kanther, of the of Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Queensland, said: “If she had not received that blood, I think she would have died within hours.
“There were thousands of live fleas crawling all over the poor little Kelpie’s body.
“She was having a lot of trouble breathing and her gums were white. She didn’t even have the energy to scratch herself.
“A very low red blood cell count causes vital organs like the brain and kidneys to stop functioning properly.
“If she had remained anemic, she could have suffered permanent damage to her organs.
“A large healthy dog that donates blood can really be a lifesaver.”
Dr. Sarah says the tiny parasites are a simple problem to treat, but that many owners are not educated enough about the insect.
The vet has seen symptoms of the blood-sucking creatures become deadly on more than a few occasions.
She said: “Lack of education is the main cause of heavy flea burdens. Owners must be made aware that it can cause more than just a simple itch in their pets.
“There are dozens of commercially available products to control fleas in our pets and many of these are very cheap.
“Unfortunately I was not surprised by what happened to the dog. I have seen many cases like this.”
After seeing how helpful a blood transfusion can be, Dr. Sarah hopes all owners will consider bringing their pooch in to donate blood.
She said: “I urge owners to contact their local veterinarian to look into making their dogs blood donors.”
For information on how to adopt Rubble, visit https://www.rspcaqld.org.au/.