A Dog Received An Emergency Blood Transfusion After Being Attacked By Thousands Of Ticks
Ticks are a well publicized threat to the American people. The threat of contracting tick-borne disease is becoming greater each year. Tick-related events are normally reported as effecting humans, but ticks are also a growing threat to animals, including our pets. Ticks are found on dogs quite frequently, and given how many dogs prefer to chase animals into wooded areas, it is not uncommon for dogs to contract tick-borne diseases. One recent heartbreaking case involving a tick attack on a dog occured in Harlingen, Texas. Animal control officials were patrolling the city when they stumbled upon a dog that appeared to be unwell. Upon closer inspection, the dog was found to have hundreds of ticks embedded in his skin. The animal control officials transported the dog to the Harlingen Humane Society where the organization’s director, Kim Warunek, took care of the dog and eventually nursed him back to health.
The dog, who has since been named Riley, was not only covered in hundreds of ticks, but numerous bites were also present, which concerned the veterinarians that were present at the time. According to Warunek, the tick presence on the dog was the worst he had ever seen. The Humane Society staff members killed the numerous ticks, but Riley required further veterinary care. Since ticks slowly suck blood from their hosts over a span of several days, the enormous number of ticks on Riley meant that he had to undergo a blood transfusion in order to have his health restored. Riley was promptly transported to the Arroyo Veterinary Hospital where he underwent blood testing that revealed his consequent anemia. The blood transfusion successfully restored Riley’s dangerously low red blood cell count, successfully saving his life. It is not known if Riley ever had an owner, but Warunek had him moved to the Chicago-based animal rescue center in order to receive further medical treatments.
Do you think that more media attention should focus on the tick threat to people’s pets, especially dogs?