Flea-ridden kitten found days away from death

A tiny kitten so badly affected by fleas and days away from death was found by a member of the public and rescued by Mayhew.

Whilst fleas are an easily treatable parasite amongst most cat and dogs, young or small animals that become infected are at a high risk of developing serious complications such as anaemia, and potentially fatal heart conditions.

This was sadly the reality for eight-week old kitten Bow, who had either got lost or been abandoned when a member of the public found him all alone in her garden last month.

Poor little Bow seemed tired and weak; and so, assuming he was a stray the person who found him tried to provide some food and drink to help get his strength up.

Unfortunately, Bow seemed even more lethargic after a couple of days and was unable to eat or drink anything offered. Worried that he wouldn’t survive, Bow’s finder called animal rescue charity Mayhew for help.

Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officers went to collect the kitten and soon realised he was badly infected by fleas and had become severely anaemic and could have been days away from death.

A spokesperson for Mayhew said: “Bow had become so weak from the blood loss that he had also developed a heart murmur and showed signs of suffering from cat flu. He was squinting and had a thick green discharge around his left eye, our vets soon diagnosed as conjunctivitis.

“Because Bow’s condition was so severe, here was kept at our Vet Clinic whilst we treated his flea infestation, inflamed eye and suspected cat flu. Our vets and vet nurses monitored his development and gave him lots of TLC – and luckily, after a few days in our care, Bow started to improve.”

The team at Mayhew noticed that Bow was calm and familiar around people, even on intake and allowed himself to be handled easily – meaning although he was young, he had experienced regular human contact before he was found in the stranger’s garden.

Left untreated fleas can cause significant health concerns, particularly for young kittens like Bow. A high flea burden can result in decreased blood in the circulation and this can go on to cause further issues. Fleas also pass on worm eggs which migrate to the stomach, sometimes resulting in intestinal issues.

A Mayhew spokesperson added: “To prevent the risk of your cat or kitten catching fleas, our vets recommend regular checks on both the animal and its habitat, looking in places such as garden sheds and garages where fleas are likely to breed and develop. Regular preventative care and swift treatment if fleas are found will significantly reduce the risk to your pet and the possibility of a repeat infestation.

“Our community Vet Clinic low cost services for all pet owners. To make an enquiry or book an appointment, please call 0208 9628017 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.”

Find out more about the work Mayhew does at www.themayhew.org.