Abandoned kittens had ‘worse flea infestation’ vets had ever seen

A litter of kittens were found abandoned with the worst flea infestation seen by vets.

A litter of 8-week-old kittens that were found abandoned on a garden wall had the worst flea infestation that the Animal Welfare Officers and vets at Mayhew had ever seen.

The kittens were found by a concerned member of the public who moved them to his shed, where he kept them safe and warm with blankets whilst he contacted London-based aninal welfare charity, Mayhew.

When they arrived at the shed, Deputy Head of Animal Welfare at Mayhew, Alison Ford, said: “I knew immediately that these kittens were in grave danger. They had the worst flea infestation I’ve ever seen and I’ve no doubt they would have died had they been left for another day or two.”

The infestation was so substantial that the fleas were crawling over the kitten’s eyeballs and they had no respite from the constant pain and itching. Fleas pose an incredibly high risk to young kittens, as they feed on skin and blood, resulting in severe anaemia, dehydration, skin irritation and weight-loss.

After the kittens arrived at Mayhew, the vets immediately set to work to treat the infestation and make them as comfortable as possible.

The kittens were given a fast-acting flea tablet inserted in some high energy food that the kittens badly needed. The vets bathed the kittens extensively in a dilute antiseptic shampoo and gave them supportive fluids, before using a flea comb to rid the fur of any fleas that had not yet been washed off.

It took two vets over three hours to comb, bathe and treat the three kittens and finally each kitten was given a longer acting tropical flea and worming treatment and settled in the Mayhew’s cattery.

A Mayhew spokesperson commented: “Left untreated, fleas can be fata due to significant bloody loss; and if they carry secondary parasites they can also pass on potentially deadly bacteria and infections through open wounds.

“To prevent the risk of your cat or kitten catching fleas, our vets recommend regular check on both the animal and its habitat, looking in places such as garden sheds and garages where fleas are likely to breed and develop. Swift treatment if fleas are found will significantly reduce the risk to your pet and the possibility of a repeat infestation.”

The three kittens – named Humphrey, john and Phyllis after the siblings of the member of the public who found them – are now fully recovered and they are all happy, playful and healthy.

If you think you could give, the kittens or any of the animal Mayhew care for a forever home, you can visit www.mayhew.org.uk.