LUMSDEN, Sask. — It took the tireless work of a veterinarian and a blood donation from her dog to save the life of a puppy facing a tick infestation.
Recently the Regina-area dog rescue CC RezQs brought a puppy — believed to be about 11-weeks-old — into TM’z Veterinary Clinic in Lumsden, Sask.
Caillin Rodonets, co-founder of CCRezQs, said they could tell the puppy needed medical attention right away.
“She weighed eight pounds, she should’ve been easily double what she was weighing.”
Dr. Tanya Marshall owns TM’z and was one of four people who’d spend the night pulling “hundreds and hundreds” of ticks off the puppy.
“She was a pretty sick puppy,” Marshall explained. “She wasn’t really overly responsive. She’d just lift her head a bit. She had a significant amount of blood loss from the tick infestations.”
The team of four had to clip her, pulling more ticks off as they went along.
The puppy, now affectionately known at the vet clinic as Tic-Tac, was found to be significantly anemic with around a third of what would be considered normal blood volume. She needed a blood transfusion — and fast.
“Without a blood transfusion, she never would have survived,” Marshall explained Monday. “Even with all the ticks being off and not having any more blood loss, we just knew if we didn’t give her a blood transfusion, she wasn’t going to make the night. That’s how much blood can be removed by feeding ticks.”
Luckily, there was a donor around the clinic: Marshall’s own dog, Kelso.
“He got to be the donor so we pulled blood from him and transfused it into little Tic-Tac,” she said.
The transfusion worked and Tic-Tac began to rebound.
“Within even half an hour to one hour of transfusing, she started to start lifting her head, looking around, that type of thing,” Marshall explained. “By almost 2:30 a.m., she was up barking and eating and doing very, very well.”
Tic-Tac is now recovering at the home of a clinic employee though she was back in the clinic on Monday “happy, wagging her tail, just bright and alert,” according to Marshall.
“It’s kind of neat to see how a puppy can be, well, close to death,” she said. “That puppy, in the wild without treatment, would have not made the night.”
Rodonets said the dog isn’t up for adoption yet because the group wants to ensure Tic-Tac is healthy and receives all the proper vaccinations.