Author: Jude Bradbury, BVSc, CertAVP, MRCVS, FHEA.


Jude qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Liverpool in 2010. After working in clinical practice for 10 years, she transitioned into veterinary education. She initially taught veterinary nurses at Nottingham Trent University before becoming the examinations manager in the education department at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. In January 2023 she joined the Royal Veterinary College as a senior teaching fellow in primary veterinary care.

ABSTRACT Feline flea anaemia is a potentially fatal disease. It is commonly seen around the world, despite the ability to prevent its occurrence with anti-ectoparasite medications. Its severity can result in cats being admitted to the veterinary practice for intensive nursing care. While the management of these cases can be similar to that of other species, such as dogs, there are factors in the feline patient that can make it more difficult. Blood transfusion is recommended for feline flea-anaemic patients with a packed cell volume <10%, but transfusions in cats carry a high level of risk, including anaphylactic shock and death if performed incorrectly. Providing nutritional support can also be difficult, due to the size of the patient and the possibility of needing a feeding tube. These cases therefore pose a need to balance risks and benefits, which the veterinary nurse may find challenging but rewarding.
Keywords flea, anaemia, nursing care

To cite this article: Bradbury, J. (2023) Nursing the feline flea-anaemic patient. VNJ 38 (2) pp39-46

DOI: 10.56496/EITM9063

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