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Belle, the little dog infested with ticks

Belle the Lab mix was covered in ticks when she first arrived at the CLAW vet clinic
© clawsouthafrica - Facebook

Belle, who was rescued by a shelter in South Africa, was thought to have a serious skin problem. With closer examination, vets came to a horrific realisation.

By Justine Seraphin Published on 1 Apr 2019

Rescued by CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare), of Johannesburg, South Africa, Belle was indeed in a pitiful state when she was first found. The poor girl, a black Lab mix, was taken away from a family that was neglecting her.


When she arrived at CLAW’s clinic, she was almost completely covered with ticks. This was a never-before seen infestation, shocking even to the hardened vets of the area. The parasites had apparently set up camp for a while, as Belle was already suffering from anaemia and a strong fever. She was at death’s door, but the vets and animal care team did everything they could to save her.

Urgent care needed for a critical situation

When Belle first arrived at the clinic, her situation was so critical that vets had no other option than to give her antiparasitic treatments and hope that a miracle would happen. There were too many ticks attached to her body to risk removing them one at a time, as this could cause Belle, who was already anaemic from the blood-sucking parasites, to lose a further amount of blood. Intensive treatment would be the only way to save her now.


And so it was: a few days later, thanks to the antiparasitic treatments she had been given, the ticks slowly started to fall off her body, giving vets the chance to treat the skin infections they had caused. Belle, who was also malnourished when she first arrived at the clinic, started to gain weight as the ticks died away. And time did the rest: she has now made a full recovery, and her impressive story has gone viral.

No adopters interested

Despite her story going viral online, no-one requested Belle for adoption. 
She continued to live out her days at the CLAW shelter, until one day, a request came in from a certain Hannah Claire von Collier. Inspired by her survival story, she came to meet Belle, and instantly fell in love. And of course, the love was reciprocal. Belle now lives in her new home and is being given all the care and love in the world.

What a happy ending for beautiful Belle!