About a week ago, Sarah Mok and her brother noticed something amiss with their dog Rayley.
Usually bright-eyed, energetic and easily excitable, Rayley had been acting sluggish and lethargic for a while. Mok also noted that Rayley had a poor appetite.
Worried, Mok’s brother brought her to Brighton Vet Care at Bukit Timah, where the family received a startling diagnosis: Rayley had contracted tick fever.
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of their unsuspecting hosts. If left untreated, tick fever can cause severe weight loss, anaemia, fever, and more.
Speaking to The Pride, Mok explained: “For tick fever, it takes several weeks for symptoms to appear after the diseased tick has infected a dog.”
She added: “Tests showed that her blood levels and platelet count were very low and that she was dangerously anaemic.”
Desperately worried, the Mok siblings didn’t know who, or where, to turn to for help – except social media.
They put out a desperate plea for help
On Jul 25, Mok, an independent artist who goes by @sarahthursday on Instagram, put out a plea for help.
In her Instagram post, Mok shared the distressing news: “My brother’s four-year-old golden retriever, Rayley, needs to get a blood transfusion as she is currently dangerously anaemic.”
She continued: “This is so difficult. My heart is breaking. She’s hospitalised and she’s the most precious dog ever. Please help us.”
Mok went on to list some requisites for the donor-to-be: a six-month to six-year-old dog, weighing between 20 to 40 kilograms, who is healthy and up to date with vaccinations and heartworm prevention. A donor of any blood type – positive or negative – would also be compatible.
Social media users respond immediately
Mok said: “I immediately shared the plea for donors on Instagram stories, asking for people to help spread the message.”
And spread the message, they did.
“Many friends and supporters shared them without hesitation,” she said. “I also did an Instagram post which has gotten almost 400 shares, from people all over the world.”
When she found out about it, Mok replied gratefully on her Instagram story: “Thank you so much for the shares… We have a few offers for donors now and that is really touching. Looking to observe her again tomorrow.”
However, a day later, a desperately worried Mok updated that even though she and her brother had picked up medication for their dog, “Rayley’s condition worsened today.”
Thankfully, Mok and her brother managed to find eligible blood donors for Rayley.
She revealed: “My brother found two potential donors through the Golden Retriever’s Club Facebook group, and I found an additional two potential donors from Instagram.”
One of them, a cheerful-looking Golden Retriever named Coco, eventually went on to become Rayley’s saviour.
Mok shared: “Coco’s owners responded to my brother’s post on Facebook within an hour. They even took time off work to bring Coco over to the vet for the blood transfusion!”
At around 12pm on Jul 26, Mok posted: “(Rayley’s) getting a blood transfusion at 2pm.”
The concerned Mok made a trip down to the veterinarian clinic to be with Rayley before her surgery. She noted that even though Rayley was extremely tired and anaemic, she still found the strength to stand up and greet her owners.
Sharing a photo of Rayley’s donor on her Instagram story, Mok captioned: “The brave and healthy girl, Coco!
“Thank you for being a lifesaver, baby girl. Rayley’s transfusion is being done right now. I hope all goes well!”
In a later update, Sarah shared that her surgery went well, and Rayley is well on the road to recovery.
Rayley’s touching story isn’t the only instance of social media done right.