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Job Hazard

It’s unavoidable. When you are around pets so much, you always hear about this pet or that pet that needs a home.  Usually I am good at saying “no”.  Usually.

This past Sunday I cracked.  I am working at a veterinary emergency clinic  just for the summer to get some extra funds so I don’t have to worry when I am going to school  and not working a full-time job.  Often people call about stray animals they found that are injured or sick.  The clinic stabilizes the pet and holds it for the local shelter to pick up and continue its care while looking for an owner.  Being that it is “kitten season” we are getting a number of stray kittens in.  No, problem, I don’t need another cat right now.  I had actually even talked myself out of adopting a new cat from our shelter who recently took in over 80 cats from 3 different houses. My crew was happy and I didn’t really think it was a good time. Destiny had another idea.

The head tech came back with a carrier and pulled out this little fuzzy kitten.  She held her up and said “look at this face”.  Omygawd, my heart melted!

Charm And she looked much cuter that day I swear!

Right away I knew I was taking her home, but I didn’t want to admit it to myself.  I kind of tried talking the another tech into taking her so I wouldn’t, but no go.

She was kept in an incubator all day to keep her warm.  At only about 3-4 weeks old, she was very thin so she thought the food we offered was great.   As I was cleaning her up shortly before I had to leave, I saw some funky white stuff under her one eyelid.  (Gross alert!) My first thought went to maggots.  With the hot, humid weather, we tend to see more than we want to see on pets.  Well, they weren’t maggots, they were fly eggs which would certainly developed into maggots if something wasn’t done.  Luckily, we were able to flush all the eggs out of her eye and I bathed her and removed some more in her fur.  The vet had some serious doubts as to how she would do at first.  I don’t think he had ever seen fly eggs in the location before.

I took her home, but I was worried that we didn’t get all the eggs and something would happen overnight.  Fortunately, the next morning she was fine and she has been fine all week.  She has been eating a mixture of A/D and kitten milk replacer.  She is using the litter box very nicely.  We are trying to clear up a little diarrhea which seems to be clearing up with the addition of probiotics into her food.  She can be a little spitfire when she wants to be (usually when we are going to get a little bath).  Hopefully, she will live up to the name I gave her- Charm.

Charm sittingCharm being a little spitfire

I guess as far as job hazards go, this one isn’t too bad.


My Pets

Sprite and her lymphoma

Sprite sleeping

I just put all my ferret girls back into their cage for the night.  Lately, Sprite has been the last one to go in.  She has a favorite spot under the cage that she likes to lay and so I have to get down and pull her out.  With her lymphoma, she is not as active as she used to be.  It’s tough watching her.  In the last few weeks her abdomen has gotten larger, I can feel her spleen and her lymph nodes have become enlarged all over.  I know it is just a matter of time so before putting her back in the cage, I spend a few extra minutes with her petting her and telling her what a good girl she is.  Sometimes I tell her I am sorry this happened to her.  She has such a rough start in life it doesn’t seem fair that she won’t get to enjoy a long happy one.  I know I am not the only ferrent who has dealt with this, lymphoma is a pretty common cancer in ferrets.  They are definitely a heartbreak pet.

Dogs Health Pet Care

Keeping the bang out of your dog’s 4th of July

Fireworks DisplayIt’s the day before the 4th and at least in my area, the fireworks started days ago.  Normally not a big issue, but if you have a dog who is sensitive to the noise fireworks make, it can make a very anxious end for the holiday.

My current crew doesn’t mind the fireworks, but the very first dog I ever owned, Whitney, hated them.  The first 2 years were not bad, but then she started to become very anxious during thunderstorms and fireworks.   She would pace and pant very heavily.   At first we tried to comfort her and then when we saw that wasn’t working, we ignored the behavior.  Her tolerance stayed the same for many years.  Then when she was about 11 years old, she really got bad during a storm or fireworks.  I did what most people do, I asked my vet for a tranquilizer.  It worked all right.  Instead of just mellowing her out, it knocked her out.  It knocked her out so deeply, I kept checking to be sure she was breathing.  Not the solution I was looking for. (Note: dogs can react differently to medications.  I gave the same dose to another dog of the same size for a different issue and you couldn’t even tell he had been given a tranquilizer).

About that time someone posted about her experience using melatonin for noise sensitivity on the recommendation of a veterinary behaviorist who had written a case study for the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  I figured I would Fireworks displaytry it.  All I had to lose was the cost of the melatonin.   I bought the 3mg size and eagerly awaited the next thunderstorm.  The next time a thunderstorm warning was posted, I got out the pills and gave Whitney one.  Then waited.  When the rumbling began in the distance, I really started to watch Whitney.  She didn’t even seem to notice.  She even decided to take a nice little nap during the storm.  No pacing, no panting, just calmness.  Okay, was I sold.  I continued to use the melatonin for Whitney for a few years.  Eventually, her hearing went and she wasn’t able to hear the thunderstorms or fireworks so wasn’t stressed by them.

Like anything, this seems to work for some dogs and not others  (for us, they worked best when given before the storm or fireworks began.).  I had a friend who tried it with her dog and didn’t see any change.   For some different ideas of things to try visit- .  This page also has the original post I had read about using melatonin for noise sensitivity.  Print it out to discuss with your vet. It gives the issue of the JAVMA that the case study appears in so they can reference it. I would love to hear about anything that has worked for you and your dog.