Saturday, 28 February 2009

Cats & Speeding Cars

Sorry l am in the middle of night shifts and not really connecting with my brain cells. I will just put up the x-ray of a cat that was involved in an RTA.

It may make anyone who thinks of speeding because there is no one around think again. There is always the unexpected and it is estimated that a cat gets hit by a speeding car every 2 minutes in UK.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Problems Viewing Blog

If you have problems viewing this or other blogs. Yesterday my IE started to crash and my Mum on AOL has not been able to load the blog but firefox has been stable.
Update to IE 8 (internet explorer 8) I have just done so and all is stable. Get the update from the microsoft updater site.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Jaguars and Kids

When people go on holiday with kids they often leave them in children’s clubs. They feel safe in the knowledge that the kids will receive the best care with sensible chaperones. The safe feeling should never be believed.

I was at Tenerife zoo doing a general check around before l started feeding. There was a children’s holiday club group having a look round with their minder. I had seen them having an ohh and ahh but largely ignored them.

Until l was walking back towards the big cats, one kid was holding onto the jaguar’s enclosure wire. The second was walking towards the wire and the third was being lifted over the barrier by the minder. The rest were asking to be next [over the barrier]

I froze for a fraction of a second in disbelief. Life went into slow motion. Luckily the jaguars were also disbelieving, but one was crouched and thinking about an attack, l saw his body position change in readiness, the two other were wheeling about ready to sprint, they had a child each if they wanted.
I bellowed to get those **** kids the hell out of there, NOW NOW they stared at me and backed off scared. The Jaguar’s settled back a fraction confused at the sudden clamour and my run and shouting.
The cretin in charge pulled the one child she was lifting over back and l grabbed the other one and hauled it out somehow. The third half climbed out when l hauled it the rest of the way.

l was incandescent with rage. I could not believe that anyone could be so stupid. The kids had almost been shredded and killed. The jaguars would have been destroyed; the zoo would have been in huge trouble.
The cretin said well they could not see clearly you have those stupid barriers there.
I think l went from incandescent to out of earth orbit. She got such a ripping off from me she just stood and stared in shock. She really had no idea until l let loose just how close things came to exploding into death. To her they were cute big cats.
I followed it up by booting her and the kids out of the zoo. Paco spoke to her bosses and she came back to apologise. Paco allowed her and future kids back but she had learnt her lesson.

I still shudder at how close it came to a real disaster. So if you go on holiday and use a holiday club, just be warned.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Bath Time Blues

A bath can be a relaxing thing for most of us. Unfortunately it can also be a very dangerous item to some animals if you like a hot bath. Usually cats but some dogs get very over excited and end up jumping into the bath or falling in by accident if they are sitting on the edge.

The abdomen and legs can get scald burns on. One of the worst l knew was a young Westie (West Highland White Terrier) who dived into the bath when he got over excited during play time, while the bath was being filled. No one had noticed that the cold water had not been turned on.

He had a lot of dressing changes on his legs and ended up trying to tear the dressings off and chew the other wounds so had to have a buster collar on. He was in for quite a long time, and for the first couple of days wouldn’t lie down. We put a cushion into his kennel to allow him to lower his head, so he could sleep sitting up. Only one fitted the bill perfectly for his size so that became his cushion.

I knew there had to be a better way to allow his body to relax and made one of my “contraptions”. A couple of bandages tied like slings and a towel across them. He was very scared to relax at first and it took some time for him to realise he could relax and not hurt. Once he did he had his first good sleep since he came in.

It was not perfect and did slide at times but even so l am pleased to report that it was a success. He seemed to enjoy being in “the sling” which although went under him the bandages supporting the sling went under the least damaged parts of him. As it was bandages they had thin pressure points which helped. It was just as well he enjoyed it as he was there for some time.

His legs and under his abdomen were raw in places.

Sleeping in the "sling"

Side view of the "sling" in use

Sunday, 22 February 2009


Had yet another dog brought in last night for attacking kids. Not the dogs fault he was only young. Apparently he had been "trained" with various methods that scum train fighting dogs with.

The police Sargent sent a message they wanted us to test it for DNA, fine but no instructions on what to use to store or keep it in. This is a new one usually we just keep any dog faeces and bag it for the forensics.
The vet rang the police control said they would get the sgt who was dealing with the case to ring up sometime. So as she is a new vet to our place and very quiet and believing she said ok and put the phone down.

I was not happy with this. They would ring up when we were up to our necks, and at some time means if lucky at all and most importantly how long would the dog have to go without food and water just so it was convenient for the police.

So l rang police control and asked for anyone in a forensics capacity who could give us advice. They said no one was available but that the sgt would ring back. Nope not good enough l want it sorted now, not at some vague point. We can not leave the dog without food and water for hours, just because it is not convenient for some Sargent to ring us back They promised he would ring back within 10minutes would that do. I glared at the phone and agreed.

Sure enough l got a call back. Yes he confirmed they wanted DNA.

"Ok l said how do we collect it and what do we store it in"

Silence.. "l don't know that's your job we just need it" He was being sulky and obtuse over it.

Now he had me annoyed and that is not good. "You want it you need to tell us how etc. If you do not know who is there in forensics to help? we can not leave the animal for hours with no food and water"

Sarcastic laughter "It is a Saturday night what do you mean forensics, they don't work weekends"

"Well what happens if someone is shot"

"They come out, that is a major crime"

"Well tell them someone has been shot"

Shocked silence "What...."

Me now very pissed off at what is asked and no advice given and a sarcastic Sgt being unhelpful. "Ok give me the phone number and l will deal with your forensics and get the info, no need for you to ask them and get you in trouble for waking them up. I can get the info and am happy to wake them. I am not leaving the dog for hours without food and water, because it is not convenient to you lot."

More silence as possible he sees a problem he may have just started asking for DNA, namely the realisation that if need be the vetnurse will make the night hell for the police and go higher up the food chain and piss off any senior officers who are skulking about. Or l may say sod you and wreck the DNA he is being so prissy about by giving the dog food and water and it will be his fault for being unhelpful.

"Ok ok l will have someone there within an hour with the kit. I assume the dog will be alright that long without food and water" He added the last part somewhat sarcasticly.

I refrained form making any comments which l was wanting to do "One hour yes that's fine the dog will survive, l gave him details of where we were and left him to spit his dummy into the corner and sort things"

Around time 2 WPC turned up. One knew all about the practice one did not and was puzzled about what we were. She seemed to have trouble grasping that we were a vet practice. The important thing was they had 2 BIG new packs of swabs for DNA.

We sedated the dog. He was a very mixed temperament. One second sweet the next nasty. No way were we sticking our hands near his mouth with him awake. One jab of dom/torb (sedative) and he slept peacefully. I popped the dog, onto the table.

I asked how many swabs to use and they didn't know but guessed about 2 or 3. They were adamant they were just couriers. I said nope looking at the 2 packs and feeling evil If they sent about 60 swabs they must want the lot. I grabbed about 10 out of one of their hands to start with, and said hang onto the others l will be back.
I held the mouth open and the vet swabbed. One of the WPC got a bit nervous about how many swabs l grabbed and rang the sgt.
He said he only wanted about four, two each from two different areas. Tough l handed the 4th mouth swab to the vet who was not really listening.

Being as l feel kind, and the two WPC were looking a bit intimidated at me holding the wadge of swabs in my hand and not knowing what to say. I grinned at them and as soon as the vet finished the mouth with the fourth swab, l pulled the tail up handed her another swab.
The WPC went a bit pale. I think they are new to the job and still a bit squeamish. If they were not new they would have been a tad more forthright over things not so shy.

Afterwards one of them was filling out a statement and had to ask where we swabbed. I said "mouth" but she wanted to know areas. So l told her the areas within the mouth that had been swabbed, she looked at me and muttered "mouth will do". I grinned at her.

My suggestion that she also write. "Shoved 5th swab up dogs arse" was vetoed by nurses, vet, and all others in the prep area watching. Some people are much to serious about life.

As to the dog that will be going off to holding kennels and up to the courts to decide on his fate.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Days Off and Cat's

I have had a funny few days. In theory l have been off but chasing round trying to choose a phone at different 02 shops. And l can not say l am impressed with their business section we have had several months of being messed about. We are now getting a second reimbursement due to being overcharged, hopefully now solved.
I did not think l was that bad when l got a little bit angry with them on the phone, in the 02 shop yesterday. I told the shop assistant lass next time l would get really angry she went pale. I said l had surely not been that scary and she just gulped, guess l was scary?

Then there has been the garden doing some trimming and want to attack that again today, housework. And finally trying to sort my Mum's computer. It has been running so slow you fall asleep waiting for it to do anything. I think it must be because she only has 480 RAM (or something around mid 400 anyhow) l have defragged, run anti virus/spyware scan and an AOL computer check, and also emptied all the temp files and unused stuff l could find. So if anyone else out there has any ideas on why it would run slow l am open to ideas.

Then topped of with a CPD night last night on "Cat Behaviour" that was very good and held at Chestergates Referral Hospital near Chester. They have a full set up of specialists including MRI and are a very good practice. (but no stand alone website!)

I would like to do more on behaviour for animals but l do not have the money or time to do a proper course which lasts for about 2 or 3 years. And to be honest it is such a complex subject it should be done properly or not at all.
I will give basic advice but anything more involved l send people to proper animal behaviourists. Either or APBT or COAPE or the degree from Southampton University (not sure of it's degree name though).

There is to many people dabbling in it and giving out wrong advice. I have dealt with some really scary behaviour advice from owners that they have been given by so called experts. Just because someone trains dogs or has done a short course they are to my mind not behaviourists. The Cesar Millan The Dog Whisperer type are few and far between.

So as l have been so slack of late l decided to put up some humour and the type of advice a mother cat may pass onto her kittens either that or it is genetic behaviour?

1. If you have to throw up, get into a chair quickly. If you cannot manage this in time, get to an Oriental rug. Shag is good.

2. Determine quickly which guest hates cats. Sit on that lap during the evening. He won't dare push you off and will even call you "nice kitty." If you can arrange to have cat food on your breath, so much the better.

3. For sitting on laps or rubbing against trouser legs, select colours that contrast your own.

4. Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.

5. For guests that say "I love kitties," be ready with aloof disdain, claws applied to stockings, or a quick nip on the ankles.

6. Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get one open, stand on hind legs and hammer doorknob with forepaws. Once the door is opened for you, it is not necessary to use it. You can change your mind. When you have ordered an outside door opened, stand half in and half out and think about several things. This is important during very cold weather or mosquito season.

7. If one person is busy and the other is idle, sit with the busy one. For book readers, get in close under the chin, unless you can lie across the book itself.

8. For ladies knitting, curl quietly into lap and pretend to doze. Then reach out and slap knitting needles sharply. This is what she calls a dropped stitch. She will try to distract you. Ignore it.

9. For people doing homework, sit on the paper being worked on. After being removed the second time, push anything movable off the table (pens, pencils, stamps) one at a time.

10. Get enough sleep during the day. Sleep can not interfere with night time activities!

And finally Simons Cat.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Transporting Cat's

I have decided l need to say a few words about restraint of animals in this case cats. This decision was made after last night. I am fed up with people that do not restrain animals properly. It is not only dangerous for the cat, other people and animals but shows a lack of respect for the cat, other people and animals. If you get ripped to shreds because you did not bother to place the cat in a proper receptacle l do not give a damm.
I do care that the cat may escape and get hurt or lost, that it may cause a dog fight in the waiting room or get bitten, or while escaping cause an accident from swerving cars.

We had a cat come in for a caesarean last night. She had one kitten and nothing for 4hours. A quick caesarean and we had 4 more kittens in the pile. They were determined not to live we were determined that they should. We won but it was a close call. After about 30minutes of rubbing, sucking out lung gunk and offering 02 they were alive enough to go in with Mum.

The owner and her friends came down to collect the cat and her new brood. I asked for their proper carrier. Blank stares. I explained that a flat banana box is not the recommended carrying box for a cat. Again blank stares. So l added that I could discharge her in a flat banana box but would not be responsible for when she ripped her owners hands off, or escaped.
I awaited an answer to my request. One of the owners or a friend not sure which was chewing gum like a cow chews cud. After a pause the cud chewer slodged the gum to the side of her mouth to say “Well get us a box then....please”
I was shocked she managed the please even though it was an afterthought it was there.

For the cat’s sake l went and found a cardboard box. I loaded the cat and warned them it was still not very secure, and she could still escape. They seemed to accept that and disappeared into the night.

People do not realise that the “cute” little cat is a killing machine of nature. They are hunters and very good at it. Don’t tell me your cat does not hunt. It may not but if it gets upset instinct will take over it has all its hunting tools. A scared cat is bloody dangerous.
Even an experienced cat handler is hard put to hold a cat that “goes off on one” And even the quietest and nicest cat can flip especially if it is scared.

If a cat does loose its temper and is being held we face it away from us, hang it by the scruff using one hand and keep our face, body and other bits well away from it until we can get it to a safe area or it fights out of our hands. Unless you are used to nasty cats you will NOT be able to hold it.

To a watching person it looks cruel, and people get the urge to intervene or help. They are told to back off (a lot less politely) The holder will also end up being damaged and while it would teach a lesson to the person that stuck their arm in l personally do not want to get hurt.

Holding an angry cat can be like an out of control ballet as the holder tries to dodge the waving legs, claws, twisting head, snapping teeth and writhing body while holding it at arms length in mid air, murmuring sweet words to it. The grammar and type of “sweet words” l shall leave to sordid imaginations.

The angry cat is able to turn in its skin, one hook of a claw and those backward facing claws will pull like a snapping clasp knife and drag the item towards it swinging round in mid air, clamping all its claws and teeth into the item and rip and bite it to shreds, with every claw and tooth at its disposal. The other thing is that at no point will it remove all of the claws to get a better grip there will always be one or two paws in you while the other re-adjust.
The person with the writhing devil in their hands, believe me, doesn’t want it there we would rather it was calm or in a safe area/kennel whatever but not in our hand. Cat bites and scratches can be very nasty due to the bacteria they carry, and put more veterinary staff in hospital or send them to Dr's for antibiotics than anything else

With the cat's hunting tools in mind, cardboard is not great as a carrier and although cardboard carriers are available, they should be for emergency use, as should canvas and other soft carriers.
Woven baskets can be used but often they have sharp bits sticking out and cats can get the bits in their eyes or generally stabbed, and they are prone to rotting. They are also very loud and rustle and squeak as the joints rub and this can cause stress. I forgot the wire cat boxes. Wire can be good but they can get you through the holes if they are a bit pissy over what's happening with them, also some cats feel insecure with all that open around so a towel over the top and hanging down over 3 sides can help them feel secure. A proper plastic carrier is still the safest item to use for (most)cats some prefer the all round visuals.

People complain that as soon as they get the box out the cat/s get scared as though this is psychic on the cat/s behalf. No a cat knows it will get locked into the box and dragged off on some scary trip.
Put the carrier in the lounge in a corner and make it part of play time. I advise if space is tight take the door off the cat carrier, although better to leave it on. Tie toys to the door so they pull them and so get used to the door opening and shutting, use the door every so often if it has been removed. Place titbits into the box, let them sleep in it if they want a sleep.
Then when they have to be taken anywhere it is a safe area for them, they feel a lot more relaxed and less stressed. You can spray it with Feliway as well to make it even more acceptable.

Taking a cat in a car in your arms or not in a proper carrier is dangerous and irresponsible. If it gets out it will stand a good chance of causing an accident as it fights to get under the drivers feet, or climbs nails out and in panic over the seats looking for a dark hideaway. If a window is open it will probably head for that escape route. And if it is over the driver to the window, well the cat doesn’t know any better.

Once at the vets, a lot of vets, but not all insist that the cat is in a secure basket. Some will lend you a basket.
In the waiting room there are all the dogs around and often a noisy one or two to liven the mix. So you managed to get to the vets. You managed to walk across the car park. Now you have all those dogs some with responsible owners, other with brain dead ones with dogs that jump up over everyone.
Well at least they are using leads (mostly as most vets insist dogs are on leads) let them jump saying terms like “ohh look a kitty Arnold”, Arnold being a 60kg Rottie of panting growling temperament.
Is it any wonder your cat will begin to panic and want to escape?

If he is not in a proper carrier you now risk loosing the cat in a room full of dogs, you scream abuse at reception that you demand the vet now your cat is upset. Duh and whose fault is that?
There is a separate cat waiting room at many practices but you generally still need to negotiate a room full of dogs.
Whilst waiting your turn, there are the people that have the cat in a basket, and either open the basket lid or remove the cat. Hello we have some bright people. No he is not more secure in your arms. Put him back in his carrier and lock him in.

A plastic carrier is not expensive. It is far more useful than the toys and treats that you stuff into your pet. Go without a couple of pints of beer or a box of cigarettes and go and do something sensible.......Buy your cat a proper plastic carrying box for all our sakes, please.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Christmas Stray

I have been debating with myself about posting the following. The dog a German Shepard cross is a Christmas dumped dog. He was tied up and brought in a couple of days after Christmas day by the dog wardens. The vet checked him then asked me to put him down on humane grounds as he was in pain.
He had a lovely temperament, he licked the nurses hands who was holding him then gave me a final calm look as life faded from him when l injected him.

I think there may be 2 reasons for him to have been dumped, there could be others but this seems to me the main 2 reasons:
(1) I do wonder if he was owned by an elderly person, family visited and did not like the “smelly dog”. They made an excuse and got rid of him, probably by telling the relative they would take him to the vet to be “put out of his misery”, then saved the money it would have cost at the vet's by dumping him.

Often old people have dogs and cats that end up in a state. They are scared to ask for help and or can not afford it. If you do know someone that is elderly then offer to help clip nails (if you feel confident enough) or even groom or walk the pet if they need help.
If you see a problem then contact the charities and local vets ask what their policies are regarding helping the elderly, some vets may be willing to do things on a pre-payment so a few pounds a week to build up a help pot.
Basics like nails and anal glands are nurse’s jobs and if it is a special case they are often happy to do that as a free clinic.

(2) I may be totally wrong about the dog and he is owned by the same people that dumped him. He became a Christmas casualty because a new puppy had his place.

For the second problem especially, if there was a tighter control on breeding and owning, then a lot of this would be brought under control. It could be self financing if a large enough amount was paid to own and or breed. Special rates could be brought in for elderly people as animals are often a vital part of their mental and physical health.

I am afraid though that animals like this and also healthy animals young or old will continue until a politician steps up to the bat, and brings animal ownership and breeding under control, and people start to see pet owning as an honour and not a right.

Close up of the tumour

The tumour was situated under the front leg.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Sex Again

Enjoy the video clip it is of the "Durex Balloon Dogs" l was going to put both up but the bloopers one is good enough on it's own. There is however an edited one without the bloopers. Oh and to get the best laughter use make sure that you have sound on for this clip.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Australian Bushfires

EDIT = I have changed the link for Aunty Jane's Blog as she has another post and also a virtual dog show to help people raise money. So please click on the link in the main post and see how to help.

I have also found this link of photos from the fire


The Australian bushfires are causing devastation and l have placed a link to Jane Allens Blog for a very personal view Auntie Jane’s Musings

l found these 2 links if anyone wants to offer help. They are both from the same website ABC (Australian Broadcasting) just different sections. Worldwide and local assistance and this link immediate local offers The links all have email addresses and phone numbers for you to contact with your offers.

I personally hope that whoever is found to have started the fires is hung drawn and gutted over a slow roast fire.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Snow and Skydiving

I don’t often get the chance to spend time with hub on weekends. I am usually working at some point of it and he goes away to the parachute centre. This past weekend though we had Friday, Saturday and Sunday together and went to Langer on Friday.

I spent the weekend wrapped in warm clothes in the heated camper, supping hot mugs of coffee and poking my head out every so often to see if the world was still cold and passing by, correct on both accounts. I caught up on several books l have out from the library and perused the internet. Thought l would share one of the sites l had a good chuckle over for those who need snowman inspiration for different sorts of figures. Calvin and Hobbs

Wibble has not seen such deep snow and was not amused at it. She had had severe diarrhoea on Thursday night at work and l was a bit worried. She started on some anti D+ treatment. The problem was it went from pouring out to her not going for 2 days. Mind you l only re stared her on a tiny bit of food on Friday night and do not think much of anything was left in her. She went out into the garden when we got home and l was busy but l am hoping she finally went. As a precaution she is off her Aspirin but l will restart her tomorrow all being well.

Hub has been jumping now for 37 years and not many are still jumping who have been in the sport that long. I have done about 65 jumps but gave up, as l am a student it was to expensive for both of us to fall out of planes.

Friday there was only a few people at the centre so no jumping.
Saturday they could not get the plane out of the hanger due to ice and snow so they tried to grit the bad areas.
Sunday they got the jump programme going. It was between -28 to -30 at 13.000 feet.

(Sorry not great photos it was on my cam phone and l was shivering!)

Hub Landing Under Green Chute

Collecting Gear After Landing

Early Morning

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Smell

I know that dogs are thought to roll in bad smells as hark back to hunting days when it hid their smell. I just can not believe that any self respecting prey animal would be fooled by some of the disgusting things that dogs roll in.

When we came back to UK from Tenerife the dogs flew back a few days before us. At about 17;00 we took them for a last walk and run before their trip to the airport and a 6month jail term opps l mean quarantine. It was the days before pet passport.
They had great fun on the back area of the flats we lived in. For those who know Tenerife we lived in the flats next to the go kart track near the south airport with lots of unused land around.

Suddenly Wibble disappeared, panic was just starting to set in when she reappeared. OMG, l have never ever smelt anything as bad. She was covered with a sheen that looked like greasy fat and l swear it shimmered with smell. Even the other 2 dogs Poca and Santa backed off sneezing. Hub smacked a hand over his nose, backed off towards the flats and grabbed Poca and Santa muttering “Sort your bloody dog”. Funny how kids and animals are suddenly some one else’s when there is a problem.

We headed back to the flats and even Wib was starting to find her smell odious as she started to pull eagerly towards home. We had a choice once in the building. The lift was faster but fairly slow and there was 4 floors to go up and very confined, would l be able to hold my breath that long. The stairs were the other option, more air circulating but took much longer.
I chose the lift and hoped no one would stop the lift to get aboard, not that they would when the smell hit them but it meant the lift stopping and stuck with the smell for longer.

Once at the top l grabbed a new bottle of fairy liquid, I know you should not use washing up liquid on dogs but this was no ordinary situation. We headed for the roof. It was a top flat and our roof area was a big veranda area for us. I turned on tap and held her under the hosepipe and started to scrub her. In Tenerife as the pipe work runs above ground the water gets very hot. You have to be careful that when you turn on the cold water, especially with hoses, you do not burn the object you are watering. Hot was fine, l needed hot water and grease remover to clean Wib off.
Almost a bottle of fairy liquid later and a whole lake of water to rinse her and l off the pair of us finally smelt almost normal. By 20:00 she was dry fed and back to normal for the airport trip.

We found out afterwards that there was a fat dump where restaurant owners illegally dumped used fat just behind the go-kart track area. In the 40c Tenerife sun it was putrefied beyond belief. Wibble had found it and had a wonderful time. Thankfully she had just rolled in it if she had eaten the stuff god forbid what it would have done to her insides.

Friday, 6 February 2009


"Humanisation" of animals causing behavioural manifestations and ill health are a major problem especially in dogs. I think they are looked on as substitute humans because of the interaction of our species for so many 1000s of years. This creates conflict because they have inbuilt signals they are not getting. Let alone nutrition and general boundaries for behaviour.

Cats tend to be too independent, and there are not many primates as pets. Those that do like the Brook Bond or Tarzan chimps and others are only used as babies. The older they get the more dangerous, and so they are locked into their cages. The smaller primates can also get nasty at times and do suffer "humanisation".
Other species generally do not interact the same with humans. That is not to say that they do not have problems. I have posted some of my "pet peeves."

How many people feed their pets "the best chicken or steak" as if that is the correct diet, it is neither correct or balanced.
I spoke to someone the other day who said their rabbit was spoiled rotten and had the best life of any rabbit. I knew what they would say but decided to ask anyway.
“How much time does he spend outside?”
“Outside he hates it is scared wants to come straight in, why would he want to go outside?”
I had to bite my tongue when replying, tried to explain about fresh air, sunlight, vit. production, natural habitat but it was like talking to granite.

We all tend to call pets my baby or kid at some point. The problem is for to many people they really are, usually because they have none; the animal is then expected to fill that substitute roll. When they do get a child the animal is often pushed out of their life totally and has to attempt to readjust. Have seen this too many times even a vet l know did this.

It the animal is ill then they are unable to handle this and even refuse treatment because babykins has to be in the vets and will pine without them. Then they rush in hours later the animal dying and owner hysterical.

People won’t go away as the pet would hate kennels in fact it is never left alone. The poor animal is never allowed time alone to process their own behaviour. It has to be an “on tap” child to the humans. At what cost to the pet? The humans would not be able to do this to a child, the child soon leans to go their own way.

I have problems with my Wibble with separation but l know the roots are due to living most of her life with 2 other dogs who have passed on. Now she is insecure unless she can see me, to the degree of following me to the kitchen. I ignore her dithering and do not pamper it. I will go off and leave her at home when l go shopping or other things. I do however make sure she comes to work with me, especially now due to medication regime. However she is now 15 and it is recent behaviour and l know the roots so work around it as much as l do not have time to retrain her.

Misbehaviour is treated as if the animal was a child not a dog/cat so the problem exacerbates. Or it is overlooked because the animal like the "child" can do no wrong in the "family's" eyes again the problem builds. In a pack situation or species that behaviour would never be attempted and if it was would be swiftly dealt with.
If the problem is recognised by the humans often it is treated as if the animal were a child, again forgetting that they are not human, and you can not look at it in a human way to solve.

Other behaviour problems with various species are misunderstood. Cats litter should not be near their food or water, their water should not be near their food they do not kill near water when hunting to preserve their water. Cats in their natural habitat eat little and often, up to 20 small meals a day. Being fed 2 times a day is unnatural and can be the cause of gluttony and stress then overweight. Free choice is best but only can be done if done from kittenhood. Cats like under or over places to hide and feel safe.

Over stocking of cats, they live in female family groups the males are solitary. Forcing cats of non familial stock to live, especially in house only areas stress which can show as fights, bad toileting, overeating, nervous behaviour or generally odd behaviour. Often a couple of cats can get on but the more that are introduced the more stressy it is. The thing is the humans think the animals get on because they miss all the body language and signs and the animals look happy.

Dogs with 2 brothers homed together often ends with vicious fights as adolescence appears and both dogs are evenly matched as they try for top position between them. The wrong animal is told off and it exacerbates the problem.

Animals especially dogs do not get to mix with their own species and when they do they fight because they do not know how to behave with another of their kind. That is why puppy class and dog training are so important. Even if you can train your dog it is the interaction with other dogs that is important.

Small dogs may as well be born without legs. They are not expected to use them heaven forbid! "Mummy and or daddy" carries them everywhere while smothering them with kisses and getting kisses back.
Worming is probably never done as "Babykins" would never allow wormies to have anything to do with them"
That was actually said to me.
Well l said so what about arses they have licked before your face and all that turdy (poop) stuff on their tongues.
I got a horrified look and was told "Babykins would never do anything as disgusting as that".
I gave up at that point.

I know someone that put an injured baby rabbit down a rabbit hole for "Mummy rabbit to look after" She had been told by others to kill it she refused. She was very upset when l explained what would happen as it was a) not the mother rabbit and b) smelled of humans.
Rabbits kept in hutches. They should be outside as much as possible. They need to be able to stand upright and stretch and to be able to move freely around. People get all upset about battery hens and then lock rabbits into small hell holes. The same for birds and cages or reptiles and no heating or light.

Dogs are not castrated so they can have the joy of sex or must be “manly” because the owner is a male and thinks it is sissy. Guess what tumours caused from hormones and wounds from fights from other male dogs, hit by cars when chasing bitches in heat Wow how manly. Cats are usually castrated as they spray.

I know that there is a few people that breed for the love of that breed and do try and do so responsibly all health checks are done, worming feeding, homing, follow ups. I know someone who also microchips and ensures first vaccine is given. Overall the majority do not do this due to cost and or ignorance.

Bitches and Queens (female cats) not neutered so that "she can have the joy of being a mummy." So risk her with caesareans or eclampsia. Then there is pyo's and attacks on vets for the cost being so high to sort. Instead of a quick spay. There is admits, blood tests, fluids and high risk operations followed by further hospitalisation and if very ill more blood tests and rest of life problems.
Mammary tumours, from odd lumps to total mammary strip - basically remove all of their mammary area a painful horrible operation.
Or mastitis another nasty condition. I saw a stray bitch not long ago. She had lost a large area of tissue to mastitis and needed multiple dressing’s changes for months to resolve the problem.

Stray Bitch with Mastitis, the dressing had opened slightly and l was able to get the photo, virtually her entire abdominal area (under dressings)was involved.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Marmoset in a Mask

Well Sunday started off quiet but then went a bit silly. I was getting paranoid about reception picking on me! Every time l answered the phone they were putting people onto me for advice on whelping bitches. After 4 of these calls l refused to answer the phone again. I used the excuse l was busy with inpatients. I was but l just ignored the phone and let others answer it. Suddenly a sheet of paper was thrust into my hand with the comment J…(the vet) says you can sort this.

I should have dropped the paper and said no, go see someone else l am to busy, but l glanced at it. “You are kidding me” l asked the receptionist who was grinning at me.
“Nope have fun” she said her revenge complete at my not answering the phone and making her come down to prep, l was hooked and reeled in and she disappeared.
***Advice wanted for marmoset having difficulty giving birth, please ring back.***
I rang the owner and it turned out that the marmoset had been pushing since at least 12 midday. I explained we had to see it as soon as possible.
In dogs and cats we usually say if they have been pushing non stop for 20 to 30minutes we need to see them. I did not hold out much hope for the little marmoset’s baby/s. It had been pushing pretty much non stop for about 7 hours.

A quick peruse on the internet for some info to thrust under the vet’s nose on drugs and doses and a look in the exotics book for more useful on drugs and caesareans in marmosets. While l was checking things out the senior night vet had come on duty. The Jr. vet decided he was clocking off and disappeared into the blizzard that was blowing outside.

The marmoset finally turned up and the vet came through asking me to mask her down. She was impossible to examine otherwise. I decided to have one go at getting her in the induction chamber if it did not work her owner could do her. I did not fancy chasing a marmoset around the room, or getting bitten.
It would have been ok if her bed had not been super glued to the bed box she was in, and l did not realise it. As l pulled it all out with her in the middle the blanket whizzed back downwards, her head popped out and chomped my finger while she used a few choice phases. I just sucked and washed a bleeding finger.

The chomp on my finger meant l proceeded with plan 2. I felt if l did not the bite would turn into a crazy romp trying to catch a marmoset in the op prep area and l was not keen on that. I took her through and asked her owner to pop her into the induction chamber.
Fancy name for a largish Tupperware box with 2 small pipe in. You connect the anaesthetic gas to the one pipe and the other the tube to remove used gas. Little animals drop off for a "snooze" without holding them and stressing and upsetting them more, or getting bitten, risk them escaping etc.
It also doubles in it’s other life as an oxygen “tent” for rats, hamsters, birds and other small animals.

Once she was asleep l grabbed a passing auxiliary and we took Millie, * (*not her real name) into the x-ray room. I had not weighed her as the postal scales were bust, did a guestimate on weight and settings for the x-ray machine. The picture came out really well of 2 babies that were not going anywhere without a caesarian.

Back to prep room. The vet came through to place an ET tube in her to breath through during the operation but he had not operated on a marmoset before and could not visualise her throat layout so she was to stay masked for her operation.

It took some time to get her clipped up and cleaned and placed comfy under her mask with head and body supports to stop her rolling sideways.
The mask had to be supported as l did not want it falling off or damaging the tiny marmoset and it was not self supporting. It was quite a big mask with a tight rubber seal and small hole that Millie’s head fitted in. I also needed to make sure that the auxiliary's hand was not going to cramp as she had to hold the mask upright during the op.
I needed to be free to sort the babies, pass any equipment the vet may need, monitor and adjust the anaesthetic gas, check Millie’s stats as best l could around the vet and his incision. Not easy as my stethoscope head seemed to be bigger than Millie. Ok maybe an exaggeration but it is still large when dealing with a tiny animal having an operation.

It went very well from a technical point of view, a standard caesarian of which we have a lot. Unfortunately the babies were as expected dead. One was flattened, probably from the movement and straining the other l did start to work on but it was quickly apparent that it was also dead.

The vet went a bit cross eyed at the very thin suture material he had to use to “zip Millie up”. Like the ferret the sutures were hidden under the skin so that she can not pick at them, followed by a layer of glue.

Post op I gave the op area a clean, there was another caesarean, this time a dog lined up. The guinea pig that had been due to have a caesarean died on the way into us. That was someone else’s job, home beckoned. When I left for home at 22:00 Millie was back in her kennel and had snuggled deeper into her house. Recovering and confused about what had happened and despite pain relief still sore on her abdomen.

Animals do not equate pregnancy with emotions like people do. They need to sniff, lick, hear, feel and see the young before they realise what is happening. They do not have the same feelings that humans do if they loose them as Millie did. It is not a baby growing inside them just a fat belly.
They also do not get the emotional problems that some women do either if they can not have babies. This is different to phantom pregnancy’s l am talking about attempts to conceive hence spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is not the trauma for animals it can be in women. In fact it stops the phantom pregnancies and (generally) the risk of mammary tumours or pyo’s.
The problems come with animals because people ascribe human feelings to animals instead of looking at what they are and understanding, or trying to understand the species specific animal feelings.

Post Op Recovery Still on Oxygen (blue tube)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Poison Warning

The vetnurse site l go on has posted a warning for us to pass on, have not heard of this before but it is available all over the world:

A popular sweetener found in chewing gum and used in cooking has been blamed for the agonising death of two pet dogs. The case in Australia, being investigated by the RSPCA, has prompted an urgent warning that the artificial sweetener xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and cats. It is not harmful to humans but the amount in one stick of chewing gum could kill a family pet.

The dogs' owners are angry that they had no warning about the sweetener's potential dangers. The family's dogs ate most of a batch of 60 homemade petit fours sweetened with xylitol.
Both dogs vomited late that night and were lethargic and not hungry the next day. They assumed the dogs had bellyache from overeating. It was not until two days later that they realised how sick they were. The dogs were rushed to the vet, but died from internal bleeding.

Australian Veterinary spokesman Dr David Mason said if owners suspected a dog or cat had consumed xylitol, they should rush the animal to a vet within an hour or two to have a chance of a full recovery.

Apparently Xylitol causes dogs and cats to secrete insulin so the animals blood sugar levels drop very quickly. Liver failure follows and regardless of Intensive treatment the outcome is usually fatal.