A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Last of the Tasks

There are a surprising number of things you need to take care of when you lose a furry critter.  I have slowly been working through that list - its been tough because there is a lot of emotion involved.

Today I decided I must finish the last two things - ordering the urn and filing the last insurance claim. Both of these feel so final and so sad.

For the urn - I decided that at the end of their lives I will want all of the ferrets to be together - I think they would want that too - so I found an artist who will do a hand painted urn with all five ferrets painted on there.  We will make a base so we can have engraved metal plates added with the names and dates when the time comes.  I gathered up the pictures that the artist needed to get started - it will take her four to five weeks.  I can't wait to see it.

I also gathered all of the paperwork, filled out the claim form and faxed it off to the insurance today. Sigh...

I think the only thing left to do now is finish the last load of critter laundry of blankets and beds and my list will be complete.  Each day it gets a little easier - although tonight it was strange to call the ferrets and only say four names.  They all came out promptly - which Clooney never would have done - he would have said "talk to the paw - I am sleeping".  :)

Simon's Cat - Hot Water

This is totally Oliver - ornery all the time - and the toothbrushes - LOL!!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Normal Day

It's Tuesday - feels like this week has been 124 days long already.  Life at the zoo marches on.  I am happy to report that everyone seems to be in good health and full of energy.  If only we could shake the sometimes overwhelming empty feeling...

Today was an okay day - no tears, just sadness.  I miss Clooney so much and things just don't feel right yet.  We have not achieved a new dynamic, a new normal.

The ferrets are all well - the little girls were up early, the boys more towards mid morning.  They are playful and rambunctious and they make me smile.  The kitties are doing just great - I think they are all feeling good.  They have been sticking pretty close the last few days.

Emma is good - behaving for the most part - for that I am thankful.  She is a good girl.  Even SteveIrwin seems to be doing well - holding his own.

Losing Clooney has makes me realize how much I adore my critters.  I thought I was somewhat prepared for him to go but it has hit me harder that I anticipated.  One must guard against building walls in an effort to steel ones self against the impacts of such events.

So the stories of today - Violet "helping" me vacuum.  Theo causing trouble.  Oliver inserting himself wherever possible to be the center of attention.  Zoey giving me and everyone else a bath.  Phoebe and Aggie having a cat fight.  Emma scratching on the carpet.  Dr. Finn providing his daily checkup of ears, eyes, nose and mouth.  SteveIrwin hanging out in his new favorite spot by the heater. A normal day at the zoo....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Clooney- February 12, 2008 - July 27, 2014

We are heavy hearted here this morning - in the early morning hours we lost our sweet Clooney.  I think the last month of healing from the injury, the fight to get him on the right medications, stabilizing his blood sugar, not eating his regular diet, symptoms from the insulinoma, etc just wore out his little ferret body.

Clooney passed away at home, in the arms of his parents, surrounded by this critter siblings.  For this I am grateful - he was not in a hospital with strangers.  I am also grateful that my little man is no longer suffering - this past month has been so hard on him that I am thankful he is resting now.  He put up a gallant fight and there were several times I thought he might be okay - but with every step forward we experienced another set back.  I know he must have been exhausted.

I miss him desperately already - he was my first ferret - the one I learned from.  He taught me so patiently and he made me fall in love with ferrets as pets.  When he was still not a fan of the babies I tried to explain to him that it was his own fault - if he had not been so perfect we would have never gotten more.  I am so happy that Clooney was able to experience ferret affection and that he and Theo were good friends for the last few months - they loved each other very much.

So - to my boy - a thank you - for 6 and a half years of laughter and joy.  For ferret kisses and cuddles.  For endless love and patience while I learned the ways of ferret keeping.  I love you more than you could ever know.  Have joyous times at the Rainbow Bridge with Isabel and Nigel and kiss them for me.

Here is a video of my little squirt - taken in 2011:


video


...and some shots of my guy - hard to choose - I literally have hundreds of him:





Friday, July 25, 2014

Clooney's Trip to the Vet - Again

I told the vet today that Clooney was making up for lost time....in 6 years he went to the vet 2 times for things other than routine checks - we are making up some ground over this past month with this being his 4th visit - UGH.

So - here is the good news - we have gained weight - today he was 812 grams - 72 gram weight gain in 11 days.  His blood sugar levels are AWESOME!  The vet is super happy with those numbers.  He is super alert, active and full of energy.  These things are all fantastic!

On the flip side of fantastic - we have his back end.  If you are squeamish - quit reading - I will be a vague as possible but still....  In short his poo is not right - we have put him on a medication to soothe his GI track to see if that helps.  We are also putting him back on the ferret version of Pepcid AC.  Worse than that - he has sore swollen back end parts - not going into more detail than that - but I think he is uncomfortable so we have 2 ointments - a soothing cream and believe it or not - Preparation H to help with shrinking.

It's time for his meds but right at the moment he is resting comfortably in his favorite Pirate Hat bed so I am going to hold off for awhile.  Thankfully his numbers are stable enough that a couple of hour delay shouldn't make too much of a difference.

I am happy that he is resting and I hope this clears up quickly - I am ready for him to be feeling better and I am 100% certain he is ready too.  Love that baby boy...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weigh In Day

Given the health issues we are starting to see in our aging zoo - I thought it might be smart to pick up a scale and start tracking weight at home.  The scale arrived today and weigh in day commenced:

Clooney - before his injury he weighed 1004 grams (2.2 lbs).  At his follow up appointment to clear him to get back to a full routine he weighed 955 grams (2.1 lbs).  Then - after he experienced side effects from his meds he dropped way down to 748 grams (1.6 lbs) - UGH.  It's been 10 days since we changed his meds and he is now up to 804 grams as of today (1.7 lbs).  60 grams of weight gain - I will take it.  We have a ways to go but at least we are going the right direction!

Theo is my beefy, tall boy -  1120 grams (2.4 pounds) - so thankful he is hearty and healthy or else he wouldn't have been a good candidate for the transfusion.

Finn is my fraidy ferret and somewhat anxious - this causes him to have occasional boughts of colitis.  This doesn't seem to be affecting his weight though - today he weighed 968 grams (2.1 lbs).

Violet - TBD - she and Maddie played so much earlier today that they missed out on weigh in day because they are sacked out...

Madison - TBD - see above...


And the kitties - I need to keep an eye on their weight as well - particularly my 3 hyperthyroid kids:

Oliver is my skinny mini - 7.85 pounds today.  This is good - up a bit - he was close to 7 pounds flat when we found out he had the thyroid issues.

Phoebe was 12.8 pounds today - if the vet is happy about Ollie gaining weight then he should be throwing a party when Phoebe shows up!

Zoey - 10.55 pounds today - I believe that's up from her last vet visit as well.

Aggie - is has a bit of a round belly but surprisingly she only weighs in at 10.12 lbs.

I did not weigh Emma - she pretty much always tips the scales between 46 - 48 pounds.  I did not weigh SteveIrwin - number one - because weighing a fish is hard and number two - what would one do if he was over or under??  The zookeeper did not weigh herself either...  :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Four Kitty Post

It's been pretty ferret intensive around here lately so I thought we were likely overdue for a kitty update. In general I am happy to report that all four kitties are doing fabulous!

Aggie - my old girl is cranking along happy and healthy.  Her strong trailer park genes keep her healthy I guess.  She is still the people food beggar - occasionally we indulge her...Her latest favorite spot is a chair cushion that the ferrets pulled down off one of the dining room chairs.  She has been laying on it soaking up the morning sun.  She seems quite happy which makes me happy!

Zoey - my snaggle puss is also doing just great.  She is feeling good, spending time with the humans, trying to be more tolerant with the ferrets.  Her favorite spot at the moment is smack in the middle of the kitchen island.  Counters used to be off limits til I gave up - she was determined and once she sets her mind something you can forget it.  She is slated to go into the vet in September - U G H - how I dread that appointment - and I am sure she does as well....not to mention the folks at the vets office.

Oliver - as reported - my boy is the picture of health which is just super.  He is full of ornery as usual.  He is quite the favorite with the ferrets and he has been quite sweet and gentle with Clooney.  He finds all kinds of trouble - not sure how he keeps thinking up new ways but he does!  His favorite spot these days is at the end of my side of the bed.  He and Phoebe are still attached at the hip - they do love each other so.  I am quite pleased with how Mr. Kitty is doing!

Last but not least - Miss Phoebe.  She is doing quite well - much better after a bought of stomach issues of unexplained origin that magically resolved themselves.  She is still my toy girl - dragging out many toys each day.  Each evening she brings her red pom pom up on the bed and we play 43 rounds of fetch - I throw and she retrieves.  She is better at fetch than the dog.  Her favorite spot lately is on the chair in the entry way - she lays draped over the arm of the chair and is the official greeter when the humans return home.  It's a sweet little face to come home to for sure!  She is next up at the vet - she hates to go but is usually very well behaved.

All in all - kitty land is calm and happy and for that I am grateful!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

To Surgery to Not to Surgery - That is the Question

Last week the vet brought up that Clooney is a good candidate for the surgical treatment of his insulinoma.  I was surprised to hear this given his age.  Hubs and I are considering our options - I am leaning towards and he is less enthusiastic.

The surgery goes in and allows the vet to remove the tumors from the pancreas.  This is not a cure, but rather provides Clooney 18 - 24 months of time with no symptoms and no need for the meds that he is currently on.  The other benefit is that they can check out some other things while they are in there - his large spleen to make sure it is just large and not diseased and his adrenal gland which ferrets are notorious for having issues with.

I am scared to have him go through surgery - there are always risks...but - the thought of him not needing meds, not having to be poked as often to check his blood sugar, not having to be boarded when we travel - separated from his ferret siblings which he would hate - these all make me think that we should strongly consider having it done. He would likely be symptom free for the rest of his life.

Regardless of what we choose - I would want to wait for him to put on some weight.  He is pretty scrawny at the moment...Decisions like this are tough...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fish Tank Mayhem

Okay - officially the bad parts about having a tank are outweighing the good parts.  Even though the water is perfect according to my testing - with the chemicals not with the strips - and to the pet store who tested it for me - there must be something - a disease or bacteria of some kind that is causing issues.

Yesterday I pulled Cousteau and SteveIrwin out of the tank and put them in the old tank with new water with nothing in there with them - no gravel, no ornaments - just fish and water.  Evidently it wasn't soon enough for Cousteau and he was dead when I got up this morning.  RIP little catfish.  Thankfully SteveIrwin is doing better.  When he was in the big tank he was laying on the bottom and his fins were clamped up tight against his body.  In the small tank with new water he is resting for sure but not laying on the bottom.  His fins aren't clamped and a bit ago I got his leaf hammock which he loves out of the old tank.  I sterilized his hammock in boiling water before it went in his new tank.

I checked on him a bit ago and he was resting on his leaf.  I am cautiously optimistic that he is on the road to recovery.

As for the other tank - I think it's destined for the garage - I will sterilize all of the ornaments and silk plants. SteveIrwin will likely be an only fish going forward...ugh.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Week in Review

We made it to Friday - yipee!!  This has been an incredibly stressful week for the humans - part of that stress attributed to my sweet Clooney and his setback but mostly related to non critter stuff.

Monday Clooney was seen by the vet because of side effects from his medication.  We put him on some new stuff and things slowly started to improve.  He was confined to his bachelor pad so he could get lots of rest and I could keep track of food and water intake and what was coming out the other side.

Tuesday we saw continued improvements - still a bit nauseous and not all that interested in food.  We made progress on syringe feeding - it took us a bit to get used to how things should work.  We are old pros now. Theo and Finn were allowed to hang out with Clooney - that made all three of them happier.

Wednesday Clooney was released from the pen and allowed to stay in the master bathroom so he had some space to run around.  I think he liked the upgrade - we still had some work to do.  Nurse Violet slept most of the day right next to the gate I put up to keep Clooney in - she is so sweet and so concerned about anoy critter that doesn't feel good.  We also experienced a Nitrate spike in the fish tank so we did a water change.  SteveIrwin and Cousteau seem no worse for the wear.

Thursday Clooney was doing better yet.  Still not great on the back end and not all that interested in food. My theory was that if you put mostly liquid into the front end its tough to get something solid out of the back end.  I decided to try Vetasyl - a fiber product made for citters.  I put some in his food and voila - major improvements!  So happy it worked!  Another water change required for the fishies....sigh.



That brings us to today.  Outputs are looking good!  He is still not all that interested in his regular food so I gave him some breakfast to get something in his tummy.  Later this morning I will mix his meds into his food and give him some more.  I think we are both kind of enjoying the feedings - I know that sounds strange but if you could see his little face while I feed him you would totally get it.  Since things are better on the back end I decided to increase his area of freedom again so now he has free run of the master bath and the master bedroom.  I need to be able to find him for feedings and for meds so I am not turning him loose in the whole house just yet.  Maybe next week!  Need to check on fish water quality this morning although both boys were okay when I turned on their light and fed them.

Kitties are doing fabulous - they have been pretty easy on me this week and I needed it!  Emma is well - she is sad that we are missing out on our morning walks - maybe next week we can get back into a rhythm.

Hope you had a good week - Happy Friday!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bonding and Healing

So - after a tough weekend, a trip to the vet on Monday morning, new meds, syringe feeding and now just in the last 10 mins or so the first glimpse that he is feeling better - the zookeeper is both exhausted and relieved.

First the vet visit - Clooney has lost weight - quite a bit actually.  We believe that the Diazoxide for his insulinoma caused nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite.  We moved him to new meds - Prednisone for his insulinoma, Famotidine for nausea (its Pepcid AC) and just to be sure that his intestinal upset was not related to a bacterial bloom in his gut Clavamox which is an antibiotic.  We also changed him from Duck Soup which he is really not a fan of to Carnivore Care which he isn't all that thrilled with but will tolerate.

Getting on a new schedule is hard.  Syringe feeding a critter that has never needed anything from a syringe before is tough.  Note - we are already getting the four younger ferrets used to getting things from the syringe.  Ferretone for Maddie, Finn and Theo and water for Vi since she is not a fan of Ferretone.  As for syringe feeding - its strange - Clooney and I have kinda gotten in a rhythm and while he is still wiggling and not happy about it - once we get going he looks at me with those sweet brown eyes and he knows I am trying to help him.  I have found he also likes the cleanup after syringe feeding - a nice warm washcloth that we use on his face, paws and wherever else the two of us managed to swill food in the process.  In general - if you took his latest struggles out of the equation - Clooney is 6 years old and entering the later part of his life.  I am thankful in a way to have this time with him where we are bonding and working together to get him better.  It was much the same with my sweet kitty Isabel towards the end of her life as well - and those interactions are some of my most cherished moments.



And for the current status - his backend is still not quite well - but we are making progress in that department.  First off the frequency is much less which is great - less of a chance of dehydration.  Plus he is drinking on his own quite well.  Second - I think because we aren't really putting anything solid in that its tough to get something solid out.  But - that brings me to my most exciting update.  I have been trying to get him to eat on his own all day today.  We have gotten close a couple of times but nothing really enticed him. Then I had the thought of giving him his favorite treat - ferret chew sticks.  He needed some help since they are tough to chew so I cut them into little pieces.  He ate quite a bit of that.  I snuck a few pieces of cat food into the bowl and I am pretty sure that a couple got eaten as well.

I cut up several sticks and left the bowl in his pen - I am so happy he is eating something on his own that I don't much care what it is at this point.  Progress makes me feel so relieved!!  If we can get in a good rhythm then we can work on gaining back the lost weight.  Feeling quite optimistic!  :)


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Crazy Critter Weekend

It's been a critter intensive weekend for sure...

As you saw - Ollie went to the vet and passed his physical with flying colors - so happy about that!!! Phoebe, Zoey and the little ferrets all have appointments on the books....Ah the joys of vetting season.

Emma seems to be doing well with her new flea and tick collar - no irritation and no bugs to be found - even after out tromp through the forest on Saturday.

Sadly - we had another loss in the fish tank - BettyWhite passed and I was quite surprised by that - she never exhibited any signs that there was something wrong.  SteveIrwin and Cousteau are still going strong...

The baby ferrets are doing well - the four of them seem happy and healthy.  Unfortunately I cannot say the same about my Clooney.  He is showing some of the common side effects from the Diazoxide he is on for the insulinoma - nausea, lack of appetite and a case of the runs...poor little guy.  So - this weekend has been full of syringe feedings to make sure he is having food go in - he is not a fan...but in reality he does pretty well and doesn't give me too much grief.  I have also been testing his glucose levels because I have been cutting back on his meds in an effort to give his system a chance to recover....he is low - running between 66 and 70.  80 is the low side of normal so it's not critically low thankfully.  The other good thing is that he is drinking well - so I don't believe him to be dehydrated - his gums are nice and pink and his skin has good elasticity.  I will keep putting food in this evening and overnight and call the vet first thing in the morning to see what they advise...love that little dude so I hope we get this sorted out soon...


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ollie's Trip to the Vet

Ollie went to the vet yesterday morning - thankfully just for his regular stuff and not for any emergency or illness related reasons.  He really hates going - he cries in the car and hides in his carrier once we get there.

He did great - gained 3/4 of a pound which is good.  He has tartar on his back teeth - its probably time to consider a cleaning for him.  I dread anything where they have to go under anesthesia.  Something to think about for another day...

Ollie's blood results were excellent - everything within normal ranges and his thyroid dosage remains unchanged.  He is a very healthy boy!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Flea and Tick Prevention

So - its almost that time - on Saturday I will apply flea and tick medication to the kitties and ferrets.  Since our flea infestation a couple of years ago I am super diligent as I never want to go through that again...ugh.

Since we saw a tick on Miss Emma after one of our walks the other day (thankfully it hadn't yet attached) I decided to get her another level of flea and tick defense.  My brother had purchased the Seresto collars for his pups and was pleased with the results so I decided to try it for Em.


It gives you 8 mos of protection, can be worn swimming or in the bath (within reason) and should provide my girl with the coverage she needs on our morning walks through the heavily wooded paths.  It comes in a tin can - take it out of the bag and pop it on - super easy.  She has had it on all day and not been bothered by it.  She still has her regular collar on as well as you can't use a leash on the Seresto collar.  It's nice to not have to think about it again until March....

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Random Thoughts

Yesterday and today - craziness for the humans!!  Critters seem to be faring okay:

Sadly - BobBarker - the fish not the guy - succumbed to whatever it was that was ailing him overnight.  He put up quite the fight.  RIP little silver molly.  Water tests fine and BettyWhite, SteveIrwin and Cousteau are doing great - active and all have great appetites - what beggars they are!

Blood glucose testing....the tail works and while Clooney doesn't love having it done I don't believe it to be too painful or traumatic for him.  It's just painful and traumatic for mom...  :)  I tested him this morning - 12 hours after his last dose of medication and his glucose was 114 - PERFECT!!!

Kitties are all doing well - my three hyperthyroid kids have had their meds and they are seemingly happy and healthy.  Ollie goes in on Friday for a quick check up and blood panel before they reissue his medication.  Phoebe and Zoey will go in next week - oh I dread taking Zoey to the vet.  And last but not least - my Aggie - the old girl is doing so well!!  Love that she is healthy and go with the flow.

Emma has had lots of inside non-human time this week - she is not a huge fan of that but it can't be prevented.  Tonight a walk for her and then hopefully back to a normal schedule for the rest of the week.

The other ferrets are doing fabulous - playing and causing trouble like they tend to do.  Finn and Maddie actually woke me around 3 am wrestling on the bed.  Theo made it up on top of the dresser and proceeded to push as much as he could off the edge.  Violet is somehow aware that Clooney has been sick so she is taking it easy on him and not kicking his butt quite so much.  They are such funny creatures!

There you have it - random updates for a Wednesday morning.  Hope your day is great!!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Glucose Monitoring on a Ferret

Clooney's blood glucose monitor came today.  I was all stressed out thinking it was going to be horrific for both of us.  He was snoozing and I poked his little foot - two things happened - one good and one bad....he never even stirred so it didn't hurt him too badly if at all and - he didn't bleed one little drop.... ugh.

So - after some Google time - looks like I need to try end of the tail.  Will do that once I see him - he is snoozing in some secret sleeping spot I have yet to discover.  It doesn't seem like this is going to be as traumatic as I thought thankfully.

He has an appointment for a glucose retest on the 14th - I will take the monitor with me and compare what I get with what they get so I know if I need to do any math on the results going forward.

I'll keep you posted on progress...


Saturday, July 05, 2014

For My Next Manicure

So - maybe the next time I go in for a manicure I should think about getting the following:





Maybe a bit much for fingernails - but I could totally do this on toes...  :)

Friday, July 04, 2014

Friday Night Updates

It's Friday night and we are celebrating the 4th of July with a Netflix marathon and Chinese takeout.  Emma is in her ThunderShirt under the bed.  I have to admit that so far the fireworks in the neighborhood have not been too bad.  Fingers crossed that as we get darker outside the neighbors don't go crazy.  Kitties have had their even meds.  Clooney as well.  Fishes have been fed and put to bed and I think we might be done for the evening...

This week was crazy - long but short; stressful but calming.  It was an interesting few days.  The main focus of the week was monitoring Clooney's recovery.  By Monday he was doing pretty well in the breathing department.  He was off the pain meds and eating and drinking well.  Tuesday and Wednesday he continued to improve and on Thursday he had his follow up appointment and was declared recovered from his injuries. We still have a ways to go on his blood sugar but I think with the increased dosage of his meds I can already see a difference.

Everyone else seems well and happy and for that I am relieved...not sure I could take much more in the ailing critter department...wow - stressful!  I have also been keeping an eye on my Theo after his blood donation - he seems like his happy, wild self.  Last night he fell into the full bathtub - he was so excited afterwards he was a little freak!

Tomorrow will bring a water change for the fish tank - probably should have done one today but the levels we only just slightly elevated so my fishy friends should be okay until the morning.  Just to be safe I put the detoxification stuff in there.  Water and vacuum first thing in the morning....

Happy 4th of July!!

PS - wishful thinking on the quiet fireworks evening - just before I am ready to push the button to post this they start - our neighborhood now sounds like the suburbs in a war zone...oh goody...

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Clooney's Follow Up Appointment

Clooney had his follow up appointment today - with the same vets office who saw him right after he was injured.  The news is all good....

His physical exam went well.  He did drop a bit of weight going from 1004 grams (2.21 pounds) to 944 grams (2.08 pounds).  He was active and alert during his exam.

They did a small blood draw - enough to check his Packed Cell Volume (PCV) also known as hematocrit. Normal is 43 - 55% - Clooney was at 46%.  They also did a couple of x rays - a side view and a view of him laying on his back.  They showed me the side by side comparison and the difference is remarkable.  His chest looks perfect!  Hooray!

So - in regards to his injuries - he is looking great and has been cleared to return to his normal activity levels. He will be quite happy to not be cooped up any longer and has been "set free" to roam at his leisure.

As for the insulinoma - his blood glucose level is not where we want it quite yet. The vet decided to double his dosage of medication as his number was only 61 - it was 55 with no meds.  We will try that for a bit and then head back to the vet on the 14th for a quick glucose level check and hopefully it will be up a bit. Normal is 80 - 120.  Once we get that worked out and he gets settled into the right dosage we should be in for smooth sailing.  Fingers crossed!

All in all - I am quite happy about how my little man is doing - I am a bit paranoid about letting him loose but he has to get back to normal activity some time.  I will resist the temptation to be an overprotective, smothering mom....


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Stories of the Day

I am here to say that this has been the longest short week in the history of mankind.  Let's review the critter stories of the day:

Emma had her walk this morning.  She was actually quite well behaved today - only minimal scratching on the carpet and minimal barking.  She's a good girl and I hate that this weekend will bring her stress and discomfort.

Kitties - not much to report on the kitties today.  Zoey had some outside time but it was short lived because it was just too darn hot.

Fishies - they are well - nipped fins are healing and SteveIrwin seems less intent on bullying the others.  They seem active and healthy for which I am grateful.  Today's water conditions were a tiny bit high on the nitrates and the ammonia - very minimal but I did a quick vacuum and water change just to be on the safe side.

Ferrets -   Clooney is recovering quite nicely.  He has had lots of great rest over the last few days.  I know he is a bit bored and wanting to be free but I think keeping him quiet has been good for him.  Tomorrow we go to the vet to have a quick follow up to make sure everything is in order before we return him to his fully active days (and nights).  His appetite is great and his breathing is back in normal ranges for a ferret.

We got a new laundry hamper and the baby ferrets are obsessed with it.  Its woven - kind of like wicker - and they can climb it which they love.  The lids have openings for handles which the ferrets fit through.  They love to drop down into the hamper and play.  Only Theo is tall enough to get himself out again - we have had a few ferret rescues this afternoon.

The hamper is next to the dresser so they can climb right up.  Everyone has investigated but not been that interested...except Theo - who decided it was important to steal 8 Solo cups from next to the water machine - crazy boy.

All in all - a good critter day.  Fingers crossed we get the all clear for Clooney tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Pet Safety on the Fourth of July

So - if I am being perfectly honest - I dread the week of Fourth of July.  We have people in our sub-division who think its grand to shoot of LOTS of fireworks for multiple days in a row - its quite distressing for the animals and as such for the zookeeper as well.

Here are some of the precautions we take during the holiday week.

1.  Upstairs and downstairs fire extinguishers - we keep them at the ready because I would not be surprised if the crazy fireworks people caught our house or others on fire.  People just are not careful.

2.  ThunderShirt - Emma pretty much lives in her shirt for the entire week.

3.  Upstairs and downstairs hiding spots - Emma will be under the bed if we are upstairs but if we are downstairs she wants to be with us so we set up a "fort" in the laundry room using a clothes line and a comforter.  She appreciates a place to hide.

4.  Monitor her food and water intake - make sure she is eating and drinking - sometimes she won't want to if she is upset.

5.  More frequent potty trips - all the stress often causes tummy upset - so I take her out more frequently to prevent accidents in the house.

6.  Sticking close to home - we try not to make a ton of plans and we most definitely don't take her to places where there will be fireworks.

7.  Be careful not to feed Emma people food - again - stress = upset tummy.

9.  For the kitties and the ferrets - I make sure we are accessible for them when fireworks are happening - sometimes they want to be comforted by Mom or Dad - Finn like to hide under the covers and lay in my lap when loud noises are happening.

10. Identification - make sure your furries have collar tags, microchips, or even better - both so you can find them should they manage to get out.

Hoping you and your critters have a happy and safe 4th!