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!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Seasonal Allergies

Springtime brings with it sneezing and pollen for the humans and for some of my little zoo as well.  I have several seasonal allergy sufferers.

Phoebe (kitty) is probably the one who is the most severe in her symptoms - she gets a condition called button lip (Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex).  Her bottom lip gets swollen.  Luckily over the years I have found that using Colloidal Silver both topically (I rub it directly on her lip with a Q-tip) and letting her drink it (she loves it - drinks it right out of the bottle) make the condition go away in 1-2 days.  She also gets the occasional goopy eyes and runny nose.  I rinse her eyes with the silver if they get really bad and if her nose is really stopped up I put a drop of nasal spray in that I got from the vet. All in all its pretty easy to stay on top of.

Theo (ferret) also suffers - his main symptom is sneezing.  Typically these are non-producing sneezes meaning that his nose isn't plugged up.  He is just sneezy.  If he is congested I will give him a tiny bit of local honey which acts as an antihistamine.  You have to be very careful with sugar in ferrets - they don't have the mechanisms to process it so he gets it only when absolutely necessary.

Winston (pig) has allergies that manifest in his eyes.  You can find him scratching against things trying to itch his eyes - pigs aren't built like cats and dogs so they can't really reach their eyes with their hoof like a dog can with it's paw.  We treat his allergies with colloidal silver as well - some in his water and a couple of ccs that I flush his eyes with using a syringe.  He doesn't love having it done but he is pretty cooperative about it.  Never in a million years did I think I would find myself putting eyedrops in a pig.  Winston doesn't typically experience congestion but on those rare occasions I give him Benedryl.  It makes him very sleepy but it does the trick.

And - last but not least - Violet (ferret).  She is new to the allergy game.  I noticed that her eyes have been very watery the last couple of days.  I was worried she might have a bug so I separated her from the rest of the gang as a precaution.  She is eating, drinking, pottying and running around the bedroom like a freak making her happy noise (dooking) and her temp is normal so I am pretty sure its allergies and not a bug.  I set up a water dish for her with colloidal silver it the water and I made her a small bowl of gravy (ferret food with warm water).  I flushed her eyes with a couple of drops of the silver and they already look much better.  I will let her play in here for a few more hours and see how her eyes look.  Likely she will be able to go back to critter land with her brothers and sisters this afternoon.

So - as always - my disclaimer.  I am not a vet and the methods/treatments I use for my fur kids should be discussed with a veterinary professional before you try them on your own critters.

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