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, May 25, 2016

8 Critter Vet Visit

Okay - it went great but wow - am I glad its over.  The whole vet idea stresses me out...what if they find something wrong with my babies?  But they didn't...  Then making sure they are okay - not scared, not upset, not reacting to vaccinations, etc.... and then there is vetting a pig - which just isn't all that easy.  Here are a few pics of the waiting for the vet to arrive:

Tabby - Kai in the background





First the ferrets -  they did great.  They were social little critters and for the most part pretty cooperative. First we did weights - everyone is in the normal range - not too fat, not too skinny.  Then we did vaccinations which entailed rabies and distemper.  Then we did physicals.  They check eyes, noses, ears, teeth, mouths, heart, lungs and then palpate the organs to make sure everything is located where it should be, is the right size, etc.  Everyone passed the physical exam with flying colors....no issues found on any of them!  The only bad news from the check up - and its not a super serious problem - is that they tested positive for ear mites. I will swing into the vets office tomorrow and pick up the Ivermectin (yep - same that we use on the pig - just a different dose) and treat all the ferrets and the kitties to as mites are quite contagious.  I am very surprised they tested positive.  We had mites before - I think Theo might have brought them to to the party and he had itchy ears and stinky gunk in his ears as well.  No symptoms - sneaky little buggers.  Oh well - if that's the worst thing that they found - I can most certainly deal with that.

What did you bring us Dr Dan??

Kai getting vaccinated

Theo thinking 'I am not sure what just happened.'

He might have poked me with needles but he isn't all bad - he put Ferretone on my belly

Fiona - getting rabies on one side

And distemper on the other

Kai getting checked out

Then we moved on to the pig.  I am not sure who was more stressed - him or me.  First they put meds up his nose to sedate him.  Didn't take long for him to be staggering around.  Then it was time to flip him on his back - he hated it.  I hated it...but once I started petting him and talking to him he settled down.  He got several vaccines today.  We did tetanus - mostly as a precautionary thing.  Its not out of the realm of possibility that he be out playing in the pasture and step on something old and metallic.  We also did Erysipelas, Bordatella, and Pasturella  - I was quite keen on getting the Erysipelas as that is found in the soil and I have read some horror stories about piggies that have contracted it.  It is the reason I have Penicillin in my fridge.  We also opted to do rabies.  There is much debate in the pig world about whether you should do rabies vaccines.  I figure he is in close proximity to quite a bit of wild life - possums, raccoons, coyotes, etc.  I would rather be save than sorry.  The vet also did a blood draw, checked eyes, ears and teeth and clipped his dew claws.  The other thing we did today which was not planned was trimming his tusks.  I had talked to the vet about filing them - which I think I will do since they are back down to the gum line now.  I think I can likely keep them from needing to be done again by filing them as a part of our maintenance routine.  Winston is fine with me filing away.  Since he was already sedated we decided to go ahead and trim them.  They used a gigli wire and slowly made a groove in the tusk, then sped up the process and voila - no more pokey teeth - thank goodness.  My shins have a chance to heal....Winston didn't poke me on purpose.  I am 100% certain he is unaware that there are sharp things protruding from the sides of his mouth.  Then he was done.  Didn't take him long to recover - within about an hour he was still a bit subdued but he was walking normally and was grazing.  He is napping now - waiting for it to be dinner time.

You guys are up to something - I can tell....

Sedation meds up the snout - let's just say - he wasn't a fan

Woozy pig

Getting vaccinated

IM vaccination

Sub Q vaccination

Assessing the tusk situation

All in all it was a good house call - that is such an awesome service the vet provides....  waiting to hear back on Winston's blood work and on everyone's fecal sample analysis. 

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