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!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two Kitty Vet Visit

Yesterday morning Oliver and Aggie went back to the vet for their blood work rechecks.  Aggie had some elevated numbers related to her kidneys and Oliver's thyroid numbers were whacky.  I don't have any pictures of my two cutie cats because I did the handy drop off appointment where I take them in and then I go and do 14 other things while they work them into the schedule and then I swoop back in and pick them up.  Works great - yesterday I went to the eye dr to get my glasses fixed, went to the bank, hit Starbucks and then a quick run to Costo - then home before my first conference call started - woot!

They sent the blood work out to the lab so I had to wait for the results - I just got an email from the vet and the news is all good.  Aggie's numbers were better. Her BUN number was still a bit higher than it should be but the classic markers that indicate kidney disease were within normal range. Thank goodness!  Aggie is 18 years old so I was concerned - I am quite relieved!  She is, however, on the high side of normal so we will put her on the same 6 month schedule that Oliver and Phoebe are on and we will keep a close eye on this so we can quickly intervene with treatment should something develop.  The other good news - my little pudge lost 3/4 of a pound since last weigh in.  She is still a bit heavier than she should be but now in a range that is not risky to her health.

Oliver's results were good as well - his thyroid levels were back to normal so we have the disease back under control.  Additionally - my skinny mini gained almost a pound since his last weigh in which is great - he was very, very skinny!!  So - there is still one area of concern which is his teeth - they are a mess.  The good news is that the gum inflammation seems to be gone from the round of antibiotics he took.  He desperately needs a deep cleaning and potentially other dental work but I think he is still on the thin side and I don't want to put him under anesthesia.  So - I think the plan is to continue to try to pack on the pounds for him over the holidays and after the first of the year if his weight makes it safe we can take him in for dental work.  Phoebe also needs her teeth cleaned so we will take her in as well.

All in all I am quite pleased - we are good to go on kitty health for the time being.   Next week - Violet (ferret) goes in for a glucose test to make sure she is on the right dose of pred - fingers crossed her results are as good!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hanging Out

We gobbled til we wobbled on Thursday - hosting at our place.  Such fun!  The critters were all well behaved and everyone got special Thanksgiving treats throughout the day.

On Friday we had a very down day - relaxation, laziness, nap time and binge watching Netflix.  It was a much needed day of rest.  Critters hung out - the dogs were inside and out - the weather was beautiful.  Same for the pig - he stayed outside right up until it was time for dinner.

Today has been busy - trying to put up Christmas.  Nothing goes in critter land - ferrets and Christmas decorations are just trouble waiting to happen.  In the living room we have the tree - thankfully Winston and Emma have absolutely no interest.  Critter stockings are hung - human stocking still need to be put up.  Christmas decorating will go into tomorrow.  Thankfully shopping and wrapping are done!

Tomorrow will be filled with chores as I try to get the house back in order, tidy up critter land and get ready for what is looking like an incredibly crazy work week.

Monday both Oliver and Agatha get dropped at the vet in the morning for their rechecks - for Aggie they will retest her kidney numbers.  Fingers crossed everything there is good.  For Oliver they will be testing his thyroid levels to make sure that the increase in his meds has his levels where they should be.  Since he is putting on weight and feeling good I am pretty sure he is good to go.

It's been a great holiday weekend.  I can't believe this year is almost over.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

General Updates

In general things are good around here:

Quincy and Emma are enjoying their time together and both of them are being exceptionally well behaved.  They have played inside and out and spent the day being lazy pups.

Winston - well - he had his moment of pink turdiness early and got in large amounts of trouble for it. Every so often the little twerp decides that today is the day he is going to challenge for dominance. He thinks he is going to be head of the herd.  Um - not happening my friend.  We did a good bit of MTP (move the pig) which is a technique of controlling the pig's feet.  If you can get them to go where you want - you win basically.  He knew he pushed too far when he got moved out of the laundry room, down his hallway and put in his bed.  When he was brave enough to come back to the laundry room his demeanor was quite different.  I sat down on the floor and he came over and flopped down for some cuddles.  Then he sat patiently for his dinner.  I guess he got the memo that mom is in charge.  Sheesh!

Kitties are all three doing well.  They have had some loves and all of them have been brushed.  I fed them and gave Ollie and Phoebe their meds.

The ferrets are all doing great.  They all seem just fine after receiving their implants yesterday.  Violet did great tonight taking her meds.  She seems to be just fine - no ill effects so far - thank goodness!

All in all things here are great - I am off to feed the pups and take them and the pig outside for their final potty break - but first - I am going to enjoy some pizza.... YUM!

Monday, November 21, 2016

7 Ferret Vet Visit

Today didn't go quite like I expected but its all good.  I took all the ferrets in for their 6 month check ups and to get their implants related to adrenal disease.

The physicals went well - all of the babies are in good health and passed their physicals.  They were all very well behaved.  The implants went well too.  When Madison had her implant placed they put her under anesthesia for a minute to insert the large needle.  Much to my surprise - no plan for anesthesia today - which was actually good.  Much less risky, less expensive, etc.  Implants went in and while there was a minute of ouch for my guys - they recovered quickly and were no worse for the wear.  They are all protected for a year - next November (and every one thereafter) we will insert another one... so that part went well.

The only surprise today was with our sweet Violet.  A few months ago we did a wellness blood panel on Madison - starting with her because she is the oldest.  Violet is next in line so while they were poking and prodding they drew blood and ran the panel.  Unfortunately they found that her glucose numbers were low - the tell tale sign of insulinoma.  Poop...  For those of you who have been following our gang for awhile - you will remember that our boy Clooney had this and eventually passed from it.  Now - don't get too stressed.  Clooney was almost 7 when he was diagnosed and his disease was fairly advanced as his whole panel of blood numbers were whacky.  Violet will be 4 in January and her blood work was perfect other than low glucose.  We have started her on prednisolone.  She had her first dose at the vet's office and will get another at 10:30 tonight. So far she is doing fantastic.  I have her in our room which she is loving.  She has played with the dogs (my mom's pup is visiting), explored both closets, played in the shower, etc.  There is nothing wrong with her appetite - she has eaten 3 times since we got home at 11.  Her spirits seem good and she doesn't seem to be having any ill effects from the meds.  Clooney did not do great on pred but Harlow did very well.  I think most ferrets tolerate it just fine.

Anyway - she goes back for a glucose check in 2 weeks to make sure we have her on the correct dosage and then a check every 3 months or so to stay on top of things.  She will be on pred for the foreseeable future.  The good news is there are additional treatment options should we need them and she could live to a normal life expectancy given the right treatment.

Here is an article from our vet if you are wanting to know more.

I didn't do a great job of pics - but I did get a few:

A bucket full of love....


Madison & Tabby

Tabby upper left, Theo upper right, Bash lower right, Fiona lower left 
Tabby - geez she is cute...  :)


Violet getting her physical

Dr. Dan with Violet

Bash getting his physical

Tabby getting the implant - it takes three folks - one to give her Ferretone as a distraction, one to hold her by the scruff and one to put the implant in

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekend Review

We needed a weekend where we didn't have much on the books and we got it.  The humans around here were tired!!

The critters had a pretty laid back weekend as well.  Winston spent some time outdoors but today was a wee bit chilly so he spent most of the afternoon indoors.  Emma has been hanging out - she is quite the independent pup.

The kitties and the ferrets are doing just great.  Kitties seem well - Oliver's weight is up a bit and I think Aggie's weight is down a bit.  This is all good.  As for the gang of ferrets - they are just fantastic!  Winter coats are coming in - Tabitha and Bash are incredibly fluffy at this stage.  The rest of them seem to be doing great on coat change and Madison is quickly catching up - so glad she is no longer the naked baby since its getting a bit chilly.

I slacked off on chores so at some point this week I have got to get into critter land to do a scrub down - its pretty grubby in there.  Tomorrow morning will be and adventure as I gather up the ferrets and take them to the vet for their 6 month check ups and their adrenal prevention implants.  I will take some photos of our trip!  Tomorrow also brings the arrival of my mom's pup - he is staying with us while she travels.  Emma will be happy as those two are old friends.

The week ahead is busy - full of grocery lists and Thanksgiving prep - thankfully I took the week off from work so I should be able to fit in some downtime as well.  There is a good book I am about half way through - maybe I will finish that up this week as well....

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Crazy Few Days

The critters have had a crazy few days - as have the humans.  We had visitors in from out of town to celebrate the hubs' birthday.  My mom was here visiting as well which meant an additional pup added to the mix and then we had a friend staying with us this week.

All of these things have minor impacts on the critters and their regular routines.  Winston spent a good bit of time in his room on party day.  His routine is a bit different when my mom's dog is here. The two of them are not particularly friendly so you have to make sure they are not out and about at the same time.  Emma is impacted in that we spend less time in our room which is her most comfortable spot. And the little critters are impacted in that I spend less time with them when we have so much going on and - when we have guests in the guest room they get to stay in their bedroom at night instead of having full access to critter land like they usually do.

All in all they did pretty well - Oliver was quite chatty at the door during this week.  He hears us chatting in the living room and wants to join in.  He did get some time out and about each day, hanging out in the living room and kitchen.

Tonight things are back to normal.  Winston is loving life as I just pulled his comforter out of the dryer and tucked him in with a nice warm blanket.  Emma is fast asleep on our bed.  I just spent some time in critter land loving on the little critters, feeding them and giving the kitties their meds.  Their room is on the list for a deep clean tomorrow or over the weekend.

Next week will be a busy one as well - vet visit on Monday.  My mom's dog staying with us while she visits family for Thanksgiving and then a house full on turkey day around here.  Then we put up Christmas and all of that madness begins....where did this year go?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekend Recap

It's Sunday afternoon and the critters are all in various states of napping/lounging.  Saturday was a busy day as we celebrated the hubs and his birthday.  Parties are challenging for the critters as the flurry of activity before and then lots of new people, sounds, smells etc during the event itself can be stressful for them.

I am happy to report that all the critters were amazingly well behaved.  My mom was up for the weekend and her pup Quincy was great.  He has a hurting shoulder resulting in a limp which he milked for a ton of attention.  Emma was very good - begging for goodies but otherwise a very good girl.  Winston was great - he hung out in his room and napped for the bulk of the party.  When I asked him to go out he did and was very cooperative - no nipping or swiping at strangers.  He got some goodies as well - fruit and veges from our feast.  The little guys were great as well - they came out into the outside play space for some visits and Oliver was great about not meowing at the door. Sometimes if he hears us in the living room he meows at the door to let us know he would like to partake in the festivities - but he was a quiet boy last night.

Today everyone including the humans are having a bit of downtime as it should be...

Monday, November 07, 2016

Time Change and Other Updates

So - I survived falling back - not happily but it is what it is I guess.  This year's time change has been much easier with Winston.  Last year was painful - he was up incredibly early for weeks after falling back.  This year hasn't been much of an adjustment.  He is getting me up about 6:30 for his cookies - he lounges in the laundry room (we call it his little room) until breakfast around 7:30 or 8:00.  Not sure why this year is different.  Perhaps its that he is getting a bit older and more mellow.  I'll take it what ever the reason.  Emma and the little ones are pretty much unaffected.  This zoo keeper is not happy about 5 pm darkness but I whine about it every year and it never changes!  :)

In other zoo news things are quite well.  The whole gang seems happy and healthy.  I am working through the deep clean of critter land slowly but surely - just a bit more to do.  I have been spending lots more time with the critters now that I am feeling so much better.  Still not at 100% but improving every day.

We have vet appointments coming up.... ferrets all go in for their 6 month checkups and everyone (except Madison who already got hers) will get the implant to proactively treat for adrenal disease.  That happens on the 21st.  On the 28th Oliver and Aggie go in for their blood work recheck - I think Oliver is doing well - gaining back some weight.  Aggie seems to be well also - no symptoms of kidney disease showing so fingers crossed it was just a fluky thing that her numbers were a bit out of whack.

I can't believe how fast this year has gone -  just a few weeks til Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it.  Time flies for sure!

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Saturday Follies

We are having a lovely Saturday here at the zoo.  I am still not back to 100% but I am feeling so much better.  Compared to the last couple of weeks today has been a flurry of activity.  I stopped by the vet's office to pick up refills for Ollie and Phoebe's thyroid medication.  I ran to Michael's, the pet store (be proud - I walked away from the two adorable ferrets in the bin) and I did a Costco run (on a Saturday no less).  I have also been working on a deep clean of critter land - it is pretty grubby down there after almost 3 weeks of the bare minimum.  I made some headway but I have to work in pretty short stints before I run out of steam.  It will take me couple of days but I will get through it!  I have my trusty helper Tabby - she is so sweet and sticks right by my side whenever I am doing chores.

As I type this - Emma is sacked out on the bedroom floor, Winston is laying in the grass sunbathing in the fall sun, the kitties are all hanging out in the outdoor playspace soaking up the warm sunny afternoon and the ferrets are snoozing in various ferret sleepy spots.  Everyone seems quite happy and like they are feeling good.  Whatever was bugging Ollie's tummy the other day has passed and he is his ornery self once again.  No complaints from here - well maybe one complaint - I hate falling back and am not looking forward to the time change....ICK!  Other than that - life is pretty blissful!

Hope your Saturday is fab!!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

I'm Back - I Think

Wow.  Whatever ick that I caught - it seriously kicked my butt!  I think I am finally making my way back to the land of the living.  I am pretty much symptom free now - with the exception of the nagging cough but the Dr. says that is the normal course of events.  The big hurdle is trying to get my energy back.  I have been completely sapped. Each day is a bit better so hopefully soon I will be good to go.

Emma has been my constant companion throughout the ick - I was glad to have her company.  For the first part of the crud I had to steer clear of pigs and ferrets so I didn't share my germs.  I have been making up for lost time with them since I am no longer contagious.

Winston has been enjoying long days outdoors soaking up this beautiful fall weather.  He seems to be doing just great.  The ferrets are all doing well - active and happy.  Madison has lots of fuzzy new hair - her coat is coming in just great.  Kitties are doing well - although I think Ollie has a bit of an upset tummy this morning.  I will check in on him throughout the day.  The good news with him is that with the adjustment to his meds he is gaining some weight!  Woot!

All in all - the critters fared pretty well while I was under the weather.  Critter land needs a deep clean - I have been picking at it - not wanting to push too hard.  A relapse is out of the question....  Glad to be on the mend....