Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's been awhile...

OK, so it's been like forever since I've posted.  Or it feels that way anyway.  So, Shiloh's still here and still eating his critical care/squash baby food mix.  He was seen again by the vet yesterday, who pointed out that his other top incisor, which had previously been broken off at the gumline.... has mysteriously vanished.  Vet said it's a possibility that the trauma from the other tooth caused the body to try to absorb that tooth.  Which, long story short, would be awesome, but would also mean he'd have to go in and get his bottom teeth pulled.

If, on the other hand, his top incisor does grow back, it may grind down both bottom incisors, or it may start to cause him problems breathing again, which then it would have to be removed, and then the bottom ones would have to go as well.  But, the surgery for removing the bottom ones is considerably less risky and traumatic, so I'm hoping the top tooth is gone and I only have to worry about a future bottom extraction.

Had a lot of calls about chins and critters recently, but considerably more calls than adoptions.  Everyone's being flakey lately and calling and then I never hear back, or not showing up, or whatever.

So, my friend with the guinea pig rescue has been trying to get back this dalmation guinea pig to her rescue.  The original adopters refused to return the pig to her rescue, and were offering the pig for free.  I tried to pose as a potential adopter to adopt the pig, but then my friend pointed out -- they know who I am because I used to sell them hay.  Needless to say, they wouldn't give me the pig, they didn't even bother responding to my emails.  They were giving away the pig, with all of its stuff, for free.  Well, the ad was taken down, and funny, now there's another ad for this exact same pig with all of its stuff for $150.  The ad says that it comes with $300 worth of hay.  Funny, I can buy hay for $5/bale, what is the pig coming with 60 bales?  So I email this lady and ask if she would sell just the pig, saying I have another piggie that needs a companion.  First, I get an email this morning saying she won't, cause she has no use for the stuff without the pig.  More like, she knows she can't sell that stuff for that much, so she wants to sell it as a package deal to an unknowing idiot.  Moving along, I get another email a few minutes ago, saying she will sell just the pig for only $75.  I couldn't restrain myself and emailed back:

Sorry, but that's a little much. I'd much rather get a guinea pig that needs a home over buying one at the pet store, but I can buy one for $35. No sense paying an extra $40 to get one off craigslist, that's a tad ridiculous.

Which it is.  It's sad when it's all about money.  I mean, this person got the pig FOR FREE and is now trying to make $150 off it.  And the animal's caught in the middle.  Ridiculous.  And I just got an email back saying "K".  I can't wait to see how long this critter is for sale on craigslist, cause I don't care how much shit a guinea pig comes with, it's not worth $150.

So, I finally made the liners for Truffles, Lacey, and Pixie's cage.  So they finally got moved into their cage.  Obviously, these are not pics that are going to make it on the website. Pardon the poos, I need to vacuum, but here they are:

Lacey (front) & Pixie (back)

Truffles (left) and Pixie (right)
Need to add some chins to the website.  Kandie's finally ready.  And then I have a standard female that was the runt and is still kinda tiny but will be ready in a few weeks, and a mosaic male that will also be ready in a few weeks.  Get those started on finding homes.  Available with limited peds if people want them.

Feast your eyes on the cuteness:

And then just a few random pics.  Toby looking kinda peeved.

...and Evil (aka Gypsy) looking, well, evil.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Shiloh's home!

So, Shiloh actually came home yesterday night, but point is, he's home!!  YAAAY!!!  His bill was actually cut down to $2500 by the vet, they capped it off.  Got us a $400.01 credit.  Whoo-boy.  Will be sending a thank you to the vet. 

Well, he was living downstairs in his cage, but those feedings every few hours necessitated that he be moved upstairs.  Though there is a fridge downstairs, there's no microwave, and no pet wants to eat their handfeeding mix cold.  So... upstairs he is.  In his little travel cage, which he is clearly not thrilled about, but he's gonna manage.

He did greet me with his "all clear" sound this morning, though not as enthusiastically as usual.  The handfeeding.... ah... is not going so well.  They said at the vet that he liked the squash baby food.  So, on the way home, I stopped at Meijer and got him some squash baby food.  So, his apple banana critical care was mixed up with some lifeline and mostly the babyfood as the wet (and a little water).  Got a nice milkshake consistency for once.  I'm sure that's an interesting taste, apple banana and squash, but oh well.  It smells better than regular critical care so it's surely got to taste better (though, despite the orange squash babyfood, it still is that nasty greenish brown color).  So... he's not too fond of feeding time.  I have some new chew marks on my hands, and I tell you, this thing can RUN.  Little stinker. 

At the vet last night, we learned that he does best eating when I'm sitting on the floor indian style and he's standing in between my legs.  Little stinker wants to climb up my shirt so I'm holding him, but he already did a number to my jacket at the vet's, so I'm trying to keep him by the jeans, which he hopefully can't tear holes in. 

So, at home, that's how I was handfeeding him.  Little stinker, I put him in my lap and what does he do?  Wipe his nose and face all over my shirt.  It's like having a baby.  So then, get a little of the handfeeding mix in his mouth, and he chews some, and then wipes his mouth on my shirt/pants.  Let's just say right now if you all could see my clothes... well, I can't decide... I either look homeless, or like I had a food fight with a 2 yr old (and the 2 yr old won).  And despite the CC mix being greenish brown, the spots on my clothes are more of an orangeish green color.  Yum yum.  I clearly will need to find different jeans to go out in public.

But he is eating some.  You'd never guess, considering how much I have on me and how much I have to wipe up from him, but the amount in the mix container is going down, so he's definitely eating some.  I need to weigh him tomorrow and get an actual weight on him so I can see how he's doing from day to day.

He is on metacam 0.15 cc once a day (for inflammation and pain), 0.15 cc baytril once daily (for infection), and 0.8 cc reglan (well, its metrocomp.... whatever... it's "reglan" to those that know) for gut motility twice daily.

He can't be feeling toooo too bad, cause he is a feisty little sucker.  He is still mouth breathing somewhat, and has an appointment on the 26th (I called up and asked for an appointment on the 25th before realizing, oh, Christmas, duh) to be seen again by the doctor who oversaw him after surgery.  Dr. Poliakoff?  Maybe. 

He definitely doesn't seem super comfy or anything like that, but then, he's totally off oxygen now.  His nose is oozing a bit, and I'm not sure if it's infection or mucus or what... they did say it would, so I'm not too concerned... but I don't know if I should wipe it off or leave it.  Don't want to dry it out, but I couldn't tell you if he normally has a wet nose or not.  Course, he typically makes his choice pretty clear and wipes his face & nose all over me once I pick him up.  Little stinker.   

His breathing doesn't seem too bad until he starts really getting upset.  So, when he really starts fussing about eating, he's done, he can go back. This morning, tried to make him eat some more when I was frustrated and he was frustrated, yeah, wrong idea.  Completely stressed him out and he was mouth breathing horribly again after a few more minutes.  So that's a no.  But the feeding didn't seem as horrible later at night so maybe he's getting used to it.  Maybe next mix I will put in more squash.  But I don't really think the flavor is the problem, he just doesn't like being restrained, but there's no getting that syringe near his mouth without some form of restraining him.  Ah well, the later feeding was better than in the morning so I won't complain.  His breathing seems more through his nose, but still labored.  So...I don't know.  They said he will just have to get used to breathing the way he will.  But then, there's still the question of the other top incisor and the bottom ones, so who knows how he's gonna end up breathing by the time this is all over with.

The important thing is that he's still alive and he IS getting some sleep, so he's not gonna die of exhaustion on us. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shiloh Update

So, Shiloh's not home yet, still.  Turns out, they are having a harder time weaning him off the oxygen than they originally thought they would.  Yesterday, when I called in the morning, they'd gotten him down from 4 liters per min down to 1 liter per minute.  They had talked about trying to wean him off of that.  When I talked to them today, they had him down to 1/2 liter.  When I called today, they said that they'd tried to get him off completely, and that he was fine when he was sleeping, but when he would wake up and become active, he was getting too tired and lethargic, so they had to put him on oxygen.  They said maybe tomorrow (Sunday) he'll be ready to go home.  They have to wean him off oxygen first, so this is still tentative, but they said they'll work on weaning him down to 1/4 liter per minute and then off.

They said while he's been sleeping, he's been curling up in a ball to do so.  So he must be reasonably comfy to do so, so that's good.
They said, the other day, that they've already gone over my estimate.  The high end of my estimate was about $2000ish, and they told me they're already more like $2100-2300.  Ouch.  They said they will cap expenses at $2500 so that, get this, it "stays affordable."  Cause, you know, $2500 is affordable, but $2600?  $2700? Apparently not affordable.  My dad said it well when he said that places like this think money is no object for the customers.  Cause dude, $2500 is going to cut out at least half of the chin account.  

Not to mention, he needs to be rechecked in about a week, and then possibly have the surgery for the other nostril, or to remove the bottom tooth that is now going to have nothing to butt up against.  So this definitely isn't over yet.

I think I'm going to do a raffle of some chin items/supplies to benefit the rescue.  Like $5 tickets and you could win the basket, or like maybe even a basket or a variety of single items that are more pricy but still reasonable.  Like stuff that I make, like hidey houses or toys or something like that.  Or like hammock or something.  Like maybe in the basket I could have some of the treats and stuff, or like maybe I'll do a poll on my page and see what people would like to see in a raffle basket.  It takes about a year to clear $2000 at the rescue so we're already into taking a year to rebuild what's already been spent, so if we could even get a few hundred or heck even a hundred, that would be awesome.  Every little bit helps. 

If we do bring home Shiloh tomorrow, I can't wait to see him!  He's been there since Monday morning, so it's been a good 6 days since I've seen him. 


Ok, so people are frustrating me.  I had someone call me earlier in the week who wanted to come Saturday.  He didn't know what time, just said "morning," and would call back to set up a time.  Well, I told him, until I had an actual time, I wasn't going to mark him down, cause I have other appointments to set and all.  So he calls me the next day and leaves a message saying he's going to be here at 12.  Really?  Don't ask or anything, just tell me what time you're going to show up.  Well, unlucky for him, I had already scheduled something else going on and he either could come at the crack of dawn or not until about 7 pm.  So I called him and told him that, and he rescheduled for tomorrow (Sunday).  Fine, no big deal.  Til he calls today and says they went and picked up a chin locally, so they won't be coming tomorrow.  Really?  Great way to teach the kid patience.  Now, I don't usually wish bad on people, but lately a lot of people have been telling me that they've gotten chins from the pet stores and the chin died within a week.... I don't normally wish evil, but I wouldn't feel bad if the chin were sick or died.  Cause he was another one of those that didn't want to go to a pet store, wanted to get a healthy chin from a breeder, and then what does he do?  Cave when the daughter can't wait a single day and goes to the pet store.

Moving on.  There was someone who called twice the other day.  Like twice in the same hour.  So I called back, left a message.  They didn't call back, so I called back a second time, and they ended the phone call on their end.  Fine, they found a chin elsewhere, but would it be so difficult to tell me?

Then, I had these people call the other day asking about a chin for their kid.  So she basically said she needed to talk to the husband, but everything sounded good and all.  Musta asked me every question in the book about chin care and everything and was already planning everything she was going to get from us with the chin.  So she said she'd call back the next day.  When she didn't, the following day I called them and left a message.  Of course they didn't call back.

What is it with the flakes lately?

Had someone call today asking about the pair of chins we have for sale and asking about used cages that we have.  Said he might want to come today, would call back.  What do you bet he doesn't call back?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shiloh update

Ok, so I spoke with the vet today.  Different vet, but very nice.  Said she'd had prairie dogs as pets before and seemed knowledgeable (well, I would hope after 14 years working at the exotic vet's).  Anyway.

So they said they had put the shunt in his nostril.  It clogged with his blood and blood clots, so they had to sedate him, pull it out, clean out his nose, and put in another one.  They said that for a prairie dog to breathe through its mouth is difficult because the trachea is so far back, so they basically have to do this heaving breathing, and so they said he's on 4 liters of oxygen (per minute? hour?  she told me but I don't remember), and that's the level at which he's breathing reasonably normally.  Not normal I guess, but less labored than before.  She said that in the days following surgery, they slowly wean the pet off the oxygen.  She said usually within 3 days, the body will actually get used to the lower level of oxygen being brought in, and will create more red blood cells to carry the oxygen (like people who live on mountains).  She said also within 3 days, the inflammation in his nose should go down.

She said he's not out of the danger zone yet, and because it is so hard for them to breathe out of their mouths, that he could literally die of exhaustion.  Hence, they have such a high level of oxygen (I don't know what a normal amount is, this is just what she said) and they're watching him closely.  I checked the box that I want him revived if he stops breathing, so she said that means if he stopped breathing they would try to cut a hole in the back of his neck going straight into the trachea, tube him, and connect the oxygen to that tube.  I can only imagine what that would cost me.  The high end of the surgery was like $2100 (basically, the if-things-go-badly-amount), I paid $650 down, on top of the $270 initial vet visit, so we're already at $920 and I have this feeling I'm going to owe a lot more when I go to pick him up.  Expensive little shit (said with the most love I can muster at this point). 

She said he's not eating, which really isn't a surprise, as to eat, and breathe, we're talking about the same airway which is clogged.  So they said they are syringe feeding him enough to keep his gut moving, but he is losing weight.  But they're not feeding him enough to keep it stable because its hard for him to breathe and eat at the same time right now. 

So that's where we are at the moment.  She said no news is good news, but I'm supposed to call several times a day at the minimum (um, oops?  They called me once yesterday and I talked to them, but I never called them later), so I'll call them again tonight and hopefully things will be going well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mildly stupid people....and Shiloh

Ok, so a few days ago we gave out a new award for the stupidest email ever.  I have since deleted it, so I don't know it word for word, but the person responded to one of our ads for guinea pigs, asking if we had any dogs or puppies, available, specifically lab mixes (but no lab-w-rott/chow/gsd, etc).  I emailed back and explained that we are a small animal rescue and only have caged small animals here, and even small dogs/cats do not count as "small animals." 

OK, I can understand when someone sees out ad that says we take in animals and emails and says, hey, I was wondering if you have a rabbit, or a gerbil, or whatever.  I get it.  They don't need to look through every ad, they just see, ok, small animal rescue, maybe they have it.  Those I can understand.  But a dog?

Moving on to today.  This one's more mildly stupid, but stupid nonetheless.  All it said was:

I really think my daughter would like sonic but my she has to keep her room clean till x-mas

Ok. So why email me now?  It's like saying, ok, depending on the next two weeks, we may or may not want your guinea pig, but I'm going to tell you now, even though it's completely pointless, cause I'd never put an animal on hold based on the thought that someone "might" do something for two weeks.  Uh, no.  I emailed the guy back and was like ok, well, if she does, then let me know and if he's still here we can work on the adoption.

Moving onto Shiloh.  Got a call today around 1 pm from Midwest Bird.  So, Dr. Clarkson did the surgery, but they were only able to extract one of the top teeth (the one that was not buried at the gumline).  She said it took her an hour just to get that one out, and she didn't feel it was safe to keep him out even longer to get the other one.  So, they just got the one, she said we will see how he does for a few weeks with the one top incisor removed.  If the other is damaged, it may not grow, so that may not be a problem, but it all depends.  If his breathing seems significantly better with that one out, it may not matter, and then we will just need to worry about that bottom tooth that would be butting up to it.  She said she ground down the bottom teeth to the gumline to give us some time (thank god, cause this has already cost me over $900 and we're probably not done yet, I could use a few weeks...) and so we are going to give it a few weeks and re-evaluate.  So, she said they had to go through the palatte to get the tooth out, so because of that, there was excess bleeding and all that.  She said she put a shunt in his nostril to keep it open while everything heals.  She said he's up and awake and eating, and on oxygen.  So that's promising at least. 

No calls from them since then, so he must be still doing ok.  I'm supposed to call in the morning to check on him, so I will do that and they'll give me an update on him. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shiloh again

So, we had an adoption today, two degus went to their new home.

But in more pressing news, Shiloh has stopped eating on his own.  His breathing is now labored and it is clear he cannot breathe through his nose.   He is completely mouth-breathing now.  He is getting 0.3cc of metacam nightly, but this clearly is not having any positive effect on him or on bringing down the swelling and inflammation in his nasal cavity.  All of this points to a definite odontoma.

Used the coffee grinder to grind up his lab blocks and dog food, and make it into a critical-care-type-mush for him.  Got him to eat some of it, but it's clear that he's having a hard time eating and breathing at the same time.  It's hard to watch.

So, Midwest Bird is an emergency-clinic-only on Sat night/Sunday.  Which doubles the price for everything.  As I can't afford a surgery that would start at $1600, I will be giving them a call first thing Monday morning.  He has an appointment on Friday, but I can't bear to watch him like this if there is any way he can get in sooner than that.  Heck, we don't even need to see Dr. Clarkson, we just need to drop him off so they can prep him and start the surgery.

Poor Shiloh.  If you're reading this, keep your fingers and paws crossed for him.  Send some good thoughts this way.  He physically looks ok but his breathing and the expression on his face is not happy.  We're going to get him help as quickly as possible.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just a bad time...

So, things seem up, things seem down... I think it's more down anymore.

Last week, Melon was adopted out.  She didn't want to get along with their chins, so now she's back. 

Had someone who had a hold on Lucy.  Got an email today that now they're going on a trip and will email me once they come back to see if she's still here.  Now, here's the thing -- the fact that they don't want her held for them.... probably means I will never hear back from them.

Then, adopted out a rat the other day... turns out the guy's allergic... even though he's had rats before and never had problems before... so now I have to schedule a time for that rat to come back.

I had someone fill out a form to adopt degus.... they wanted to come this Friday, and I'd told them the times they could come.  Never heard back.  So I emailed them a bit ago saying it's been 5 days, they've got two days to get back to me..... and so on so forth.  I don't anticipate hearing back.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


So, we enter the Shiloh saga.  For those that don't know, Shiloh is our resident prairie dog.  He was a rescue prairie dog, but we fell in love with him and he's staying.

Well, earlier this year, maybe two weeks ago?  Recently, anyway, we noticed he'd somehow managed to knock out one of his top incisors.  So, at the time, the bottom incisor (the one that had nothing to bump up against) started growing moreso.  So, we took him to Munster and they filed his teeth.

Fast forward to now, a few days ago I noticed he wasn't eating his food with quite his usual gusto, and his breathing sounded labored and squeaky.  And that bottom tooth was again sticking way up further than his other bottom tooth.  Time to go to Midwest Bird and see the specialist.  So today we went to Midwest Bird.  Made the decision to put him under to do x-rays to get a better idea of what's going on with those teeth.  I asked them to look at his molars while they had him under, so if he had anything wrong there we'd know about that as well.

So, the molars look good.  Good to hear.  The top teeth, not so much.  The x-ray showed that the top tooth that snapped off snapped off below the gumline.  The vet said that it may grow back, it may not.  It depends on how badly the tooth was damaged.  They said that the damage to the tooth could lead to swelling and to an odontoma.  Apparently the surrounding tissue swells and basically seals off the nasal passages.  The x-rays showed early indication of odontoma and the vet said his wheezing and the sounds he's making would also point in that direction.  Vet prescribed meloxicam (metecam) to try to bring the swelling down and see if that makes any difference in his breathing.  She also wanted to see if his upper incisor (the broken one) would grow at all within a few days.  We have a follow up appointment next Friday morning.  Until then he gets 0.3cc of metecam once daily to try to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Worst case scenario is that nothing improves and the odontoma becomes more evident.  In that case, we would need to consider surgery.  Without treatment, an odontoma would basically block the nasal cavity completely, making it so that the critter can't breathe through its nose.  In the early stages, it causes breathing problems and wheezing, which is where we are right now.  My opinion, based on being there today and talking to the vet, it sounds like it's just a matter of time before we have to do the surgery. 

The surgery involves removal of all four front incisors, roots and all.  Part of the problem here, with Shiloh, would not only be the odontoma, but also that if that tooth never grows back because it's too damaged, he'd have to go in for filings probably weekly.  With extracting the teeth, that problem would go away as well. 

I asked the vet to look at his back teeth, and she said those look perfectly fine.  Which is good, cause if we're considering removing all of the front teeth, we need the back ones in good shape to keep the critter alive.  She said prairie dogs mainly use the front teeth to pick up food, and he would do fine without them (if it comes to that). 

The good thing is that apparently, this is a common thing in prairie dogs.  So the vet has done the surgery before, and understands what needs to be done and how to do it.  Of course, nothing is without risks, if we did have to go through with surgery, they said there would be significant inflammation and Shiloh would have to be on oxygen for several days following the procedure (so, he would need to stay at the vet for several days). 

The vet said that the surgery for him could be more difficult than usual, since the one tooth is broken off so far up, they would have to go up through the bone to extract the tooth.  The surgery was quoted at $800-1200.  Not sure exactly what that does/does not cover, but that's a general idea.  Today's visit was over $270 alone, so this is going to be an expensive ordeal. 

This is what I'm talking about when people go off about the initial cost of a pet, and I say they should be more worried about future veterinary costs than the purchase price.  I had someone call the other day looking for a breedable female chin.  They were interested in Keeper, the cheapest chin we have listed, at a $60 adoption fee.  Had they read the ad, she doesn't get along with other chins.  But no, they were more concerned about getting the cheapest chin possible.  I told them about Keisa, who is pedigreed and breedable, and I told them, they should be less concerned about the cost of the chin, because if they need to do a  c-section on a chin, it's going to run them a lot more than the $40 difference in price between Keeper and Keisa.  And this is exactly what I'm talking about.  Shiloh didn't cost me a penny, he was dropped off at the rescue.  He was dropped off with multiple puncture wounds and a raging infection that took us 6 months of antibiotics to get under control.  It took months after that for his fur (had fallen out from shoulders down) to grow back.  It cost a fortune in vet bills just to get him back to being a healthy prairie dog.  I don't remember how much it was now, years later, but let's say it's probably several times more than what the average person would pay for a prairie dog.  Fine, we can call that the adoption fee, what it cost me to get a pet prairie dog.  But by taking in Shiloh and deciding we were going to keep him, I made the commitment to him to care for him as he should be.  That includes paying for vet care necessary.  For some people, like Rochelle's owners, this visit today, $273, would have been way more than they wanted to spend.  Imagine someone like that looking at a potential $800-1200 vet bill.  I'm not trying to say everyone should go bankrupt trying to pay for vet care for their pets.  If you can't afford it, you can't afford it.  It's that simple.   I understand.  I'm not made of money either, and I have other pets/rescues to think about, the way people have kids and mortgages and everything to worry about.  But I feel like at the very least, the people should have the means to take the animal to the vet.  If the prognosis is bad, or if the family cannot afford the treatment, the animal could be put down, but they should at least be taken to the vet to see what is possible for them.  This is my prairie dog, I take responsibility for his care.  I wish I could say the same for everyone and their pets. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Recent things....

So, several pets went to their adoptive homes recently.  Because I'm busy and tired, those pictures are posted on both my website's happy customers page, as well as the facebook page.  But not here, cause I really need to get stuff done.

Got two orders mailed out, and I just got a beep from my phone that I got another paypal payment for likely a large order.  Oh yay.  (ugh)

Still working on those orders.  Had someone come to pick up an order today, and I did ship out two orders.  Just got in another order, for some simple stuff that will take me 5 minutes to do, so I think I'm gonna get to working on that.  Some of the "older" orders are actually ones where I'm waiting for something to dry, so I give the wooden items 2 days to dry, so that puts those orders longer.  Have an order at the moment for a custom width wood, so I went and bought that today. 

Working on those orders at the moment.

Called Midwest Bird today -- took out Shiloh.  He's actually making a wheezing sound now and on top of that, his teeth are growing out of control, and he needs an expert to look at it.  So Wednesday he's going in to see Dr. Clarkson.  Send some happy thoughts his way.

Oh!  And Pumpkin (aka Chloe) was adopted today!  So she went home with her new family.  Check out the happy customers page for pics.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Uh, people!

So, some people make me sick. 

Ok, so awhile back, I had this one adoptive home ask if I had another chin they could adopt.  They had asked about a specific chin which was already on hold, and I asked if they wanted to know if that person backed out.  They did.  So, like two days later I see their post on facebook which said they had gone to the humane society and picked up for themselves a beige chin.  So, what was the point in telling me they wanted to know if that person backed out?  Anyway.

So, this person was on facebook talking about putting the two chins together.  Now, mind you, the chin they adopted from me was an aggressive male who had badly injured other chins he was in with, so he was sold with the "introduce others at your own risk."  He was a rescue, as was the female she picked up at the humane society.  So I got on facebook and posted about how she had bought him knowing she's not supposed to put chins with him or breed him or whatever.  So, she tells me, she was planning on splitting the cage down the middle, or something like that, something which would allow them to sniff but not breed.  Nope, still a problem.  You know why?  Cause chins can breed through the bars.  So she swears up and down she's not going to breed and has no intention of putting them together.  And she would never breed rescues, she knows that's wrong. Ok, fine.  I don't believe her, but there's no reason for me to think she's lying other than my gut, and the male chin in question is long since out of my control.

So, I get on facebook today and she's on this one chin group that I almost never go on, except for the fact that some of my adoptive homes post on there, and she has said:

Hey long time no talk, but to all that were involved in the convo about my aggresive male and his new friend, they are getting along perfectly, she wears the pants in that cage. :)

O.M.F.G. Really?!?!? 

So I say -- so much for saying you wouldn't put them together cause you didn't want to breed rescues :(

Her:  They're not breeding they really havent touched eachother, they're just not fighting. and my other cage broke. so i had no other choice.

Me:   Unless you're watching them 24/7, you don't know they're not breeding. Believe me, they are. I get in tons of male/female pairs each year that people swear up and down they don't breed... funny, it's amazing how the female will always pop out babies a few weeks later. They don't understand they're rescues, they're a male and female, and they are animals, which means they will breed, whether you see it or not. And you had no choice? Sure you did. You could have put the one in a carrier until you could go and get another cage. If getting another cage was too expensive, I sure hope that she doesn't have any problems delivering, cause you will find that is waaaaay more expensive than a new cage. 

....and, you are lucky he didn't kill her, because he was adopted to you as an aggressive male that had badly injured other chins in the past. So even trying to put another chin in with him was endangering the life of that chin.

She's probably sitting there, thinking, what do I do, sit around and wait for her to post?  No, I'm not, but it always does come back to me if some idiot adoptive home is being an idiot adoptive home.  

Oh, and I'd be really interested to know how this cage "broke."  I've had a lot of cages over the years, but none of them have ever "broke" out of the blue which would make them unusable.  

And she even said in the first post about her "aggressive male."  Fuck, he was SOLD to her as a chin that had almost killed several other chins.  That means you NEVER try to put that chin in with another one.  How difficult is that?  I even tell people, when I have chins that don't get along with others, that if they are even mildly thinking that they may want a second chin in the future, they shouldn't go with a "first chin" that doesn't get along with others.   

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Found the degu.

So, today was the day for putting up ads for the critters that have become adoptable in the last bit of time, and as I was getting to Lucy's ad, I realized I had all of one picture of her.  So I go downstairs with the camera and I'm walking past the table with the gp cage and the degu cage, and between the two cages is this odd degu-shaped thing.  Um.... yeah.  I walked right past at first and then had to backtrack.  Yup, that's a loose degu.

Whether it was the loose one I couldn't find or another one, now was the chance to catch it, and catch it I did.  Little stinker.  And it was the missing one, Trixie.

So, once I caught her, I noticed banana chips everywhere.  See, I have this bag of banana chips that didn't fit in my guinea pig treat container, so it has sat out on top of the container near the guinea pig cage for easy access.  Well, the degu apparently decided they were worth getting cause she completely tore through one side of the bag and got them everywhere. 

Now, degus can't process sugar.  They're like chins, but worse.  Some of them will turn diabetic if you look at them wrong, I swear.  Trixie already has diabetic cataracts, so the last thing she needs is more sugar, so what does she do?  Go straight to the banana chips.  Now, those banana chips were for pets, so they're not the super-sugary ones like that people eat, but still, they have natural sugars in them.  Little stinker.

Someone just told me, like just told me that they always want what you don't want to give them.  I don't even remember if it was related to the degu being loose, but at the time I was like thinking, ok this should mean something to me, but it really didn't at the time.  Course now, it makes sense, she shouldn't have any sugar, so she heads to the one thing that HAS sugar (well, natural sugar) in it, as there's hardly anything down by the pets that does, cause the chins can't have it and the degus for sure can't have it. 

Gotta give the furball credit though.  She did manage to get up, off the floor, and get up on that table.  Granted, I probably made it easy for her (unintentionally), cause the cage I had open for her to go in (with the food and water) was next to a larger cage, also on the floor (which her mom is in), which is next to the table I found her on (which the cage which her daughters were in).  Yes, I have three generations of female degus in my house.  So she had to scale the one cage, use it to jump to the other cage, and use that to jump to the table.  Bypassing her GOOD food to eat the BAD banana chips.  Go figure.   

Monday, November 26, 2012


So, been a busy last few days.

Had an escapee degu last night.  Still haven't found the little bugger, but I do have a cage set out with food and water so if she's smart, she should come looking for it.  I wrote down the date she got out, so if there's not a catch in 5 days, we can pretty much guarantee we're not going to be getting her back.  So far, it's not looking promising.  Haven't seen her all day.

Have someone coming today to pick up some supplies and look at one of the chins we have up for adoption.  I actually need to put up some more chins for adoption, cause right now, several chins are adoptable, but not listed -- Lilly, Keeper, Melon, Lucy, and Chloe (guinea pig).  So I need to get to work on those ads.

Not too much been going on.  Had some drama with someone over a package.  They told me they wanted the package to get here Thanksgiving week, and they were in the NY/NJ area.  Well, I've sent things to Jean, and I get packages from her, and they always make it here in 3-4 days.  So, I mailed out the package on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, cause they said they'd be home the later part of the week.  3-4 days should have put the package in by Friday/Saturday.  Well, go figure, it didn't get there in that time period.  This person emailed me asking for tracking.  Well, I don't do tracking unless it's asked for.  Well...... she said I should have inferred that she wanted tracking because she said she wanted it there around Thanksgiving.  I'm sorry, but I'm not a mindreader.  I don't do tracking cause most people don't want to pay extra for it, and the ones that want it typically will tell me they want tracking.  I currently have on my website that if people want tracking, they need to put a note in their paypal payment or let me know in an email, or else it will be shipped without tracking.  Well, of course, I put this up after I started talking with this person, so she says she didn't notice it.  Fine, but I still stand by the fact that if you don't orally or otherwise tell me you want tracking, I am not going to just assume you want it.  Sorry.  So now she's all peeved that I didn't get tracking and she doesn't know when the package will get there, because there's some problem with the post office guy leaving the packages at the door.  I guess someone has to be home.  Which created another argument, because in my defense, 3-4 days should have put the package in at Fri/Sat, which meant she would have been home.  But, the post office took longer, which I don't have any control over.  With the thought that the package would have been delivered in 3-4 days, they would have been home and it wouldn't have mattered if there was tracking or not.  But of course, this person tells me that everyone has always shipped her stuff with tracking so this is never an issue.  Everyone?  Really?  I order chin stuff pretty frequently online, and while some people definitely do tracking (and I don't deny that), I would definitely not say that MOST do tracking.  I'm sure if you ask for tracking, they will put tracking on, but not just automatically.

Ah well.

Got quite some interest in the GP's over the last little bit here -- just got an email from the lady who was interested in the female, saying she went with someone else, so I texted the second person in line.  The male with the blaze has pretty much for sure found a home, I just need to wait to get the adoption form through the mail.  That person is also considering the other male, and I told her, she needs to decide, cause I have a different person who may be interested in either the female or male, and so if she's not, then I could move onto the next person.  So we will see. 

Had someone email about Gumdrop.  I emailed them the rat care packet and adoption form, we'll see if I hear back.

I still need to combine the rat ads and put up the ads for the other critters.  Maybe later today after the people come.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last few days

So, not much been going on in the last few days, but it's life as usual here. 

Had an order for some Mazuri, another for a hammock & food bowl, and another shelf order that's been pending for months (was emailed about it, they said they didn't want it right then, and then pushed it back a few times), got all those out the other day. 

Have a few orders at the moment, need to work on those.  Several for custom houses, some for shelves, will work on those in the morning.

So, Lilly's mosaic female went home the other day, as did the three dumbo rats.  Go figure, just like I said, the lady went with the younger rats and my older ones are still here.  Next time anyone is interested in them, I am not posting any more rats until they actually go home.  Don't have the pictures up on the computer yet, need to work on those.

Joker had a baby, well, maybe a week or two ago now.  Looked ok coloring at birth, now looks really red -- this was her second shot to see how she'd do, both times we've had really red (pet quality for sure) babies, so she will be finding herself a good home in 4+ months. 

Cut up a ton of apples & carrots for the gp's.  Was at Misch's (polish grocery store) with my mom the other day and they always have produce for good prices so I picked up some more carrots and green peppers.  So the pigs will have carrots for quite some time, and they'll get some tasty peppers. 

So, my mom thinks she wants to hang onto the cream longhaired male guinea pig, but upon examination he's got some patch of sticky something towards his rear end.  It's hard to tell if it's like something stuck to him or something actually wrong in that area, so he will be getting a bath in the next few days, to see what's going on with him.  Other than that, he looks healthy and happy and definitely still eating and drinking like a pig, so here's hoping one of the kids at his previous home just stuck something to him and got him sticky.  We will see.

The three older male rats appear to be getting along together, so assuming that continues to go well, they will continue to stay together.  I combined their listings on the website, I'll do that for their other listings once they've been together a tad longer.

Guinea pigs are sexed and separated now.  Two males and a female.  The males are in with daddy and the females are in with the adult females.  I put up their ads, so now just waiting for someone to want to take them home.

Got in another order today for shelves, quite a few of them, but most of them are small and medium shelves, so that won't be too bad to manage.   I would get to work on all of this today, but I'm actually going out tonight (see, every once in a blue moon I do have a life), and I don't want to coat myself in sawdust ahead of time. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

One of those days.

So, today was one of those days.  One of those days where I wish I had someone else who I could say, hey, could you go deal with the animals today, cause I just am not feeling like it today.  No worries, everyone got fed/watered, but the guinea pig sexing did not go well, and we're still questioning the sex of one guinea pig, even with expert help (see facebook page).  That will be ironed out in the morning.

I have chin orders galore to do, but I really was not feeling like doing any of them, so.... they're all nicely stacked waiting for me to cut up wood and all.

I had someone email about the three older male rats that I have.  And sets up a time to stop by tomorrow to come adopt 2, potentially 3, if they get along.  So I intro the three, things are going well, I'm happy my older males are going to be going home....

....and then what do I do?  Post an ad for three younger dumbo males that are here.  Dumbass dumbass dumbass.  I never learn.  Never.  This is why those older males are still here, because the second I post anything younger, people switch from wanting the older ones to the younger ones, and the older ones continue to get older and older and the older they get the less desirable they are to the rat market.  So of course, if you didn't guess, I get an email, saying oh, are those available?  maybe I want those instead. Dumbass dumbass dumbass.

So now I'm kicking myself cause with the way things have been going now, she will take the younger ones home, which I could have saved myself writing the ads and posting all of them today, and the older ones will sit here until someone comes along feeling sorry for them.  Adoptions are at an all time low right now, and I have a zillion animals in quarantine/evaluation/pregnancy watch, and what do I do when I have someone looking to adopt 3 older animals?  Post an ad for babies.  Complete genius, let me tell you.  Couldn't have waited until after she walked away with the older males, no.  Would have been too easy.    


The only NON-stupid thing I managed to do was that I didn't get delete all the ads on the various sites for the older males.  Cause then I woulda been fuming having to put all those back up if she goes for the youngsters.  Course, she says we can talk about it tomorrow, but so far, it's never failed that people coming here to choose between older and younger, choose younger, especially when younger isn't costing them a penny more for the younger ones (which is only the case for rats -- guinea pigs and chins that are younger have higher adoption fees).  We will see, you never know.  I just wouldn't count on having the older ones go home anytime soon.

One day I'm gonna learn.  That day just wasn't today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's not all fun and games...

So, the other day I was talking about how people think we get in free healthy animals and adopt them out... and make money.... let me give you an example of the other side of that. 

Subject: Please... help.
I'm in a terrible fix and have a chinchilla that desperately needs the care of someone who can do better by him.
My name is Juan, and my chinchilla's name is Dauphine. He is about four years old, and is a friendly if somewhat reticent chin who is in a terrible fix of his own.

My wife has left me, taking his brother with her, and I have just gotten out of an extensive (three week) stay at a clinic for thyroid issues. It wasn't cancer, but even now they're talking about radiation treatment for other problems the stupid gland has, which will mean more time in and out of the hospital.

The problem is that Dauphine has teeth issues, and the girl that was supposed to take care of him and try to get him to chew in my absence did almost nothing but pop in to feed and water him. His cage is a mess and, I fear, beyond salvage, and he himself is in terrible shape. His teeth have overgrown extensively, he has drooled all over his underbelly and I suspect he has a cold.

With my wife goes half my household income. With my health issues goes most of the remainder. I have applied to a credit line that specializes in pet health care and gotten funding to have his teeth removed, which, after months of taking him to get them trimmed and all his suffering, will probably seem like a joy to him. I can also afford two donations over the next month of $100 each, which I can arrange as would seem best to you. Optimally, it would likely be a pair of dated checks, but I want you to be SURE I want to make these donations.

I REALLY... reallyreally... don't want to put him to sleep! He's been a sweet pet and a surprisingly good conversationalist, and just charming. It breaks my heart to think of giving him up, but hurts just even worse to think of having him put under. I can transport him anywhere he would need to go quite easily... I have the perfect little carry cage I got for pet visits.

I just really need someone to take care of him like he so richly deserves.

Feel sorry for the chin?  I do too.  But sadly, to sum up the several page response that I wrote to this guy... my response is basically, when we get in a malo chin, we will file it once, to see if it's just spurs, but if the teeth grow back, the chin is made comfortable until it stops eating again, and it is put down.  Malo is incurable and filing a chin, month after month, is hardly good quality of life for the chin.  We go go two different vets for the chins -- the one gives us a whopping $10 discount every so often (which I do appreciate, but it hardly makes it "cheap" for us to go), the other costs $68 to walk in the door, and if I want an extra syringe?  That's $5.  Doesn't matter that I could buy it online for 30 cents, they're an exotic vet and as much as they know what they're doing, they're also very money-hungry, have Mac computers in their office, and care more about the almighty dollar than helping people out.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think it should be free for a rescue to take an animal into the vet, I have no problem paying for services, but some people seem to think we get some huge discount.  We don't.  I told this guy, I would love to be able to save every chin.  But at the end of the day, with malo chins, you go from yearly filings to 6 month filings to 4 month filings to 2 month filings... and so on.  Until you eventually put the chin down.  Nothing will stop that end, the malo WILL eventually kill them.  And they will be miserable during all of those filings and handfeedings and all of that... until you finally end their suffering.

I have dealt with malo chins.  I don't want anyone to think it's just that I don't want to spend the money.  It's not that.  Though I definitely don't have that kind of money to spend on every chin.  But they really do not have the same joy for life, the same sparkle in their eye.  They're not happy when you're filing them so often and handfeeding until they start eating again, and then it's time for another filing an the circle goes round.  If there was a cure for malo, you'd see me taking in every malo chin.  But there's not.

And this guy's talk about pulling teeth -- short of pulling them all, which I wouldn't recommend, pulling some of them will only give the others nothing to butt up against... and cause those to need to be filed monthly to keep those in check.  It's not the answer.  Not to mention, we got a quote of $1200 to pull a tooth earlier this year.  There's a reasonable possibility of breaking the jaw when a tooth is pulled, so it's not done lightly. 

I told the guy about Care Credit, in case he wants to try to help this chin on his own, but I told him, as gently as possible, that even if I had room at the rescue (which we really do not right now, I don't know where I'm going to put the gp coming in next week), I would not allow a chin to suffer for years.  And filing and handfeeding one after another is no life for a chin.  As the chin's already been filed several times, there's no question this is a malo chin, and if he's drooling now... we would put him down.  Call me cruel, call me whatever you want, you can't save them.  The solution is to end their needless suffering.  And for what?  So they can stay here with us a few more years while they spend so much time at the vet, a good portion of their time eating critical care mush and looking like absolute hell cause they've drooled on themselves so much?  They don't enjoy it, it's taxing on both the owner and the chin, and I'm busy enough with the sick animals already here.  I can manage a chin that needs some dental work for spurs and then needs some handfeeding for a few weeks.  Toby was like that.  He had spurs, stopped eating, we got them filed, and after awhile of handfeeding, he started eating again.  That was when he was 1? 2?  He's now 7-8 and never had a problem since.  But the time needed to devote to a full blown malo chin just isn't in most people's ability.  Much less in most people's wallets.

Best of luck to him and his chin, but there's no magical solution to help malo chins.   I feel like his sentence -- I just really need someone to take care of him like he so richly deserves -- what the chin so richly deserves, if he's already covered in drool and has a cold -- is to be put out of his misery.  Sorry, but that's my belief.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Because I promised... Rochelle update!

You all should see me running around like a chicken with my head cut off over here.  But I promised a Rochelle update days ago, so here we go --

She went to the vet on Monday and had her laser treatment.  Vet was amazed at her progress, said that he thought the necrotic tissue would eventually fall off on its own, so we can just leave it alone for now.  She still has one more laser therapy treatment (today) and the vet thinks she will not need any additional therapy.

Her fur is starting to grow back on her leg, and the open-wound parts are very small now. The necrotic tissue is still there, but the vet said that could take awhile to fall off.  You can see the necrotic tissue as the black on the bottom of her foot on the 2nd pic.  She is still taking her antibiotics and will be for some additional time until she heals up fully.

Thank you to everyone who has donated or sent happy healing thoughts this way to help her get this far!  

Pictures (not linked this time, cause they're not graphic! yay!) --

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More ranting and raving bout Gigi

So, was posting some stuff on facebook, and it occurred to me it was totally stuff I should be writing in here.  So here we go (edited so it makes sense out of context):

I've had chins returned where someone contacts me saying it's not working out (or whatever the case) -- I don't make a big deal of it, I don't berate them, we just set up a time to get the chin back and move on with our lives.  No hard feelings, it happens.  It's the people who try to avoid returning the chin that everyone gets to hear about (negatively, of course) cause I really don't think highly of those people, to say the least.  The lady today said she wanted the chin to go to a good home -- sure she did -- but by listing her for sale rather than contacting me, she clearly pointed out (in her words as well), that money was a top consideration.  Don't bring back the cage and supplies, that's fine, sell those and make money for all I care, but the living animal?  I feel like if you're so caught up on the money you spent that you don't want to return the chin cause you won't make your money back.... that's just ridiculous.  If they really cared about a good home, they would return the chin, without me having to dig out their paperwork and call them, because they'd know that the rescue approving someone to adopt is likely a better home than they could find themselves-- not knocking anyone's ability to find a good home, but this person seemed like she'd give the chin and supplies to the first person who showed up with the money.  $120 hardly makes someone a good home.

If someone wants to return the chin, fine. I'd rather the chin be in a home where someone wants to take it out and love it than with someone who feels they have to keep feeding it and watering it cause they don't want to return it.  I've had people question my charging an adoption fee for the second time the chin is in the rescue.  Just cause I didn't pay money to have it returned doesn't make it free!  I still have to care for it, cage it, evaluate/quarantine it a second time, and so on and so forth.... but some people are so concerned about the money aspect.  I think some people really think a rescue is a gold mine, and let me tell you, those "free animals" I get in all the time drain the rescue bank account like you wouldn't believe.  If I didn't have all the wonderful donations (thank you, all) for Rochelle, I would have to adopt out a hell of a lot of critters to balance out what her vet bills cost me.  Just for example.  It's not like they come in for free, nothing's spent on them, and I make $75 per chin, it's more like -- they come in for free, I have to cage/feed/water them for several months, screen several adopters and waste plenty of time with the wrong ones before finding a good one, and then make $75.  But what do the expenses cost?  Food, filtered water, clean cage, my time... surely that's all worth something?  I've never actually figured it out, but the point is, it's not free, but some people act like I'm making out like a thief!  Me wanting money for an adoption fee is, I feel, so different from someone not wanting to return a chin because they WON'T get money.  Someone being able to pay me an adoption fee doesn't guarantee a good home, but it does help stop the impulse buyers and it does show that they are willing to spend something on the chin.  Rochelle's owners wouldn't even take her in for a basic exam, that was "too much."  I feel like they were the people who would want a free chin and though I don't know, I think they may have gotten theirs for free or for very cheap, because they were not willing to even spend a small amount at the vet.

What's even better is when I get these people on the phone (the ones not wanting to return their chin), they start trying to talk their way out of it, but you know what?  I'm not a doormat and they're not going to walk all over me.  I find out someone's trying to sell one of my rescues, oooh they're dead.  Every once in a blue moon, there's a reasonable excuse (i.e. the person selling the chins was not here for the adoption and did not see the adoption contract, so they legitimately didn't know they were supposed to be returned), but 99% of the time, the person knows full well and they're just trying to skirt the contract and that just boils my blood. 

I don't mean to imply this happens often -- it doesn't -- I haven't really had that many animals returned over the course of the rescue's existence (less than 20 total since 2003)....and even less where the people try to skirt the contract (probably under 5), but it just pisses me off when that does happen.  Just shows that no matter how well you screen, some bad ones work their way in.

Some of the problem with finding good homes seems to be that the chins are often bought as a "family pet," but the family expects the kid to care for it.  Which is fine, provided the kid actually wants to.  What seems to happen (not often to get chins returned, but often how I get them in the first place) is that the kid never cares for anything, like, the kid says they will take care of a hamster, but they don't, then a guinea pig, but they don't, and down the line, but when they want a chin, the kid swears up and down that "this time will be different."  The idiot parents BELIEVE the kid (*facepalm*), get the chin, and, surprise!, nothing's different and the kid doesn't want to care for the chin.  In the picture that I saw of this chin in her cage, there was a yellow ziptie clearly holding the doors closed.  REALLY?!?  I mean, yeah, this chin is a tad bit crafty (well, she darts for the door when you open it), but ZIP-TYING the cage shut?!?  Just screams neglect.  Cause how do you feed/water a chin that's cage is zip-tied closed?  Or how do you let it out to play?  People are just insane.  

I want to strangle them believe me.  The thought of going to jail for assault and not being able to help the animals, that overrides the desire to strangle them and tell them what I really think.  But it's definitely hard sometimes.  Like when Rochelle's owners asked me, once I spent money on her at the vet and she got better, could they adopt her?  Uh, no?  Oh.  Well, could they adopt another chin?  NO.  If they won't pay for a vet bill for one chin, nothing will make me think they'll pay for a vet bill for a different chin.  Right there is an automatic adoption rejection -- won't pay vet bills.  That, or I had someone recently get rejected for telling me he put the chins outside in the summer outside his window for his viewing pleasure.  And he didn't read our care packet cause he didn't need to (and wrote something to that extent on the form).  Um, wrong?  Just cause you think you know doesn't mean you know.  Humor me and read it, you just might learn something.  Sorry, but with the pet comes responsibility.  Won't pay vet bills?  Not getting pet.  Won't take a few minutes to read a care packet cause a rescue asks you to?  Not getting pet.  Dropping off pet cause won't afford vet bills?  Sure not getting pet BACK.  That's why surrenders sign a form (well, when they come in, no one signed anything today for Gigi) that says they will not have the chin returned to them.  Cause these dumbasses..... you know, it might be for the best that they didn't stop in today, cause I was ready to ask them about that cable tie, and I mighta just gone off..... 

Not to mention, poor Gigi reeks of cigarette smoke.  Not like, faint smell, like you can be holding her and I can smell her several feet away.  Now, I don't smoke, no one in the family does (and no one's ever going to, because I already have asthma and lung issues), but I don't understand how you can do that to an animal.  Sorry to anyone who smokes, but I really believe that if you really care about your animal, you're not going to smoke around them or in their general viscinity so that they will NOT smell like smoke.  If you do, you're hurting their lungs.  Sorry, but you are.  Smoke outside or whatever, keep the chin in a separate room with an air purifier, but this chin reeks.  What, were they smoking next to the cage?  I feel bad for the kids in the house.  Oy. 

Ok, I'm done for today.  I'm going to bed before I send my blood pressure through the roof thinking about the idiocy.   Will update on Rochelle tomorrow and hopefully get some more rescue stuff done.