Saturday, August 18, 2012

Busy busy bee

Well, let's just start out by saying my day started very early, like, let's go back to 12 midnight.  I'm downstairs making sure everyone has food/water for the night.  As I go to each cage, I'm also weighing all the critters for their bi-monthly weigh in.

I notice that Pixie (guinea pig) is hunched over what appears to be a dead baby guinea pig.  I reach in and gently push her until she moves, and sure as anything, stillborn baby.  But I don't see anymore, so I leave it and weight.  Second baby is born, also stillborn.  And standing there and waiting and third and fourth babies are born.  One is clearly moving, the other is still in the sack, and Pixie has walked away and left the babies.  So, I grab the one in the sack, try to get it out.  You'd be surprised how thick those sacks are, had to get scizzors and finally got the baby out.  But.... it did sort of a "heave" motion twice and passed.

But, there was the living baby that was clearly moving.  Pulled it out of the cage, dried it off.  Went upstairs and rinsed it off, continued drying it off.  So, I notice it can't right itself up.  Like it can clearly move all its legs and everything, but it sure can't stand up.  And it's getting cold.  So out comes the heating pad, some pieces of towel (so it's not directly on the heating pad) and rub rub rub.  So, somewhere in all of this, it's now 2 am and I am holding a squirming baby gp that is almost dry but cannot right itself. 

I ended up putting Pixie and the baby in a 10g tank so that she couldn't get far from the baby during the night.  I would never normally put a guinea pig in a fish tank, but this was just for a few hours.  So, when I left, Pixie was munching on her greens and pellets and baby was still struggling to get up, but was partially under mom, so I was thinking ok good she'll at least keep him warm.

... let's fast forward to this morning.  I go down there... Pixie's in the cage.  As well as some "part" of the baby that I cannot make out what part I'm looking at (other than it had an arm/leg attached).  So... she ate it.  So, Pixie went back to her usual cage, I cleaned out the tank, and that was the official start of today.

So, I decided, I have all of this shredded paper, I should maybe clean ALL the cages and swap out everything (cause I tell you, with the humidity, even "relatively clean" smells).  So, I did that.  All the cages on the table and all the runs now have shredded paper.  And the rat stack has new shredded paper.  On the rat stack -- it looked dry to me, but boy did it smell.  And since the paper's free... so I swapped those out too.

Started clearing off my workstation table, which had become a catch-all for everything under the sun that made it's way downstairs but hadn't been put away.  Made up a new batch of rat chow.  Put a LOT of stuff away.  Realized that many of the cages I'd set up as temporary cages didn't have name plates on them, so got out the card holders and cable ties, and now they do.  Realized that all our spare cages and our one cage for sale were really taking up a crapload of room, so those all got pushed against the wall.  Still need to tackle the pile of cage donations that Jim brought awhile back, but that's probably not happening today.

Replaced some waterbottles, as two of them (one on a chin cage, one on a rat cage) had a hole chewed in them.  Had to re-hook a water bottle several times to the one rat cage cause they kept knocking it over.

Folded up the rabbit playpen, cleaned out the litter pans, and swept up the mess.  Until Honey comes back, anyway.

Made some more hay rolls, but didn't distribute, cause I just gave everyone their usual hay today.

Somewhere amid all of this, I got a phone call from someone on my waiting list.  See, I had realized that I had a very vague "what they wanted" -- it said "cagemate for tripod."  Well, that doesn't say much in terms of what she wanted regarding age, sex, color, etc, so I had messaged her yesterday on facebook and she had called this morning, when I was out.  So, when she did get ahold of me, she told me that in the foreseeable future she will not be adopting any chins.  Turns out, her mom asked her to watch this kitten for her for several days.  Well.... the kitten had coccidia, and despite her washing her hands and not having any contact between the kitten and the chins... two of the chins caught the coccidia.  To put it in a nutshell, this happened on a weekend, she was calling every vet within 3 hours of her, she got seen by several idiot vets, and finally a good vet at the end... but by that point, it was too late.  So, both of those chins (she has four total) passed, the kitten passed, and her mom tried to play off the chins' deaths as if it had nothing to do with the kitten.  But, the vet said that if the kitten had it, then somehow the chins had gotten it from that, whether it was airborne or whatever.  So, she's completely ripping up the carpets in the rooms the cat/chins were in, has the chins now getting playtime in an area with linoleum flooring (can be sterilized a lot easier than carpet) and is taking her remaining chins into the vet just to check once again that they're ok.  Those two tested negative for coccidia, but she wanted to be certain.

So, I suppose the short answer to my question was, "when I'm ready for a chin, I'll call you."    But that's horrible what happened to her chins.  Without really going into it, the vets she dealt with were complete idiots, giving her waay too high a dosage of some meds, refusing to give sub-q fluids to severely dehydrated chins, wanting to give a completely limp/lethargic chin gas to put it under for x-rays (even though the chin wasn't so much as twitching -- but was breathing).  Complete idiots.

And another person on my waiting list went bye-bye today.  I had someone on the list looking for a 0-3 year old rescue, which I have, and I had asked her about it.  Wasn't sure if she'd be the home for that chin, but thought it couldn't hurt to ask.  But she didn't get back to me and so I sent the 2 day notice and told her, not only would she not adopt the chin, she'd lose her spot on our waiting list, but here it is Friday night and she didn't respond, so she's gone too.  That's ok, makes the wait quicker for other people hoping for a chin.

So, back to the basement.  Our dehumidifier.... the plug had somehow fallen into the tank, so I had it sitting out drying for most of the day.  When I was sure it was sufficiently dry, I prayed... and plugged it in.  And it still works!  So then came the task of emptying the tank, which had had hay fall in it and had turned the water a nice murky, spider-y brown color.  Ick.  So, took that outside, dumped it, back inside, cleaned it, and turned the dehumidifier back on.  Oh it was miserable down there, 72 degrees and 66% humidity.  Ugg.  Even my temp/humidity monitor said the humidity was "high."  So, with the dehumidifier running for several hours, brought it down to 51% humidity, which my monitor says is "ok."  I would still prefer lower, so right before I went upstairs for the night, I emptied the tank again and set it out on high.  So hopefully running all night will get some more humidity out of the air.

So then came the task of taking everything downstairs that had piled up upstairs.  That included 36 feet of lumber, some bagged stuff (like in store plastic bags), four large bags of the shredded paper bedding (don't doubt that cause it's shredded paper that it's light, it weighs a freakin TON), 125 pounds of Mazuri, two bags full of waterbottles/food dishes (that had been washed and were waiting to be taken back down)... and the occasional oddball thing.

So, took that all down, amid some nice huffing and puffing and wheezing and puffs on the inhaler.  Actually got the four bags of paper shavings to stack on top of each other to help conserve room.  Put away the water bottles/food dishes... put up this plastic hideout thing for rats in one of the cages...then realized it would be good with one of the corner hammocks Jean sent for the rescues, so I put that up in one of the cages.  So now there's a small pile on my workstation table, versus the overflowing table (I shoulda taken a pic) with stuff stacked 2' high on the table.

So, one thing I came across in all those bags of stuff to be taken down was the screws for the last FN.  So, I put that together.  And it's sticky.  Granted, I didn't take it outside to wash, I just sprayed it down with vinegar/simple green, but ah well.  Will have to clean it again and get those door hinges working a little better before anything goes in that cage.  But at least everything's there.  In fact... I have two extra... I don't know what they're called, but they're these little black things that help connect the stand to the bottom level and the bottom level to the top level.  So... the assumption the whole time was that they had three of these cages and I had wrong parts/missing  parts cause they were with their third cage and I was given the wrong part (like the one metal piece which was supposed to have holes which didn't, so I had to drill holes....I bet they have an extra one with holes).  Well, here's the thing.  I have these metal connectors... and I hate to be an ass, but I can't help but laugh and be like (evil) "hehe."  Cause man, these cages cost me such a fortune with the missing parts and pans and screws and everything, so now it pleases me that they're missing two pieces for their last cage.  Mind you, these pieces are all of like 4" long and they're probably easily ordered from the company (though, maybe not, as those pieces aren't used in the new model 182), but I'm enjoying the fact they don't have two pieces they need.  Cause they cost me an additional like $65-70 cause of pieces I was missing.

But anyway, that's together, almost all the pets have newly cleaned cages, and it's not too much of a mess down there, so all's good.  Still upset that we lost the four gp babies, but what can you do.  It was a productive day nonetheless.  Hopefully tomorrow will have a little more relaxation thrown in there.  But it's hard to say, cause I really need to make some poo-guards for some ledges.  But one thing at a time.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.

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