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Critters : Ihop Update, cockatiels and some thoughts on Beantown.  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2008/8/27 17:20:00 (1759 reads)

First off, I got an update from the vet's office regarding Ihop this morning... Dr. Pinn over at Vermont Equine called and said that the flushed Ihop's right front leg again and did a regional limb perfusion (which is when they put the antibiotics right into the site of the infection) and there was no discharge from the leg. I know, this sounds gross but it's really good news. Ihop's temperature is normal and steady after 36 hours and she has received no banamine. (Folks, banamine isn't safe for foals so if you are reading this, don't think it's okay to give ANY banamine to a foal without close supervision from a good veterinarian. Banamine gives foals ulcers!) She is putting a little more weight on the foot as well. We still need x-rays to determine if their was damage done to the bone, so we are still not out of the woods, but the infection, for the most part, is over. I will keep you posted.

I picked up a pair of cockatiels (well, the nice lady who gave me the 'tiels said they are females but I am not so sure) in Montpelier, VT this afternoon.

The first thing I need to do for these two is quarantine them and make sure they get a better diet than seed and start them on some Birdy Banquet. I have a sexy boy cockatiel I would like one of them to meet eventually...

So last week I went to Eastern Massachusetts/Boston. My whole excuse for going to that part of New England was to see my big paint horse, who is leased to the nice people over at Olde Dartmouth Farm. It was a beautiful facility, the neighborhood was gorgeous (and that is saying a lot because I hate the ocean and this was right on Buzzards Bay) and Cindy, the barn owner, was great. My real reason for going to that area was so I could visit a LUSH store somewhere near Boston. I'm addicted to Lush and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Nothing has done more for my hair that Lush's Retread conditioner and I doubt anything else ever will. Anyway, I made it to the shop in Harvard Square and two great shopping assistants helped up my mom and my niece while I just stood in awe at the wall full of bath bombs. I got Sex in the Shower before I even got to the hotel... wanna see?

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Critters : The Trouble with Ihop  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2008/8/26 11:50:00 (1937 reads)

Ihop is one of the ponies that live with us at thisdirtyhouse.com. She was born on 6/10/08 at 12:35 AM.

So here's the story with Ihop:
My family and I were out of town on Tuesday and Wednesday. We got back late on Wednesday night and fed the ponies in the dark. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, all the ponies were accounted for. When I got up Thursday morning, Ihop was on the top part of the hill that makes up our pasture and was clearly lame, struggling to get down the hill. A call to our regular vets, Dr. Stuwe and Dr. Cornwall, informed me that our regular vets were out of town and Dr. Barry would be filling in for them. I called Dr. Barry who was unable to get out until that evening.
When he arrived, we had brought Ihop into a stall and upon examination he saw her clearly swollen leg and check her temperature at 103.6 (VERY high for a horse). He ultimately recommend Ihop be admitted to the Vermont Equine Hospital in Milton, VT. We gave Ihop her first dose of antibiotics and made preparations to take her the hospital the following day.
Upon our admission to the clinic, Ihop was x-rayed and then sedated.

The dot you see on the left side of her leg is a gas bubble.
Her leg was shaved, cleaned (it was after those two that we actually found the wound itself.. it's tiny), lanced and flushed with a betadine solution. She was then sent to a hospital stall where she has remained since Friday 8/22/08.

We are currently waiting on a culture taken from the goo that came out of her leg and follow up x-rays that can show us any changes that might have happened to the bone.
As of the morning of 8/26/08, Ihop's temperature is normal and her white blood cell count is down. She is still limping but I'd be limping too if you kept cutting my leg open and flushing it out.
Ihop's hospital bill is going to run us about $5K. We are going to need help paying for this big bill and would greatly appreciate any and all donations to help pay for her care.

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Critters : The Trail of the Bat...  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2008/7/21 10:00:00 (1622 reads)

We kind of figured that tracing the trail of the Ziplock bat would be nearly impossible and chalked his appearance in our bed as a freak incident.
Friday night, while I'm handing feeding our four baby cockatiels on the dining room table and look up to see this:

That's fly paper, folks... complete with flies.

But it's chewed on flypaper.

What else would be chewing on the flypaper when it's hanging? Upon closer inspection, it appears that the paper had been chewed on by a critter with sharp teeth, like... a bat.
Thy flypaper is located in the dining room, right next to a window. After checking out the window, we notice a small tear in the screen. Okay, I get it. Ziplock bat came through the little tear in the screen chasing all those yummy flies that are sticking to the flypaper in the dining room. He got caught up in the fly paper and chewed himself loose. Once free, he probably fell on the floor (which explains why he had collie hair all over him) and crawled down the hallway to the next room - our bedroom. We've got this great fuzzy brown blanket on our bed and the exhausted, confused, sticky, collie fur coated bat probably saw that blanket and said "MOM!". He crawled up on to it at some point while we were sleeping and voila! There is a bat in our bed.

Wanna hear some stuff about rabies you might not know?

5 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Rabies

1. There used to be these horror stories going around about how rabies shots were 28 shots in the stomach. While that might have been true years ago, these days, if you get bitten by a questionably rabid animal and need shots, it's a shot (usually in the arm but preferably close to the bite) on days 1, 3, 7, 14 and 28. The first shot is given in combination with human rabies immunoglobulin, giving you short-term immunity while giving the vaccine a chance to take effect.

2. Rabies was originally called "Hydrophobia". A classic symptom of rabies is the inability to swallow. This is also the cause of the "foaming at the mouth" so commonly referred to in rabid animals - they are unable to swallow their own saliva and within a few days, that foamy, frothy stuff appears. After a few days of not swallowing, the animal develops a fear of water and will become terrified at the mere sight of it.

3. Rabies kills about 50,000 people worldwide every year. In the US, that number is about 12, averaging one a month. Raccoons are the most common carriers of rabies in the United States but bats are most likely to infect people.

4. If you wake up in the room with a bat, catch the bat if possible and take yourself and your bat friend to the Emergency Room even if you do not appear to be bitten. The most common cause of rabies deaths in the US is from the victim waking up to find a bat in their room and discarding the bat, only to develop symptoms a few weeks later. Bats have very small teeth and my husband said that had he been sleeping, he would not have even woken up from the bite. Most people that die of rabies in the US did not know they had been bitten. Even I would have required rabies shots had Ziplock bat been rabid. According the CDC, if the bat is in your room, consider yourself exposed. Vaccinations should begin as soon as possible and ideally no later than 48 hours after initial exposure. Rabies has the highest case fatality rate of any known infectious disease and is virtually 100% fatal following the onset of clinical symptoms.

5. There are six known survivors of symptomatic rabies. Only one, Jeanna Geise of Wisconsin, survived without the vaccine using an experimental treatment now known as the "Wisconsin Protocol". Of the other five, only one had a satisfactory neurological outcome and the remaining four all died within 4 years as a result of neurological complications stemming from their bout with rabies.

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Critters : From the bed to the bag to the bucket with a bat.  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2008/7/19 22:50:00 (1007 reads)

Kevin's alarm goes off, bright and early at 6AM. He feels something near his leg and he goes to brush it off. Whatever it is still there so he brushes it harder and feels a pin prick. He jumps up, grabs his glasses of the night stand because hubby is, like me, blind as a bat and sees something brown and fuzzy. Then he sees wings. Of course I jump out of bed with him because I'm thinking he's got a nasty ant or something in the bed and I loathe bugs. When I ask what it was he says "A bat! And it bit me!"
I don't see a bat anywhere. Not that I doubt hubby but in this messy house, the bat could be anywhere and in my own hasty retreat from the bed I missed the bat's frantic scramble up to and under the pillow. When hubby lifts the pillow, lo and behold there is a little brown bat lounging comfortably.
Okay, so I've heard that if you get bitten by a questionable animal, you need to bring said questionable animal with you to the Emergency Room if you can. I have to wonder how you bring a rabid raccoon with you but I have yet to meet anyone who has had this unpleasant experience. Anyway, I grab a towel for Kevin to catch the bat with but he wraps the towel around his waist. Not my intention but I guess he's got to protect the family jewels from a possibly rampaging bat. I'm off down the hallway to find a tupperware container. Only, since you haven't seen my house yet you wouldn't understand but my kitchen is way too messy to easily locate a tupperware container and a cover. I did eventually find a cover and a container but you weren't expecting them to match, were you? So I grabbed one of those neat Hefty BIG bags and once hubby trapped the offending bed bat, we slipped him in the partially open tupperware container and then into the bag, woke our daughter up and went to the ER.
So, it's a little before 7am in our little local Emergency Room when in we walk, to the front desk where a guy in scrubs asks us what he can do for us. Hubby informs him he's been bitten by a bat, shows the intake guy the teensy weensy little pin prick on his right index finger and I, standing behind hubby, hold out the ziplock bag and say "here he is".

"You brought it with you???"

Why does this seem so surprising? I thought you were supposed to bring it with you. I don't exactly walk around with bats in ziplock bags so I can throw them in my salads at restaurants hoping for a free meal.
We are ushered off to an examination room and the curiosity seekers ER staff start strolling into the room to see the bat ask my husband what happened. Eventually the attending physician shows up and informs us the Health Dept. lab will not open until 8 so we can just hang out until they can be reached and asked how to handle the situation.
Have I mentioned The Dark Knight started today? I'm thinking this is an omen. Hubby's company gave away a pair of Batman tickets two weeks ago... now I think they need to ante up a couple more tickets for their very own Batman.
Eventually, the VT Dept. of Health tells the attending doctor that we have a choice: bring the batty ziplock bag up to Burlington and they can give us a result at the end of the day OR the hospital can ship the bat up to Burlington and we can start our first rounds of rabies vaccine (a total of 5 shots instead of the 28 it used to be) while we wait for the results of the test next week.
When your choice is "wait through the weekend to see if you have a deadly disease/start shots now" or "drive an hour and know today/possibly avoiding shots", you're driving. Okay. I'm driving.
So ziplock bat gets stuffed into a bucket and a nurse returns with two signs on white paper and three inch letters in red sharpie ink - "?RABIES. LIVE BAT" and "For Dr. Johnson".

So with bat in hand, er, car, we drive to the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory and bring Dr. Johnson, our state veterinarian, the bat assailant. Dr. Johnson dictated the directions to the staff at the hospital and we do truly appreciate that but Dr. Johnson, if you are reading this, please don't forget to tell the uninformed that the parking lot for this building is behind the building and you can't access it from the road the building is actually on. We passed the parking lot, got on to Colchester Ave. like you told us to but we had to turn around to get to the parking lot.

Long story short, after a few hours, Dr. Johnson calls to tell us the offending bat is rabies free. Fortunately for us, we have been saved the battery of rabies vaccines. Unfortunately for the bat, his head has been cut into little slices and placed on a slide under a microscope.
Tomorrow I will document how the ziplock bat's evening went... as far as we can guess.
RIP little ziplock bat.

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