Friday, February 4, 2011

Dreary Saturday

Greetings to all on this wet and dreary Saturday! (Well, at least where I am it is). It has been REALLY cold lately and I am ready for a warm day or two! Smokey and Sunny have a new cat tree and they LOVE it! It has multiple condo parts and many perches and is a favorite spot already for them. I am teaching both Smokey and Sunny some “tricks” for mental stimulation (because they are indoor ONLY cats) and they seem to like it (or at least the treats that they get when they do something right!). My gerbil Clark is doing GREAT and makes lots of noise at night on the squeaky wheel in his cage. Fiona is doing great also and has decided that she likes running around my room when I let her out (she used to be too scared unless she was in a playpen) so I have to watch her to make sure she doesn’t chew on stuff or get somewhere I don’t want her to be. Gex and Seze (my African fat tailed gecko and leopard gecko) are doing great, although, since it has been cold, I’ve had to use Seze’s heat lamp a LOT lately. Seze’s cage is fixed up with rocks and wood and she likes to climb to the highest perch in her cage at night. This is a bit strange because leopard geckos are not normally climbers. This just goes to show, however, that you should probably provide climbing opportunities even if whatever animal you are getting is not normally a climber.
The fish tanks seem to be doing well although I did lose a guppy (my female) after she got a bacterial infection. I cured the infection, but then, she wouldn’t eat enough and eventually died a few days later. The marine community tank had to be restarted because of high nitrates (caused by crushed coral substrate and an under-gravel filter) and hair algae (caused by the high nitrates) but is now doing well. The reef tank is doing well and has a new coral in it that I added a week ago. It is a Kenya tree coral and is very cool! I am also going to be getting a green clown goby for the reef on Thursday of next week.

My sister’s cat Sox (named after, you guessed it, the Boston Red Sox) has been pretty sick lately but is getting better. She had eosinophilic granuloma complex, which is caused by an allergy to something. It all started back in August or September when Sox was scratching herself so much that she tore up her neck and was put into a dog sweater (dubbed the “Sweater of Shame”) to stop her from doing this. Then in January, we noticed the granuloma (ulcer) on her lip and thought at first that it was just a cleft that we had not noticed but upon closer examination (and, surprisingly, no scratches) we determined what we were pretty sure was the cause (the eosiniphilic granuloma complex). After doing some more research, we discovered that the reason Sox had been scratching her neck a lot was also a symptom of the complex and so we took her to the vet on the next Monday. Sure enough, it was eosinophilic granuloma complex and she was given a corticosteriod injection and was put on antibiotics for about a week. This made the ulcer get better but also (on the last day of antibiotics) made her start bleeding. My sister (concerned about her cat) called me at 1:00AM and told me her cat was sneezing blood and asked me what I thought she should do. I asked her the usual (was the cat eating, drinking, acting mostly normal, etc) and we decided that it was not extremely serious but would need to be seen about. The next day, I watched Sox while my sister was busy and discovered that she was not sneezing blood but that her sore (where the ulcer had been) was what was bleeding and her sneezing was just making it “come out”. We called the vet again. He was not too concerned about it and told us that she might have to get another corticosteroid injection but advised us to go and get some Benadryl and give it to her. Well, it just made her bleed worse because she didn’t like the taste and spat it out (which irritated the sore). So for about three days, Sox couldn’t eat much (canned irritated it worse than dry interestingly enough) and continued to bleed periodically. All this time I did some research and found that she likely had a minor blood vessel (because the blood coming out of the area was pulsing and was opaque red) in the area that had been damaged and was causing the bleeding. It has gotten well now but she is back to scratching so it is likely that she will have to go back to the vet soon.
So, hope everyone has a fantastic Saturday and that all stay well in this cold and wet season!

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