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Oh, the things we do for our pets…
Posted: 28 May 2011 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Okay, some of you may (or may not) have noticed my posting a few days ago about my chinchilla, Gizmo, being sick.  He got pretty listless, didn’t want to eat or drink much of anything, his eyes got all gunked up, and he started hanging out at the bottom of his cage rather than in his house up top.

Well, I’d wanted to take him to the vet earlier this week, but we’ve only got one running vehicle, and several people that depend on us for rides, and lots of errands that needed to be run—not to mention flooding that closed down one of the major routes to the end of town where this particular vet (recommended by my regular vet, since my regular one doesn’t handle exotics) is located.  Between one thing and another, I couldn’t take Gizmo to the vet during the week, and he just got worse.

I called up the vet today, knowing that there would be an extra charge if the trip would count as an “emergency hours” visit.  Sure enough, a regular visit only costs $42 (before they do any x-rays or anything like that), but an emergency visit costs the $42 plus a $75 emergency hours fee. gulp  I was going to schedule an appointment for Tuesday, knowing that Gizmo probably wouldn’t make it that long, but when I said something to the receptionist about not being able to afford to bring him in today, she told me about Care Credit, which I had vaguely heard of before, but didn’t realize it could be used for vet services also.  So I applied, got approved, and took Gizmo in to the vet’s today.  And I’m probably going to end up using all of the credit they approved me for, but as long as I pay it off within 6 months, there won’t be any interest charges—I’m pretty sure I can do that.

As far as what’s wrong with Gizmo—the vet told me that he was showing signs of being on the way out.  She thought she felt something in his stomach, but didn’t know what it was—could have been plastic, or could possibly be a tumor.  He’s dehydrated, and just very listless.  I told her to go ahead and do the x-rays, which show his stomach to be distended, and his bowels to be full of trapped gas.  His temperature was lower than normal (they’re normally supposed to run about 99-101).  Dave and I decided to give surgery a shot, so Gizmo is currently up at the vet’s with an I.V., some oxygen, and a heating pad, plus they gave him some shots.  If he stabilizes, the vet said she’d do an exploratory surgery to see what’s in his stomach.  If he doesn’t, the vet doesn’t want to do the surgery, because it wouldn’t be likely that he’d survive.

It’s kind of crazy to me to consider spending this much money on a little fur ball that doesn’t really like to be handled much, but he’s part of the family.  It’s always fun to watch him in his dust bath, and he’ll sit and stare at me if I’m even a few minutes late bringing him his food.  And when he eats, he looks like a little squirrel—he uses his paws like hands to hold his food.  He’ll even sometimes eat from my hand, and has come to expect me to hand him a pumpkin seed or sunflower seed for him to eat first when I put food in his bowl.

I really hope he turns out to be okay.

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Posted: 29 May 2011 02:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Awwww…Best wishes to the little critter.  I know we’ve shelled out a lot on Holly over the years, what with having to have a knee reconstruction at 5 months and allergy issues all her life.  But we do tend to make sure our pets get good care when they’re on the ill side, even if we can’t afford (or just don’t want) to always do the same for ourselves.

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Posted: 29 May 2011 02:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s 12:45 am and we just got a call from the vet.  Apparently Giz never stabilized enough for them to consider surgery. Skip down if you don’t want the major details… After he didn’t make it, the vet went ahead and did a mini-autopsy to see what had happened, and apparently the little guy had the chinchilla equivalent of ‘horse colic’. That is, something he ate twisted in a weird way inside his stomach and cut off the blood flow.  The stomach tissue was already severely necrotic, so they would have been unable to do anything to help even if they had cleared the obstruction.

At least the vet was able to make him more comfortable for his last 12 or so hours.  They put in an IV because he was dehydrated, and put him in an oxygen tent so he could breathe much easier.  Although he perked up a bit, it just wasn’t enough.  (Like most ‘prey creatures’ by the time one sees ANY sign they are ill, they are already VERY sick. (They hide any problems because the weakest animals get ‘et.))  I think he knew he was cared for until the end at least.  downer

Gizmo was a wonderful little furry guy.  Although he hadn’t been socialized much, he would come down into your hand to eat, and enjoyed Shawna holding and petting him. (She was the only one he would sit still long enough to ‘pet’ him much.) smile  We have had him for at least 5 years, and he was the softest thing Shawna and I had ever touched.  He’ll be missed. downer downer downer

A rather sad day. downer

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Posted: 29 May 2011 02:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gustav tends to be very low-maintenance.  The only big expenditure I’ve made on him was his terrarium, which was about $70 or something like that.  Though that was because it was a fancy-ish one; I could have simply used a $20 aquarium.  “Furniture” for his home was hardly any real expense, and a couple times each year I need to buy a bag of wood chips (not cedar ones).  Food is mostly just leftovers from my own cooking.

And as for vet bills. . .I’d imagine that any vet I took him in to would be rather bemused.  My options in that regard would be very limited, so it’s a good thing that he’s been healthy for the most part.  However, he is getting along in years.  I figure that, comparatively speaking, he’s about 120 years old right now.

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Posted: 29 May 2011 03:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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downer  Awww…

*hugs to the Prime clan*

Acci, Gustav still needs to mutate into a 50 foot-long monster before he can die!

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Posted: 29 May 2011 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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My prayers are with you.  I’m looking down at my little (albeit overweight a tad) Ernie, thankful that he loves me enough to lie at my feet while I type away at the computer.  Family comes in all sizes, shapes, colors, number of feet, and percentage of body to body hair.  Love them all.

You will never regreat that small loan.  You will always know you did all you could do and will wonder, what if?

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Posted: 29 May 2011 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Buttercup was my life, soul and breath.  She was my one constant during a long stay in hell.  She slept with me, ate with me, showered with me….........she was my life and that may sound ridiculous, but there it is.  When she became ill I was alone and on unemployment, with no vehicle, no bank account, no credit.  I had received an income tax return a while before she became ill and had saved it.  I never knew why I did that, but I did and went without food etc. when I did.  I myself had no medical insurance of any kind and was in pretty bad shape.

When Buttercup became ill my landlord found a vet to see her since she too was an exotic like all birds seem to be.  I carried that income tax check with me because it was all I had and simply signed it over to the vet (the amount was well over $1,000).  My landlord also knew that I then had no money to pay for rent.

Buttercup lived only another month before she had to go back to the vet again and that was the last time.  The day my landlord was to take me back (this vet was a sizable distance away) to pick her up, I got a call from the vet…............  I screamed, dropped the phone and just ran out my door and ran and ran and ran.  I ended up in some woods somewhere a good distance from my apartment in a rural area.  I had no idea really where I was but I stayed there on the ground for a very long time.

I have never grieved for anyone as hard as I grieved for that little bird, not for my parents, not for my brother. 

I never wanted to love again and that’s a reality, hard, flat, unimaginable.  It took five years before I would even consider dating a human.  And even longer for me to accept another bird.  I would NEVER, EVER have wanted FuzzyButt except that he was in great need and there was not a hesitation when that call came to me. 

I have Buttercup’s ashes, I also have Lookachoo’s ashes (my cat) who passed away a few months ago. 

Yes we love our animals, our critters because I think on some level we know that everything here on this earth is a part of us both individually and collectively.  I honor most those who understand this one very simple and elegant ideal.

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Posted: 29 May 2011 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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*doffs hat*

As my father always says.. if it doesn’t hurt, it’d mean you didn’t care.

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Posted: 29 May 2011 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Very sorry to hear about your fuzzy loss. downer

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Posted: 29 May 2011 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks, everyone. *hugs*

We’re going to pick him up from the vet today so that we can bury him.  Seems appropriate somehow that it’s raining today.

Later, I’ll have to take his cage down and clean it—it’s going to be weird not having it there.

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“Like a crazed Nigerian wearing LifeWave Energy Patches” (Nettie, on the night she “banned” me from the MoH!)

“What fools these mortals be…”—Smaug (according to Robert Asprin)

Visit here to help my dragons grow! Thanks!

Dum vivimus, vivamus!

And oh, yeah—my blog.

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