The whole story


Post   » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:09 pm

I took everyone to the shelter vet this morning. Degas had visible dried crust around his/her nose by this morning -- pretty obvious and gross. while the vet was examining Degas, I was holding Rodin. I noticed that Rodin had dried snots on his front foot and pointed it out to the vet. Rodin didn't have noticeable discharge from his nose. So both the babies are on antibiotics (Bactrim).

The vet really is the shelter's vet and invoices the shelter; he has awards in his office for service to the community, etc. But he didn't recognize that "Oxbow Cavy Performance" was a guinea pig food. I had to explain twice that it was the alfalfa-based version of a guinea pig feed. He told em to be sure to feed a pellet made for guinea pigs. "I am. Made by Oxbow. It's called Cavy Performance."

He told me to be sure to feed a slice of orange every other day -- this was after I told him that the guinea pigs get leafy green vegetables every morning, including kale and chard. He gave the babies Vitamin C shots "because these pigs are so often suffering from scurvy" and, as I was leaving, told me to start adding Tang to the water in small amounts and then building it up to a higher concentration over time.

I wasn't terribly upfront with him. I sort of sighed and said that I was feeding the vegetables because I knew they would eat them, and that my personal guinea pigs never really liked oranges too much.

But I'm annoyed with myself too. I feel as if I should have really had a conversation with him rather than nodding back to him. This is the guy the shelter is going to recommend new guinea pig adopters go to, and he's going on about Tang. He also mentioned, as I was stepping out the door, that we were lucky that it was only upper respiratory and that the baby had no rattly lung sounds. I agreed. Then he said, "It's not really an infection per se, more of a mechanical obstruction. Make sure you keep the dust down."

If it's not an infection you gave me antibiotics, why exactly?

"I bed on towels and fleece."

"Just make sure you only use kiln-dried, OK?"

I thanked him and left.

I'm thinking I'll have to go back in two weeks when the prescription ends -- I guess I can have a conversation with him then. It was a bit disturbing. More so I think that *I* didn't correct him as I felt as if he wasn't *my* vet. (My vet is in another county, 20 minutes away and is terrific with guinea pigs. I know the shelter isn't going to use her, more's the pity.)

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:34 pm

Maybe you could give him a GL care book when you visit next time? It's really sad that his information is so outdated that he hasn't even heard of Oxbow!


Post   » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:53 am

You know, that's a good idea, the care book. I think I actually have and extra one here that I never filled in. I can flag the nutrition section for him.

I guess I left there feeling annoyed with myself because he was in the grandfather age bracket. On the one hand he was very good the the guinea pigs, and complimented me on taking such nice care of them, even while he slipped these odd comments into the conversation. I kept letting each one pass.

Of course, when my vet said my pigs were, ahem, fat, I let that pass too. One of them is just over 2 pounds. I'm still not sure how that qualifies. Uh. Yeah. Clearly not a favorite topic of mine.


Post   » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:57 pm

I'm going to have to separate babies from mother on Monday. I know one of them is a boy, but I haven't been able to really tell about the other. The one with red splashes on the ear seems to be a girl.

If that's the case, then I'd have one very lonely male pup here and a cage of three females.

Last night while cleaning the cage I held the babies for quite a long time. Rodin, the baby with the most black, crawls right up my chin and sniffles at my lips. Quite cute. The other, Degas, is a bit jumpier -- not scared, just more active and not as interested in hanging out in my lap. Degas looks as if s/he may end up as a medium or long hair. Fluffier face and his/her coat covers the genitals.

Sue and CavyHouse has generously offered to take the male baby (with the shelter's approval, which they've already given) as soon as he's done with his Bactrim. I've felt so bad to think of Rodin at three weeks all by himself in a cage.

However. Good news! Good news! Last night I got Degas to settle long enough that I managed to really inspect his/her nether regions.

I'm not sure that I've ever been quite so happy to find a penis. (Just don't tell the husband.) Yay!! Degas is a boy! Rodin won't have to be alone! All four can go back *as bonded pairs* to the shelter. Happy dance.

(I have to say that Red and Gopher were not at all upset that the babies were out of the cage for so long. And the babies didn't seem to be particularly upset either. As soon as I put the boys back, all sorts of rumblestrutting and annoyed squeaks ensued. Technically Monday is the 21st day, but I might set up a cage over the weekend and do The Deed a day early. We'll see.)

I'm going to try to get some pictures this afternoon. Between the poor quality of my too expensive camera and the flitty nature of the babies, I'm not sure I'll get much, but I'll try.

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Supporter in '11

Post   » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:26 pm

Oh that's nice news. Now Rodin won't have to make the trip here and be paired up with someone. He can stay with his brother.

We have plenty of piggies already.


Post   » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:24 am

I will probably get into trouble for this, but at least I dont work for that retched place anymore, but Br. Linville isnt a very expierenced cavy vet and they [the humane society] really need to find a better one.
Just My opinion!


Post   » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:51 pm

Beans_sarabeara, I hear your frustration. I do.

On the other hand, I am currently a foster family for the shelter, I volunteer for them, as does my eldest daughter, twice a week, and I'm nervous about starting up any sort of difficulties with negative public postings about the shelter. I just can't go there. And I think it's better to work with whatever vet the shelter uses rather than naming him here. He's coming around, with decent information and lots of conversation. Although he's still a pretty big advocate of Tang. <shrug>

In terms of the shelter, it's a no kill facility, and they do recognize the importance of taking proper care of the few guinea pigs they get in. With lots of prompting, they do use private rescues, but it's not the first thing that comes to mind. The shelter doesn't use petfinder or their own website well, and the facility tends to be cold and crummy looking. Yes, there are problems, but most of those have to do with understaffing and underfunding. As long as they are providing C&C cages, free hay, and decent veterinary care for the guinea pigs, I'm supporting them in their efforts.

Rodin and Degas were weaned over the weekend and are hanging out in my daughter's room. Red and Gopher are in my office, learning about "The Hand" and lap time and veggies. One day they may even wheek at me. Looks like everyone is going to stay here through Christmas. I'm going to see about getting a petfinder listing put together for everyone on my own time.

I have to get pictures of everyone, especially now that Degas and Rodin are older. Still so tiny though!


Post   » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:15 am

I dont know, maybe because its because I worked there but I feel ok shelter bashing... maybe its because I worked there, but I wont mention it anymore. And by mentioning that doctors name I am hoping fellow Vallejoians seek better for their piggies! Im glad all the piggies are doing well!


Post   » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:32 am

In terms of helping Vallejoans find better vets, you'd have a long list to name if you're going to list non-cavy vets. It's better I think to keep repeating the GOOD ones. As it is, I have yet to find a cavy savvy vet in Vallejo, Benicia, Suisun, or American Canyon. I found my present vet either on Guinea Lynx or from the referrals on Cavy Spirit. She's in Pleasant Hill, VCA Cottage Veterinary Hospital. And Four Corners in Walnut Creek is great too.

Sara, if you have something specific to say about the shelter then you could start a thread on your own. But I'm not quite seeing the point of "bashing" here when it's clear from the entirety of the thread that I'm trying to work with the shelter and the doctor in question. Cavy House works with this shelter as I believe does North Star Rescue. As of this moment there are no guinea pigs at the shelter you are so angry at -- they are all in my office. I'm not sure you're accomplishing what you'd like to accomplish.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:54 am

You are doing such a wonderful job, Suisan. The guinea pigs are very lucky to have you and your family helping them.

I look forward to pictures. :)


Post   » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:55 pm

no comment.


Post   » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:24 pm

Here they are at three weeks old!

I don't have much in these pictures for scale reference, but boy are these guys teeny! They are so cute -- rumblestrutting and popcorning all over the place. Just now as I'm typing, they are diving under a fleece tent, rumblestrutting, and then bouncing back out to grab one tiny mouthful of hay, and popcorning back to the tent. Quite engaging.

Here's Rodin. He's entirely black and white with a broken band of white over his hips.


His brother, Degas, has a wider white blaze on his face, a white partial collar, and an incomplete band of white on his hips. He also has a dash of red on his neck, and part of one ear is red too. He's the bouncier and braver of the two.


Here they are together, frozen as they try to figure out the flash.


There are some more in this album -- none of them great. I tried to get pictures of Gopher and Red, but they either ran out of frame or cowered under a blanket. I'll try again tomorrow. Gopher has put on quite a bit of weight though, and her coat is very shiny, which is gratifying. Red has decided that we're not ALL bad, but she still runs as if she's going to hurt herself when The Hand makes an appearance. I feel bad for her.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:13 pm

Lord those babies are beyond adorable.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:57 am

So much cuteness. :)

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Supporter in '11

Post   » Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:00 am

Suisan - I'm glad to post them on our petfinder website if the shelter doesn't have one. I would need digital photos, information about the piggies and contact information.

Thanks for helping the critters and thanks for volunteering for the shelter to make some positive changes.


Post   » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:26 pm

VCA Cottage in Walnut Creek is no longer able to see small pets!!!! Just a heads-up.

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