A week on the ranch (February 28, 2011 - March 6, 2011)
by, 03-07-2011 at 09:03 AM (540 Views)
This week brought two new guests to the house. The first is a small white water bird who has been hanging out at my pond. I think it is a small egret. Very pretty, all white, and freaks my dogs out to see it, so I know it is there when everyone starts barking! I am sure it has dined on a few of my goldfish, but the pond is deep, and the smarter fish can hide under the water plants, so I suspect most will survive.
The second guest is my elusive little feral cat. I finally caught her, and she is now living in a crate in my laundry room, while what turned out to be a broken leg heals. She'll be with me for about a month, so you may hear about her for the next few weeks!!
On another animal-related note, I transported two little chi-terrier puppies up from Selma to El Dorado County this week. (I picked them up in Lathrop.) Very cute little pups, a boy and a girl, eight weeks old. They spent one night with me, and then went to the county the next morning, which is probably a good thing. I have been checking PetHarbor.com to see if they are listed there, and haven't seen them yet, so they either haven't been taken out of quarantine yet, or they were adopted right after surgery and never had to be posted.
It has actually been a week full of animal-related issues. I had Herbie checked, because he has been picking his feathers, and it turns out he has high cholesterol!! So he is off seed entirely, much to his dismay, and I have replaced his diet with a large assortment of pellets and some low-sugar, low-fat, human food. I also made up a big batch of bean/veggie mix for all the birds. I used to feed them all that way, and then I got lazy. Herbie's issue was a wake-up call. He also had higher-than-normal pancreatic levels, so he is on Metacam for a couple of weeks, after which we'll re-test him.
I had two of my finches tested as well, because one was acting lethargic and the other appeared to be going blind. The first is in isolation and on Baytril, and seems to be bouncing back. The other, as it turns out, has cataracts!! The vet says it is not uncommon, but she has never seen it in finches. Apparently, as long as I don't change anything in the aviary, the finch will be able to find her way to food and water, even blind, so the vet recommended just letting her live out her life. I was sure blindness in a finch would be a death sentence, because they are so reactive, and I was glad to hear I was wrong.
The vet also found giardia in one of the finches, so all the downstairs birds (finches and parakeets) are on meds (in the water, thankfully) for that for the next two weeks. Finches are notorious for pooping in their own food and water, and even though I change their water daily, their food is in a big bird feeder and gets changed only as needed. I am going to just have to be good about treating them as a preventative, probably quarterly. I decided to treat the keets as well, only because they are in the same room, and I was worried that maybe I carried it over from one cage to the other in the process of changing water, food, or paper.
Riley also went to the vet this week, but just for a booster to his vaccines and bordatella. He is down to 70.1 pounds (from over 95 at one point in his life) and looks pretty good for a ten-year-old!! After we were done, I took all three dogs up to the mountains to play in the snow.
Happily, everyone else seems to be healthy and well, and at least all the problems this week were treatable ones!!