The one concerning the exploding rat, and different tales of an unique veterinarian
So, who do you name when your husband’s beloved pet rat seems to have exploded whereas he’s out of city? No, not Ghostbusters. You name a veterinarian who specializes within the remedy of unique pets.
Now, I’m a canine and cat veterinarian. That’s my space of experience, in addition to my choice. Fortunately, there are veterinarians who commit themselves to the care of all of the various kinds of pets most vets not often see: Sugar gliders, rodents, snakes, lizards, rabbits, birds, and extra. One of the best is my pal and colleague Dr. Laurie Hess, who simply launched her first e-book, Unlikely Companions: The Adventures of an Exotic Animal Doctor (or, What Friends Feathered, Furred, and Scaled Have Taught Me About Life and Love).
I cherished this e-book. I believe, nonetheless un-exotic your style in pets could also be, you’ll like it, too. Or that it could be a fantastic reward for the animal lovers in your life.
Dr. Hess has supplied 5 signed copies to be given away to my readers. I made a decision to make it slightly instructional (I can’t assist it!), so it’s within the type of a quiz. I’ll put up a a number of selection pet query to my Facebook web page each few days by way of the tip of the yr, and choose a random winner among the many appropriate solutions left on the put up.
Want a teaser? Dr. Hess has given me permission to reprint one in every of my private favourite tales right here. Enjoy!
I recollected one… occasion that had begun with a frantic early-morning telephone name from Miriam Betts.
“Doctor,” she mentioned with urgency, “I think he’s exploded!”
“Slow down,” I mentioned. “Who’s exploded?”
“Harry, my husband’s rat.”
“Is your husband available to bring him in?”
“He’s out of the country on business,” she mentioned with contempt, indicating that her husband was the larger rat.
“Hmmm,” I mentioned. A rat—exploded? That could be a primary for me, though the veterinarian observe is stuffed with surprises. “Can you tell me exactly what you see?”
“I walked in just now to change his food and water, and there’s this mess everywhere.”
“And you’re not sure what it is?”
“It’s disgusting,” Miriam mentioned as if she had been standing in it now. “Pink and slimy.”
“Okay, here’s what I want you to do. Put on a pair of dishwashing gloves and pack the cage into the car. Meet me at the hospital. Can you do that?” I requested.
Twenty minutes later, Miriam dropped the cage onto the examination desk and shuddered, “Yuck.”
One look into Harry’s cage, and the “explosion” began to make some sense. First of all, Harry wasn’t really a rat however an exceptionally hefty home mouse. A cute one, too, I believed, with a snowy white stomach and a cinnamon-speckled face. Also, Harry had simply given beginning to a wholesome litter of child mice. Twenty-two, to be actual.
I smiled. “Congratulations are in order. Harry didn’t explode; he just had babies.”
Miriam furrowed her forehead and tentatively leaned into the cage. “Those are babies?”
Relaxing in a mattress of sawdust along with her eyes closed, the home mouse regarded fairly cozy and content material along with her litter of peanut-sized pups affectionately nuzzling her.
“Yes, and maybe you should consider changing Harry’s name to Harriet.”
Miriam didn’t appear to search out my suggestion amusing or useful.
She regarded again into the cage with the identical extreme expression she’d worn since she had arrived. She studied the heap of newborns.
I opened the cage and punctiliously rolled one into my hand.
“We call them ‘pinkies’ because they’re hairless and pink at birth. And they’re actually not slimy, just a little wet from coming out of Mama’s belly.”
Miriam grimaced. “Where are their ears?”
“Baby mice are born blind and deaf, which is why their ears are stuck to the sides of their heads. It doesn’t look like they have any, but see,” I mentioned pointing to a skinny, pink fold of pores and skin on the aspect of the new child’s head. “That’s an ear. Their eyes kind of look like they’re sealed shut too.”
“Well, those don’t look like mice to me,” Miriam mentioned and backed away.
“They do look kind of alien, I agree, but that will all change in a couple of days. They’ll begin to grow hair, and within a month they’ll look like little versions of their mama.” I smiled. “It’s really quite fascinating to watch.”
“Fascinating?” Miriam turned sharply towards me. “My husband’s out of the country, Dr. Hess. I cannot take care of twenty-two babies.”
“I understand it may seem like a lot,” I reassured her, “but you really won’t have to do much.”
“No!” She raised her voice. “You’re not hearing me—twenty- two babies are too much!”
Miriam was shouting at me, so I undoubtedly heard her. I may empathize, too: for her, twenty-two child mice had been twenty-two greater than she may bear. I bought it; all of us have our tipping level. Still, I wasn’t about to absorb her new household of mice.
“Okay,” I mentioned. “Let’s figure this out. When will your husband be home?”
“Not for another six days,” she mentioned, nostrils flaring.
“These first days are important,” I mentioned calmly, “but they’re manageable. As long as Harriet does her job attending to and feeding her babies, you really won’t have to intervene.”
“And what if she doesn’t do her job?”
“Then call me.” I made a decision to not share with Miriam that if Harriet did ignore her twenty-two infants, they’d have to be fed commercially out there system for child rodents by way of a dropper each two hours and supplied with a small heat field heated to about eighty levels Fahrenheit; they’d additionally have to have their bellies gently rubbed with a Q-tip after feeding to stimulate digestion. I knew that detailed listing of directions would seemingly ship Miriam over the sting, so I mentioned, “Let’s assume for now that everything will go fine. And then after your husband returns home we can help you find new homes for all of these baby mice.”
“He’ll be looking for a new home too,” Miriam muttered.
“You can do this,” I mentioned. “Take a deep breath. It will be okay.” And I inhaled deeply myself. Miriam grudgingly adopted my lead.
Excerpted from Unlikely Companions: Adventures of an Exotic Animal Doctor (or, What Friends Feathered, Furred, and Scaled Have Taught Me About Life and Love by Laurie Hess, DVM with Samantha Rose. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Press, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
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