Posts Tagged ‘rabbits’

How Do I Love Thee?

Friday, May 27th, 2011

When we were newly married and I was trying to convince my husband that we NEEDED Max the Cat, my Mom said the words that got Max’s paw in the door. ..

“Russ, Do Not Make Her Choose.”

Russ is allergic to cats.  And guinea pigs.  And their hay.  Oh, and rats.  Mostly rats.  We have had them all.

By the time we had Fuzzy and Wuzzy (our 4th and 5th rats) he honestly could not breathe in their presence.  He just did not go into the living room, and if he did, we ended up in urgent care.  “You NEED to breathe, Finch,” I said, in a rare moment of logic over emotion.  He ended up on pretty strong allergy medications for the remainder of the rats’ lives.  He could not breathe well, and he ALWAYS felt miserable, but he did not die.

Crazy, huh?

You know what would be crazier?  If I insisted on a 6th rat…or a 6th and a 7th.  (You know, so Six wouldn’t get lonely.)

We adopted Fuzzy and Wuzzy (Hairless Dumbo Rex littermates) with the misguided hope that they would be less allergenic than their furry predecessors, ButtercupRita and Cookie.  Cookie actually ended up living with Mom and Dad because…yup, Russ could not breathe in her presence.

Fur does not cause allergic reactions.

Allergic reactions are caused by protein in dander, spit and pee.

HOW MANY years have I been telling friends and clients that very thing when they beg me to approve of their Sphinx Cat/Chinese Crested Dog-adoption-to-be because they are just sure hairless pets (or low-shedding pets, like Poodles) are hypoallergenic?  *sigh*  We were just sure hairless rats were hypoallergenic.

Not that that notion is totally misguided.  Some pets seem to cause less intense allergic reactions in people than others:  those with less hair slough less dander, are easier to keep clean and probably have a genetic predisposition to being less allergenic.


We knew better.  But we sure loved those rats.  I am grateful Russ coexisted with them for almost three years.  I will not ask him to do it again.

Thank you for not making me choose, Russ.

In honor of Russ’ kindness, I have written this poem.  My apologies to  Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  I am quite sure this is not what you meant your poem to be.

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

If we live sixty more years more or less

And you stay on your meds and hold your breath,

To the very end of our married days…


I love thee more than all the future pets

We’d get if we filled our house like we do–

Got one of each color or maybe two.

I’d love all these Finches-to-be, and yet…


I love thee more than all of our future pets.

We could have two or four rats at a time!

And rabbits and piggies, kittens and cats,

Just a rough guess, that’s about ninety-nine

Pets we could have were we crazy like that.

But we’re not, and I promise, I’ll be fine.

See full size image


CareFRESH Blog!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

I am SO excited about my newest writing project!  I have been working with CareFRESH for a little over a year, and the team decided to start a blog on the website.  I love it!

Lavender CareFRESH bedding complimented Fuzzy and Wuzzy’s gorgeous skin the best of all the colors…

With this project, I will be less able to just go with my random kicks, and need to focus on themes and schedules and such much more than I do here on Riley and James, which, honestly, will be very good for me!

I am fairly disciplined, but (I have only ever told Russ this, and just very recently…) a large part of my discipline is extrinsic.  For example, I love having a made bed every morning, but if FLYLady did not tell me to make my bed, I probably would not!  I love being a veterinarian, but if I had not had the structure of veterinary school, I would not have learned all that I have.

And I love writing about environmental enrichment of <hamsters>, but if I were not led to write about it, I probably would not!

I will write somewhat shorter posts than what I normally write here, focus on small pets – rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rabbits and ferrets – and send the team every single picture I have of Fuzzy, Wuzzy, Princess and Piggy!  Feel free to send cute pictures of your Warm Fuzzies too!

Wuzzy in her Classroom in a Box

I will let you know where on the CareFRESH website the blog is as soon as I know.  It will probably attract a similar crowd to the Ask-a-Vet part of the CareFRESH website (kids and adults who are in love with small pets – two of my very favorite subsets of humanity!)  It will be an interactive blog, which will be very fun.  I hope you will come join me as often as you can!

For now, will you help me come up with topics? Do you have questions that would be best answered in a longer post than the Q & A of Ask-a-Vet?  Are there things about your own favorite small pet species that you think everyone should know, but may not yet?  THIS is going to be fun, people! :)

Princess Gerbil



Adopting an Easter Bunny

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Learn as much as you can about <rabbits> before you adopt one.

Do not surprise the kids with a <holiday> <pet>.

Whenever possible, rescue your new pet!  You are saving two lives, that of your new pet, and the life of a pet who can use the resources that the rescue or shelter now has available.

I was going to go on and on about those three things, but you already know all of that!  And if you do not, you will after hopping around today’s awesome blog hops!  Instead, I will tell you about my favorite rescue organization, Nebraska Humane Society.

Sometimes the Nebraska Humane Society has super cute rabbits up for adoption.

OK, I didn’t have as much to say about that as I thought, either.  This is going to be a short post!

Happy Hopping!  Happy Easter!

Thank you Carrie for hosting today’s Easter Rabbit Adoptathon!  Visit Carrie’s awesome blog, All Things Dog to see some very cute bunnies up for adoption across the country as well as her own very cute bunny Robby.  Her Help Page has great rabbit information too!

Today I am hopping with the Always Awesome Saturday Pet Blogger’s Hop and the New-to-Me Easter Rabbit Adoptathon.  Feel free to join in both.  Thank you for stopping by!  And thank you Blog Hop Hosters!

(Easter) Bunny Trails

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Every once in a while, I post a list of posts (mine or other ones that I think are fun).  That way, you can click the ones that look interesting, then click links on those posts…until you are completely immersed in pet information and lost on the internet…you know, Bunny Trails.  Fun!  Today’s Bunny Trail is a list of posts on the veterinary website dvm360.

And speaking of bunnies, my Saturday’s Pet Blogger Hop post this week will be about rescue bunnies and whether it is a good idea to surprise kids with REAL bunnies on Easter and will be linked to a NEW blog hop on the All Things Dog Blog.  Thank you for the kind invite Carrie!  Click this super cute picture to learn more about All Things Dog Blog’s Easter Rabbit Adoptathon!

Along the bunny theme, here is a picture of one of my very favorite and cutest patients, Sophie Voss.  She is an English Angora Rabbit.  Her color pattern is called “broken.”  Isn’t she gorgeous?  And so soft!  She was the first bunny I ever spayed.  Thank you so much Stephanie for trusting me with that “first!”  What a trusting friend, huh??

I called my veterinary school classmate, Anne Belshan, DVM and Micah Kohles, DVM, Oxbow’s veterinarian and a small animal practitioner in Lincoln Nebraska, (who had both done more rabbit spays than zero) for words of wisdom, and they were both SO helpful and encouraging.  Sophie did wonderfully and everything went without a hitch!  As ovariohysterectomies go, rabbits are actually easier than dogs, cats, rats, hamsters and mice!

…and along the bunny trails theme, here is a list of posts on dvm360…


Conflict Resolution

Season of Joy (the Puppy)

A Dramatic Wellness Exam

Do Pets Mourn?

And finally, along the Easter theme…Remember! You can have cats or Easter lilies, but not both! Lilies are very toxic to cats’ kidneys.

May you have a wonderful and blessed Easter season.  Send me pictures of your own gorgeous bunnies (and other pets!) and I will post them too!

Some Numbers and Statistics

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Age children should be before they own a reptile: 6.

Age children should be before they have primary care of a pet: 12.

Age children should be before the family owns a pet prone to aggression: 18.

Age I was married: 24.

Age I had my second child: 30.


Favorite dog name: Joey Cupcake.

Favorite cat name: Mr. Narwhal.

Favorite rabbit name: Junie B. Jones.

Suggestion for their new bunny’s name: Judy Moody.

Dogs or cats: both.

Being a vet or being a Mom: being a Mom.

Crabby owners or crabby pets: crabby pets.

Treating or preventing: preventing.

Hamsters or pit bulls: pit bulls.

Dogs I have disliked: 0.

Cats I have disliked: 0.

Number of years I have been a vet: 8.75.

Number of years I have been a mom: 7, including gestation.

Number of crabby owners I have had to deal with lately: 1.

Number of crabby pets: 10 maybe? But if you have read “Will Benji be there?” you understand why it was not their fault!

Primary guideline for scheduling appointments: No crabby owners, crabby pets are just fine.

Coworkers who stand by that with me because it makes work very fun: 5 of 5.

Coworkers on my list of favorite people: 5.

Percent of pets who come in for prevention-related reasons: 90.

Percent of pets who come in for treatment of disease: 10.

Hamsters who have bitten me: 3.

Percent of hamsters who have considered biting to thank me for their great care: 98.

Pit bulls who have bitten me, or even tried: 0.

How these statistics, excluding the hamster bites, make me feel: happy.

Average lifespan of a dog: 12 years.

Oldest dog I have known: 17.  Breed: Poodle.

Average number of years that are added to a dog’s life when fed properly: 2.

Average lifespan of an indoor cat: 13 years.

Average lifespan of an outdoor cat: 3 years.

Oldest cat I have known: 21.

Breed: Siamese.

Indoor or outdoor: Outdoor.

Average lifespan of a betta fish: 1 year.

Age of our betta: 3.

Secret of Fish’s youthful beauty: oxygen.

Most common cause of death in pocket pets and exotics: improper diet or housing.

Amount of Internet information on pet care that is accurate: 50%, I would guess. But I still maintain that it is a great place to start.

#1 cause of death in cats and dogs: euthanasia due to behavior issues.

#2: euthanasia due to overpopulation.

Most common signalment of a dog with cancer: senior patient who has had excellent care and grown old enough to develop cancer.

Most common issue owners who have pets with cancer deal with: guilt.

Stages of grief owners go through at the loss of a pet: 5.

Percent of dogs and cats over 2 with dental disease: 80.

Frequency of dental cleaning recommended for average adult pet: once a year.

Average lifespan of guinea pigs: 5.

Age of Piggy: 3.

Most common vitamin deficiency in guinea pigs: C.

Animals that do not make vitamin C: Primates and guinea pigs.

Amount of vitamin C in Piggy’s daily supplement: 25 mg.

Number of guinea pig diets with adequate vitamin C: 0.

Number of guinea pig liquid supplements with adequate vitamin C: 0.

Diseases Piggy has had: 2.

Diseases related to vitamin C deficiency: 0.

Most common vitamin deficiency in birds: A. Most common vitamin deficiency in reptiles: D.

More favorites…

Favorite rodents for children: rats and guinea pigs.

Favorite rats from children’s literature: Nicodemus and Templeton.

Favorite mice from children’s literature: Mrs. Frisby, Herman the Great and Ralph.

Number of favorite dog breeds I have: 23.

Number of least favorite dog breeds I have: 2.

Number of breeds I have mixed feelings about: 4.

Favorite canine from children’s literature: Carl.

Other favorites: Ann and Dan.

Number of favorite cat breeds: 1.

Number of least favorite cat breeds: 0.

Favorite feline from children’s literature: Socks.