Posts Tagged ‘Wuzzy Chronicles’

Vaccination Guide

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

My latest Wuzzy Chronicles article at is about dog, cat and ferret vaccines. Is everyone as excited about vaccinations as I am??  Ha!  You do not have to be!  But I hope this guide helps you.

During the same week that I was writing the article, friends and I were talking on #dogtalk about how absolutely horrendous we found the story of “Old Yeller” as kids.  If you do not know the story, DO NOT read the book or watch the movie!  In fact, I will spoil it for you so you are not tempted…the incredible Yellow Lab who just saved his kids from some possibly rabid wild animal is destroyed out of a fear of the zoonotic* potential of rabies.  As I so often yell at the end of Law and Order and CSI, “Why would you make this stuff up?!?”

I made these fake vaccines just for the article and had great fun doing it!  Yup, that’s red food coloring!  And real vaccine vials are not really that full, as my Pet Nurses all pointed out…but I think they are prettier that way!  Especially with the shiny blue and silver lids (which are also not accurately portrayed as rabies and distemper vials-again, I used them because I thought they were pretty!)

Sadly, at the time Old Yeller took place, rabies was a huge issue in America.  And lest we think it is a disease of the past, a handful of human cases occur in the United States every year.  And an average of 55,000 cases occur world wide every year! Fifty-five thousand people die yearly of this preventable disease!

I do not want our pendulum to swing too far in the direction of unvaccination.  Thankfully, we do not commonly see many of the diseases against which we vaccinate any more.  Much of that is due to strong vaccination protocols.  Outbreaks inevitably occur when we let our guard down.

Vaccines do carry risks.  We ought to avoid the risks as much as we can, and only use the vaccines our pets need, at the time intervals that will protect them the best.  But we should not forget the incredible things vaccines do for our pets, and even for us.

A vaccine list may seem a dry topic for an article, especially one sanctioned by Wuzzy Rat!  But I think the more we know about the health care of our pets, the better we are able to make wise decisions for them.  Let the list be a sort of launching pad…into a discussion of vaccines, diseases, risks, whatever you would like to talk about.  You, Wuzzy Rat and I can decide from there what issues Wuzzy Chronicles articles should cover in 2011!

Here is one of Wuzzy Rat’s favorite Chronicles articles from 2010…

Artists For Hope

*zoonotic=transmissable from animals to humans

Pet Loss

Monday, September 27th, 2010

My newest article at deals with pet loss and grieving.  We have had eight healthy pets for almost two years now, so I decided it was well past time to write this one that has been wandering around in my head and heart for a very long time.

When I started writing it, my Fuzzy Rat became very sick, and I wrote the article while holding her on my lap and hand feeding her.  If you know me, you know that was a bit difficult.  Ha!  I was a wreck!  I feared at times that I was writing the article for myself, for here and now…

Dealing With Pet Loss:  On Loving Pets…and Losing Them

Fuzzy rallied and is doing wonderfully.  I suspect she had a severe inner ear infection.  She will be on medication for at least five more weeks, but should do great.

However, in the time it took me to write the article, I lost three dear patients, two of whom were family (the rats).  I dedicate this article to YOU and your wonderful pets and also to…

Kiki the Cockatiel♥

Miss Molly Rat♥

Molly, Rest in Peace

Miss Clarence♥


You were well loved by your wonderful families.  Your company was crucial and your absence is acutely felt.  You will be missed, friends.  I was blessed to have known you.

Bunny Trails

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Here is a working list of stuff I have written located places OTHER THAN RileyandJames

Life With Dogs – weekly health column

AVMA Website Pet Owner Information (group brainstorming and editing)

dvm360 Website

Veterinary Economics Journal

  • Conflict Resolution, December 2010
  • A picture in reference to Liz Marsh’s February 2011 Firstline article, “5 Top Veterinary Blogs” which included Riley and James, March 2011
  • Do Pets Mourn? May 2011
  • Veterinary Pen Holder, June 2011

Firstline Veterinary Technician Journal

CareFRESH Website

      Banfield Journal

      The Wagging Tail Blog

      Sit and Stay Blog

        Dancing Dog Blog

        Dawg Business Blog

        #dogtalk (now #barkoutloud)

          Shadow Lake Towne Center Newsletter

          • Monthly Pet Tips since May 2010 (Also on the Banfield, The Pet Hospital of Papillion facebook page)

          Dog Time

          • This site has a copy of all of the blog entries here at Riley and James.

          Pug Partners of Nebraska

          • A 2010 series on Pug Health for new adoptive families – also published on Riley and James

          What I am Doing This Week: Spending Time With My Rodent Friends

          Monday, January 25th, 2010

          What I am doing this week is allowing all of my highs and lows to be determined solely on the basis of how the rodents in my life are faring.  Which, if you know me you know, is not unusual.  It just seems that this week, the highs have been especially high, and the lows have been especially low.

          First of all, we found out this weekend that our Wuzzy Rat may have a serious illness.  I am still processing it.  And I don’t even know the whole story, just the beginning of it.  However, when I do, I will tell you about it here and maybe on the blog of the awesome website I am now also working with,

          (I don’t know, is there a hairless rat blog section on

          I will let you know as soon as I know more how she is doing and would appreciate your prayers for Wuzzy.

          The good news this week is that starting in the spring, Petsmarts across the country will be carrying Oxbow Vitamin C tablets!! I have been discussing this the past few months with one of Petsmart’s veterinarians who oversees pet care nationally.  I have been asking if they would carry Oxbow Vitamin C 50 mg tablets and telling them why I think it is so important, and for such a large company, they responded amazingly fast.  I thought from the start that it was so kind of them to listen.  I know there were other pet lovers involved in their decision, but from here it feels like I said “Please?” and they said “Your opinion is valid” and more importantly, “yes.”



          And in keeping with our rodent theme, here is the “note” I left my friend Jenn yesterday at church…

          January 25, 2010  Jennifer VanCleve is my awesome friend who runs Westwood Church’s Preschool Program.  She asked me yesterday to check if her guinea pig Peanut was pregnant.  (She had accidently been left with a male guinea pig at a preschooler’s home.)  She was not.

          January 29, 2010 Yes, now there is really is a hairless rat blog section on!  I was kidding about having a hairless rat blog section!  You guys are awesome!  It will be called The Wuzzy Chronicles.  Wuzzy’s first article is up now.  YAY!  I am so excited about this new project!

          Talk about an emotional rodent week…while Wuzzy Rat is still not out of the woods health-wise, I just heard today that another Rat Friend, Jack the Rat, has passed away.  He was one of my very favorite patients, and the sweetest pet.  RIP buddy.  You will be dearly missed.