May 17th, 2012
In all of my years as an exotic veterinarian, I have never had any practical experience or personal experience with fish. It is one of those things that you really don’t need to learn about on a professional level, unless you want to. I sat through some interesting continuing educationg classes on koi health a few years back, and it was entertaining but that was about it. Well, now that my son is almost three and we have been watching Finding Nemo, I am thinking it may be a good time to set up as small aquarium in the house. I think I would like to start with a freshwater aquarium and I am looking into Glofish, genetically engineered phosphorescing fresh water fish. This process seems like it will be a great educational experience for me to learn about aquariums and fish and I know my son well enjoy his very own tank. But, truthfully, I am very nervous. My friend was generous and gave me an aquarium and quite a bit of the equipment that I will need. She also gave me information on how to setup the tank. But it is daunting since I don’t even know what anything is. I am planning to take a trip to the local aquarium store in the next day or two so I can find out what I need, recommended number of fish, how to clean things properly, etc. I just hope I am not getting in over my head. I also am in the process of trying to find a good aquarium stand. Somethinig sturdy that won’t break if a toddler leans against it and something that won’t allow a cat to attack my fish. I am definintely concerned about how my cats will react. I know that it will be a source of entertainment for them but I have to figure out where to place the aquarium that will prevent fishing expeditions and other mishaps that my cats can think of. My goal is to try and have the entire setup finished by my son’s birthday. That gives me about 5 weeks to get my act in gear. As I make progress, I will document my project and my final result.
May 4th, 2012
Next week is the grand opening of Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Alxendria, Virginia. As of Wednesday, May 9th, I will be splitting hours between Ashburn and Alexandria. This is very exciting for me as I have never worked this close to the Beltway.
The address of the new location is:
295 S. Van Dorn Street
Alexandria VA 22304
Appointments are currently being scheduled through the Arlington location.
April 2nd, 2012
Well it is spring…flowers are blooming, birds are chirping. Holidays are around the corner. This is the time of year that many people start to see baby bunnies. In the stores and in the wild. So here are some suggestions when you see a baby bunny and want to take it home…
1) If it is a wild bunny that you have found, DO NOT TAKE IT. Wild bunny parents only come to the nest 2 times and at usually at dusk and dawn. Often, the babies are left in the nest alone during the day–but momma is watching. If you continually check on a nest the momma will abandon it. So if you see a baby by iteself, let it be. A good suggestion by the Wildlife Rescule League of Virginia is to place a ring of flour around the nest before dusk. If you do not see large rabbitt imprints in the flour by the next morning, then call the wildlife experts. A person that takes a baby in and has no experience or training in feeding and caring for the rabbit young, is in for a tough experience. Most will not survive. Besides, it is not legal to remove wildlife from the wild! For more information: www.wildliferesculeague.org
2) If you see a cute baby bunny at the pet store, friend’s house, farmer’s market, breeder, or other bunny friendly local, you can take it home. However, it should not be an impulse buy. A bunny is a commitment, similar to buying a cat or dog and can live for 7–15 years. They have lots of specific needs and requirments including veterinary care.When you purchase a juvenile rabbit, there is a good chance they are carrying parasites and this with the stress of a new home can lead to life-threatening diarrhea. I cannot stress enough the importance of having an exam and a fecal performed on any new bunnies to your house. Husbandry training and parasite testing/prevention can make the difference between life and death. Bunnies make great pets as long as you are prepared for this new addition to the house.
Although I am focusing today’s blog on bunnies, the same information goes for all other wildlife, including baby chicks and ducks, and reptiles. If it is wild, do not take the babies—this is illegal and the animal is less likely to remain healthy with you than in the wild. If it is a injured or sick, contact your vet or wildlife conservation league. If you decide to purchase a baby duck or chick for the holidays, please consider the long term life of this animal. If you do not have a farm or a facility to keep it for the rest of it’s life with the proper care, do not purchase them. It is unfair to keep them as babies and then try to find a shelter or farm to take them when you no longer want them. If you want to adopt a reptile or bird, please contact your vet for proper husbandry recommendations to keep the pet healthy and happy. Rabbits, birds, and reptiles can be fantastic additions to your household. You just want to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row (pun intended) before you bring them home. Happy Holidays!
March 21st, 2012
There are some great events going on locally. If you live in the Ashburn area, Broadlands Nature Center (21907 Claiborne Parkway, Broadlands) is having a meet and greet of all of their animals on Saturday, April 14 at 12:00 pm. They have a wide array of animals that the naturalist, Lisa Matthews, will be showing to the audience. I will be there to answer questions about the animals and exotic care.
If you have an interest in rabbits, Bunny Lu is having an open house on Sunday, April 22, 2012 from 11–4 pm. Location: 4280 Padgett Dr. Haymarket. There will be a variety of speakers as well as bunnies for adoption. I will be discussing nutrition and rabbit dentistry. I hope to see you there
March 16th, 2012
Caring Hands Animal Hospital will be at Dulles Expo Center (Chantilly, VA) for the Super Pet Expo. Join us this evening and all weekend. I will be at the Expo on Saturday March 17th. I hope to see you there!