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.


New Beginnings

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.

That Time of Year

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:

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!

Save the Dates!

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

Dulles Super Pet Expo March 16–18

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!