Health/Vet Posts

by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Farewell our Feathered Friend

July 2nd, 2014
Christopher resting in the vet room

Christopher resting in the vet room

Christopher, our barred owl that resides on the Farmyard, was euthanized on Monday. Keepers found him about one month ago not eating and on the ground several days in a row. We brought him inside, checked him out and then sent him to the NCSU vet school. To be honest, I assumed he would not improve, but after multiple tests, treatments, and supportive care, he took a turn for the better and starting eating and perching. Unfortunately, that turn for the better didn’t last. Sadly, the difficult decision was made this past Monday. He will be missed by so many people!

My favorite blog post about him was talking about when I took him to a classroom. There is a great drawing of him (and me, looking skinny, with my hair down, tongue out, and purple Museum dress).

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Keeper Comment :

    Last night when I was pet sitting I was outside with the dogs and a Barred Owl flew over our heads. It was very cool. I like to think that is was the spirit of Christopher letting us know all is well!!! And then I had a dream about him last night… he was acting very cute in the dream!!!

    Posted by Katy Harringer

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum for many years now. I spend most of my time behind-the-scenes in the Vet room. You might catch me out and about with one of our many veterinarians checking on the animals.
When I'm not hanging out with one of our vets I'm usually in the Vet room running a fecal looking for intestinal parasites! If I'm not up to my elbows in poo you'll find me at the computer updating the health records of our animals or preparing for Vet Rounds.

Zoe Keeps Katy Company

June 21st, 2014

In the Animal Department most of the keepers share an office. It is crazy to think, but we cram 6 keepers into 1 office! Sherry has her own office, but she has a window and her office opens into the Keeper office so she is always around much activity. Aaron has his own office, but it also has a window. For me I get to spend my time in the lonely Vet room without a window and without companionship so whenever an animal is ill and has to spend time in the Vet room I get a little too excited to have the company. Usually when an animal has to spend time in the Vet room it is for a very long period of time. We had a chicken (PPAL or Princess Poops A Lot) who spent over a year in the Vet room and there was Nimbus Rabbit who spent many months in the Vet room and now it is Zoe Turtle’s turn to hang out in the Vet room and I couldn’t be happier! I never in my life thought I would get so excited to have the companionship of a turtle but the days that Zoe gets to hang out with me are the best days of the week! I know he gets bored, but I enjoy his company greatly! Zoe is a water turtle and is recovering from a shell wound so he must be out of the water for a certain period of time to give the medication time to work. I’ve been trying to give him stuff to do while he “dry docks” (stays out of the water) but my ideas don’t seem to impress him, but today I put out a hide log and this is what he did with it!

2014 May 19 008

Zoe using Enrichment!

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Nimbus and Silkie Chicken hanging out in the Vet Room.

kt

Princess Poops A Lot and Katy in the Vet Room!

On Friday May 23, 2014 I had a very special visitor to the Vet room and I was super excited! Many people don’t know but we have a Red-tailed Hawk who lives off exhibit behind-the-scenes and on Friday we had some electrician’s working in Misha’s area so Misha got to come hang out with me in the Vet room! It was the best day, I had Zoe and Misha to keep me company!

2014 May 27 001

Misha hanging out!

2014 May 27 002

Misha on his perch.

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPost: Last name of animals?

April 8th, 2014

I recently refilled Lightning’s, our donkey’s,  prescription. I forgot the donkey had a last name!

What should the last name(s) of the Museum’s animals be?

Join the conversation:

  1. I think “Samuels” works, as you are the godmother of the Museum animals!

    Posted by Wendy
  2. I like “Samuels”. Another contender could be “Murray” for the street that the Museum is located on.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  3. Of course, you could name by species (could be an assist to any new keeper unfamiliar with the animal names, if that is ever a challenge). Lightning Donkey, Henry Woodchuck, Gus Bear, etc.

    Posted by Wendy

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum for many years now. I spend most of my time behind-the-scenes in the Vet room. You might catch me out and about with one of our many veterinarians checking on the animals.
When I'm not hanging out with one of our vets I'm usually in the Vet room running a fecal looking for intestinal parasites! If I'm not up to my elbows in poo you'll find me at the computer updating the health records of our animals or preparing for Vet Rounds.

Max’s Medication

April 5th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago Max, the steer, wasn’t feeling very well. He had some loose stool, a runny nose and wasn’t as interested in his food as normal. We had Dr. Cannedy come out to look at him to find out what was wrong. Dr. Cannedy came out and gave Max some medication to help with his stool quality as well as medication to help with the other symptoms. One of the issues was Max had an intestinal parasite. In order to treat this parasite Dr. Cannedy gave us medication to give to Max for the next 4 days. We were to give Max 2 tablets crushed into his chow with a little molasses dribbled over it to cover up the taste. Max weighs 774.0 kg (1702.8 lbs.) so his medication is a lot larger than what many of our other animals would get. Below are pictures of Max’s medication.

2014 Mar 13 029

Max’s medication is on the Right – 2 of these tablets per day crushed into food. The medications on the Left are an Aspirin tablet, Cosequin capsule, Baytril tablet and a Papaya pill.

2014 Mar 13 032

Max’s medication.

2014 Mar 13 030

Side view of Max’s medication.

2014 Mar 13 033

Max taking his medication like a good boy!!!

Max took his medication very well. The molasses helped a great deal! Max was also given Gatorade water which he drinks very quickly! And now Max is doing much better and is almost completely back to his normal self!

Join the conversation:

  1. the photos, even with the ruler and coins, don’t do justice to just how big these pills were!

    Posted by sherry

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Alpaca Hair 2014

March 18th, 2014

Will it be a re-run of 80s themes, fancy up-dos for everyone or something a little weirder?

 

In roughly 3 weeks, our fluffy foursome will be getting a new hairdo! The exact date’s not set yet –we’ll let you know when that is– but now is the time to get your vote in on what the girls’ hair should look like. So add your ideas to the comment section however funny or serious your idea is, we’ll consider them all!

 

Here’s the wool we’ll be working with this year. The two babies are almost full grown now! From left to right: Equinox (way in back), Emily, Ray, Retro.

 

As a refresher, this is what the girls looked like last year.

And here are the alpacas’ predecessors, the sheep –who have recently been reported as all doing quite well at their “retirement” home, if anyone was wondering– being sheared two years ago in 2012.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. APRIL 7 is now the date (as long as it is not raining and the girls are dry)

    Posted by sherry
  2. How about a comb over for Retro.
    Of course who’s up for a poodle cut?

    Posted by HRvdB
  3. I vote for at least one to be totally bald. I loved the mohawk and Retro’s fade is pretty great.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  4. Ditto on the bald suggestion and the poodle cut on head. legs and end of tail. Glad to hear the sheep are enjoying retirement.

    Posted by djcronce
  5. No further suggestions…but added thanks for the sheep update…my 3 year old was just asking about them today.

    Posted by Libby
  6. What time on the 7th? My 6yo son is a big llama/sheep fan and would love to attend, but doesn’t finish kindergarten until 3:30ish. I really wish the shearing could have taken place on a weekend day, when older children would be able to attend!

    Posted by Norton
  7. Director Comment :

    Hi Norton:
    We’re shooting for 10:30 start on the 7th.
    we’ll try to get some video taken so that those who cannot make it to the shearing can see it on the Blog.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Huge thanks to VSH: Veterinary Specialty Hospital.

February 7th, 2014

In addition to last week’s snow, we took four animal over to VSH in Durham. The Veterinary Specialty Hospital along with Dr. Cindy Godshalk of East Coast Veterinary Imaging donated their facility, services, and staff to ultrasound and radiograph four of our animals. AND, this isn’t the first time they’ve stepped up and helped out:

Dr. Godshalk at work

The first time was 3.5 years ago when Cassandra needed an ultrasound. Last year we brought two snakes to VSH in Cary for ultrasounds with Dr. Godshalk. And in 2102, Dr. Godshalk and her crew came on grounds to ultrasound the female wolf.

Katy packed everyone up along with our supplies. Can you guess which carrier has which animal?

Last week a pine snake (Megatron), a ferret (Dixie), a bearded dragon (Jr.) and a red ruffed lemur (Iris) all needed tests: ultrasounds and radiographs. Dr. Vanderford arranged with VSH and Dr. Godshalk to bring our critters in on Monday.

Jen, one of the Vet Techs, was helping us left and right and with this and that and everything else. We were really fortunate that she, and everyone else, was excited to have the slithery and scaly and furry exotic critters we brought with us.

Jen logs each of the animals and the procedures needed into the system.

Megatron is over 7 feet long.

 

Megatron, one of our adult male pine snakes, needed radiographs. (He is the father of the pine snakes that hatched in July 2012). He has a section of his body that doesn’t really bend, so we wanted to get “x-rays” to check things out. The pictures showed some calcification on the spine. We don’t know why this happens, but we’ve seen it before in other snakes. We’ll be really careful when handling him and let him get exercise on flat surfaces.

staff at VSH checking out Megatron’s films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vanderford helps Dixie pose for the shot.

Dixie, one of our four ferrets needed an ultrasound. We wanted to see if she had insulinoma. An insulinoma is a tumor on the pancreas. This is a very common ferret disease. Dixie had to be shaved for the ultrasound. We tried to hold her still but were unsuccessful so we had to use anesthesia to sedate her for the ultrasound. It doesn’t look like Dixie has an insulinoma, however we need to review the ultrasounds and determine next steps in case there are other issues to move on.

Dixie with her shaved abdomen being “gassed” down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iris, a 22-year-old red ruffed lemur was next. Katy saw some concerning cells in a urine test she had run- cells that could be indicative of cancer. Good timing that Katy found this out a few days before our visit to VSH so Iris came along  to be checked out.

Dr. Godshalk working with Iris.

 

We were thinking there might be bladder cancer, or a cancer of the reproductive organs, but that wasn’t found. That’s good news for sure. I cannot tell anything when I look at the ultrasound pictures, but we’ll be reviewing what was learned and determining what steps are next. (Dr. Godshalk is a board certified radiologist so it doesn’t matter that I cannot recognize anything- she takes care of all that!)

small print outs, about 4×4 inches of the different views.

Jen and Dr. Godshalk get photos of Jr.

Junior was the last patient. She’s a bearded dragon. A few weeks ago her beard was quite swollen and Jr. wasn’t eating well. Dr. Vanderford and Katy sedated her at the Museum and pulled about 8 cc of fluid from her beard. While she has improved, we wanted to further assess and try to determine the cause of her issues.

 

Maybe the ultrasound want felt like a message to junior?

 

Junior was possibly the easiest of the four animals to work with. She didn’t need to get shaved (no fur on reptiles). She didn’t need to get sedated- she just held still without any wiggling or struggling. She made it really easy.

 

 

 

4 DVMs consulting on Junior’s case: Vanderford, Godshalk, Eward, and Eward.

Jen get’s Junior in the perfect position to get the needed radiograph.

After Junior finished with the ultrasound, she went in for radiographs. Jen was able to get great films, and she even got Junior to hold still on her side! While the ultrasound didn’t show any smoking gun, an unrelated finding on the radiographs shows some real issues with Junior’s vertebrae.

Dr. Godshalk reviews Junior’s films

Thanks so much to VSH!!  The generosity and help of all the staff their have been wonderful. We are very fortunate to have them help us care for our animal population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Who Weighs More? Round 3

January 6th, 2014

Time for some little critters this time!

Who weighs more?

Boba Fett, the Garter snaker

or

Gordon, the (now tailless) Crested Gecko

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Before or after breakfast?

    Posted by Wendy
  2. Hard to say since the size is difficult to judge in the photos. I’d have to say, though, that Gordon appears kind of weighty. He looks rather full of soft mushy stuff.
    Boba Fett looks young, trim, and slim.
    So, Gordon the Wall Street lizard weighs more.

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  3. Hm.. I’m guessing Garter wins this one.

    Posted by Colet
  4. Wow- that snake has an awesome name!

    Posted by Jill
  5. Keeper Comment :

    It is quite a challenge! Keep those guesses coming, you’ve got a 50% chance of being correct! I’ll post the answer here in the comments section tomorrow.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg
  6. Boba Fett

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  7. Keeper Comment :

    And the winner this week is:

    Gordon the Crested Gecko!

    Boba Fett the garter snake is very long and thin. He weighs in at 46 grams.

    Gordon the Gecko is much chubbier in appearance but she only outweighs our tiny garter snake by 4 grams! Gordon weighs 50 grams.

    Wendy, asking if they had eaten was a really good question to ask. Gordon the gecko eats a small amount of food every day, so her weight stays pretty constant. Boba Fett eats twice a week, so depending on which day he gets weighed, he could weigh a little more or less.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum for many years now. I spend most of my time behind-the-scenes in the Vet room. You might catch me out and about with one of our many veterinarians checking on the animals.
When I'm not hanging out with one of our vets I'm usually in the Vet room running a fecal looking for intestinal parasites! If I'm not up to my elbows in poo you'll find me at the computer updating the health records of our animals or preparing for Vet Rounds.

Why You Should Always Carry A Camera: Reason 1

December 28th, 2013

Every morning Henry, the woodchuck, gets an Efa Capsule to keep his skin and coat looking good. Usually he takes his medicine very well especially if you put it on banana, a piece of bread or if he is really lucky on a Henry sized peanut butter sandwich. This morning when I opened Henry’s door to give him his medication I was greeted by him sitting in his bed, staring at me, patiently waiting for his medicine. Upon closer inspection I noticed he had a walnut shell placed just perfect over the tip of his nose, just like Rudolph, but instead of a red nose he had a walnut nose! No words can explain how adorable this was and how bummed I was to know I wasn’t carrying a camera! So instead of that adorable picture of Henry I leave you with these.

Henry

Henry making his bed.

Henry checking out Barred Owls.

Henry checking out my jacket.

Join the conversation:

  1. awwwwwww!!!

    Posted by Jill
  2. He’s the greatest!

    Posted by Shawntel

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Who Weighs More? Round 2

December 15th, 2013

Who weighs more?

Ray, the Alpaca

or

Auggie, the Pot-bellied Pig

Put your guesses in the comment section!

Join the conversation:

  1. Ray is pretty big and solid. I’m picking him for the upset.

    Posted by Adam
  2. I’m picking Auggie because I always like seeing him in the Farmyard and maybe Ray has lots of Alpaca Fluff.

    Posted by dj
  3. I’m betting on Auggie, with at least 22-34 kg difference.

    Posted by Colet
  4. Ray!

    Posted by Shawntel
  5. Keeper Comment :

    And the winner is:

    Ray!

    Auggie was in the lead for a really long time, but just recently, Ray has had a pretty big growth spurt and has jumped ahead.

    Auggie weighs around 42kg (about 92lbs) and Ray is currently 47kg (about 102lbs).

    Auggie is a small adult pot bellied pig but Ray is still a growing girl. When she’s full grown, Ray will probably be around 70kg, like her mom, Retro.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

Bathing Birdies

November 25th, 2013

The other day while I was closing the farmyard, it began to pour. I had to construct a makeshift poncho out of a garbage bag, because I didn’t follow the golden rule of the boy scouts and was unprepared. I stood there for what seemed like an  hour waiting for the duck to go into his stall for the night. Duck, being the duck he is felt it was better to be out in the rain and bathe in his pool instead.

Animals can bathe in dust or water and is extremely important to a birds health because it helps in the maintenance of feathers. My coworkers think I am weird because I bring my pet parrot in the shower when I have to clean up. (Bird people are very interesting)

Here at the museum, we provide ample amounts of water for all of our birds to bathe in. Its not uncommon to see the duck in water, but when we are lucky we catch a glimpse of  our raptors.

Look closely below, our Barred Owl-Christoper is spreading his wings and taking a shower during the down pour.

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