Health/Vet Posts

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?

November 19th, 2013

Which animal do you think weighs more?

Gus, the black bear

or

Lightning, the donkey

Post your guesses in the comment section!

Join the conversation:

  1. Director Comment :

    I’ll wait for others to chime in, but I have two answers!

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. I’m going to say that currently it is Gus, but at any other time of the year it’s lightn’n.
    Am I close?

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  3. I would guess that Lightning is around 400 pounds and Gus is around 380, maybe?

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  4. Keeper Comment :

    This time of year, Gus outweighs Lightning by about 10Kg, making him the heavier of the pair.

    Lightning’s about 385 Lbs and Gus is about 410 Lbs.

    Lightning’s weight doesn’t change much throughout the year like the bears’ weights do. We’ll have to see what this spring brings, but typically, Lightning is the heavier of the pair after the bears have slept off their Fall sweet potatoes.

    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.

Another Sad Day in the Animal Department

November 4th, 2013

It is with a heavy heart that I report the loss of our opossum Galileo.  Recently he started to show signs of heavy labored breathing and his appetite had decreased greatly.  We took him to the vet for x-rays on Tuesday October 15, 2013 and found that he had fluid in his chest cavity that was preventing him from breathing properly.  It was determined that he needed to be euthanized.  The final results of the necropsy are still pending, but the gross necropsy showed fluid around his heart leading to cardiomyopathy.  For the first time since I started working here at the museum we will be without an opossum.  I don’t know what I will do without one of these amazing animals to greet me every morning during AM treatments.  He will be greatly missed.  Below are some pictures of Galileo hanging out in the department.

Galileo with his Thundershirt.

Galileo with his socks on.

Galileo in shredded paper.

Galileo using his tail.

Galileo has been the subject of several previous blog posts too.

Galileo walking in Loblolly Park

Galileo and Annie

Galileo Super Bowl Prediction 2013

Galileo and his paper

Galileo Super Bowl 2012

 

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. So sorry about that little ‘possum. I know he was a favorite with many.

    Posted by Wendy
  2. So very sorry to hear of your loss. He was a cutie!

    Posted by Sue Cripe

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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.

Godzilla

October 24th, 2013

There have been many instances where the keepers go through difficult times. Unfortunately, we experienced the loss of our education bearded dragon, Godzilla.

Godzilla was with us for a long time. When he first came, I would tend to have him resting on me when I sat in the office where he chilled and just looked around.

We noticed Godzilla not acting his usual self and his appetite declined. He was taken off program usage and allowed to get rest and the vet care he needed. Godzilla never made a recovery and the best thing to do was euthanize him.

I felt very sad, but I knew Godzilla had  great care at the museum and he was a popular program animal.

 

 

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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.

Wolf on the table

October 18th, 2013

October is wolf physical month. This is the one time of year we get our hands on the wolves and check them out. We were particularly looking forward to getting the male, 1414, on the table. He is huge (almost 80 pounds) and he came to us with a growth on the side of his body that we wanted to look at and remove.

Since 1414 arrived in November 2012, this was our first experience with him for a physical. We learned he is a great patient once he gets on the table. However, he did not “go to sleep” on the same timeline that other wolves have when given their pre-sedation medicine. Typically, while in the crate, we inject some medicine to make the wolves go to sleep. 10-20 minutes later, we can safely muzzle them and move them to the treatment table and do all we need to do.

1414 took over 70 minutes to get somewhat sleepy. Long story short, we finally got him to the table. He is so big he basically filled up the table.

Dr. Vanderford checks out his ears.

Basically, he was in great shape except for the growth on the side of his body. Dr. Vanderford was able to remove it, although it took awhile. The wolf  will spend a few days in a holding cage to limit his movement, but all seems to be okay.

We’ll catch the female up another day and do her physical so we should have more photos to show you soon.

look closely by Jessi and you can see a shaved section on the wolf and the mass is right there.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Thank you for the behind the scenes look at how veterinary care for these guys is done. Great work!

    Posted by JesstheLVT
  2. Thank you so much for sharing your blog with us! Even as a technician student, I know the job market for a CVT wanting to do something like this is very competitive! It’s at least nice to see how it’s done even if the chance I’d get to work with them myself is slim to none:)

    Posted by Light

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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.

Last week’s vet visit

October 7th, 2013

Dr. Vanderford was here last week for a visit to check on some of the critters. We had two sedations planned for the day: Henry and Cynthia.

Dr. V getting meds ready

 

Cynthia needed a couple bad teeth removed. She did great under sedation- staying asleep when we wanted and waking when we wanted.

Cynthia awaking in her crate.

 

Henry, on the other hand, was a different story. First of all, it’s difficult to hold him- at least it is not safe to hold him as you never know when he will turn on you. So in order to sedate him, we place him in a box and pump anesthesia in.

Henry getting sleepy

 

Henry sleepy

We’re not sure exactly why, but sedation doesn’t seem to work on Henry like it should on paper. We upped his meds this year and still, he was never fully sedated. This made a complete physical a bit tricky. Next year we’ll have to try new drugs on him.

Both critters are fine. Next week the wolves will have their physicals. Katy is aching to get her hands on the male so it should be an exciting day.

 

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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.

Colorful Chemistry

September 4th, 2013

We run weekly water quality tests on all of our fish, alligator and turtle tanks in the Animal Department. We monitor the waters’ pH and the levels of Ammonia and Nitrates. This is important because aquatic animals are often very sensitive to chemical changes in the water they live in and drink; more so than their terrestrial relatives.

 

10 tanks plus 1 “control” tank (filtered water, to make sure the tests are working properly)

 

The end result: 33 test tubes of some very pretty colors!

Join the conversation:

  1. eeek that some high nitrates you got there, may want to get those under control. Time for some water changes

    Posted by mattS
  2. Keeper Comment :

    Yes, Matt, the nitrates did test pretty high this week. This is normal for our turtle tanks at the end of the month. Because we do 100% water changes every 3 or 4 weeks and clean all of the decorations in the turtle tanks, the ammonia and nitrates are constantly in a state of cycling. So this week, the ammonia was testing very low and the nitrates are very high. This constant cycling doesn’t happen with our Bluegills, as we don’t do such dramatic water changes for them.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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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.

lemur physicals

August 16th, 2013

This week the red ruffed lemurs got their annual physicals.

QUIZ: who’s wearing the blue gloves, who’s wearing the white gloves, and whose sneakers are showing?

All three girls- Cynthia, Iris, and Jethys-  did great. Each one, from pre-sedation to reversal took 37 minutes. We’re waiting for blood work to come back, but everyone’s initial findings seemed to be okay. Our girls are getting old so I always have concerns about what the tests will show. Cynthia is almost 32 years old. The Duke lemur center only has one red ruffed lemur older than her.

 

Annie’s job at the end was to keep each lemur warm, make sure they awoke with no issue, and then put them in their crate.

 

Annie always takes notes during the physicals and makes sure the Dr. Vanderford and Katy get everything done on the list. This year she had an added bonus of holding the lemurs at the end.

Katy was running a rectal thermometer and an ear thermometer to see if the temperatures were the same (which they were).

Hopefully all the blood work comes back okay! In September, we’ll do physicals on the ring tailed lemurs. (More pictures then.

Join the conversation:

  1. Blue gloves-Sherry
    White gloves-Katy
    Sitting in the chair- Annie

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  2. CORRECT!

    Posted by sherry

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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.

Another visit from Dr. English

August 7th, 2013

Dr. English, a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist, was by last Thursday to check on a bunch of the animals with eye issues. He and his team saw 10 of our animals: 2 lemurs, the donkey, a rabbit, the hawk, 2 screech owls, 2 barred owls, and a salamander. We’re so thankful that Dr. English comes and checks on the animals who need his help. He tracks any changes in patients’ eyes from previous visits and checks out new animals who we have concerns about. We’ve also taken owls to him for surgery: all of which he graciously and generously donates.

Usually I post photos of the owls and Dr. English, but this year the best photos I took were of the largest and smallest patient:

Dr. English getting his fancy eye equipment in focus.I don’t know what any of his machines are called, but they are all really cool!

 

Lightning the donkey was the first patient. He did great!

 

Dr. Fisher who works with Dr. English checks out Baby, our spotted salamander.

So Baby, our spotted salamander, is typically teased by Dr. English for having a “stupid” name (she arrived over 15 years ago as a “baby”) and being “fat”. This year, similar to last year, Dr. English thought Baby’s eyes looked better and that she had trimmed down in weight. Below, everyone is laughing because I went to Baby’s health record and learned the past two years she had gained weight! (It must all be muscle).

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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.

QuikPic: The Rabbits Are Shedding

July 30th, 2013

I had more bunny fur on me than Jean!

 

All the fur! And they’re not even close to finished shedding. (And yes, that’s Franklin the Tortoise in the background, he gets exercise time in the farmyard once in a while)

Join the conversation:

  1. that’s crazy!

    Posted by sherry
  2. My corgis do that.

    Posted by Wendy

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by , Behavior Consultant
I've been working with the museum since 2009 as a Behavior Management Consultant. I work with keepers and staff to gain the voluntary cooperation of the animals in their own care through operant conditioning.
You can find me teaching at Davidson County Community College, or through my business website Animalworksconsulting.com.

Let’s all get weighed!

July 20th, 2013

Keepers are enjoying the new scale in the farmyard, and so are the critters.  Here’s some video of Max and the alpacas getting weighed.

Max’s training focused on keeping him calm as he walked from his enclosure to the scale – he tends to get excited when he goes for a walk.  And 1600 pounds of excited steer can be difficult to manage.  But look how calm he is!

YouTube Preview Image

The alpaca training is more focused on helping them tolerate the brief separation from the rest of the alpacas as they walk to the scale.  Its helpful for them to learn to be separated for short periods of time so they can more easily tolerate vet visits and shearings in the future.  Lots of good clicking and treating going on in the farmyard by keepers Kent, Sarah and Jill!

YouTube Preview Image

Join the conversation:

  1. Good to see our Animal Department is steering in the right direction!

    Posted by Wendy

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