Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Bit of a Break

My youngest is having surgery and I'll be in "Recovery" mode for at least a few weeks. In order to make sure I'd cope with all the stress, I've put my rescue on hold for now. I won't be taking in any rescues for the rest of the month. I'll try to post an update on all my guys next week (but no promises!)

Thanks to all of you for all your support. You guys are awesome-sauce!



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Happy Surprise

I clicked on a link on Facebook and found a photo shoot taken with a beardie named Pringle in Australia. What a surprise when I saw him rocking the kilt & tam his owner bought in my Etsy shop! I was so proud! 

Update on Buddy-- I'm so Proud!

Buddy went to the vet today for his check up and it went SOOOO much better than I thought it would. I knew he needed a final clearance, but I wasn't sure if it would be all good news or half good news & half bad news.

"Hey! Where are we going?" 

Of course, ironically, when I made the appointment on Monday, Buddy looked & acted poorly. I realize now that was just him getting ready to shed and being grumpy because of it. Last night, he completed his shedding. Today he was active and curious. He explored his travel box and the office.

He was so active! 
First of all, Dr Folland was SO impressed with how beautiful Buddy he is. He said he's rarely had such a beautiful specimen brought in and it had been a long time since he had seen such a gorgeous ball python. I was so proud!! ;)

Second, he said Buddy looks GREAT. His "bad" eye is actually not that bad and though it has some scarring around it, it still works fine.

His "good" bad eye
Third, his good eye looks great and the wrinkling on it is normal and not at all a problem.

Buddy has several healing wounds and scars on his mouth, jaw, and upper neck where he was obviously attacked by a feeder rodent. Those are all healing and look great. Buddy's mouth looks good and I was told to try to give him a frozen/thawed rat tonight. I have a nice & fat one in the freezer right now. Dr Folland even gave me some tips on how to train Buddy to take a f/t rat instead of a live one.

He'll get one last antibiotic shot tonight, a tank heating upgrade today, and a fat rat for dinner. Overall, Buddy is a healthy, beautiful, and mellow snake-- a far cry from the sickly snake who was foaming at the mouth and freezing cold that I picked up before Christmas. I'm so proud. :)

The Good News & the Bad News on Milo

I took Milo to the vet this morning. He's been blowing snot bubbles and making clicking noises when he breathes since Monday and because that is what almost killed him last fall,  I wasn't willing to wait until he got sicker to have him seen. My biggest fear was that Dr Folland would want to do a comprehensive blood test on him (which was the final suggestion at Milo's last appointment). I didn't have enough money in my rescue account for a blood test, but thanks to the amazing generosity of one of my blog readers, I was given the money. Yay! (Still warms my heart!!)

The good news is that Milo did not need a blood test. The bad news is that he has a congenital defect in his sinus & nostril that causes snot to form, drip, and plug up the right side of his face. :( There's nothing that can be done to correct it. He will always have an issue with congestion and snot bubbles and that will always make him susceptible to upper respiratory infections.

So the good news is that Milo isn't sick. The bad news is that he is now a "special needs" beardie.

His nostril on this side is malformed & almost flat against his head
Dr Folland dug around in his supplies area and found a neonatal feeding tube that he trimmed down for me to use on Milo. Depending on the severity of Milo's snot, I'll use the tube to flush out his nose & sinus with saline to lessen the chances for infection (at least a couple times a week). It's possible that he will grow to a larger size now that he is in a good situation with proper heat, nutrition, and UVB, but it's more likely that he'll be small and "pocket size" for his whole life.

For now, Milo is going to stay here with me. I suppose if I could find the right kind of home for him, I will place him for adoption. He is a sweet boy who adores to be snuggled & held. He LOVES basking in my sunny window (he's there right now). I am happy to have him here.

Thanks again to all my readers for your kindness, prayers, and support for my rescue & for Milo. You make me proud!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


It's been a rough couple of weeks- lots of sickly reptiles, lots of extra beardies I was babysitting before Christmas, a chronically ill little boy who can't go to school, fighting my own continual sickness, the holidays, etc. Thankfully, I was able to close my Etsy shop over the Christmas & New Year's holidays to have one less thing to do, but no Etsy meant no money coming in for rescue. 

Yesterday started off with me spending almost half of my saved rescue money on equipment that I have been given previously but gave away because I didn't think I'd use them. That was painful. I started wishing I hadn't been quite so generous and kept more of my equipment and financial resources. Buddy the snake was almost completely unresponsive and I noticed one of his eyes was starting to cave in, and so I scheduled a vet follow up appointment for him, knowing it would use up most of my dwindling funds. Blast! Then I ended up scheduling surgery next week for my youngest and tried to catch up on everything I didn't do last week when I was sickly.  It was a long, long day. 

After dinner, I pulled Milo out of his tank for snuggle time when I noticed he was gasping again-- just like he had when he came to me half dead last fall. His respiratory infection is back only after a month of being healthy. Blast! It was all too much. After Milo's last vet visit, the one remaining treatment option for his perpetual respiratory illness was a $145 blood test. (Luckily, Milo improved on his own and I didn't need the test then).  

Blast! Not enough money, not enough time, too much sickness, and not enough energy. I was feeling pretty low last night when I posted two updates on my blog about Buddy & Milo. 

Then, much to my speechless surprise and tearful gratitude, a blog reader donated enough money to me for Milo's blood test. 

Thank you! Thank you! I went to bed with a much lighter & happier heart. 

This morning, I found Milo zipping around his tank and discovered Buddy has started shedding and his good eye looks much, much better. They are both still sick, but not nearly as bad as I feared. 

Many thanks & much love to all of you who support my rescue and root for all the critters in my zoo. Your generosity and well wishes make my job so much easier. :) 

Because of my youngest's surgery and recovery this month, I have to scale back my rescue somewhat. My Etsy shop is open and, knowing me, I will still have half-dead reptiles finding their way to me anyways. 

And there's always still the ongoing work of getting Ramses, my juvenile iguana, to like me. We've started to call him "Evilen Froggen" from the Muppets. ;) He's adorable-- even if he hates my guts. Here's a pic of his morning stink eye for me: 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Buddy's Bad Eyes

It looks like one of Buddy's eyes is dying. Both eyes are covered with layers of stuck eye caps, but one of them is starting to shrivel up. He will be blind in that eye for sure. His last antibiotic shot is Wednesday morning and then he'll go back to the vet to see if we can treat his eyes somehow. I'm not very hopeful though- I think he'll be mostly blind for the rest of his life. 

His "good" eye (that's really not that healthy): 

His bad eye: 

Update on Milo

Milo's respiratory infection is back. :( He is gasping away. And he is blowing snot bubbles. 

This is such bad news. When I got Milo, he was so sick and near death. 6 weeks of antibiotics made him slightly better but we were running out of treatment options.

The next step will be a $145 blood test, but I'll have to wait since I don't have that much money in my rescue account currently. I will start him again on antibiotic shots tomorrow. :( 

Bath Time Baby Steps

Most my beardies get in the bath and look like this: 

As soon as they start drinking, their bodies puff up, they flatten their heads down, and partially close their eyes as they enjoy the drinking. 

Can you see Max's happiness? He almost never drinks out of his bowl, but he did two weeks ago. 

Ziggy has been the only beardie I've ever had who refuses to drink. For almost a year, I have tried to train him with NO success. 

Finally, last week, he drank water off my fingers and yesterday, he drank out of the bath! 

I had to use a syringe, but he drank!! 

Some beardies need a LOT of patience and training. A LOT!! So keep doing the good things because eventually they will get it. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Taking Down the "Sick" Wing

For the first time in months, I don't need my 20 gallon sick tanks and so today I cleaned them and put them in my garage. 

I have a nice empty spot back in my bedroom. :) There are still two tanks in my room-- one for a rescue and one for a beardie I am babysitting. 

After having 13 beardies, I am down to 6. It's quite a relief to have fewer beardies to care for! Blaze, JoJo, Tony Tiger, Beardie, Sami & Lexi, and Munch all were adopted out. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Buddy, rescue number 78

I took in this sweet adult ball python who has s severe respiratory infection. He also has a swollen, wounded jaw. He has multiple layers of stuck eye caps on his eyes and needs a good shed. 

He went to the vet right after I got him and is now on antibiotics for the next three weeks. 

Luckily he's not dehydrated or skinny. He has really good muscle tone and should recover quickly from his URI. I'll give him a week or two on antibiotics before I try to feed him-- he hasn't eaten for weeks.