Kemosabe the prehensile-tailed porcupine, aka coendou, had another appointment with the veterinarian last week. A quick recap of his situation:
December 2010 - sick every few weeks, on antibiotics for respiratory infection.
February 2011 - sick again, meds again.
April 2011 - sick again, meds again but don't seem to be working.
May 2011 - Did complete blood work and x-rays of body and teeth. Found he had a infected and rotten top incisor. These are the most important teeth for any rodent since this is their primary means of eating and they are ever-growing which means they have to wear them down constantly. He had surgery to pull the tooth and we hoped he would be able to compensate to the one top incisor against two bottom incisors and he would wear them evenly.
June 2011 - Recovered from very stressful surgery and lots of antibiotics, probiotics and adjusting to an incredibly sore mouth.
October 2011 - Not wearing down teeth evenly, need to evaluate what should be done. Options: file down teeth and hope a fresh start works, pull one bottom incisor.
December 2011 - Vet visit, restrained and anesthetized to file down teeth. Very rough recovery, two weeks of antibiotics and not much eating.
February 2012 - Teeth again growing too long with uneven wearing. He puts his top incisor in the middle of the bottom two and it wears just the middle creating a V in the bottom teeth. They become very pointed and can cause major issues if not filed down properly. Options: another trip to the vet with the accompanied stress that could cause illness again, or, try a sedative at Animal Wonders and file while he's immobilized. The hope being it is less stressful, the fear is that the sedation will not work.
March 2012 - Had the vet come out to Animal Wonders and give him an injection of sedative. He must have thought one of his own quills poked him when the needle went into his thigh because his immediate reaction was to itch the sight, instead of running away. It was VERY successful!! Besides being groggy for several hours, Kemosabe was eating and happy the day after having his teeth filed. I believe we have our answer to keeping him healthy and happy.
He will be on this regimen for the rest of his life every 3-4 months. If you would like to make a donation to his cause, please go to our How To Help page and send your donation. Thank you!
The first halfmoon conure chick hatched out on March 8th! It's doing great, full crop, active, and looking very healthy. The second chick should be hatching tonight or tomorrow. Parents, Ivy & Ki, are doing wonderfully.
*pictures coming soon
We've been watching Quigley and Babette, the Brush-Tailed Bettongs very closely these last few weeks. Over the last few months they have been exhibiting some interesting behaviors. They were busy making nests, then sleeping together, then courting, then we actually observed Quigley taking care of business, then things slowed way down. Babette was usually in the corner alone and then she started grooming her tail more than usual. They have been sleeping apart off and on and Babette has been grooming her belly and under tail area more.
A few nights ago we saw her grooming and licking her belly, thighs, and then actually inside her pouch! It also looks like there may be a very small bulge in the lower part of her pouch! We're not getting TOO excited yet. But the behavior really only points in one direction. We will just wait and see what happens over the next few weeks. Babette never enjoyed being touched, let alone picked up and handled. We started training a pouch check behavior early on, but stopped when it seemed to stress her out and cause friction in the relationship with Quigley. We would have rather the two get along than be able to look in her pouch. And now that there's a possibility that a joey is inside, we don't want risk her rejecting it from stress. So, we will just let nature take her course and wait patiently until we can confirm one way or the other!
Keep your fingers crossed for another member of this critically endangered species to grace us with it's presence.