As I've mentioned before, any new animal that comes to Animal Wonders must go through a 30 day minimum quarantine period. During this time they receive their initial examination from the vet and then we watch them for signs of illness that may come to the surface during times of stress. There is usually some amount of stress for the animal to be relocated and adjust to their new environment. Sometimes this will trigger a dormant illness. We want to do our best to protect the animal residents that already reside here so that is why we quarantine.
Right now we have three animals in Quarantine:
Sunny, the Pacific parrotlet
Patches, the guinea pig
Lizzy, the Russian legless lizard.
Since they are all from different animal groups (i.e bird, mammal, reptile) they are safe from contaminating each other during quarantine so they can be housed in the same room. So they do get some interaction with other animals during their Quarantine period, and us as well.
Sunny loves to explore the room! He climbs on the plants and basks in the sunshine on the windowsill. He likes to watch Patches shuffle about and keeps a close eye on Lizzy when she's crawling around. Sunny only has another week before he's free and clear and gets to move into the Bird Room with the rest of the flock. He's successfully eating a very nutritious diet and we will continue to file and monitor his beak growth until it is normal.
Patches needs another trip to the vet to test for a respiratory infection as he's been sneezing a bit. If we were not diligent about this, when we introduced him to Pepper, the Patagonian Cavy, we would be spreading the infection. So every time we interact and play with Patches we thoroughly wash our hands and never use the same tools to clean him as we do to clean another mammal.
Lizzy is doing good. We are anxious to move her out of Quarantine into a larger enclosure since she has shown us she would like more room. We are learning what her favorite foods are: ground turkey and crickets. She does not like mealworms! She is unusually calm for a legless lizard and we are excited to show her off to her first audience!
We are SO excited to welcome our newest Animal Ambassador, Lizzy the Legless Lizard!!!! Legless lizards are one of the coolest most interesting animals on this planet and we are so very happy to be able to share this with our fellow Montanans! Unlike snakes, lizards have external ears and eyelids. They close their eyes to sleep and to remove debris from their eye. They also have actual holes in the sides of their head, just like humans, to help them hear sounds. This is what makes up the difference between snakes and lizards, not those obvious things called legs.
Lizzy is adjusting to her new home and will be able to join the rest of the scaly crew after she completes and graduates from Quarantine. We must check her for any little critters that might have stowed away waiting for their chance to breed, travel, and infect another scaly friend. Which would not make Pearl, the tegu, Blueberry, the skink, Argos, the uromastyx, or any of the other reptiles very happy at all. Lizzy will be housed in a non-glass enclosure due to the fact that legless lizards tend to want to burrow and search for visible holes in their enclosures. They do this almost constantly and if they think they can get through the clear glass they will rub their noses raw. Lizzy came in with a sore on her nose, most likely due to this behavior, so we are hoping the change in enclosure will help her settle in and relax by hiding in a dark den or under her substrate.
We can't wait to show Lizzy off! Want to be the first one to see her?? Schedule your presentation before someone else gets to be first in line!
Sometimes we don't know why things happen, but they seem to just fall into place like they were always meant to be. Animal Wonders has taken in another furry little friend that will soon become a proud Animal Ambassador!
We have not settled on a name yet, so for now he will be called GP. That's right, a guinea pig. We don't normally take in small common pets because we couldn't possibly rescue, house, feed, and care for all of the little guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, and mice that needed homes. However, sometimes things happen for a reason. When we welcomed Cheeks the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit, we couldn't foresee what an amazing Ambassador he would be. It just sort of fell into our laps. So when little GP popped up, it just seemed it was inevitable. GP will be housed with Chili Pepper the Patagonian Cavy once he has graduated from Quarantine.
GP was deficient in vitamin C, which is crucial for rodents in the cavy family. Luckily it was discovered soon enough that he was quickly supplemented and has since made a good recovery. We hope that his personality meshes well with Chili Pepper and that they are able to become good friends. If you would like to suggest a name for Mr. GP, please email, call or send a message via Facebook and we'll put it in the running.
With the additional fires burning west of Potomac, we have been hit with a pretty thick layer of smoke in the valley. While the lack of breeze is great to keep the fires from whipping into a frenzy, the stagnant air lets the smoke linger and settle. It is not bad enough to really worry about the birds, though they are staying inside until this passes. We hope that the fires are contained quickly and our feathered friends can once again bask in the last few weeks of summer sunshine.
Sunny visited the vet today and we're hoping the only culprit that he's battling against is poor nutrition. We tested him for other common ailments and found him negative for anything contagious. Sunny will remain in Quarantine for 30 days and if he shows no signs of illness he will join the flock and find a new friend and companion. We don't know who that will be yet, may times friendships take us by surprise.
We also believe he is struggling with is malformation. His parents could have had poor nutrition, or he was handfed improperly when he was young, or he came from unhealthy genetics. Whatever he's been through we're happy that his owners tried their best to give him what he needed. It's always a sad story when a loving family takes in an animal that needs special care and the "seller" doesn't give the new owners the proper information to make it a happy healthy environment for all involved.
For now, Sunny will undergo a complete change in his diet to make sure he's getting all the nutrients he needs to grow beautiful healthy feathers, a strong clear shiny beak, smooth feet and toe scales, and gets the twinkle back in his eyes. This will take time and energy and a lot of patience, but we're up to the challenge! He seems to have settled in quite quickly and even enjoys stepping up on our fingers and exploring the furniture and plants in his room. Today Sunny has been "laughing" like a tiny little munchkin and he's been muttering something we can't quite pick out. Let's see if we can get him to learn some cute little words!