Monday, July 27, 2009

New Project

Knowing my love for birds (especially wild birds) a co-worker brought this critter in. After crashing into a window, she needs a fair amount of TLC, but she is improving!! She can now navigate her beck right into the syringe that we feed her a highly nutritional sugar water/ cricket mixture and can hop around her enclosure much more nimbly. When i first got her, she could hardly sit upright. Here's to hoping she'll continue to improve. She's a little fighter!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fabulous Fillies!

I haven't posted anything about horse racing lately, but there certainly has been a lot going on. Even though we are weeks after the last of the Triple Crown races were run, the biggest name in the field remains Rachel Alexandra. She is the amazing filly that famously won the Preakness and remains undefeated...and decidedly so.

But one horse you may not of heard as much about, but should, is Zenyatta, an undefeated 5-yr old mare that has been the darling of the racing circuit on the West Coast. Huge, powerful, strong, impressivee, she is a mare to watch as she flies down the track.

There has been a lot of talk lately about a possible match race between these two fillies. A nice discussion about it (and a great video of Rachel Alexandra's ridiculously easy win in the Mother Goose stakes race) can be viewed here.

So, will Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra ever meet? Hard to say. Rachel Alexandra's team has been decidedly careful about the races in which she runs. There was some hope the two would meet at the Breeder's Cup, but it doesn't look like they will. We'll just have to see.

And, so you have some reference, here is Zenyatta's most recent and one of her signature dominating wins...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Not Bad for the 4th

Being on call on a holiday, especially the 4th of July, is always a little nerve wracking. It is one of those holidays that often spells a perfect storm for a run of seasonal emergencies such as heatstroke, hit-by-car, big dog vrs little dog, eating of things one shouldn't (especially bones out of the trash), and fireworks incidents. This 4th is ending with a few calls, but none of the above apart from a dog that chewed on a cardboard firework casing. Hopefully the rest of the weekend continues just as quietly.

Friday, July 3, 2009

But my mom's groomer's sister's friend's brother's....

There are many natural and homeopathic remedies out there that are touted for every condition under the sun. I have a fair number of animals that come in for various problems where initial treatment with such therapies have failed. From the coonhound that has been dewormed with chewing tobacco to the dog with hip dysplasia that is on a strict emu oil regime, there is a lot of hogwash-in-a-bottle for sale to the right buyer.

Now, despite the lack of significant clinical evidence, I am not as quick to dismiss some of these remedies as others. I have a handful of such remedies that I occasionally will add to a treatment program because (a) I know they can't hurt anything, and (b) I have seen them help some animals. I'll recommend joint supplements to help arthritic dogs though there is significant debate in the literature on the usefulness of such practices. I have some cats with chronic urinary bladder issues that seem to benefit from cranberry supplements. I even have an herbal solution that I have used a few times on very large wounds to speed healing to great effect.

That said, I found the following video hilarious. When you read through some of the homeopathic remedies out there in an effort to find relief and treatment for a particularly frustrating case, you soon find ridiculous recipes, just like this:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sea Lion Takes Fireboat for a Ride

Sea Lion Takes Fireboat for a Ride

NEWPORT HARBOR -- A sea lion became a unexpected sea captain when the curious creature took the helm of an Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol fireboat, officials say.

Last week, Harbor Patrol deputies responded to a report of an aggressive sea lion who had reportedly latched onto a child's pant leg, according to Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Slikker.

The deputies were able to get the the juvenile sea lion back into the water, but only a few minutes later, it jumped back on the dock. Concerned for public safety, the deputies decided they would take the animal to a local sea lion hangout, Slikker says.

They were able to get the sea lion onto the fireboat using a makeshift leash. During the trip, the sea lion snuck into the V-berth and then jumped into the driver's seat, according to the deputies. They say he used his flippers to experiment with the many buttons and controls that were laid out before him.

The marine mammal made his way to the lower steering station and accidentally started shifting the course of the boat. Deputies attempted to persuade the sea lion to leave the throttles -- which, at the time, were switched to reverse. Deputy Slikker says they eventually got him to move off the controls and regained control of the boat.

The mischievous sea lion and the boat were brought to the Harbor Patrol docks to wait for an animal control officer. Back at the docks, the animal was gently coxed from the boat with a garden hose, deputies say. After a few squirts of water, he jumped onto the dock, where he waited around for an hour and a half before heading back into the bay.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Save the Hamsters!

France faces court for hamster neglect (click link for full story)
source: The New Zealand Herald

The French Government faces punishment for failing to look after its hamsters.

The European Commission has brought a case in the European Court for allowing the great hamster of Alsace, the only wild hamster in Western Europe, to decline to the point of extinction.

If found guilty, the French Government faces fines of up to €17 million ($37 million) or €68,000 for each of the 250 animals still thought to be living in the fields around the city of Strasbourg in the east of the country.

The great hamster, European hamster or Cricetus cricetus is much larger, and prettier, than its familiar domesticated cousins. It has a brown and white face, a black belly and white paws and can grow to be 25.5cm long.

Although a protected species since 1993, the wild European hamster is one of the most threatened mammals on the continent. Its habitat has been decimated by suburban sprawl. Its preferred foods - wheat, barley, lucerne and cabbages - have been ousted by vast fields of more profitable maize, which it detests.

After several warnings, the European Commission has decided to take legal action against Paris under the European Union directives for the preservation of wildlife.