Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DC Veg Fest 09'

I have been looking forward to going to Veg fest for a few years.No I was beyond looking forward I was so excited words couldn't tell how I felt. I have been wanting to go to Charlettsville VA since 05' and have never gotten the chance so when I found out there was one closer then 7 hours away I was on board. So we decided to go to Washington DCs veg fest this year. Like I said I was more then excited then I found on on top of vegfest being there there was also going to be a protest at the White house. That made me a little nervous but I was even excited to see the protest spectacle.

My morning started off late so I missed 2 people I wanted to see talk. So we finally got there and everything was going well. There were tables set up around the side walks and people galore! Tons of people. DOn;t know if they were Vegetarians, vegans, or meat eaters... The first thing that stuck out to me was the number of people there... The next thing was the food. People kept passing me with food... Yummy vegan food! So this wasn't a big courtyard. So after a bit of looking I came across it. Lots and lots of people in line waiting. I mean a ton. So we decided to skip it for a while. I had forgotten to get cash so I walked and found an ATM and got $200 for all that nifty vegan stuff on the horizon. The first purchase of the day was Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. They were awesome. They had taste tests set up. Had one and fell in love with that old marshmallow flavor I had been looking for in products like Sweet & Sarah and hadn't found. I Purchased 2 packs for $10. Then I found another stand selling care magnets. So I purchased 4 Magnets for $20. I will post everything I purchased a little later. Anyways. there were tables of info set up everywhere. Lots of info. I wish people would have been more talkative though. Some stand were like COK's stand, Karen Davis (UPC), Farm Sanctury, Poplar Spring's Animal Sancturary & PCRM. I was excited to get My Skinny Bitch books signed but never had the chance to. We did finally eat.

Food was my top reason for going! (and all the nifty things I could buy) There is really not true vegan takeout around me so going there and having so many options was great. Although I looked for some restaurants after we left and could not find one. I was sad. I was heading to Ocean City Maryland after that and really wanted to take some good vegan food with me.

There was an Summer Delights Ice cream truck set up with Vegan Ice cream & Vegan hot dogs. $3 a dog and $2 an ice cream. So there went another $10 dollars. I wasn't a big fan of the ice cream they had. It was a strand texture. But the hotdogs were ok. John finished my food though. So then we had cold noodles from Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant. They were really yummy. Don't know what they had on them but wish I could find out. We also had the Vegetarian fried Chicken and another bowl of noodles to take with us. That food cost us $7. Which wasn't bad. I wish we could have ate at the restaurant though.
Java green was there but sold out very early in the day. Vegan treats was there but so many people was wanting there stuff the line was clear across the yard and stayed that way all day. They had some undies I wanted so bad..They were black & said "Vegan Treats" on the front... lol.. I am going to order some. But You have to call they don't take orders online. Sticky fingers bakery was another place I really wanted to try but by the time we fought our way through the people most of the stuff was gone. They did bring a good amount though. We did get the opportunity to stop at Emily's Desserts and purchase a vegan cake and rice krispy treat. She makes some very lovely cakes. It was so pretty that I never ate it. It is still sitting in the fridge in its nice pretty pink little box. I would have really liked to try the Amsterdam falafal shop. It looked really good. And they also had vegan pizza w/ soy cheese. Looked really good and still didn't get to try it either. So many tasty things floating around. Just couldn't afford to try them all.

Things purchased at Vegfest:
  • Farm sancturay book $20.00
  • Prisioned Chickens posined eggs - Signed to me $15.00
  • Dr. Greger DVD $20.00
  • Animal Welfare Bracelet $2.00
  • 3 Bumper stickers $4.50
  • COK T-shirt $15.00
  • 2 Ice cream & 2 Hotdog $10.00
  • Cold Noodles & Veg Chick $7.00
  • Lemonade $3.00
  • 4 Car Magnets $20.00
  • Emily's Desserts $11.00
  • Parking Garage $10.00 (but the car was nice and cool when we came back...)
Grand total : 137.50

Not bad!

After we was done at vegfest we decided to walk to see the protest at the white house. This was our first time in DC and didn't know where the White House was so we got the GPS out of the car and took off walking. We both had really crappy shoes on for this walk so it was deffinalty a long one. My feet hurt so bad by the time we walked to the back of the White house I was really to call a cab to take us back. But we didn't we took some pictures seen a few protesters... and they were annoying... lol.... and seen the Washington Monument from a distance and then set on our way back to the car. wouldn't do that walk in crap shoes again. That walk was not worth the few prtesters way seen. I guess most of them were in front of the White House.. OOPS...! Wrong Side :)

But I still had the trip to Ocean City and back to DC for site seeing on the way home!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ferrets- Gastric Ulcers

Dates are wrong on all photos below.OOPs... Battery reset.

Recently my poor Spanx become very ill and lost about half his body weight in a week and 3 days!

Ferret Ulcers

When you hear "Ulcer" you may think that it is something that may pass or something that is not that dire. But in reality it can kill you ferret very quickly! Do to weight loss, dehydration, and basically starvation. An ulcer lowers the digestibility of the ferrets food. Which in return lowers the nutrients in the body and causes vomiting and diarrhea, black tar stool & green mucus stool. Ulcers also bleed which causes the ferret to become animic. This blood is what makes the stool black tar colored.
Ferrets must eat every couple of hours to keep their energy & weight. When a ferret stops eating it can go into organ failure quickly . A ferret eats and with in 2 to 3 hours excretes that food. And the cycle begins again. So ferrets must keep eating. When they have an ulcer they will stop or significantly slow their eating.
So that is one of your first symptoms.
My Spanx lost weight at around .5oz to 1.5oz a day. When a ferret only ways 2lb 9oz to begin with this is a very drastic loss. Within a week he was down to 1lb 13oz.

Weight loss
Teeth Grinding
anorexia- Stopped eating
Stool: Grainy, slimy, black tar looking, can also be other colors, Diarriha
Increased water intake

Teeth grinding is another serious symptom. If you have never seen a ferret grind its teeth you may not know what I am talking about. But a ferret will grinding its back teeth making its eyes look like they are going in and out of his head. This indicates extreme stomach pain. Which normally refers to an ulcer or blockage of some sort. teeth grinding again is a very important symptom!

Dehydration happens quickly with ferrets. And one of the leading causes of death when it comes to ulcers. If you ferret gets dehydrated it is very important to get them to the vet. But with the ulcer it is very important all on its own. But make sure you vet gives your fuzzy IV fluids so they do not get dehydrated. My vet sent home on IV fluid bag for me to give him. I was giving him 20ccs every 12 hours. After I started getting more food into him I took it doen to 20ccs once a day. After a few good days of syringe feeding him atleast 90 to 120ccs I stopped the fluides. Because there was alot of liqiud in the Syringe feeding.


During the Doctors visit your vet will feel for intestinal obstructions and which is very important. He she doesn't feel anything she may want to do an ultra sound or x-ray just to be certain. An intestinal obstruction is deadly. If she does an ultra sound they can check things like the adrenal gland aswell. Which is an added plus. The ultrasound ran me about $80. which isn't bad at all. She didn't do the ultra sound till the 2nd visit though. If all signs point to an ulcer try not to be alarmed. That is better then alot of things. Although still scary and still can cause death if treated right your fuzzy should recover in a hurry. There could be underlying causes such as adrenal gland disease or insolinoma, as well as others. For an ultrasound your fuzzies belly will have to be shaved. Make sure the tech who shaves it knows how thin and senstive a ferrets skin is. I took this for granted knowing how ruff they play so I never really thought about it. But the tech shaved Spanx wasn't told how thin there ferret skin was and she knicked his poor litte belly and they had to put glue stitches on him. So if stress caused the ulcer the vet didn't help much withthe stress. But the vet I seen was very nice and helped us alot. She has answered every question I have presented to her. ( Th pic is about 2 weeks after the cut him with the trimmers.)

A CBC will probably also be taken and that will run around $1oo to $120 depending on what kind of lab runs the blood work. Ferrets are really hard to get blood sample from and my poor Spanx was a pin cushion. They also had to shave his neck.

After this if it is decided that an ulcer is the problem your fuzzy will be put on some meds.
Amoxicillin & metronidazole whish are both anti biotics and Carafate for his tummy. All this medication is extremly important.
Spanx was Prescribed
Amoxicillin .5ml every 12 hours
Metronidazole .15ml every 12 hours
Carafate liquid- 2.5ml every 8 hours ( But I only gave .5 to 1ml)
(They have with the new prescription lowers it to .5 to 1ml. so my dosing was right)
They also have carafate in pill form which is called something else. It can be crushed mixed with water and given to your ferret.
There are also other antibiotics that can help. If your fuzzy does not respond to these then he could be treated with Biaxin (Clarithronycin) But it is very expensive. Around $80 for a 10 day cycle.

It is very important to work out a good med schdule and kep to it. The stomach meds need to be given after the antibitics so that the antibiotics can be obsurbed. So Give the antibiotics about 15 to 30 minutes before the tummy meds.
Also wait 30 minutes before giving him food.

Syringe feeding
Syringe feeding your ferret. My ferret had never had any other food then Marshels. Which I have now changed to EVO. When he started losing the weight I started tryig to feed him chicken baby food. He had no interrest. So try to get your ferrets to eat other foods before you need them to. After I mixed up a concoction of sorts and force feed him a couple times. He figured out either I wasn't going to leave im alone or that he liked it. But by the end of syringe feeding he loved it and would much rather be syringe fed then eat from the bowl.

Spanx's Mix
1 Jars chicken baby food w/ broth (not gravy)
1/2 can of A/D cat food
2 Tbsp blended EVO ferret food
1 Tbsp of duck soup powder (all mixed duck soup must be used in 24 hours)
Pedialyte to thin out the mix to a thick paste
1 to 2 Tbsp Ferret Vite ( I used 2 when I first started, then took it to one)

He really loved this mix. I think the duck soup powder smells funny though.
I started out just giving him a few CC's at a time. But the more I fed him the more he wanted it. I gave him 20 to 30 ccs the first day... and worked my way up form there. Start them out on food slowly if they have not been eating. Every for hours they will need around 15 ccs of food. But you have to work your way up to that. To gain his weight back Spanx was eating between 100cc's and 180ccs a day. Sometimes close to 200cc's. the recipe above does not make alot. Just enough for half a day to a day. You can get syringes from your vet so you know how much he is taking in.

After we started feeding him enough he agined back his strength fast. With in a day he was up and about and couldn't wait to be fed. When we first started feeding him extra I didn't know if he would make it through the night or that weekend. Its amazing what food and water can do for a very ill ferret. I'm sure the meds helped alot too. He gained from .5 to 1.5 oz a day. Normally around 1oz a day.

Helicobactor- This is a gram-neg bactoria that is believed to cause ulcers in humans and now also believed to cause them in ferrets and other animals. Sind this is a bacteria it is treated with antibiotics.

Poor Santitation
an underlying health problem such as adrenal gland diesease.

Prevention is the key!

After a ferret has an ulcer it is predisposed to have another.So watch them carefully.

Temp: 100F- 103F
Heart: 216- 250BMP
Resp: 33- 36 per min
Fasting Glucose at 4 to 6 hours: 65- 164

Spanx has been doing alot better. After 20 days of Amoxi and Carafate and ten days of Metronidazole. His tool went back to normal and he gained all his weight back. Although he still has a naked belly.

Over the last week though his stool has started turning a different color and has mucus in it again so he is starting another round of meds. This time amoxi, metronidazole, & carafate for a month. If it is helebactor it can take a while to treat. If that doesn't help then the Biaxin will be started . He also has to go through more blood work to see about adrenal gland disease. They did not see is adrenal gland on the ultrasound which is really good. But he has experioused hair loss on his tail. Not at the base which is where it normally starts for adrenal gland disease. But just to be safe we are going to do more blood work in the near furture. Because you never know if there is another under lying problem.

Please keep him in your prays.
If you have any questions on this ailment or other ferret ailments please let me know. I will answer them or have my vet answer them.

Update: add fish oil. A few drops a day to the ferrets food. I add 1 whole capsule squeezed into lil droplets on the food every week for 2 ferrets. They have grown back most of there hair.Just having them on meds I have had to remedicate... but since starting them fish oil..knock on wood... they haven't had anymore problems.

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary: Libby and Louie, A Love Story

This is a lovely story. Try to take some time to read it! You might not see chickens in the same light. But see them as loving, caring, and compassionate creatures who deserve more respect, love, compassion, & understanding then they have been granted in our society.

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary: Libby and Louie, A Love Story

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Beckley Reunion 09'

This year John, myself, My mom, dad, and sister went to my dads family Reunion in Beckley WV. It went pretty good. It was really nice to see everyone. I really miss our family.

When I was younger like 5 we went down all the time. The family was really close and we did alot together. We spent alot of time at my Uncle Rogers house with bond fires & the horses. Everyone would set around the fire and talk. During the day we would spend time around the barns and horses. Or just set around and talk. We would stay long weekends at my Grandmothers. I can still remember the way her house looked. The order of the rooms. The kitchen appliances and the morning food. The apple tree in her yard which we would collect apples from and make all kinds of apple stuff. The blackberries we would collect and make cobbler. There was a field of tall grass barbed wired off next to her home. And a long front yard with a gas station across the road. Atleast I think so.. It has been so long who knows what that could have been. I had so many great times there and still hold a few awesome memories of my Grandmother. I miss her very much. She past away when I was about 7 or 8.

I so miss the time I had with the family then. My Gr
andmother was diagnosed with cancer and died a few months later. We was there through alot of it. We traveled back and forth through all her kemo and other treatments. I would spend days in the hospital room. It was a really hard time for everyone. When she passed away the whole family just kind of dispelled. And nothing was the same. Everyone went there own direction and as far as I know not many look back. It is really a sad happening. I can't believe that something like this could happen to our family. So every time we go to the reunion its bitter sweet. I always get back in my car to cry and reminisce. I truly miss the way our family was.
But for the most part. The reunion went well. Alot of people were missing this year. I did get to see most of my uncles and aunts. But one of my uncles & some of my cousins were not there do to their own family issues. Which is a whole other story. But definitely a bitter sweet event. But I hope we go next year. All of them are getting older now and I just wish they would open their eyes to what is right in front of them and how important it is. Family should mean alot. Not bickering behind each others backs. I really wish they would all learn that. It pains me to see them let time and other things get in their way. But then again. That said the bricks keep stacking between them. And life moves on from day to day.

The reunion was held at another park this year. It has become part of the New river
gorge viewing places. It had spectacular views of the gorge.

There was also an Avian rehabilitation talk happening. We did go and set through it. It was really informative. About the state raptors and what has happen to their population so to DDT and people interfering with garbage, cars, changing from wood to medal fence post. I had no clue that between the fence post and DDT the post little screech owls were almost wiped out totally. They told us how they are rehabilitating animals and releasing them into the wild. Like the Golden eagle, halks, falcons, and great horned owls. They did a really great job telling us about all of them.

They also had some birds with them that can not be released due to various injuries. They had 2 halks, 2 falcon, 2 owls, and a gold egle that streetched and screamed the entire time they were talking. The picture is of the Gold Eagle. He had a huge wing span! But it was a nice bonus to add to the family reunion.

Then as we were leaving the park we stopped to look at the overview which was
gorgeous. We seen a 3 or 4 lizards running around on the rock cliffs.

After the views we went to leave and seen 2 fawns and a mother deer grazing right outside of the trees edge.

Food for that day.. Well what can I say. we took burger roles with us which were really good to snack on. We snacked a little on fruit and stuff while we were there and then ate after we left. Pretty much what we always do. MY Plate ...