Monday, October 6, 2014

Bouncing Back

Pascal has recovered nicely from his surgery, faster than we thought he would, and we are all very happy about that. The e-collar he was wearing made it difficult for him to eat and drink, So, we moved the hospital cage into our bedroom and for four nights we got up every 2 hours or so to feed him and give him something to drink. The vet said to leave the collar on for two weeks until his next checkup, but neither Pascal or us would have made it that long. The poor little guy couldn't do a whole lot in the restriction of the small cage except climb around a little and sleep. By the third night we were taking the e-collar off for him to eat and he took advantage of that time to do so. He also spent a lot of time to groom himself from, top to bottom. When he got to his tail he would turn around so we couldn't see what he was doing. We would stop him, and he looked at us like "What??  I'm not doing anything.".  He also crawled under his blankets for the same reason - it was his little game. On Thursday night he pulled off his collar sometime after I fed him at 2:00 a.m. and M found him sleeping comfortably on the next feeding shift. He wasn't bothering his tail at that point and it appeared as if it had healed, so we left the e-collar off. On Friday we moved him back to his regular cage and he was a happy camper. Now that things are back to normal M plans to start taking him out to the bathroom for some play time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Poor Little Pascal

Pascal peeking out of his pumpkin pouch
for the yogurt on M's finger on Saturday
Pascal has has a rough time the last few days. On Sunday we had our normal weigh-in for all of the gliders, and it was also a "spa" day when we trim their nails. Pascal is always last, and we brought him in the office for his yogurt, weigh-in, and trim. He decided to go exploring a bit and scrambled from the desk to the side table. He jumped over, knocking a picture frame over in the process, and jumped to the floor. I finally gathered him up and we finished up and returned him to his cage. M stayed behind to watch him for a few moments and noticed him chewing on his tail, and it also looked crooked. What was even stranger was that he was running on his wheel and then taking care of his tail while the wheel continued spinning. She called me over and I removed him from the cage so we could look at his tail. It was raw at the point he was chewing and looked like it was broken.  We immediately placed him in a pouch and headed to the U of I Veterinary Emergency Room.

At the hospital they anesthetized him, then cleaned the wound and wrapped his tail. They told us that he would need to come back on Monday so the small animal surgeon could evaluate him, as it was likely his tail would have to be amputated.We still can't figure out when this happened.

That night we tried to keep him calm and prevent him from bothering his tail. of course it hurt him and he was intent on going after it. We had to put an e-collar on him, which he did not like one bit. Back in the cage M noticed the wrap on his tail was gone. In the process of putting on the e-collar the wrap around his tail slipped off in the piece of fleece I was holding him in. With some advice from one of our fellow glider owners we used a section of a large diameter drinking straw and gauze to fashion a splint over the affected area, and then wrapped that with vet wrap. Poor little Pascal looked miserable.

On Monday M brought him in for his surgery, and he came home around 1:00 p.m. His tail is now two-thirds shorter. There are two sutures closing the wound over the end of his tail. On Monday night we had to remove the wrap on his tail, and it soon fluffed out after looking wet and sad looking. Unfortunately for Pascal, we had to change his e-collar to what is called a shot glass style because the standard e-collar allowed him to get to his tail. We have to keep him away from the end of his tail for 10 to 14 days.  That is presenting some additional challenges which I'll write about in my next post.

Pascal in his "hospital" cage just after we removed the bandage and got him in his new e-collar.