Thursday, December 27, 2007

Crazy Christmas! Peace...well almost

We had the most awful day before Christmas eve. It started with the death of one of our parakeets. Then proceeded to a very sick guinea pig. No vet was open as it was the night of the holiday. The guinea pig took some water, and some carrots, and I hoped it would hold on until the next morning so I could take it to the vet. Sadly, he didn't make it through the night. Rex died about 3 am after having trouble breathing. I heard him struggling (I slept in the living room that night) and I had grabbed my coat and keys to rush him to the emergency vet (knowing full well it would cost over $400), but before I could pick him up to place him in the towel and carrier, he passed away. The next day as I was running my final errands for the holidays, my children called to tell me that one more bird had taken ill, and we tried to give it antibiotics that we had for our previously sick bird. It was too late, as that bird also passed by the time I got home. 3 deceased pets. What a way to start the holiday. If only we had known, we could have started them all on the antibiotics....but...
Step back to several weeks ago....we had a bird that was near death, that I rushed to the ER vet. After $370 in ER treatment and meds from the regular vet costing $40...the little bird now seems fine. Apparently she had contracted psittacosis (also known as parrot fever). We had lost 2 parakeets in the month before as well. It can be passed from birds to birds, and now supposedly guinea pig and also to human (through the bird contact or cleaning of cages), but not human to human. When the first bird took ill, I had to take my children to the doctors and out for blood work as they both had lingering colds *(a sign that they may have contracted the disease). The health department becomes involved as well as it is a zoonotic (animal to human) disease. The whole thing is a fright!
I then took all 9 of the remaining birds to the vet after getting the kids finished with all of their medical issues. She said none of them were sick and therefore didn't need treatments. Only if they showed signs of illness, we could then start them on the meds. However we lost 3 before ever being able to get the meds. Now, that we have lost 3 pets since that visit, we have decided to treat ALL the pets with the same antibiotics (doxycycline) the tune of $472!!! Giving 8 birds and 1 guinea pig antibiotic drops twice a day for 45 days! The whole thing has me in a tizzy. And we won't want folks to come over till we have eradicated this dreadful thing, and disinfected all cages, etc. So we have quarantined ourselves for now. We can go out, but no one should really come in.
So that was the beginning of our Christmas. It could only go uphill from here!
The good news.... Christmas was lovely. We had an amazing Christmas eve with our dear friend Debbie and her family with the most scrumptious seafood buffet, after attending church together. We slept in till 11am...even the kids!!! Christmas day...we visited with Brian's side of the family and then mine with a big dinner at my Mom's (thanks for always cooking Mom!). The kids got lots of great stuff! And I got the movie Hairspray which we watched together last night.
After days of endless stress and sleepless days and nights, we are at last sensing a bit of peace.
With that I would like to post some Christmas cards I am still working on sending out. It's still holiday week, right? Pitiful that the card maker, didn't get her cards out in time! The season just got the best of me with all of our birdie issues and everything else that needs done for the holidays.

So here are several of my Christmas cards along with an ornament. Tomorrow I will be posting a piece of artwork I did by hand for a client.

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