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What Does The Bear Say?

Have you ever wondered what the bear in the famous “Funny bear walking like human” video say? To answer some questions from curious readers about my animal communication skill, here’s a short conversation that the bear and I had. Whether it’s an imaginary or a real conversation, only the bear and I know 🙂

Me: Isn’t it hard to balance yourself and walk on hind legs?
Bear: No, I’m comfortable doing it. It’s not difficult at all.
M: Why do you walk like that?
B: I feel more comfortable walking like this. It’s not wrong to walk like this, is it?
M: What do you mean ‘more comfortable’? Isn’t it easier for you to walk on four legs?
B: Look at my legs, they are very short! What can I see by standing on those short legs? I need better vision of my surrounding.
M: But you know what your enclosure look like. Why do you still need better vision?
B: So I know when food is approaching.
M: Don’t you get enough food already?
B: It’s never enough.
M: Then what can make you feel better?
B: Water. It’s very hot recently.
M: I mean what kind of food can make you feel better or less hungry?
B: Banana.

Do you have questions you want to ask the bear? Leave a comment below or contact us. I’ll convey your questions to the bear and publish the answers in the next few days.

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Baby Wildlife is So Cute So I Keep One As A Pet

What do you think when you read the title? If you think the title doesn’t make sense, then this article is probably not for you. But if you think the title suits you, then this article is definitely for you and you should read it till the end.

If you travel to Asia, chance is you’ll see cute baby animals, dressed in cute clothing and mostly available as photo props. If you show big interest and say “Cuteness overload! I wanna buy one! I wanna keep one at home!”, sometimes they can be sold as a pet to you instantly. Nobody denies that baby animals are so cute and adorable. They are  tiny, fluffy and super cute. Once you cuddle them, you fall in love with them and decide to keep one as a pet. If you love animals of course you want to do your best for them. There’s no way you want to hurt those cute baby animals, correct? Now the question is, what’s the best thing you can do for the babies? So here are a few options of what you can do to show your love and care for captured baby animals:

1. Pose for pictures with them. Have you ever wondered how the baby animals ended up as a photo prop? Most babies are obtained from the wild, and the easiest way to catch a baby animal is to kill its mother. I won’t give lengthy explanation about this topic here but you can read more about animals and photo props here. Think twice before you pose pictures with baby animals. Is the suffering in their lives worth for your social media picture?

Beyonce Knowles posing with baby chimp and tiger cub. Not a good role model.

Beyonce Knowles, not a good role model in this case.

2. Keep them as pet. So you fall in love with them and decided to keep one as a pet. Suddenly they are sick, maybe because their diet is not as good and not as natural as what they eat in the wild. Because you love them, of course you take them to the vet. No matter how expensive the bills will be, you are willing to save your beloved baby. Now what happens next at the vet? Your vet looks confused because they haven’t seen this animal before. They are not sure what to do with your baby. Oh, wait… They know someone who can help and ask you to wait for a minute. As a wildlife vet I have numerous experience of being called by other vet colleagues saying they have this unusual patient that looks like a wild cat, or like a kind of monkey, or a kind of bird, or even a kind of alien. Here’s the real situation: Some vets can’t even identify the animal species, leave alone diagnosing what common diseases the animals could possibly have. This inability restricts them from giving the right treatment, in addition to they don’t know what drugs can or cannot be used in those exotic animals. Worse, some even cannot handle the patient for a thorough exam because the animals are aggressive, which is normal because they are wildlife and are not meant to be tamed. I don’t blame the vets for not being able to check the patient because most vet schools don’t teach about wildlife subjects in details. I blame the owner for keeping illegal wildlife.

3. Cuddle them every day. They are so cute! You want to spend every possible second with them. You carry them everywhere, you show your best friends and they envy you, you eat with them, you sleep with them. It’s easy to control baby animals, but days after days, weeks after weeks, it does not take long to show their true wild behavior. What used to be cuddly baby turns to be a feisty kinkajou, a bity loris and a scratchy leopard cat. You can’t cuddle them anymore. So what happens next? Remove their claws and their teeth even though it means you’re hurting them? Wait a minute, you don’t want to hurt them, do you? But at the same time you can’t cuddle and play with aggressive animals too. Well, then the message is clear. Don’t buy exotic pets from the very beginning.

Paris Hilton bitten by her kinkajou. She had to receive tetanus jab because of the bite.

Paris Hilton bitten by her kinkajou. She had to receive tetanus jab because of the bite.

Further read: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/ridiculous-reasons-people-give-for-keeping-exotic-animals-as-pets

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How Much Do You Trust Your Vet?

A few days ago I saw someone posted on Facebook asking questions regarding her pet’s health. Apparently she had just found a puppy who was in a really bad condition. She went to a vet to get the puppy checked but after the visit she doesn’t trust the vet anymore because according to her the vet “does not inspire confidence”. Instead of going to another vet to get a second opinion, she posted on Facebook group and asked the members there against the vet’s advice as you can read from the screenshot below. stupid pet owner final What worries me most is the answers she gets. The first person to comment (Orange) called her friend Green to ask her opinion about deworming and she gave a solution that even she said MAYBE it would work. Green, whose background is not vet-related but works in a local animal shelter, gave a solution of giving injectable animal drug. Please note that Green also said “maybe”. The owner (Blue) was not sure with the solution given by Green. So Green asked her friend, Red, to confirm whether her solution was okay or not. Red, who is also not from vet-related background, gave another solution and said the vet’s advice was wrong based on her ‘knowledge’. Please note that nobody gave advice to visit another vet for a second opinion. Everyone gave their own solution for the poor pup. It was only when Blue asked for a good vet then Red gave a contact of a different vet. It would cause more work for the vet if the pet owner continued with random solutions she had got. She claims her vet (who has knowledge) has no confidence, yet she listens to non vet people who seems confident but has no idea of what they suggest. Unfortunately that kind of posts or questions is not uncommon. With the ease of internet and social networking nowadays people tend to ask for free solution for their pet’s health. I understand vet visit can be expensive nowadays but there are a few reasons for it. We, vets, spend at least six years of study to understand animal health, to understand how drug works (not by giving random antibiotics or antiparasitic drugs), to understand disease symptoms and how to treat them. Really, we don’t have to waste 6 years in university if pet owners prefer to listen to Google or what the community says. To avoid being that kind of pet owner and being a horrible client for your vets, here are some tips from me:

  1. Start in your neighborhood. Ask your neighbors for a few recommended vets near you and visit them to see if they are good enough. Keep one number of good vet for emergency. Believe it or not, when someone is in panic sometimes it’s easier to ask on social media rather than to call their vets. If there’s no good vet nearby, expand your search zone and search more vets.
  2. Ask other pet owners who have the same dog/cat breed as you do for a reliable vet based on their experience. Due to similarities in their genetics, animals of the same breed tend to have similar inherited diseases.
  3. Visit a few different vets and pick which one suits you best. This may sound expensive but it is worth investing for your furry kids to find a good vet by experiencing them personally.
  4. If you feel you still have to ask Google after a vet visit, it means you haven’t trust them fully. Keep on trying a few other vets until you find a vet that you can fully trust and asking Google is not necessary anymore.
  5. If you really need to ask online, please use Google scholar instead of asking random people.
  6. Use online vet consultation service. Nowadays a few websites offer online consultation. This can be a quick alternative, but considering the vet’s inability to check your animal condition directly, it’s still essential to take your pets for a direct vet exam and you can consult the exam or diagnosis result online.

Having a pet is a life-long commitment. You can’t adopt or buy a puppy/kitten because they are cute but then abandon them because pet care is expensive. Health is one of the most important things for all creatures and investing in a good vet is essential for your pet’s life. Please choose your vet wisely. cant afford vet bills

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9 Things Every Vet Will Experience

A while ago I posted some experiences being a wildlife vet. I think it’s unfair if I exclude the experiences working at small animal practices. So today I’m sharing my experiences from small animal vet point of view. Here are 9 things you’ll likely experience if you’re a vet:

1. You accidentally mix patient’s name and owner’s name. Yes, it’s a very common mistake that every one of us do. Sometimes the pet’s name is easy to recognize as an animal name, such as Brownie, Fluffy, Princess, but most of times their names are very similar to someone’s names, such as Troy, Alice, Simon, etc.

2. You are not a pervert but you touch animal bums hundreds times a week, thousands times a month. Ewww… I know it sounds gross but admit it, taking your patient’s temperature is one of the most common exam you have to do on a daily (if not hourly) basis.

rabbit butt

Come touch my cute butt! Source: pinterest.com

3. At first you might tremble when you do your first ever surgery, but as your skill improves after tens or hundreds of surgery, you now have a new hobby. Your itchy hands can’t stay away from scalpel and a day without surgery becomes a boring day.

4. When you see an animal with big protruding vein suddenly your mind says “What an easy vein to catheterize!” and when you see intact stray male dogs or cats your mind says “I’m gonna cut your balls!” I know for non vet readers it sounds crazy but trust me, it’s very normal for vets to say those things.

horse jugular vein

5. You become a detective, in some way. When you ask questions to your client regarding their pet’s health, don’t expect them to tell you the truth 100%. Instead, expect to play some detective game to see what they actually do to their pets.

6. You spend at least 6 years in vet school but ironically in your client’s mind your advice sometimes means nothing compared to those who come from pet shop owner. Moreover, your knowledge will be compared to Google, a LOT. Unfortunately a lot of misleading information is easily accessible from Google nowadays. Someone from engineer background writes an article about their own experience regarding their pet’s health and somehow it becomes a reference for your client to say your method is wrong.

vet vs cashier

7. You want the animals to be healthy, thus you are happy to see healthy animals, but hey life is a paradox. I know every vet has a favorite case and somehow you are glad to see an animal suffering from it. I have a friend who loves squeezing abscess and every time she has a patient who suffers from it she always exclaims happily “Yes, I love abscess!” I honestly don’t know which can make her happier: to see the animal heals quickly or to squeeze the pus every day for a month.

8. You are compassionate towards animals but have to be heartless sometimes. You love all your patients, but there are times when you have to put them in a deep peaceful sleep to end their pain. To say it personally, this is my weakest point.

9. There are quiet days, there are busy days. When you have no patients and have no work left to do, you complain about how boring your job is. Somehow someone hears you and within 3 minutes sends an emergency to your clinic. When you are busy scrubbing your hands for emergency surgery, another emergency comes in. Be careful of what you wish for.

Does anyone have interesting vet-related experience that you think we should know? It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced vet, a fresh graduated vet or even a future vet, you are more than welcome to share your experience by commenting below.

being a vet liz

 

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Fun Fact: Tamaraw

Woo hoo, it’s that time again this week for fun fact Friday! A fun fact a week keeps the foolishness away. Today’s topic is tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis).

This species is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) on IUCN Red List and on Appendix I of CITES. The major threats to this species are habitat loss and illegal hunting for human consumption. Now here are 5 fun facts you probably didn’t know about Bubalus mindorensis:

1. They are dwarf giants. It sounds like a paradox and it is. Tamaraw is also known as Mindoro dwarf buffalo, but despite of their mini size, they are still the largest mammal found within Philippine, their native country.

2. They always have time for make-up. Covered mostly in dark colored fur, light markings can be found above their eyes, forming ‘eyebrows’ and some individuals have white spots on their lower cheeks.

Source: philippine-animals-mammals.webs.com

Source: philippine-animals-mammals.webs.com

3. They are shy but curious creatures. They rest in thick vegetation during the day and active at night to eat grasses, bamboo shoots, saplings and other vegetation. They were formerly diurnal but changed their active hours to avoid human encroachment and have become nocturnal. They are solitary and known to show aggressiveness towards other tamaraws. They are also said to charge their pursuer.

4. “V” is their favourite letter. One of striking features of tamaraw is their horns. They are V-shaped, growing from the forehead, has flat back surface and triangular base.

Source: news.mongabay.com

Source: news.mongabay.com

5. They cannot lie about their age. The age of a tamaraw can be seen from its horns. The horns grow longer relative to the length of the ears and broaden at the base. Hence, the horn’s length and thickness can be used to age them. Enjoy reading the fun facts? Do you have a favorite animal or any other animals that you would like me to write the fun facts about? Let me know by commenting below. Spread the info and have a nice weekend! 🙂