Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I feel like Dr. Doolittle

except the talking and understanding part.

Of course, it is well established all that I did to care for Sad!e - pills, gels, food, subcutaneous fluids, vitamin injections, etc. It was a labor of love.

With Mem.phis, we are merely battling ear mites, but it is a losing battle, both with the crap that I get out of his ears every other day and with the idea of catching him to torture him. (Val - help!) Last week, I touched him Thursday to clean his ears and the next time I touched him was on Saturday, to again clean his ears. Not good. Since then, we catch him just to torture him without cleaning his ears. Yeah, he loves us.

Janie Betta, my simple pet, now has the mange, too. Probably two months ago, I got all smart and decided that she needed a real plant, even though she breathes from the surface and doesn't need a real plant at all, not in the very least. Well, the plant apparently had some growth on it and I've had trouble with her water since. First, she looked as if she'd had a run in with some batting, then all the rocks and the fake plant started having a dusting of rust each time the water got older. I usually changed it every two weeks.

Then Janie developed a moustache late last week, so the batting was winning. Turns out, she has cotton mouth = body fungus (although it is bacterial) and $22 later (on a $5 fish) yesterday I thought we were on track. I'd researched online what to buy - aquarium salt, copper sulfate, and tetracycline.

You know how they say not to believe everything you read on the Internet? Or a store clerk either? Last evening, I was bored enough to read the tiny print of the product insert and learned that cotton mouth is actually a gram positive bacteria (higher order bacterium) and tetracycline is for gram negative. So we raced to the store before closing and spent another $7 on erythromycin. And in an extreme measure of hope, I bought her another plastic plant because I don't want to put any of the old stuff back in her currently nekked bowl: $30 yesterday on Janie Betta.

Changing chemicals on a fish, scary proposition. This poor little fish has been through the wringer and I didn't expect her to last overnight, but she did. Almost immediately last evening, the fibrous bacteria growing from her feelers was gone. This morning, she seems to have some giddy up, even though she still has her white moustache.

Throughout this, her eating has slowed, but she always ate everything at each meal. I was even feeding her extra, but the pet store guy from last night (vs. the one from a different version of the chain yesterday morning) said you need to give their system a rest and feed less instead of more.

For all I've done wrong, Janie Betta seems like she'll pull through. Her scales still look crispy like armour, but she is 'breathing' much more calmly. They don't use their gills, but the gills still move and last night they were swollen and heaving after changing the water. She looked miserable and overtaxed. I think the bacteria was mad, in rebellion.

The course with the antibiotic is to change portions of the water every other day essentially as dosages, four times total and that should do it.

Let's not lose another pet around here.

And let's let me off the hook for animal care duties some time soon. I want to do no more than put out food and water for a while.


DD said...

I'm too selfish for pets right now. I already play the RE. I don't want to play the vet as well.

Just don't go and catch the flu.

Cricket said...

Shit, now you've doomed me.

(Knocking on wood - no illness here all winter)

Well-heeled mom said...

We went through hell and back when we first got a tank of fish. The pet store people were of no help at all. We figured it out on our own, all the while wondering why we didn't just stick to what we know - which would be dogs.