Monday, April 4, 2011

The Flopsy Memo

Last week the following memo was given to the Animal Care staff:

Axolotl “Flopsy” went in to the vet because of swelling on the left side of her face and nasal discharge. Dr. Maas [our vet from The Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine] expressed a surprising quantity of whitish discharge from her left nostril. Her face was noticeably more normal looking when he was done. The discharge was full of bacteria and dead cells, but had no signs of fungal infection. Dr. Maas said she appears to have a sinus infection.

She is to be given a daily antibiotic injection. The antibiotic is stored in the freezer. Before injecting, thaw it to room temperature, and remove all the air from the syringe. They put in a lot of air to protect the syringe from damage when the liquid expands during freezing.

Place Flopsy in a small plastic container and restrain her while you inject into the flesh part of her shoulder. Use the left shoulder on even days and the right on odd days. Wearing gloves helps make her slightly less slippery. The shot does hurt when it happens and she will thrash. But remind yourself that axolotls have incredible healing powers and that an infection hurts worse. And falling would hurt much worse, so don’t be afraid to use sufficient restraint.

If her face looks swollen again, either let me know or you can gently press the sinus area below her eye, toward the nostril, to clear out more of the discharge.

Sarah Moore
March 30, 2011

Never a dull moment in Animal Care!

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