Posts tagged with "pets"

A Funny Friday Video for You From the Future Resqranch!

Sometimes, you just have to put yourself out there, rough edges and all.

Last night at 9 pm I realized that the First Bank video contest submission was due by 4 pm today.

Yikes!

So I worked on it last night, at daybreak, and right up to the deadline.

Because I am not a master video editor, it took all I was worth to just get it done and uploaded on time.

So it may not be polished, but it does show the clear vision of the Resqranch.

If you have 3 minutes, I would appreciate it if you would check it out, so that, going into the holidays,

you know how we are changing the world.

I hope you aren’t too hard on me, you get a chuckle, and mostly that you enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=5PSOiIQkF-0&feature=vm

http://www.Resqranch.org

Are You Ready for a Magical Bond?

I have a confession to make. I have been calling myself a Life Coach for quite some time, although the reality is, I have not been doing much coaching. Consulting, yes. Veterinary care, yes. However, I have not given clients the opportunity to engage with me in a true coaching experience. Where we work together, week by week, side by side, to really uncover, dig deep, bring to light, and solve, any and all of the issues you have with your beloved animals that stand in the way between you having the most magical, loving relationship you can even now imagine.

Because, that relationship, that bond, is really what is all about, isn’t it? We were all looking for love when we brought animals into our lives. That is the one driving force which binds all us animal lovers, and that is love. That unconditional love animals uniquely provide for us during our human experience.  And when we chose to bring animals into our lives, we were  hoping that we got more love, much more love, than heartache, and hassle.  For some of us, this is the case. And then we spend each day in fear of losing that love. We all know they just don’t live long enough. That is the greatest tragedy of giving your heart to an animal. You are the lucky ones.

For others, it hasn’t quite yet worked out that way.  The unexpected heartaches and hassles, all work together to build a wall around our hearts and don’t allow us to fully experience the joy that comes with sharing our lives with an animal. Each new day brings an opportunity for renewal. Some days are better than others, but the struggle is real, and the answers are not always so easy to find.

If you can identify with either one of these scenarios, I have a special invitation for you. No one knows animal lovers better than I do. The secret places deep in your heart that you only allow your animals to see. Your doubts, your fears, your weaknesses, that you attempt to drown in your animal’s sweet furry hugs.  I know, because I have walked in those shoes too, all my life. So I invite you now, to walk with me. Either to that place where the hassles and heartaches disappear, and nothing is left but the joyous, bountiful, unconditional love, or to that place where the doubts, insecurities, and fears melt away, and you are fully present in your animal’s love, knowing that there is nothing that stands between you and your beloved friend in the material world and that an eternity together is assured.

So, if you are ready to invest in your animal (s), and in yourself, and make the commitment to achieve the most amazing, productive, happy, healthy, youngest, longest life together that you could have ever dreamed possible, then join me for a 6 or 12 month journey, to achieve results beyond your wildest dreams. http://drquesten.com/consultations/

Still undecided? Don’t delay, contact us for a complimentary initial consultation to see if we are the right fit for each other. You have NOTHING to lose, and everything to gain!

DrQ and you, creating a magical bond people and the animals who love them. Contact us today!

 

How Much Space Do I Need For An/Another Animal?

Lot’s of people want animals in their lives,  but don’t always get them because they are not sure if they have enough room in their condo, small home, or small acreage for the animals they would like to have.  Here in this live video clip we talk about just this very subject.

Additionally, I answered a viewer question about how to keep a puppy quiet in a crate at night, and as usual, I attempt to demonstrate brushing my cat’s teeth, and encouraging you to give it a try!

I hope you enjoy this replay of today’s LIVE broadcast https://youtu.be/_rJldiCllpc and the continuation https://youtu.be/rOxMZfrqzfc!

If this information is helpful to you, please like and share, Dr. Q on Facebook, and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

On that note, I’m DrQ, here to help YOU, and your animals live younger, longer! Have a great weekend everyone!

3 Steps to Peaceful Living in Multi-Pet Homes

Hi everyone!

If there is one thing for sure about animal lover’s, it’s that cats (or insert animal species of your choice here______) are like potato chips, you can’t have just one!

Invariably this can cause some tension now and then between animals within a household, and even between one animal and several people in a household.

We have boiled it down to two things the people need, and three things the animals need, to help minimize the stress, and help everyone stay younger, longer!

For the people it’s really just two things:

  1. The willingness to believe that animals are  trying to tell you something, and you are trying to understand what it is,

and

  1. The willingness to put ego aside and really listen and respond to what they are ‘saying’, even if it we don’t really like what it is! Allow them to have their own opinion, so to say.

That’s it! That is all you have to do! Not that hard, right?

 

Now for the animals, they need three things:

  1. Enough space, including a bed, of their very own. Make sure each animal has enough space relative to its species (a rat needs a big enclosure but a dog needs an even bigger one!).  Animals need a safe space they can feel safe in and call their own.  How many beds? Always aim for at least one more than animals, so they can have a choice of where to spend their time.
  2. A secure, feeding place and dish of their own. No one wants to feel like they have to share if they don’t want to. Each animal in the family is entitled to their own food dish, and to be safe and secure while eating meals so they can’t be bullied by anyone else during meal times.
  3. Play time! This is your daily bonding time! Take a moment to look them over from top to bottom each day (grooming too is even better), have some loving eye contact, and get a little exercise. Even if it’s only for a minute, this is the reason why we have animals in the first place. So take time to enjoy them each day. Exercise helps keep them, and us, young!

For more in depth on this, check out my LIVE broadcast above.

Thanks so much for tuning in! On that note, I’m DrQ, here to help you both, stay younger, longer. If you find this helpful, please like, follow, and share on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. AND have a great day! 🙂

 

How to Properly Move Pet Fish

So your fish keeping friend is moving and has offered to give you all their fish, lucky you!  But how to properly get those beautiful new finds safely from their pond or tank to yours.  Even if this is not exactly the case, there may come a time when you need to move fish, such as because they are newly purchased,  going to a show, or are going for a visit to the vets office. Therefore it is good to do a review of proper fish handling and transport.Seahorse Hippocampus kuda

First of all, fish that have been in a pond or tank for many years are often not kept in the most optimal conditions.  They have often long outgrown the appropriate size for their environment.  Overcrowding equates to poor water quality and a depressed immune system.  Although they may appear perfectly healthy now due to the fish’s incredible ability to acclimate to most any gradual changes, the stress of moving is often all that it takes to push the fish over the edge and allow them to suffer from all manner of illnesses and parasites.  Even fish that are  transferred from presumptively “disease free” sources can potentially be carriers of disease.  Some conditions can be difficult to detect in carrier fish, and some pathogens may go undetected if they have not produced clinical signs in any of the fish.  Do not believe it when the store says the fish have already been quarantined! Brutus the koi fish

To minimize spreading of these potential diseases to your pond; first, acquire the services of a knowledgeable fish veterinarian.  If possible have the fish’s health and environment evaluated before the move.  This can be scheduled while the isolation or quarantine tank(s) are establishing since of course, you do NOT want to move the new fish directly into your pond on the first day.  During those times when it is not possible to have the fish evaluated BEFORE the move, then plan to have them examined within the first week or two in your quarantine facility to minimize the potential spread of pathogens into your pond.

Ideally, fish should be fasted for about three days before being moved.   Some report fasting for up to a week, but this tends to add to the stress of the fish and is not recommended.  Fasting the fish will help minimize waste during transport which will maintain water quality, which becomes more significant with the farther distance traveled.  Caution must be used to minimize stressing the fish during capture and restraint.  Latex or similar gloves should be worn when handling the fish to protect their delicate skin and to protect you from potential pathogens.  No jewelry should be worn.  Fish should be gently guided head first into catch bowls in the water; fish should NOT be lifted out of the water with nets if at all possible.  Any nets used should be of the type which will minimize damage to the sensitive skin of the fish.  Nets are primarily used just to guide the movement of the fish.  The fish should be lifted out of the water in either a catch bowl or a fish sock (fine mesh bag), which is then picked up on both ends and from there the fish is moved into what it will travel in. Goldie

The safest way to transport fish is in a plastic bag with just enough water to cover the fish, and the rest of the bag filled up with pure oxygen.  Fish of any considerable size should be placed in two bags as their dorsal fins, as well as hooks near the anal fins, have been known to cut plastic bags.  The plastic bag(s) should then be placed in cardboard boxes and padded with newspaper to minimize their rolling around.  For trips of less than 30 minutes fish can be transported in buckets, plastic-lined regular or Styrofoam coolers with about 1 liter of water for every centimeter of fish if supplemental oxygen is not provided.  Any container fish are transported in must be covered to protect the fish from injury by jumping out.  Noniodized salt can be added to the water, but must be carefully measured to equal one teaspoonful per gallon. Do NOT add salt if going for a visit to the vet, as this might make it more problematic to locate parasites on the fish when they get examined.

Once at the new locale, plastic bags should be floated in the quarantine tank for around 30 minutes to acclimate to the new water temperature before the fish are released.  If fish are being moved into a freshwater quarantine tank, it should have a separate fully cycled filter sponge or another type of nitrification system, and consider adding non-iodized or sea salt added,  to a level of 0.3%. Salt reduces the osmoregulatory effort of the fish, which is how much nutrition it needs to breathe and digest food.  This level of salinity should be maintained throughout the quarantine period of at least two but preferably 4-6 weeks.  While in quarantine the water should be checked daily to ensure ammonia (should be 0), nitrate, nitrate, and Ph levels.  Use partial water changes to maintain good water quality, and be prepared for a Ph crash.Killer the fish

Other treatments that can be done during the quarantine period are to feed the fish medicated food. It is important to ensure the new fish are eating well, tempt them to eat with food and treats specific for their species.  Random treatment with antiparasitic agents is NOT recommended unless the tests performed by your veterinarian confirm and warrant such treatment.   Monitor all the fish every day to ensure they are eating and swimming well without scale/skin lesions or frayed fins.  Use separate nets and equipment for the quarantined fish to prevent cross contamination, and at the end of the quarantine period thoroughly disinfect all such equipment with diluted chlorhexidine or other net safe solution.

At the end of the quarantine period, release the new fish in the pond or tank to join the current residents, and enjoy the freedom of knowing you have done everything possible to ensure the best possible outcome for your new additions!

If the fish are not going into quarantine, but just being transported to visit the vets office, be sure to bring with you another container with the water the fish is acclimated to, so that there is fresh water for the fish to travel back home in.  For smaller fish, I usually recommend transporting the fish in a plastic bag, and then having at least the same amount of water in another plastic bag just in case of bag breaks, a bucket spills, or whatever the case may be.  You can never be too careful about when transporting fish. I also prefer them to come to my office in a cooler, as this minimizes temperature fluctuates no matter what the weather outside,  which helps keep stress to a minimum.

In summary, with a little preparation, it is easy to safely transport your pet fish for whatever purposes you might need. I am here for you to do housecalls in and around Denver, Colorado for your fresh, salt, and pond water fish. You can even book me on line here http://www.drkoi.com. Best wishes for you and your fishes!

Harambe: What Can We Learn?

Animal lovers in the virtual world of the internet have been abuzz  this week furiously discussing Harambe the 17 year old endangered lowland gorilla that was shot and killed this week in the Cincinnati zoo when a little boy entered his enclosure.  One thing they all have in common, is a sadness and sense of frustration at what seems like a senseless loss of a magnificent animal. Normal human nature at times like this is to try to place the blame.  Some say it’s with the mother, saying she was negligent to not monitor her child and allow him to enter the animal’s enclosure, and she should face criminal charges in the death of the animal. Others blame zoo’s, and demand they all be shut down and we release animals from their prison’s in the first place.  Those somewhere in the middle struggle with understand why the animal was not just tranquilized? We understand now that it would have taken too long to dart and tranquilize the gorilla, but isn’t there something else they could have done other than kill this precious animal?

As an animal professional, the first thing I would like to point out, is that of the hundreds of people weighing in with their passionate comments, very few if any have worked with animal’s in zoo’s or spent any time behind the scenes. Few of them have experience with the nature and behaviors of lowland gorillas. Harsh assumptions are made, emotionally charged petitions are started,  however, how many of those people signing and speaking out are actually qualified in some way to carefully evaluate all sides of the situation, and then make an educated decision? Based on the comments I have seen, I would say very few.

People are often harambeconfused about why the animal was not tranquilized, instead of shot and killed. They villainize the dangerous animal control team (although they probably did not even know that existed before this week), and zoo officials for making this difficult decision.  However they have no basis, background, knowledge, or expertise, to allow them the privilege of getting to weigh in on such a difficult situation.

In reality, it was the best time possible for such an episode to occur. We should be grateful to Cincinnati zoo officials for having a dangerous animal control team in the first place. We should be grateful they were prepared to make quick decision. We should be grateful they had just had a practice drill the week before. Image how much more tragic the situation might have been without competent professionals, who care so much for their job, the animals, and who treat their responsibilities with such profound respect, that they were prepared for addressing just such an emergency, in advance!

I can assure you people who work in zoo’s are not just sitting around waiting for the moment to shoot and kill the animals. They are often criticized, hard working animal lovers who are well trained, love what they do, and the animal’s they care for. They are working a thankless job, long hours, for often meager pay, just for the opportunity and privilege to live their dream, and work daily to carefully care for some of the most magnificent animal’s on the planet.

For the people who think we should shut down all zoo’s, I simply ask the very real questions, 1) where would all the animals in captivity now, go, and who would pay for it all, and 2) what then shall we do with all the animal’s in captivity who are not capable of caring for themselves in the wild, and who will pay for them? It is obvious there are no easy answers.

Instead of rising up against the zoo’s, how about we start petitions to raise money to fund research into fast acting tranquilizers? Because this could be the best, most realistic answer to this entire situation for the future.

Charging the child’s mother with criminally does nothing to prevent this fate for other animals. Closing down zoo’s is not realistic, or even  best for society and animal’s in the long run. The answers usually lay in that middle ground. We have to sometimes look outside the box for answers. We should ask zoo officials, the most qualified people to comment on the situation,  what would have helped them to have been able to avoid this tragedy. Perhaps the answer is a new medication,  procedure, or equipment, so that animal’s can be quickly, safely,  and instantly immobilized, so they don’t have to lose their lives, and zoo professional’s  don’t have to lose living their dream, which will help save the future for all us animal’s together, on this small, fragile planet.

On that note, I am DrQ, here to help you, better understand the world of animal’s and people.  Thank you for reading!

 

Free Positive Pet Advice on Facebook!

Do you ever notice how pets seem to start acting strangely, or come up with new unwanted behaviors, right after most business office hours? How many times has that happened to you? Many times that is when we make a quick visit to  Google to see what the world has to say about what might be happening with your pet. The GREAT news is, we do have the internet! Although people often make negative remarks about it, with a little common sense and due diligence, it’s not usually too difficult to figure out what makes good sense, versus that which is a bunch of malarkey, or just people trying to sound bigger and more important than they are. (Aren’t you glad you don’t walk in that guy’s shoes).

Just as most veterinarians,  I can’t always answer every message on Facebook or text at certain times such as,  the middle of a surgery, or during a behavior consultation.  This leaves people looking for answers needing  to contact an emergency hospital, or surf the internet and hope to find good information. For real medical emergencies it is still best to get to the nearest after hours emergency vet right away. However for good, quick answers to behavior, training, and basic health care questions, a really great group on Facebook, one that I have come to know and love, is called  Positive Pet Advice. PPA

Positive Pet Advice was created October 12, 2014, by Louis Walton, a dog professional who was tired of the same old dog training groups where people spent as much time talking about their credentials, than they did actually trying to use their experience and knowledge to help others looking for answers. Young people today don’t go to the library anymore to research the answers, they go on the internet and hope to find the same information. This is mostly a blessing, since now we have more good information available faster than ever before. However, as with all things, sometimes you get what you pay for, and free advice must always be taken with a dose of caution.

However, armed with that knowledge, pet groups on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites do often have some knowledgeable people participating when they can, so when the work is split up among a group, you often can get nearly 24 hour 7 day a week free advice which more often than not is likely to be of some use to you, and fairly accurate. Getting that advice from a group such as Positive Pet Advice is even better, since most of the time the comments are very helpful, and monitored fairly closely by the administrators of the site to ensure it sounds reasonable, and just as importantly, polite. Thus the name POSITIVE Pet Advice.   Some groups on the internet criticize others for asking questions some might feel is treating an animal ‘wrong’ or ‘bad”. In this group that sort of criticism is not allowed, however, discussions are encouraged which center around certain standards of care, and training methods, as a means to educate and enlighten those interested and willing.

Speaking of the admin, or administrators of the site, they are lovely group of dog trainers and animal behaviorists, some even having experience with zoo animals, and highly recognized speakers in their fields.  Not to mention they are all a selfless bunch of people who donate hours of their time every single day, week after week,  to make sure the group runs smoothly, provides members with helpful pet information, and without a single thought of compensation, only because they know it is the right to do. Now often do you find that in the world anymore?

So, if you find yourself searching on line for some sort of health, behavior, or training advice, and it is NOT a medical emergency, then I encourage you to ask to join the closed group Positive Pet Advice on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/767055476662599/.  I have been working remotely with this group for over a year, and it is one of the most rewarding part of my work week. It is so encouraging to work hand in hand with such a talented group of animals experts in their respective fields, who give so freely of themselves, really just for the sake of helping the animals and their people. They do great live videos, give gifts to members, and other fun things, too!

Just to be clear, for any medical emergency or serious health concerns, please contact your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible. If you are just wondering about a product, a practice, or fun ways to make new toys or games for your animals, then Positive Pet Advice is a safe, welcome place, I recommend and support, to all my clients and friends.

On that note, I am DrQ, here to help you, and your animals live happier and healthier, longer. If you are on Facebook, like Dr. Q and join Positive Pet Advice! Thanks for reading!

Betta Fish 101!

You see him from across the room, all bright colors and radiant personality, virtually calling out to you “Hey you, come over here! Check me out! Am I not the most handsome thing you have seen all day? You know you want me baby…!

So who is this alluring creature that has captivated your heart and mind? It’s the magnificent betta fish! First things first, his name is “bet”-“tah” fish, not “bay”-“ta”. You don’t want to hurt his macho pride, do you? Well actually that’s just part of the story. His (or her) real name is Siamese Fighting Fish, or to be more specific (and accurate)  Betta Splendens.

The picture of health!

The picture of health!

They come from Asia, specifically the tropical waters of Thailand (formally Siam). The natural habitat of this fish is the shallow streams and rice paddies of Vietnam and Thailand. These huge, shallow areas of wetland are where they carouse around rivers skimming insects, larvae and insect eggs off the surface of the water with their upturned mouths, and doing so wearing much less dramatic colors. Males are relatively territorial and will defend their own space from other fish, especially those who also have colorful, flowing fins. They love to hide, rest and play in the abundant foliage found in their natural habitat.

Around the 19th century people from Malaysia and Thailand began to collect these fish from the wild. They were kept for both bright color patterns and long flowing fins, as well as aggression. This developed in conjunction with staged fish fighting matches, apparently enjoyed by the King of Siam in 1840. In the wild these fish only spar for a few minutes, however in captivity they were bred for a willingness to continue fighting. Once a fish retreats, the match would be considered over. Luckily not a fight to the death!

One of the most fascinating facts about this unique fish is that it has a labyrinth organ, a defining characteristic of fish in the suborder Anabantoidei, which the betta belongs to,  which allows it to actually obtain oxygen from the air above the surface of the water,  instead of taking it from the water through their gills.  The labyrinth organ helps the inhaled oxygen to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and develops from  expansion of a bone in the first gill arch.  As a result, like all labyrinth fish, they can survive for a short period of time out of water, provided they stay moist. For a betta fish to stay healthy, it is critically important  for them to periodically get some exercise as well as use their labyrinth organ to obtain air. Betta fry (babies) are 100% dependent on getting air through their gills, until their labyrinth organ fully develops at around 3-6 weeks of age.

Healthy gorgeous betta fish!

Healthy gorgeous betta fish!

So now we  have a purpose bred beautiful and aggressive, beloved aquarium fish with an air breathing super power and one heck of a personalty!  Actually they all have different personalities, some more peaceful than others, which is what makes putting them in a tank with other fish, let’s just say, interesting! Read on for more about that!

Other fascinating facts about them include,  that the males blow bubble nests which they use to carefully tend and raise the eggs (after the female that  deposited them, has been chased off, since she will most likely eat them),  that they like to sleep in hammocks,  they can be taught tricks, that they come in an amazing variety of more than 9 color patterns,  and at least 14 different fin and scale patterns (like crown tail, double tail, half-moon, etc.),  that besides food and clean water they need exercise, friends, and rest (so no lights on 24 hours a day), to stay healthy.

So how long can I expect my betta to live?

An interesting survey recently showed that most bettas live about 2 years, a few to three, fewer still make it to 4, yet nearly as many that make it past 2, make it past 5. These are fascinating statistics.  This means most bettas live to either 2, or much longer, with not much in between. Knowing that most bettas are at least 6 months to a year old before you purchase them (they wait until full sexual maturity at about 4-5 months of age to begin selling them, so that you can see their fully developed fins and colors), and that most make it to an age of two, my suspicion is that the way that most people keep and care for them, is sustainable only about 12-24 months before the long term stress of mismanagement begins to take it’s toll.  Well how hard can it be to take care of a little betta fish in a bowl? The answer is, it’s not hard, it’s actually quite easy, as long as you care careful about 1 key thing:

Do not do once weekly complete water changes!

I see this one little oversight taking the lives of more betta fish than any other problem. So why is this such a big deal? Because your fish eats food, which then turns into fish poo, which is made up of ammonia, which is eaten up by all the invisible good little bacteria that live on the gravel, in the water, on the plants, and on any and all other surfaces inside the tank. If you dump out the water each week, and worse yet, rinse all the gravel, and plants, you each week are killing off the beneficial bacteria which are vital to the good health of your fish.  If you have no good bacteria, then each week your fish is exposed to toxic levels of ammonia. Even though it may only be at toxic levels for a day or two until you do that full water change, over time this continual stress takes it’s toll on your fish’s immune system.  So it’s like spending one full day a week in a crowded bar full of smokers with no windows.  Eventually you are going to develop a cough, or worse. The same thing is happening with your fish. They are amazing little creatures that can tolerate a lot and still survive, yet they do much better with slow changes in all things. Therefore don’t change all the water once a week, do a 25% water change every 2-3 days, and watch your fish thrive! And make sure that water stays around 78-80 degress F, after all, these little ones came from Asia!

Additionally, the have small stomach’s about the size of their eyeball, so feed them at least once, but more like twice a day, just enough that they eat it all in one meal (floating uneaten food is your second worst enemy to fish health besides water quality).  Here is a little video clip I did on the topic of feeding What do betta’s eat in captivity?

Also ensure they have an enriched environment, this means interesting things to explore, and mix it up regularly with plants, rocks, ornaments, ceramic tubes, floating ping pong balls, moss balls,  and other smooth objects (no clay flower pots with sharp edges/chips that can snag fragile fins). Nourishing your fish’s mind is just as important to his long term health as nourishing species specific food (never generic aquarium fish food to bettas, only food meant just for them).

Betta fish of a smoother fin variety.

Betta fish of a smoother fin variety.

So what about the size of the tank? One fish in a 5 gallon tank is a MINIMUM! Anything smaller than that is just not adequate.  Bigger is better, and much easier to take care of, to boot! And what about friends in the tank? Well would you like to be in solitary isolation your whole life? Probably not, and neither does your fish.  Even though males are solitary in the wild, they are surrounded by all manner of other species of fish. You can mimic the same by making smart choices of fish to share their space. One of the better choices are corydora (little clear/silvery fish and you need at least 6 for them to be happy), and they also prefer a Ph up to about 7. Clown pleco’s, a colorful  algae eater is another good choice. This one is smaller than some of the other pleco variety’s and will give the added bonus of eating algae in the tank too although, you will want at least  20 gallon tank for a fish of this size. Guppies are another option although sometimes the bettas will pick at them if they have flowing tails. There are reports of betta’s getting along with no problems  in other kinds of community fish tanks, as well.

Adding new fish must be done carefully, from an adequate quarantine period, to monitoring fins as some betta’s are more aggressive than others. In general the more space and interesting places to hide and explore, the less stress and everyone will have a higher chance of getting along. Of course you don’t want to have 2 male bettas, or a male and female, as both situations lead to aggression. Some people choose to keep betta’s alone in a 5 gallon or larger tank to not risk it or hassle with it at all. If you choose this then keep in mind your fish will need more maintenance and interaction to stay happy and healthy. You will want to play laser tag, and/or add the other other enrichment ideas already discussed, on a regular basis to keep your only fish child happy.

I have done everything I could, but my fish is sick anyway, now what?

Finally, so now you now most of what you need to know, yet your little fish is sick anyway. How can I be sure my fish is sick, and what do I do first? Here is a video I did based on what one client asked me Why is my betta pale and not swimming? Other ways you can tell a fish is sick is have they have worn, frayed fins, growths or abnormalities on their bodies, or they do not eat. So first things first if you suspect your fish is sick:

  1. Get a water quality test kit, and use it, daily while the fish is sick, and once a week thereafter, for as long as your fish lives. Most importantly make sure the ammonia and nitrites are zero. If they are not? Daily 25% water changes (not more) until the conditions are right. Be sure to add something to remove the chlorine from tap water, too, and it helps to add a little beneficial bacteria (available at your aquarium store).
  2. Double check the temperature and make it right, between 78-80 F.
  3. Before spending money to add chemicals and treatments recommended by someone, if your fish is still not doing well and you have done the above, your next step is to call an aquatic veterinarian! One near you can be located through these sources: World Aquatic Veterinary Medical AssociationAmerican Veterinary Medical AssociationAmerican Association of Fish Vets. If there is not one near you, then reach out to the one nearest you, who can then possibly guide your local small animal or exotic vet in the treatment and care of your sick fish.

So how long can a betta fish live? Well with proper care, enrichment, exercise, and great water quality, bettas have been know to live up to 9 years. However, if yours does not live that long, it does not mean you have necessarily done anything wrong. We often don’t really know how old the little one was before you got him or her, or what they might have been exposed to, or what their genetics were before they came to be in your care.  All we can do is arm ourselves with education, love and devotion. It’s the least we can do for them, after all the joy, smiles, and entertainment the little beings bring to us.

On that note I am DrQ, here with best wishes for your fishes! If you have tried all of this and still have a sick fish, please contact me for a consultation http://www.drkoi.com Please leave comments, share, and follow me on our favorite social media site such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkdin for more valuable animal care information. Thank you!

 

 

Should You Keep Your Current Vet? An acupuncture story…

Recently I had the opportunity to spend time in a veterinary practice to which I had never been before. It was fairly exciting, as  I had heard the gentleman had been in practice for many years, and was especially knowledgeable in eastern medicine as well as traditional veterinary medicine.  I was eager to have the honor to get to spend some time with someone of his magnitude, and just knew I would be able to pick up a few tips to helps my patients, too.

That is exactly what happened! He was gracious enough to give me not only a tour of his clinic, but also shared with me his best tips for how to build my own vet clinic one day, pitfalls to avoid, and even down to the best kind of drainage system in the kennels.

The best part was yet to come when I saw the vast array of herbal remedies he had on the shelves of his pharmacy, it was amazing! The antibiotics and steroid type medicines took up only a very small amount of space on the shelf, the rest was all homeopathic remedies, herbals tinctures, and acupuncture needles. I was certainly inspired to acknowledge all my previous training in holistic medicine, and resigned myself to do a better job in 2016 of recommending more natural remedies to my clients and their pets.

He had a wonderful bedside manner, the staff all seemed on-task and good at their jobs, and it was interesting to observe how they managed multiple acupuncture patients at one time.  I observed both dogs and cats getting acupuncture treatments, and noted the extra steps they took to keep the rooms quiet, and dark, during the treatments, for the animals comfort.

I love acupuncture. I do it on my patients, my kids, and myself.  I believe in it so much  I never travel without needles.  They are such a useful tool, and I can treat such a variety of issues with only one or two tiny needles, it’s great! I have treated everything from allergies, to sunburn, to arthritis, and joint pain, with great success using only acupuncture.

 

Josephina after an acupuncture treatment.

Josephina after an acupuncture treatment.

This got me think about how I do to my own acupuncture treatments, in my house call practice.  I find I only recommend it on select patients, and not because they couldn’t all benefit from it. I don’t recommend it more, because, the more I have learned over the past about the science of behavior and training, I have come to a profound realization. That is, nothing, other than life or death safety,  should cause the animals to be afraid, uncomfortable, anxious, or hurt.  They are our friends, and in many cases, family members.

As they say in kindergarten, never hurt someone on the outside, or the inside. When we force anything other than potentially life or death, painful procedures, on animals, we are holding down and hurting those we love, without thought to their opinion on the matter.  I am very cognizant of each and every interaction I have with all my animal patients. I would rather leave the home visit on a good note, and come back to do a follow up a few days later, than hold the animals down to do something that only ‘might’ help. For many it is the first time in their lives they have a stress free,  thorough physical exam with a veterinarian.  This helps me do a better job, and we all have less stress and live longer.

With acupuncture sometimes it takes a little patience. You have to build the animals trust, first. So maybe the first time we just do a little massage and laser treatment, and do the acupuncture next time. Using only the smallest of needles on the fearful or highly anxious patients. Again, nothing is worth their discomfort (unless their life is on the line). And I have found that frightened animals with high endorphin release often do not respond well to acupuncture, anyway. While the calm, trusting patience who receive it with a deep breath, often get complete and total relief of many ailments and pain in just one treatment. One, well done, treatment.

Bringing the science of using primarily positive reinforcement in each interactions we have with animals,  will soon be essential knowledge for each and every veterinarian, veterinary technician, and every other kind of animal professional (from dog trainers to zoo keepers) trained in the world today, and into the future. Understanding what positive reinforcement is, and is not, is of paramount importance for everyone who cares about the well being of any animal. The principles are all the same, and they work across species. In the world of those trained in the science of behavior it’s known as R+.

This is why I have in the past not recommend acupuncture more often to my patients. I was not sure I would be fully able to explain that mostly I just don’t want to hurt their animal or cause it anxiety towards me.  I felt over the long term life of the pet with me as their vet, better they trust me and allow good exams all the time, than learn to fear me because sometimes I hurt them. My preference is to only do acupuncture treatments, well all examinations for that matter,  on patients that will allow me to with little to no restraint, and while handling the animal as if their made of fine china. These tend to be the ones with the highest rate of success.

Yes of course sometimes I might have to hurt animals a tiny bit, such as to get a blood sample, but only to help make their lives much, much better. In that case, I do it with as much dignity and grace as possible, taking all the time it takes, to keep the procedure as stress free as humanly possible. And ask their forgiveness afterwards. I usually get luckily!  If only people were as forgiving and accommodating as most animals!

So, should you keep your current vet? Bottom line, I am not sure, you have to decide. Does the doctor and all their staff,NEW HOLISTIC VETERINARY CLINIC IN DENVER, CO. treat you, and your animal, like an individual? Do you feel like they really listen, understand you, and care? Can you talk to them about how you really feel, and use that to guide your pets care? Then you are likely at the right place!

I am DrQ, here to help you, and your pets live longer, healthier, and happier, together, than you ever thought possible!  Thanks for reading! Share if you agree!

Merry Christmas and Fabulous 2016 to You!

DrQ and the crew (that means Sushi dog, too), wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season!
Thanks so much for your continued valuable trust in me, and my sincerity at striving to provide the best care and advice that I can for you and your furred and finned family members.

2015 has been a busy year with many transitions for the veterinary practice. Much preparation has been made for a blossoming 2016 so that we can serve you even better.

The first half of the year found Dr. Questen preparing for and traveling to business conferences and speaking engagements, including to San Diego and Boston.  As well as beginning development of her new on-line university,  www.stealmoreyears.com. She was also honored to be asked to assist with admin on the very popular Facebook group Positive Pet Advice.  If you have not checked it out, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful community of animal lovers and dog trainers, who support each other and share their love of animals.  The group has grown to over 3,000 members in just one year! Which is a testament to the fact it is one of the few places on the internet you can go to get good advice, quickly, and feel supported and cared about in the process.

The summer was preoccupied with focusing on the racehorse rescue and charity venture the Prince of Flame Fund, which offered free classes for children and adults on all things horses, using the rescued animals in our care.  We made lot’s of new friends who are looking forward to resuming class in the spring, and feel honored we were able to spread the message of positive animal training!

The last quarter of the year found us moving to a new location, and acquiring two additional personnel to assist in making improvements to the website and operations of the veterinary practice. Soon you will be able to book your appointments on line to make reaching DrQ and scheduling appointments so much easier for you!

For 2016 we hope to be able to provide service better than ever, as well as reach and assist an unprecedented number of guardians who are seeking real answers for their animal’s health and behavior related questions.

Please take a moment in the new year to check out our project at www.stealmoreyears.com, and forward the link to your animal loving friends all around the world.  I have been hinting about it for a few months now, and much love and attention has gone into preparing something that will bring TONS lot of value to YOU, the discriminating animal guardian, in on-line classes that will have you looking forward to each new lesson.  In it I will be revealing ALL of the top, most important things which, in my experience, add up to the most cost effective way to help your animals all out-live their life expectancy and happily thrive into advanced age!  Most of if not all of the proceeds will go right back into the Prince of Flame Fund, so that we can continue to provide free education to the public on how to keep ourselves and our animals,  healthy and safe with each other.  Watch for the FREE webinar, my 7 Secrets to Outwitting Your Pets Lifespan, in early January. Thank you for being the best friends and clients this girl could ever ask for!

This is DrQ, wishing you, a safe, healthy, and happy holiday! Ponies first morning at the Chalet