13 May, 2013

Frogs, and Toads, and Cats, Oh My!

We're dealing with an interesting situation this evening. Shortly after supper, Nelson wanted to go outside. April was already out and doing her thing. It's not unusual at all for either of them to be outside - sometimes for all night. So, I opened the door and let him out.

A short time later, he meowed to come back in. This also is not an unusual occurrence. In fact, it's so common, it happens three or four times a night. With my normal sleep pattern, it's really not that much of an inconvenience. However, we are seriously thinking about putting in a kitty door from the back porch to the office, so the little people can come and go as they see fit.

Unfortunately, one of the down-sides to allowing your pets outside is the possibility of interactions and reactions with local wildlife. The dogs have met with lizards, including geckos, Jesus lizards (basilisk lizards), armadillos, porcupines, snakes (both poisonous and non), various kinds of birds (doves being Secret's favorite snack), ants of assorted types, and stinging insects... So far. God only knows what they'll get into next.

The cats, April and Nelson, have so far gotten into non-poisonous snakes, lizards, including geckos, Jesus lizards (basilisk lizards), various kinds of birds (Nelson brought in a young dove yesterday, which Dianna rescued, minus a few tail feathers), ants of assorted types, and stinging insects... So far. God only knows what they'll get into next. Well, that's not true. I do know.

This evening, in fact, just a few minutes ago, Nelson cried at the door to be let back in, which I did as usual. Then I went back to messing on the computer. I heard him jumping and thrashing around. This also, is not an unusual sound. I assumed he and April were chasing/wrestling with each other as they do often.

Out of the corner of my eye, I happened to see Nelson as he came into the office. I thought I saw lots of white bits of paper. Ah, he's been back into the roll of toilet paper. What fun. But, as I looked closer, I saw it wasn't paper at all, but foamy saliva. He was slinging it all over the house, jumping around, and moving his tongue all around to try and get rid of whatever was causing the foaming.

I hollered for  Dianna (she was in bed reading or playing Friends With Words), saying something like "Nelson's gotten into the frogs now. He's foaming at the mouth." She came in a hurray.

I grabbed Nelson and we both attempted to get his mouth under the bathroom faucet. That was less than successful. I caught a claw between fingers of my right hand. Dianna managed to get some water to his mouth by just sloshing handfuls to his face while we both tried holding him. As usually happens, he became totally unmanageable in short order, so we let him down to run around.

I tried calling Dr. Sheila, but as it was after hours, there was, not unexpectedly, no answer. With a one-person shop, they have to have down time. So, next best thing, I jumped on the Intertubes. The trick is always in how you ask the question of Google. So, not being happy with the first attempt, I made in short order, two or three other attempts, finally getting a straightforward answer.

Not surprisingly, the advice was to use a hose to rinse out the patient's mouth with the outer opening facing down so as to lessen the likelihood of their ingesting more of the bad stuff - whatever it might be. The second bit was to call the Vet. Since we'd already done both of those, there wasn't much point in our going berserk any further.

I seemed to remember, that with the poisonous frogs and cane toads, if the animal ingests enough toxin to foam at the mouth and otherwise act weird, by the time you administer a water rinse, you've done about all that's humanly possible. So, it comes down to whether it's their time or not. Wait and see.

That's pretty much what we did then. Wait and see. As I started to write this posting, Nelson came up and meowed a few times to me and went running off into the living room. I told him he was done going outside for the night and to just relax. He came up to me a couple more times, with his eyes looking glazed and like he might be hallucinating. Well, if he was there wasn't much I could do about it other than pet scratch him.

Right now, he's laying right behind my chair. I just reached down and touched his nose to see if he was still with us. He is. He was sleeping, probably the best thing he could do at this time. He yawned and stretched real big and went back to sleep. It's my considered opinion that he's going to make a full recovery.

Just your usual evening panic session with family members who really can't talk that well to tell you what's going on. Hopefully, he's learned his lesson - at least for a while. The dogs did with the porcupines, so there's hope for the cats... maybe.

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