February 11th, 2006

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Sick people in the world

God, this report on the kids who testafied against their adoptive mother, who starved them nearly death and beat them for years, is just horrific. As the prosecutor says, "If we knew why these kinds of things happen, we would be able to put ourselves in the shoes of defendants, in the shoes of mass murderers, in the shoes of people who do horrible things to young children."

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The good news is, these kids are alive and have doubled their weight. Just like in animal cruelty cases, where some asshole says they "feed" their animals and they're just "sick," yet when you feed them for a week, they immediately gain 10 lbs. Yeah, right, they "fed" them.

Cat's too clever by half

Apparently for Luckie it's not enough to wake me up in the morning. No, today she woke the birds up.

Well, no, actually the birds were up, but what happened was, after trying to get me out of bed by pawing my head, brrrrring in my ear, and jumping all over me, Luckie got the hint I wasn't interested. At least, after I ignored her three times. Finally she was gone and all was quiet. All but the birds peeping a little, the way they do when they're awake but the cover's still on the cage. I stayed in bed, listening to the peeps, then noted that the birds sounded like they were flying around in the cage, which is a bit unusual, at least when the cover's still on. Meanwhile I wondered where the cat was. You can see where this is going, right? I got up to check on the birds, prepared to shoe Luckie off the windowsill or table, figuring she was there bugging them. She wasn't there. Huh? Well, when I went to take the two towels off the cage, I noticed a lump. A lump about Luckie's size. She had somehow not just jumped on the cage, per usual, but snuck under the covers of the cage so she could lie on top of it, looking down on the birds, while meanwhile concealed under the cover. Clever cat! Naturally I grabbed her and spanked her, as sorry, I don't want to encourage this. But clever!
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Apparently even Grease is objectionable to some, who say high schoolers shouldn't be performing it.

In Small Town, 'Grease' Ignites a Culture War

I feel somebody needs to write a Grease-like parody song mocking these parents and/or busybodies who didn't even see the play but forced it off stage anyway. Oh, and the fact that these folks also managed to scare The Crucible off stage... I mean, hello, Arthur Miller wrote that play as a protest against people like these fools!
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YinYang's Ovaries

Well, I took YinYang in to my vet, For Pet's Sake, here in Atlanta, and things turns out to be more easily fixable than I had feared.

After describing her hair loss and showing the bald spots on the sides and middle of her belly, I got to hear him confirm that, yes, this is clearly a sign of ovarian problems, as I had read (and heard from several on guinea_pigs). He told me that it's 95% certain that YinYang has an early stage of ovarian cysts, too small to feel but nevertheless causing problems. What happens, so he explained, is that the cysts form on the ovary, keeping the ovary from releasing its egg and moving on to the next stage in the hormonal cycle. This creates a situation where the piggy's hormonal system gets "stuck in gear" and as a result, gets overloaded with one particular sort of hormone -- which makes their hair fall out! Often this goes unnoticed until the patches on the side of the belly (where hair for some reason falls out first) are quite large, but in this case I caught it early. Sometimes these things can get as big as golf balls, in which case they start causing the pig a lot of pain, may be mistaken for pregnancy, and have to be fixed via surgery.

The treatment for YinYang's issue is not surgery, but hormonal injections. The vet gave her a shot of some sort of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone) in the muscle near her rear end and asked me to come back next week for a second (and final) one. What the hormone does is force the hormonal system to switch gears and move on. I should see hair regrowth probably by next week when I bring her in again, and definitely afterward. This is a great relief, as it's quick, minimally invasive and not very expensive either. I'm glad I have a specialist vet who knows exactly what issues GPs have! The one caveat, as this GuineaLynx article points out, while the injections will cause cyst shrinkage, it might only be temporary and they could grow again and again. In which case spaying, i.e. removal of the ovaries, is the recommended treatment.

Oh, and here's pigture!

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