Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doggie Drugs, Kittie Quaaludes and Rodent Roofies

We have a couple of guinea pigs. Skinny little Ellie and plump little Oreo. Sweet little things they are, especially Ellie. We've had Ellie for 5 years and she is really the nicest, cutest little rodent you'd ever want to meet. I noticed recently (well, Sweet Pea noticed - I really don't pay all that much attention to the pigs except when I feel like I'm being badgered into giving them yet another carrot just to shut up all the wheeking when I open the refrigerator) that one of her front teeth was very very overgrown. I've read that this sometime occurs with guinea pigs and it's a simple thing to clip their teeth.

You think you can see where this is going, can't you? You're wrong. There is no way in hell that I am going to try to clip guinea pig teeth. Nuh uh! No way. I'll clip the occasional claw, but they are on their own with their fangs.

Anyway, like I said, her tooth was overgrown. She is also the skinniest guinea pig in the world. She's really just fur, skin and bones. She wasn't always that way. I suspect part of the reason is that she has trouble eating with that tooth in the way. I must have been having a very sympathetic and guilt-ridden week because I kept thinking about her dying a slow, horrible death by starvation just because I wouldn't fork over $15 bucks to get her tooth clipped. And she's been such a good piggie. And she has at least 2-3 years left in her if we take care of her.

So, knowing it was crazy, I made an appointment for her. And of course, as is the way with car repairs, vet visits and trips to the grocery store, there is always more that needs doing/buying once you get there. Let me tell you, I felt like an utter fool sitting in the vets office with my box o' piggie. I mean, really. Bringing a guinea pig to the vet?! That's crazy!

So, the vet pokes her, prods her, squeezes her, feels her all over, amid a chorus of wheeks, squeaks, grunts and rumbles, then takes her off to try to get a look at her mouth.

I figured the stress of all the man-handling would probably do her in right there. I was hoping they wouldn't charge me if she died on the examining table. And honestly, not to be heartless, but it would have been somewhat of a relief not to have to walk through the waiting room again, mortified and embarrassed with my box o' pig.

But finally the vet was done and he brought her back out, happy and healthy if somewhat trembly. He sat down. He looked very serious. I expected a diagnosis of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. But he proceeded to tell us that she's very skinny. A very observant man right there.

Then he very seriously told us all sorts of ridiculous things about her teeth, and how they are all overgrown, and how with a little surgery they can fix it right up. And did we want to make an appointment to send her to Cornell for surgery?

I'll stop to give you a moment to catch your breath. I know it must be hard to read this through your laughter.

The hubby actually laughed in the vet's face. It would have been very comical if the vet hadn't looked so hurt. I just know he thought we were heartless fools. He kept avoiding the hubby's gaze after that. I managed to keep my laughter contained and just stared at him in disbelief, trying to look sympathetic and concerned. I mean, that poor man really looked like he thought getting guinea pig surgery was a good idea. I think he was high - strong doggie drugs, kittie qualudes or rodent roofies or something.

Needless to say, we passed on bringing her to Cornell for surgery and opted instead for a quick snip of the long tooth. We brought her back home, dumped her back in the cage with a pile of carrots and broke the news to her and Oreo that there would be no more vet visits. That they were entirely on their own. They should keep their own teeth ground down by chewing on the nice hay I provide.

They were very understanding.

You know, in some parts of the world the little rodents would be running around my feet all day and when it was time for dinner I'd pick one up, wring it's little neck, skin it and serve it for dinner. I might consider such a thing myself except Ellie is too darn skinny. Now, Oreo on the other hand is nice and plump.



  1. I am glad I am not one of your kids :}. On the bright side, it does look like you learned something from Dad though. Damn pets ain't worth nothing.

  2. so, so funny! our vet has been guilting us for years for not getting dexter a dental cleaning. isn't that what milk bones are for?