Monthly Archives: July 2013

“Teflon” Poisoning in birds

The chemical used in teflon and nonstick cookware, burner drip pans, some irons and ironing boards and self-cleaning ovens contains a chemical abbreviated to PTFE. When heated to 530 degrees F, it gives off a gas that is lethal for birds. I doubt it is good for us to breathe either. Once exposed, most birds die quickly. Treatment is rarely successful. Best tip: if you own birds don’t owner anything with PTFE. If you decide to use the clean setting on your self-cleaning oven, remove the birds from the house during the process and air out well before returning the birds to the home.

Vaccinations for Ferrets

While it is unlikely that a pet ferret will come in contact with a bat, in the state of Washington it is law that all ferrets receive rabies vaccine. Of more importance for the ferret’s protection is distemper and we recommend an annual distemper vaccine. We pre-treat ferrets with benadryl to minimize the chance of a vaccine reaction. If your ferrets are not current on their vaccinations, please schedule them today. 425-821-6165. Your ferret(s) will thank you for this preventive measure.

Brushing Ferret’s Teeth

Ferrets build up alot of tartar and calculus on their teeth. This can be prevented by routine and frequent brushing using an enzymatic toothpaste on a qtip. Rub the treated qtip across the teeth. You may need to scruff the ferret to do this as they typically want to bite the qtip and steal it. This will help prevent a lot of periodontal problems and gingivitis. We carry enzymatic toothpaste in poultry, beef, and malt flavors.

Heat emitter short circuit

Had a large ceramic heat emitter short out this morning. Blew the circuits for the back room, and the back wall that our fridge and freezer are attached to. The heat emitter had been in service for 6 months, and was noticed this morning to not be hot. When I tried to manipulate the emitter in the clamp fixture , it sent a spark out the fixture and blew the circuits. We had it on a surge protector which obviously didn’t work right either. Needless to say I got acquainted with the circuit box only to find it wasn’t well-labeled. Point here is to become familiar with your circut box before you ever need it and have the circuits labeled correctly.

Luckily its warm in the room where the tortoises are so the heat isn’t critically needed. Worse comes to worse we’ll move them to another room temporarily. I’m hoping that the surge didn’t blow the large uvB bulb.


Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Our computers have been acting up today, and not just one of them. The main one in reception is being stubborn and locked up. So our IT guy, my husband Mike, is going to come and fix it. We run as close to a paperless office as possible as far as medical records go – all medical records are on a computer program specific for veterinary practices (Avimark). All is great until there is a software or hardware problem. Luckily other computers in the office are working, so we can still function. But it is a total nuisance.  As to computers, check out our website:

Why Annual Wellness Exams

Once an exotic pet shows signs of illness, the animal  (birds included) is really, really sick. This is because they hide their illness, trying to outlast it in hopes they will recover without the rest of the world noticing (they’d get eaten). This is called the Preservation Response and it makes monitoring animals difficult. Annual Wellness exams can often find subtle chances in the animal on physical examination, and through use of bloodwork, and imaging (xrays, ultrasound). It is also beneficial to track the trends in the animal’s health year to year. It’s like you going to your doctor yearly for a physical. Call and schedule your pet for a Wellness Exam today! 

Baby Ferrets

Adopting a baby ferret is like getting a perpetual 2 yr old kid. They are so active, so cute, and need potty training. Baby ferrets (kits) in pet stores really have not completed their baby shots despite pet stores saying “they’ve had all their shots”. Distemper vaccinations go at 8, 11, and 14 weeks of age. Rabies should be 12-18 weeks. Deslorelin (Suprelorin F) implant at 18-22 weeks (ideal). Kits also need to be checked for ear mites and intestinal parasites, particularly coccidia. New owners need to be reminded that getting a puppy, kitten, or kit requires some annual vaccinations and parasite control. This includes flea prevention. There should also be a plan in place on how to introduce the new member of the family to the existing animals.