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Worried about my Coonie

Coatimundis, Kinkajous, Raccoons, Ringtails, Cacomistles, Olingos

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the_unstable
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Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:33 pm

So lately, Alex (who I just unoriginally call Coonie most of the time) seems to be losing interest in his food. There once was a time (maybe a month ago) where it seemed really important and he would fight over it with my dog (Bin), and Tubs the skunk (who is incredibly food obsessed, always). It seems like over time, he's gradually lost interest. He no longer ever growls at me or bites me when I pet him or touch his cheeks and face while he eats. I haven't tried to take his food away, so I don't know if that would result with the same reaction or not, but in general, it's obvious that he doesn't care as much. He used to sit down and eat his meal, but nowadays, he eats a little, wanders off, then goes back, eats a little, and so on. He does finish his food but he doesn't sit and eat it all at once like he used to. He just doesn't seem to care as much. Tubs, on the other hand, is happy to steal food from anyone. He will turn his little fat but toward the other animal and push them out of the way. Honestly, it's pretty funny to see. He's a cute little tub!

Anyway, the past couple of days, Coonie has been very good. He often does have his naughty days and then his good mellow days, but the past two days his behavior has just been exceptionally good for him. He has been climbing on the counters less, biting much less, etc. He's been just staying relatively calm and still while I pet him, and he usually doesn't allow that. Now don't get me wrong and think he's a vicious monstrous coon. He is a fiesty brat and he does worry me sometimes, but he's not a mean coon. But this calm behavior the past couple of days combined with his declining love of food is worrying me. Shouldn't he be super hungry and food obsessed, especially this time of year (in preparation for winter)?

Like I said, he still does finish his food and he does have his good days and naughty days, but I dunno. I'm worried that maybe this is different. As far as activity goes, he is still running around and exploring as he usually does when we go outside to the fenced in yard. He also seems to be drinking the usual amount of water. He looks healthy, bright and clear eyes, normal stools, good coat, etc. I'm not sure if he's just having a mellow couple of days or if something is going on. Sorry that I made this out to be a novel as I usually do. Thanks for reading.

Edit: I figured I'd add a picture of him I took in early August of him hanging up in the ceiling, taunting me.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:24 pm

Has he been wormed recently?

Maybe he just eats his food slower so it will last him longer and less active because he's preparing for winter. Long as he's getting his food being less active means burning off less calories means being able to store more.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby Ash » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:55 pm

My fox ate bowls and bowls of food when he was growing. Now that he's slowed down, he eats just a tiny bit--usually there is ALWAYS food still left in his bowl. It may be that Coonie has finished going through a growth spurt and now he doesn't need all that food.

By the way, he's super cute. :icon-wink: Thanks for uploading a picture of him... finally! :lol:
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:31 pm

He was wormed a bit over a week ago. No worms were observed in his stools after worming.

He is worse yet today and now I'm beginning to really worry. He stays in the sunroom when unsupervised so when he does come into the main part of the house for maybe a total of 5 hours a day, he is normally quite active and messes around with us. Today, he's been laying down and sleeping. He is sleeping on a coat that is sitting on the desk next to this computer. He did not finish his meal last night and did not finish it this morning either. We gave him some other things to see if he was interested and he was, so he has eaten some. I don't know if I feed him more than he needs to eat or not. He weighs about the same as my adult dog (10 pounds), who eats a lot less than he does. I probably give him about 1 to 1/2 cups of food a day, split into two meals.

His nose is wet today. I've never noticed it being wet before but I've never actually paid attention in the past. His eyes are still clear. I thought about taking his temperature but the only way I'd be able to do it is rectally. When you take a temperature in the rectum, you subtract a degree, right?

I am not sure if I should take him to the vet or not. My thinking is that my vet is not terribly raccoon experienced (better than no vet at all I suppose) and with his symptoms just beginning, I'm not sure if they'd be able to have any idea as to what is going on with him. I'm not sure if he is actually ill or if it's seasonal behavior. I admit, shamefully, that money is a bit tight at the moment and I don't want to take him to the vet and have them not be able to help him yet charge me a bunch of money for it.

Because of how his inactivity is increasing, I'm becoming more convinced that he is not feeling well. Might have to skip out on work to take him to the vet. I hate my dang job anyway. Both myself and my mother are recovering from head colds, so the timing for his illness is interesting. Could he possibly catch that?

Since he's being calm today, I might as well take some quality photos of him to share with you guys :) He is adorable, I cannot deny that. Pardon the weird stain on the bookshelf. I didn't even notice it prior to looking at the pictures. Not sure what it is...anyyyyway. He was posing a little for me. The flash caused him to squint so you don't get to see how his cute little face looks with his eyes open.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:34 pm

Okay, so I guess one of the shots shows him with his eyes open.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:59 pm

Wet nose or not is meaningless actually it has more to do with humidity in the air than their health.

You can feel inside his lips and gum to see if they feel sticky then he's at least a bit dehydrated.

Pinch and pull the scruff up then let it go. If it does not snap right back into place he is dehydrated. the longer it takes the worse the dehydration is.

Press on his gums then let go and see how quickly the color returns. If it does not flow right back then that's a bad sign.

You can also look in his ears to see how the color compares to normal.

On animals normal temp is based on rectal so you do not need to subtract or anything.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:13 pm

Excellent tips, thank you. I didn't know about the wet nose being related to humidity. I figured maybe he had a runny nose.

He does not cooperate when I try to check out the inside of his mouth in any way. I was able to briefly feel his gums and they did not feel sticky. I wasn't able to press and check the color. His scruff snaps back immediately. I don't know how well the temperature taking would go. I'll have to get an ear thermometer to use instead. His ears are kind of hairy and I normally don't look in them but they seem to be normal looking from what I recall. I feel bad, I know I should have worked with him to get him used to me putting my fingers in his mouth. I suppose it's better to start now than never!
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:27 pm

I'm afraid ear temp might not do you any good even if it does work. They have ear thermometers for people and dogs. They work with a laser to the eardrum so you need a clear shot.

If you manage to get a temp it wont be worth much. In people ear temp is the same as rectal(both a bit higher than oral by half to one whole degree) but I have a study on ear temp in tamanduas and it is lower than rectal by quite a bit. I have no idea what ear temp in a raccoon should be and couldn't find any info. You or someone would need to take both ear and rectal temp then compare any difference.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:01 pm

Oh I see. I suppose I'll have to do it rectally then. I thought I should get an ear thermometer because of something mentioned on Remo's site here http://remocoon.mnsi.net/firstaid.htm where it says "Electronic thermometer for the ear. Can you even imagine taking a coon's temp. the old fashioned up the ass way?" And I thought to myself, "No, I don't think I want to try that..." but considering it wouldn't be accurate to take it in the ear, there would be no point in going out and buying an ear thermometer. I will have to wait until he is asleep and wake him so he will be kind of out of it/sleepy/calm. Could it injure him in some way if he moved around while I am trying to take his temperature rectally? I have taken a skunk's temperature rectally but she was very calm and still about it. I know it doesn't get inserted very far into the body, but accidents can happen...:/
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:18 pm

Hmm I suppose it doesn't say anything about the proper temp when using an ear one on them?

My vet has the ear ones for dogs now but half the time she has to do it the old fashioned way anyway because they just don't work reliably, get lots of errors instead of reads and their ears are clean and free of hair. Since you say his ears are hairy I would think you'd be lucky to get a reading if you tried it.

Rectal is the most accurate way to take a temperature anyway. It's just too embarrassing for people to do it that way on themselves.

The electronic thermometers will have the least risk of issues used rectally because the large end prevents it from getting "swallowed" up inside. They don't take long to get a reading but they do take longer than ear.

If he's going to be fighting get it in(use lubricant) and you could likely let go and concentrate on trying to hold him still till it beeps. The risks are pretty low even if you have to hold it in since electronic is plastic, don't have to worry about glass breaking, and the tip is rounded so wont easily perforate anything. But it's not 100% free of risk if he really freaks out, odds are if he does it will just slid out though.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:45 pm

No, I didn't see any more mentioning of temperature taking other than the sentence I posted. Thank you again for your input. I'm glad to hear that injury is unlikely. The thermometer we have will take a little while but it is plastic, with a flexible end and rounded tip like you described. If I can figure out where he's gone off to, I will give it a try and post the results.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:56 pm

Well, I had to get up very early for work and I went to feed them. He took about two bites and walked off. I called the vet at 8:30 AM and they said they could fit him in on Monday. I didn't know my work schedule for Monday so I said I'd call back. I called back at 10 and they said they had a cancellation so he's in for 9:30 AM tomorrow. I was lucky. I hope they can figure something out and help him. He's worse now. I offered him food less than an hour ago and he wouldn't take it at all. I'm really worried.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:17 pm

That's good you can get him in.

What are his poops like? Any changes, consistency and amount.

Is he peeing the same amount/color/smell?
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby the_unstable » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:35 pm

I checked the litter boxes that were completely cleaned yesterday (they have 3 in their room). He is good about using the litter box. I never find his waste in the house when he comes inside. The skunk is a completely different story. There are always piles of poop right next to the litter box in their room, which I suspect belong to Tubs. The stools that are inside the box today are softer than usual, but not runny mush piles either. They still have shape/form to them, but definitely softer. As for his urine, I'm not sure at all.
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Re: Worried about my Coonie

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:55 pm

Well if you can grab a fresh poop sample and take it to the vet with you. Ideally get one that morning but if you have to the night before and stick it in the fridge till you go. They can test it for Giardia and they'll probably want to check for worms though he's been wormed just to be sure. Since he gets outside time it's a possibility. Serious cases tend to make the poop lighter in color and kind of greasy.

Anteaters tend to come infected with Giardia and heavy worm load. So it's always on my mind.

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