Friday, February 1, 2013

Generous Gifts Made on Behalf of Aramis!

Thank goodness it's Friday!  Today's blog posting  will be short but sweet as we share information on Aramis, our finicky eating lion plus a special surprise you can send your sweetie(s) on Valentine's Day--for free!

On January 27th, we posted on our Facebook page a special request for elk meat!  Aramis is very finicky when it comes to taking medication; he'd only take the medication if we hide them in elk meat.  Apparently, no other type of "meat" will do!  The problem is, you just can't go to the local supermarket to buy "elk meat."  This type of meat must be special ordered or donated. 

Our Facebook request was shared 99 times with folks volunteering to "find" elk meat for our handsome boy!

As luck would have it, Aramis' first donation of elk meat was made by YO Steakhouse, located in Dallas, on Monday, January 28th.  Tomorrow, the owner of YO Steakhouse will visit Aramis to see how our boy is doing!  Thank you so much for wonderful donation, YO Steakhouse!  We are very excited by the restaurant's kind donation!

A second Dallas dining establishment stepped forward yesterday, donating about 50 pounds of elk meat!  The Twisted Root Burger Company heard about Aramis' dilemma via an e-mail.  As luck would have it, the owner just received a fresh shipment of elk meat that needed to be grounded up into hamburgers; instead he decided that "[he] needed to help my brother out!"

Thank you very much, owner and chef Jason Boso of The Twisted Root Burger Company, for making this kind donation towards our lion's health care!  Your wonderful donation should last about two weeks!
We are truly blessed to have two wonderful Dallas dining establishments willing to donate elk meat for our precious lion!  Not many businesses would put profits above a sick lion's health, so your donation has truly touched the hearts of our donors--and we are truly grateful for your generosity! 
Happy Valentines Day Free E-cards!
We have a special surprise to share with you today!  We have three Valentine's Day e-cards, free, on this year!
Coincidentally, we have an e-card featuring handsome Aramis, which you can find HERE; an adorable e-card featuring Issac, which you can find HERE; and an e-card featuring our cutie girl, Aasha, which you can find HERE.
All three cards are animated and you can add your choice of music and text to the e-cards!  We hope you enjoy this free service.  They are so cute, you'll want to send all three to your special sweetie(s)!
If you like to send cards through the mail, we have several beautiful Valentine Cards (featuring Aramis, Issac, Aasha, Sheila, and Sam), plus key chains, notebooks, and an adorable teddy bear available in our on-line gift shop!  Click HERE to see all our beautiful items from our Love and Romance Shop!

We would love to see you this weekend!  We are open for tours (click HERE for tour information) and no doubt Aramis would love all the attention given by his well-wishers!
We hope you found today's blog posting fun and uplifting! Be sure to check back next week for more news on our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Big Cat Challenges

Welcome back to another edition of In-Sync Exotics' Cat Tales!  We have lots of exotic feline news to share with you, so let's get right to it!

Aramis Update

We are pleased to announce that Aramis is slowly returning to his regular diet, eating about 4 1/2 pounds of meat at dinnertime, and of course, tasty snacks throughout the day!  Hooray Aramis!

You may recall we were very concerned with his extreme change in diet (click HERE for past Aramis posting), taking him to Texas A&M Veterinary School to find a solution to his eating disorder.  We never learned what caused Aramis' change in diet; we're just so grateful he is doing much better.  We'd like to thank you for keeping Aramis in your prayers!

Right now we have Aramis on Sam-e Liver Protectant and Milk Thistle to promote liver health since his previous blood work in December 2012 showed elevated liver enzymes.  We are testing his blood this week to see if his liver enzymes improves; hopefully, we should have the results back next week.


Our grand dame of the cougars, Mercedes, was recently diagnosed as renal.  We noticed our girl was not looking her best on January 18, 2013, so we took some blood and had it tested to find out what was wrong with her.  In the meantime, we gave her subcutaneous fluids to see how she would respond; thankfully, she seemed to improve after the treatment.  On January 21st, we received the news that she is indeed renal, but we do not know if she is suffering from acute or chronic renal failure at this time.

Chronic vs. Acute Renal Failure
Acute Renal Failure (ARF) is characterized by an abrupt shutdown of kidney function, most often accompanied by reduced urine production. The primary causes of ARF in cats are: urinary obstructions, infectious diseases, trauma, and the ingestion of toxins. Our vet can treat Mercedes if she has ARF.

By comparison, Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) is a progressive, irreversible deterioration of kidney function. Because cats hide their illnesses and the very early signs of CRF are subtle, this disease may only be recognized once the cat reaches the 70% deterioration level and more dramatic symptoms are observable. CRF is one of the leading causes of illness and death in older cats today. 


The only way to know for certain whether or not Mercedes has acute or chronic renal failure is to redo her blood tests in two weeks to see if there is any improvement to her creatinine and BUN levels.   In the meantime, we've been giving Mercedes subcutaneous fluids on a daily basis since January 21st; already she seems to be doing much better and has returned to her old lovable bossy self and is eating very well.  Please keep Mercedes in your prayers as we hope her creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) levels significantly improves within the next couple of weeks.

Tacoma Update

You may recall that Tacoma went to Texas A&M Veterinary School to have his back legs and hips examined (click HERE for his past posting).  While he was sedated, the vets took the opportunity to perform a bottom-right root canal on our boy.  This was Tacoma's second root canal as he had the procedure performed once before on his upper right tooth! 

After reviewing all the medical test results, we were told by the veterinarians that Tacoma has severe osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Before returning home, Tacoma received a steroid injection into his hip joints, with the hopes that the injection would improve his mobility.  It normally takes a couple of days for the steroids to take affect; unfortunately, we saw no improvement. 

Tacoma was also placed on Tramadol (a narcotic-like pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain), but the unintended side-effect of this medication was that Tacoma stopped eating.  So we switched him to Gabapentin, a different kind of pain-relief medication. 

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure to severe osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia. 

Our main concern at this point is keeping Tacoma mobile (walking, running, playing).  If he does not stay mobile due to excessive pain, Tacoma may eventually lose muscle tone and control.  While the pain medication helps a little, Tacoma is still in pain and keeping him on pain medication long term is not a viable option as it can damage his internal organs. 

Fortunately for Tacoma, there is a surgical way to relieve his leg and hip pain--the surgical bilateral denervation of his coxofemoral joints.  This surgery has been successfully performed on five tigers in Canada (this surgery has not been performed on any big cat in the United States) with positive results, successfully ameliorating [make or become better, more bearable] the signs of osteoarthritic pain in the five tigers.

We are in contact with the Canadian veterinarian, with the support and assistance from Texas A&M Veterinary School and the Parker Road Veterinary Hospital, and are hoping to set-up this type of surgical appointment within the next two weeks or so.    While this surgical procedure will not cure Tacoma , it will help to relieve him of the pain he's feeling right now, thereby allowing him to become more active and improve his muscle tone and bone strength.  We are hoping that by giving Tacoma Meloxicam (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) after his surgery, we can slow down his bone osteoarthritis deterioration.

We'd like to give a huge thanks to Drs. Kerin, Wallise, and Hoppes for supporting us through this unique surgery process. We will keep you apprised of Tacoma's surgical date as the information comes available!

We hope you found today's blog posting informative! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more news on our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Farewell, Sweet Jynxie...

On Thursday, January 23, 2013, our precious Jynxie passed away.  At this time, we are still waiting for her necropsy tissue and blood test results.  Preliminary necropsy report showed she had a small nodule on her left lung and a number of tan colored nodules in her liver; however, the cause of her death is still inconclusive and it may be a week or so before we learn the results of all the tests.

On Tuesday, January 15th, Jynxie started to go off her food, which in it self is not unusual, as Jynxie often skipped a meal during the week. On Wednesday, Jynxie enjoyed her bones, so we were confident that she was okay.  On Thursday, Jynxie skipped a meal, but ate her treats, but then on Friday, we noticed she had vomited   By Saturday, Jynxie had stopped eating and could not be enticed to eat anything, including her meaty treats, so Vicky gave her a shot to settle her stomach. Sunday night she refused her bone treats and when Vicky tried to obtain a blood sample from our feisty girl, she refused.  So on Monday, January 21st, Jynxie was sedated so a blood sample could be taken from her.  The vet checked her over and she was administered antibiotic shots.  

Later that evening, Vicky noticed that she was shivering, so an electric blanket was placed over our girl.  She seemed to be doing okay with the electric blanket and several comforters covering her body.  Our lead keeper, Mak got up every two hours during the night, to check on Jynxie to make sure she was warm and comfortable throughout the evening and early morning hours.

The next day, Jynxie was still lethargic and refused to move around.  Blood test revealed that Jynxie's white blood count was low, possibly from an infection, and her kidney levels were up (off the charts), so she was given another dose of penicillin, in the hopes of eliminating the infection.

At this point, Jynxie was kept hydrated with subcutaneous fluids every eight hours and she was given additional penicillin shots; unfortunately she was still wobbly on her legs. Mak continued to checked on Jynxie throughout the night, trying to get Jynxie to move around.

On Wednesday, January 23rd, Jynxie got up and went to lie down in her den.  While we were thrilled that Jynxie was moving around again, it did make it a little more challenging for the staff to administer fluids and her shots. Later that evening, Jynxie seemed more alert and she was drinking water on her own, giving Vicky a "stinky" face.

She appeared to look much better compared to Tuesday night; moving around outside her den.  She even "barked" at Vicky when she tried to administer her four shots and another round of fluids. Jynxie was kept bundled up because her body temperature dropped below normal of 101-102 degrees earlier in the week.  On Wednesday, her body temperature climbed to 97.7 and continued to improve.

Karin and Robert volunteered to stay overnight with Jynxie so Mak could sleep through the night with instructions to call her if Jynxie threw off her blankets or seemed to be in any distressed.  Vicky and Mak were called to Jynxie's side at around 3:00 a.m. when Karin and Robert noticed that Jynxie became unresponsive and her eyes looked cloudy.  Shortly thereafter, Jynxie had her first and second seizure.  While the vet was en route, Jynxie had her final seizure as she passed away about 4:30 a.m. just as Dr. Kerin arrived. We had all noticed noticed that Jynxie showed signs of having had a full-body hemorrhage, or she could have thrown a blood clot to the brain. 

Vicky, Karin, and Robert departed with Jynxie's body to Texas A&M Veterinary School that morning where a necropsy was performed and tissue and blood samples were taken in the hopes of learning why our precious lioness passed away. Not wanting to leave Jynxie behind, Vicky stayed overnight with our girl until Jynxie's body was released to Pet Memories so her body could be cremated.

On Saturday, January 26, 2013, a memorial service was held at Pet Memories at Rockwall, Texas.  Over 35 people with flowers attended her memorial service to say goodbye to our special lady and to share wonderful memories of fun times spent with our girl.  Some of the flowers were placed with Jynxie's body and some of the flowers were held back so they could be scattered into the lake from the bridge in her memory. Since we were not allowed to view her body, Robert and Karin had a large 16 x 20 poster made up of Jynxie which Vicky placed at the ceremony, so we could gaze upon her beautiful face.

Jinxie's ashes were placed in this beautiful urn and it was placed in between Malikai and his brother, Dinari's urns.  

Her physical body may be gone, but her loving spirit will live on at In-Sync Exotics.  As new volunteers arrive at our sanctuary, they will learn from Cheymn, how unique and beautiful Jynxie was to us all.       

In Memory of JynxieJune 12, 1998 - January 24, 2013

May you find peace and happiness with your brother Jambo, and your special lion companions, Dinari and Malikai, Jynxie!  You were loved by all and you will never be forgotten...

If you would like to make a donation in Jynxie's honor, you may do so by clicking HERE.  Thank you.