Posted by: yogavet | December 8, 2010

Life in a Northern Town

You know when it’s too cold to practice ambulatory equine medicine?  When you can’t draw up a syringe of sedative without it freezing mid-dose.  Or, when you have to hold a vial of medication in your armpit for 10 minutes to thaw it out of the slushie it has become.  Theoretically, my vet box has a heater… I’m not really noticing a difference between when it’s on or off, however.  Probably blown a fuse?  Suffice it to say, today was chilly. 

It’s been snowing now, on and off, for about 4 days.  It was coming down hard enough this morning that my little Virginia-minded brain thought, “surely people will call the clinic and cancel their appointments.”  Then I laughed at myself.  You’re practically in Canada.  People won’t cancel because of a little SNOW.   And of course, they didn’t.  And the roads really only got a little scary in the hills of the back-country, which I’d expect.   For the most part, my beat up old Ford truck did just fine in 4 wheel drive. 

Today began our full-on attack on the mice population that has been laying claim to our little farmhouse.  The pest guy came over to investigate.  He told me that they’re in the basement (shocker.  the dirt basement from 1842?  Impossible.), and he put down the “bait” which is a fancy term for poison.  Now, the idea of poisoning the little buggers does flip my stomach a bit.  And I did tell him that my preference would be to keep the poison “to a minimum”.  I prefer the snap-traps – quick and clean.  But, these little gremlins have been waking me up nightly, chewing and scurrying in the wall next to my head.  And I don’t go into the basement daily, to check traps.  So when he came back up from the basement and said he’d put down “bait”, I didn’t argue.   Sigh.  I’m still justifying it, I know. 

The most amusing part of the conversation with the pest guy was when I expressed my concern to him that the cats might get into the poison – not through the traps directly (they don’t go in the basement), but if they get ahold of a poisoned mouse.  (Now, yes, I know, rationally – the amount of poison that will kill a mouse should not be enough to harm a full grown cat, especially since cats don’t tend to eat the WHOLE mouse.  But it’s hard to be a rational, detached person when they snuggle with you and lick your face.  The cats, not the mice…)  At this concern, he assured me that the cats aren’t likely to get a lethal dose from a mouse, but even if they did, “there’s an antidote.  they get a shot, and they’re fine!”  At which point I admitted to being a veterinarian, and that I knew about rodenticide toxicity… I did not, however, correct him on his analysis of the treatment.  Perhaps I should have?  Ah well.  Larger battles.

Not I have ever seen a mouse inside this house, except for the one I killed in a cupboard with a snap trap.  Nor do I think my silly kittens would know what to do with one even if they saw it.  Sigh.  When did I turn into such a worrier?  Haha, oh yes.  1982. 

Enough obsessing over rodents for one night.  Time for sleep.  Another chilly and snowy day tomorrow!

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