Garibaldi is Sick: Vet Visit 5


Getting in the car

Owner’s blog:

After how good Garibaldi Rous has gotten about going on car rides, it’s a shame we had to take another long trip to the vet. After we’ve gone a certain distance, Gari seems to know what’s going on and gets very nervous. Poor little guy! But it’s either go to the vet or die. I’m not sure which he would do if he had a choice but, luckily, I am deciding for him.


Waiting for the execution

Normally Gari does not sit in his poop bowl like this but even being in the smallest amount of water makes him feel safer. Poor little guy. The vet had an emergency and we ended up waiting about an hour before she could start working with Gari. Plenty of time for a capybara to panic.


The Harpooning

Dr. Gentry, who is an excellent capybara dentist, turned out not to be so good with the harpoon. You can see that Gari doesn’t trust him or the vet student, Will. It turned out to be a well-founded distrust. When Dr. Gentry jabbed him with the pneumatic needle, it didn’t activate to inject the anesthesia and Gari ended up needing another harpooning.


Read, aim...

In the photo above, Dr. Hoppes is positioning the harpoon. Gari thinks he is safe as long as he stands by Rick.


And it’s in! Poor little Gari! Apparently this shot really hurts. And it hurts more later than when he first gets it. Rick’s expression hasn’t even changed, Gari really should like me better!

Out for the duration

After the shot that knocks him out, they get him on oxygen and an inhalant anesthesia as soon as possible. Then they reverse the initial injection but he stays under due to the inhalant.

Working on the teeth

Look how tiny his mouth is! Imagine that if he were a dog, his mouth would open all the way back to under his eye. Part of the problem is that there is not enough room around his mouth for two sets of hands so the dentist has to juggle everything.

Dr. Grady working on Gari's teeth

Dr. Gentry watches the monitor while he works in Gari’s mouth. Dr. Hoppes says he can do this because he has played a lot of video games. Maybe.

Inside Gari's mouth

This is a view off the monitor. It’s not easy to take a good shot since I have to use a very slow shutter speed due to the refresh rate on the screen. Otherwise most of the screen will appear black.

Anyway, I have labeled the problem tooth. It had once again grown too long and was starting to impinge on Gari’s tongue. The good news is ALL of his other teeth look fine! The tooth that broke off has grown back nicely and none of the other teeth had points that needed filing. This is really great news! It had been three months since our last visit so we weren’t sure what to expect. Now it looks like he’ll be able to go three months between dental trimmings, which is a big relief, we’ll only have to torture him four times per year.

Filing the tooth

This is the actual filing in progress. You can see the bits of tooth flying around. You can also see how this tooth pushes into his tongue while his normal teeth do not.

At the Subway in Bastrop

The whole procedure took only about an hour, plus and hour wait at the beginning, an hour’s prep and an hour in recovery. Four hours total and then we were on our way back home. Garibaldi acted so much better in the car than he ever has before after one of theses visits. We even let him get out of the car when Rick wanted to stop at the Subway Sandwich Shop in Bastrop. And Gari ate a head of escarole in the car along with some blueberries and a bit of apple. Rick and I were so happy and relieved! It seemed like the whole thing was a hundred times better than it had ever been before.

And then Gari stopped talking. By the time we got home, it was clear he was very sore in his hind end where he got the shot. By this morning, he could hardly walk. He’s still eating pretty well, but he is hardly moving around at all. He holds the leg on the side of the shot up off the ground as much as possible. I guess it’s like how your arm gets sore after a tetanus shot only a thousand times worse.

Gari looking miserable

This photo was taken around 7:00 pm today and shows the face of a miserable capybara. At least he is still eating. And he doesn’t have to go through this torture again for another three months.

39 comments to Garibaldi is Sick: Vet Visit 5

  • Angela Williams

    Poor Gari ๐Ÿ™ I hope he feels better really soon!

  • Shannon Zapf

    I hope Gari feels better soon!!! I know it’s painful and just awful for him, but it’s a necessary evil. Thank you for taking such good care of the sweet dude. Much love to you all!

  • Wendy

    I think the needle did it to you Gari and I hope you feel better real soon. The pictures look like they were chasing you to stab you with a 12 foot needle. Let me at them. I’ll stick to them. Take care Gari.

  • Christine

    Poor Gary, I took my little dog in yesterday. He had 20 teeth taken out. He had to spend the night at the vet.

  • Leslie M. Bliman-Kuretzky

    We all love you Gari, and your dear Mommy too

    VIBES for a quick recovery

  • Tanya Maddox

    Would some pain med like banamine or even metacam help his sore rear end. Even kids get Tylenol when they get their shots. Bunnies get banamine. Poor Gari.

  • Bootie&Pumpkin

    Oh Gari we know you are in pain, but you will feel better very soon, poor little capy boy xx.


    Poor Baby!!!! Hope you feel better soon. You are handling your situation very well. At least you got to eat a little. Love to hear about your adventures-unfortunately, it isn’t the most happy one, but you will be good for another three months…. <3

  • francine

    Poor Garibara! it’s so awful to watch him suffer ๐Ÿ™ but what good news that his teeth are behaving!

  • Joann Taylor

    Hi Gari! I had knee surgery about 2 weels ago and my “harpoon spots” are still sore… Feel better soon!

  • Alison

    It’s hard to see him so sad. I used to have bad reactions to vaccines as a kid and I remember well how painful it was if anything even touched my arm. But the good thing is, he’s not actually ill and this will improve.

    You have probably already thought of this, but I am just wondering with the tooth whether there is anything you can do at home – like get him to allow you to run a file over it once or twice a day to keep it from getting to the point that he needs all this, or at least make it less frequent? Is it possible? I keep thinking about the clicker training they do with zoo animals to get them to allow injections and other care with much less stress.

  • Donna

    Poor Gari. Hope your hiney feels better soon. Thank you for keeping us updated.

  • I think they should put some ice on your butt, Gari. Still, it’s very good that you got all the way home before you started to feel rotten. Now will you be able to eat fresh corn on the cob with husks and silk and everything?

  • […] Garibaldi is Sick: Vet Visit 5 | Capybara Madness. […]

  • Damien N Sally Chan

    Gari, it’s hell of an experience. however you got to know, you’re not a pet, you are a project, an exploration to the new area, for human knows too little abt you and your kind.

    We respect you, and from you we know abt capybaras. It’s a too damn hard road, but let’s walk together – rodents and homosapiens, led by rodents!

  • Kathryn

    Kisses to our favorite Gari! Hang in there sweetheart!

  • Poor Gari. ๐Ÿ™ I hope your leg is more comfy tomorrow. Perhaps it would help if Melly and Rick massaged it for you. xx

  • Liz

    Hang in there, Gari. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Beth

    So sorry Gari! Feel better soon little man.

  • Kristy

    You did really well, Gari! I’m sorry you’re not feeling well now, and I really hope that you’re back to your old happy capy self soon!

  • I hope you feel better Gari. Melly knows what’s best for you and in the long run it will definitely benefit you. Be patient little capy, this too shall pass. Much love to you and a speedy recovery!

  • Rawil

    Dear Gari! We wish you to recover very-very soon! You are such a brave and nice capybara!!!

  • Tammy Bakken

    Poor little Gari:( It is all gonna be ok buddy. Hang in there.

  • Linda

    It’s a new day today Gari, and I hope you are feeling better! You did such a GREAT job at the vet!!!! and I am glad to hear your teeth are in good shape!
    We love you here in Massachusetts, Gari.
    Big Capy Hugs to you and Melly!!!!

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Linda

  • Raquel

    Awww… poor little Gari!! I hope your sore butt will get well soon! Kisses for your beautiful nose!

  • Nic

    I hope you feel better Gari.

  • The shot wouldn’t have hit the nerve would it? Why must they use the harpoon, couldn’t they just jab him like a normal shot? I wonder if the speed of the harpoon contributes to the soreness afterwards, that it has such a strong impact when it meets Gari’s skin?
    Would ice or a heating pad help take away some of the soreness? or would Gari not tolerate that?
    I hope he recovers very, very soon.

  • Holly

    I think moist heat is what I used with my son’s immunizations – and it would feel much better to Gari than ice.

  • I work with goats and horses (not capibaras, which we don’t have here in central Africa) – it is possible that the injection hit one of the central nerves traveling from the rear-end, down Capi’s leg. Several times I’ve hit this nerve when treating (injecting) goats and it causes them to go lame for a few days.
    At least his teeth now are in good order!
    I do enjoy your blog, and look forward to more (less painful) tales about Capi and his life.


  • I am so sorry that Gari wasn’t feeling well. I hope by now things are feeling better.

    the pain and the ouch factor aside though, this is one really cool post. So informative! Thank you for sharing.

  • Janet Lutkus

    Gari, I hope you are starting to feel better now. I was happy to hear that things looked better this time and you won’t have to go back for another 3 months. One step at a time, beautiful boy…

  • Anne Zeltner


  • Carla

    Hi, this is my first time reading your blog. I have two rats as pets. I make sure to have things in their cage for them to chew on to keep their teeth filed. There has to be something capys would use in nature to keep those teeth filed down or do they just get sick and die? I know in the wild rats only live 1-1/2 years, but mine have lived 4-5 years. With all that it takes to file their teeth, it must cost a fortune.

  • Garibaldi Rous


    Gari has one molar that is rotated. The vet said this is because he has low bone density and that is because he was kept pretty much strictly indoors for the first 10 months of his life. I don’t know of any other capybaras that have this problem. It is very expensive but Garibaldi is worth it. (Melly)

  • Carla

    Poor Gari, I know you are doing what’s best for him. I have 3 dogs 2 rats and a bird at this time and I too would do anything for each of them. Does the vet know how much it would affect his life. If they just removed the tooth rather than putting him thru this 4 times a year? Especially seeing that they eat mostly grasses and veggies.

  • Carla

    Oh, I also had a question about his “poop bowl”. Is that what he uses at home to potty in? Do you just have it filled with water to calm him down, or is it always filled with water for him to potty in. Sorry about the strange questions but people think its weird that I have rats as pets, let alone that they are litter trained. So, just wondering about the potty habits of the Capys.

  • Vet Student

    That doctor’s name is Dr. Gentry, not Grady.

  • Garibaldi Rous

    Thanks. That was a dumb mistake to make.

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