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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.