Prairie Dog gone crazy - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2005, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Prairie Dog gone crazy

I need help!!! My PD is possessed I cleaned out my prairie dogs cage 2 days ago and as usual he was all happy. Well, i went to pet him like 1.5 hours later and it's like he didn't know me at all. He stands there and give me this deathly stare. Then when i get close to him he freaks out making crazy sounds and jumping at the cage. i mean, he has done this before to people he doesn't know but it's even worse now and it's all pointed at me. Also i noticed that he won't sleep at the bottom of his cage anymore. i used the same stuffing i always used. I usually mix some dust free bedding from the pet store with some pine wood chips but this time i put a little more wood chips than usual. anyone know what is going on? i won't even be able to feed him if he's this crazy!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2005, 07:39 PM
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My guess is that he is still in rut. Try giving him a treat through the cage bars and talk softly to him. If the cage is on the floor, bend down to his level, or just slightly above when you give him the treat. Standing above him may frighten him more, getting below his level may show that he is dominant over you....so try to see eye to eye or just above his level.

Another thought is that maybe this bag of bedding smells different to him and is making him feel scared. Have you changed the bedding since you posted this?

Give him time, talk softly to him and let us know what happens.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2005, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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i changed his cage back to the same bedding he always had. i had to trick him with french fries to get the top off the cage. but he's still crazy. i think he's rabid. i don't know what to do. i can't bring him to a vet cause i can't get him out of the cage or he'll try n kill me. what does one do in a situation like this?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2005, 03:39 PM
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It's highly unlikely that he's rabid unless he was bit by an animal with rabies.

If you want to take him to the vet and he won't let you touch him, put on some leather gloves to pick him up and put him in a carrier. You could also put a t-shirt over his head and pick him up (with gloves on) so he won't struggle as much. Don't yell or talk loudly while doing this because being picked up with leather gloves and being put in a carrier will be traumatizing already. Good luck!


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 08:10 AM
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I agree with Scarlette it does sound like rut. The chances of him being rabid are more slim than you know and like Scarlette said unless he was bitten by a wild animal it's not rabies. Even in the wild prairie dogs do not carry rabies, but die within 24hrs of exposure. It's sounds exactly like rut to me. They become very unpredictable as if they do not know who you are anymore. I went through a bad rut with my female this year. She had been so loving and sweet, but one day while feeding her she lunged at my hand without any warning. She hit an artery and I lost a pint of blood. I couldn't keep the wound closed or stop the bleeding so I ended up in the ER. They had to repair the artery and put me on IV antibiotics because a blood infection was setting in. They cannot stitch an animal bite so they glued striped to keep the wound closed. Because of the current ban I did not say a prairie dog bit me (knowing what they possibly could do) so I said a angry rabbit got the better of me. The treatment was the same since pd's and rabbits have a similar diet the bacteria would also be close, only difference is they did not have to file any reports on the bite which could put my pd's at risk. From that day on if I went near her she would beat her chest on the cage chittering, screaming, chattering her teeth and making raspberries noises at me. It was like she changed overnight and had no idea who I was. She even stopped smiling at me which broke my heart. She was crazy for almost 5 months and the only thing I could do was sit by the cage and talk to her, but even that ticked her off sometimes. Now she looks at me with that big smile I missed so badly and just as sudden as she went nuts she's now my Charlie again. There's no more chittering, frizzed tail or any sign of aggression, just happy yahoo's. I think your baby has hit rut and all you can do is wait it out. He doesn't hate you and it's not intentional he's only doing what he's been designed to do. In the wild that aggression serves an important purpose, but in captivity it's hard to understand. Just heed his warnings and leave him be. In time it will pass and he will be the sweet boy you remembered. Try and keep telling yourself "it's not personal and not forever", but I know that's hard to do. If you need to talk with someone very experienced in this area call or e-mail Gena. She can help give you tips on coping with rut. You're also welcome to call me if you just need moral support. I feel for you, I really do and I understand how heartbreaking it is to have this pd looking at you with those eyes and not be able to hold them because they are in the crazy phase and hormones have taken over. Do what Scarlette suggested and sit by the cage and talk to him, but keep your digits away.

Gena Seaberg
Consultant for Prairie Dog Care Domestically and Abroad Since 1995
2023 Adams Ave
Everett, WA 98203
(425) 265-0818
(425) 870-1729 cell
[email protected]

Jenniffer Scardina
Prairie Dog Care & Advice
Cell # (615)971-2715

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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wow, that's crazy! well, i hope he gets better. i thought rut was over though? usually he gets all swollen in the fall. He did get really fat and slow before he went cookoo though. I didn't think he could possibly move as fast as i've been seeing lately when he tries to kill me through the cage. he very much resembles cujo but without the foaming mouth.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 10:51 AM
 
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Good luck with your baby. I also know how difficult it is to live with an ill-tempered pd. Our first pet pd., Beefcake was like a Tazmanian Devil. He was supposed to be neutered, but I'm convinced he was not. I took the book; Prairie dog Pets with me because it has specific information, just for vets, on anesthetics, dosages, etc. She apparently did not even look at it. We believe she saw this as an opportunity to poke around in a different species. She cut him from stem to stern, & acomplished nothing in the process. His temperment did not change a bit. He still went through the unpredictable mood swings. He still wanted to eat us alive, every winter, especially my husband, & son. Bless his heart, Beefcake never was a "pet". He was like Dr. Jekyl- Mr. Hyde. We still loved him dearly, & miss him terribly. We had to have him put to sleep about 2 years ago, due to health problems, caused by bad advice.
I am so glad we didn't give up on pds. as pets, because of this one bad experience. We never would have known the love these adorable creatures have to give. While Beefcake was still with us, we got an adult female from a couple who couldn't keep her anymore. These 2 were total opposites. My Snuggle-Bug is the sweetest animal I have ever known. She loves my husband, son,& future daughter-in-law, but I am her world. She absolutely lives for our 'snuggle time'. It is very theraputic for me too. The richest man on the planet doesn't have enough money to buy this little girl! I thank God, fate, or whatever brought us together, every day. I have never felt love like the love of a prairie dog. We have several now & every one of them are so precious.
We adopted an adult male, a while back, & were afraid he would be a terror in the winter, especially towards my husband. He was abused by a man (if you want to call him that). He only acted like he might bite a time or two, so far. He adores my husband! I'm so glad he came to us. Now he knows he can trust one man at least.
Anyway keep reminding yourself not to take it personally when your baby gets ugly. It's just the hormones. It will pass.
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