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From: Leslie (70-36-4-242.losaca.adelphia.net -70.36.4.242)
Subject: Misinformation about animals -- Venting
Date: September 5, 2006 at 3:02 am PST

Just venting about the vast amount of misinformation about animals by
store employees, vets, etc., just basic stuff, how can people supposed
to know stuff be so incompetent?

1. I have two rabbits. Two or three years ago they started having
problems with digestion. I took them to two vets who wanted to put
them on acidophilus. Even took the stuff home. Then I read on the
internet that they don't need that, what they do need is a diet void
of simple starches (I was feeding them oats, crackers, too many
treats); high in fiber, they don't even need pellets, just hay and
vegetables. I change their diet and guess what? It cleared up.

2. I rescued a gerbil from my son's roommate, he was in a tiny cage
with no water and no food, no toys, no igloo or shelter and a wheel
that was too small. First of all, whoever sold the cage to that man
should be flogged, the cage was obviously completely inappropriate for
such a large and active animal. That in itself ticks me off. But
then I went to get a companion for the gerbil and here's what it says
on the Petco tags for Gerbils: Best in pairs, male/female or
female/female. I have read on the internet that gerbils can be fine
in male/male pairs as long as one of the gerbils is older, he will be
protective toward the younger one and you should use a split cage
method to introduce them.

I took my gerbil to Petco to ask an employee if it was indeed a male,
and discussed the companion thing with him, he said he thought with
the personality my gerbil had that he wouldn't accept a cagemate.

After talking to another customer about her experience, I got a male
gerbil and introduced the two gerbils for one day using the split cage
method. Then I put them in a new habitat -- a large child's swimming
pool with toys and houses and long tubes and a big center tub full of
bedding for them to burrow. Guess what? They love each other. They
tumble and play and chase each other and they are so happy.

Petco was wrong both on their labelling and the employee was dense to
tell me HE thought my gerbil wouldn't accept another one, he didn't
even bother to tell me about the split cage method. Don't those
people learn anything about animals?

3. I kept a small dwarf russian hamster for the last two months,
struggling with the fact that she lived alone. All the employees of
all the stores I went to said russian hamsters should not have a
cagemate. Every single one. My hamster did escape several days ago
and she is gone, no sign of her, I do not think she is alive anymore,
I am very sad, but more sad over this: I have been doing some reading
and have discovered that numerous places on the web state that Russian
hamsters like to live in pairs, female to female, as long as they come
from the same litter and have been housed together. So I feel so bad
that my little girl lived alone, so alone, when I could easily have
taken another of her sisters to live with her and give her company.

What is wrong with these pet employees? Shouldn't they have some kind
of training so they can intelligently answer questions?

From now on, I am going to do my own research on everything and never
listen to any employee who seems to know what they are talking about.
Because they don't.

And I'd advise anyone out there wanting to take in animals and make
them happy (I would prefer that these animals weren't bred at all,
just left in the wild) to do their own research. Provide not just a
cage, but a habitat, even if it takes more room in your house than
you'd like. Give them a companion if they can have one. Rabbits love
companionship, so do Russian dwarf hamsters (from what I've read) and
gerbils for sure (I can attest to this one, mine is so much happier).

I just feel so bad that I didn't know about little Chloe (hamster who
disappeared), responsible that her life wasn't as happy as it could
have been.

I rue the day when some guy tramping through Australia or Europe
captured the first little hamsters and gerbils. Why can't people just
leave these animals alone, and rabbits too? It's pretty terrible,
what happens to so many little animals that people buy for their kids
for pets. I just can't think about it.



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