Friday, October 7, 2011

Creating Amazing Memories That Will Last A Lifetime!

Calling all animal-loving Interns!  If you are interested in our Clinical Internship Program, then we want to hear from you!  For additional information, please check out our Internship Program on-line!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The "Leona 6" Tigers -- Past and Present

It’s amazing how fast time flies at In-Syncs Exotics!  Can you believe it was a little more than a year ago when we took in the “Leona 6” tigers?
Abrams at Leona, Texas
August 30, 2010

The previous owners/breeders asked if we could accept Grumpy, Brooks, Kazuri, Abrams, Stryker, and Harley as they were no longer able to care for their animals.

On our first visit to check on the animals,we were saddened to see the tigers living in deplorable, unsanitary, and dangerous enclosures.  All six tigers’ cages were situated very close to the main road making them easy targets for pranksters.  All six tigers were under-weight and needed medical care.

One older tiger named Grumpy immediately caught our attention as we found him lying in urine-soaked hay in an old broken down wooden den.  In the upper corner of his cage, we discovered an active wasp nest that was about the size of a football!

Like Grumpy, we found Brooks living in unsanitary conditions as well. This older tiger was almost completely blinded by cataracts in both eyes. He was about 75 pounds under-weight and had no muscle tone due to inactivity.  Brooks lived in a cage that was about 20' X 20' square and only 8 feet tall with feathers bulging from the fencing.  On the day we arrived, we noticed that Brooks’ water container was filled with feces and urine.

Thankfully, on August 30, 2010, we were able to remove the cats from this environment and provide them a home they so richly deserved! 

Grumpy's toenail
While we were moving the tigers out of their enclosures, we noticed Grumpy could not walk at all.  So we rushed him to Texas A&M Veterinary Hospital where they trimmed back broken toenails from each front paw. The toenails had curled around twice, split the pads and had been left untreated for such a long period of time, that his toes healed up around the broken toenails.  Since he was in pain for such a long time, Grumpy had to learn how to walk on the sides of his front paws.

Shortly after Brooks arrived at In-Sync Exotics, he was diagnosed as having chronic renal failure.  Chronic renal failure occurs where there is irreversible damage to the kidneys that impairs their ability to filter and remove waste products from the blood. There are treatments available to slow down the progression of the disease, such as administering subcutaneous fluids; however, Brooks resisted our attempts to administer any type of life-extending medical treatments.

When Grumpy and Brooks passed away this year, we were not emotionally prepared to lose two wonderful big cats—Grumpy was 20 and Brooks was 19 years old. We are comforted by the thought that their last months with us were filled with lots of love and attention. 

Our remaining tigers, Kazuri, Abrams, Styker, and Harley, continue to thrive at In-Sync Exotics! 

Since their arrival, all four tigers gained weight from eating well-balance nutritional meals.  Abrams gained the most weight, putting on about 100 healthy pounds!  So what is their favorite food item?  Bones, of course!

All four tigers have their own enclosures—Kazuri lives in Tiger Country and Abrams, Striker, and Harley live in Chuffin Park.  Unfortunately, we cannot house the four brothers in the same enclosure as they do not get along with one another.  Years ago, Abrams and Striker used to live together until their sister was killed by someone driving past the cats’ former enclosures.  Soon afterwards, we were told that the two brothers started fighting.  So, for their own safety, the cats are kept separated, living in adjacent quarters.

A Bashful Stryker
As soon as funds are available, we plan to build new enclosures for Okemo (living next to the “Leona 6” tigers) and Amol (living next to the Poetry lions).  Okemo lives in Chuffin Park because he does not like living in Tiger Country, and since Kuzuri is more “laid back,” we moved him temporarily to Tiger Country. So, once we move Okemo out of Chuffin Park, we plan to reunite Kazuri with his brothers!

The cost of new living quarters, with three den areas, and an adjoining playground is about $40k (pool not included)!  We are hopeful a business or corporation will sponsor this special project.

Thankfully, the “Leona 6” tigers’ health significantly improved over the last several months.  Currently, the only cat requiring medical care is Harley.  He will be traveling to A&M on October 26, 2011 for a dental examination, as we believe he is having difficulty with his palate. 

We hope you can visit the “Leona 6” tigers as they are a little friskier due to the cooler weather!

Even though the tigers have only been with us for just a little over one year now, we feel like they have been part of the In-Sync Exotic family for years. We are especially grateful that we could give a loving home to Brooks’ offspring:  Kazuri, Striker, Abrams, Harley, Kiro, and Tacoma!  Even though Brooks is no longer with us, we can still see the personality traits that made him a special tiger in his sons.

Update on Harley's health condition:

Harley is visiting A&M vets because every once in a while his mouth will bleed.  Our vet examined his mouth and found a dark spot on the right side of his palate. When he touched it, it burst and bled. The right side of his nose stays swollen all the time.  Also we found a back tooth that is loose, so we need to check to see if the loose tooth, the spot on the palate, and his swollen nose are connected somehow so we can resolve Harley's health issues!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Surgery Saved Layla From A Life Threatening Disease!

On July 17, 2011, four former Poetry lions named Aramis (m), Aurora (f), Layla (f) and Eva (f) were rescued from Poetry Texas and rehomed at In-Sync Exotics.  The owner of the lions passed away earlier this year and her family wanted the animals to be placed as soon as possible since there was no one capable of maintaining and caring for the animals on a permanent basis.

Even though the lions were not housed together at their former residence, we believe they can be integrated and eventually live together as a lion pride.

Our first step was to ensure the females were spayed before their introduction to Aramis, so there will be no future offspring.  We learned Aurora was spayed years ago, so we only needed to spay Layla and Eva.   

Yesterday, Layla voluntarily entered the transporter allowing us to take her to the vet without sedation.  Like any surgery, spaying a cat has its medical risks, and sometimes it can be life-saving.  In Layla’s case, her veterinarian discovered that Layla had about five cysts, a lot of fibrosis (formation of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue in a reparative or reactive process) and she was diagnosed as having pyometra.  Pyometra is an infection of the uterus found in unspayed cats causing a variety of clinical and pathological signs related to genital and systemic disease.  Layla’s vet removed the cysts and medically treated the pyometra by removing her extremely infected uterus. A sample of her uterus was sent to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) to check for any signs of cancer or other health-related problems.

Today, Layla is recovering at home with volunteers watching over her 24/7 to ensure she does not pull out her sutures.  Layla is on antibiotics for the pyometra infection and will follow-up with her vet to ensure she is okay to mix and mingle with the other three lions once healed.

Eva’s spay will be next week and we pray that her surgery goes smoothly! 

Spaying a lioness can be a bit more expensive than spaying a domestic house cat.  It costs about $2500 per lioness (not including the treatment of other health related issues discovered during surgery) and a lot of round the clock care for several days to make sure the surgery is a success.  If you would like to contribute towards Layla and Eva’s spays, please visit our donation page! 

We are looking forward to the day when the lion “family” is finally reunited together in the same play area!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thank You For Supporting Our Food Drive!

All of us at In-Sync Exotics wants to thank everyone who contributed towards our Feed A Hungry Carnivore Campaign!  While we were short of our $3,000 goal, we want to thank everyone who donated on our last campaign day and to the two donors that donated past the deadline date, bringing our total gifts to $1,830

We hope this particular campaign highlighted how much it costs just to feed one wild one each day.  We want to make sure the cats get the best meat and bones possible, meeting or exceeding their nutritional needs. 

If you want to watch pre-dinner bones given out to the In-Sync Exotic big cats, you can participate in our Sunday evening night tour!  Our guided night tours are for guests 7 years old and up and for groups of 2-10 people. The tour lasts about an hour.  Reservations are required for this event.  Interested?  Great!  Please contact Lakshmi to schedule your tour today!
Please note:  We are now on our Fall Tour Schudule which means we are only open for tours on the weekends from 11:00am - 6:00pm.

Again, a big thank you to all who donated towards our food drive for the big and small cats!