Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meet Sierra & Lassiter Plus a Medical Update!

Have you met Sierra and Lassiter yet? We thought you might want to meet these two special cougars from someone who know the two cougars very well, long before they arrived at In-Sync Exotics, and continues to volunteer her services to care for these two beautiful animals. So without further ado, here is Leslie's story: 
Sierra with her Kong
My brother, Jason, got Sierra and Lassiter when they were two years old. They had been living with people as house pets; they were even litter box trained!The owners got rid of them because they started tearing up the house, which I can’t believe they were surprised about, plus their county had passed an exotic animal ban. They were in a small dog run when Jason got them, and he built them a cage and den similar to what they have now, but a lot smaller and behind the house so they had nothing to do or look at.He had a big tub of water in their cage that they liked to poop in; I’m so glad they outgrew that, it’s bad enough cleaning up after Freddie!In the summer he would put fish in the tub; he said they never actually got one but it wasn’t for lack of trying.Sierra had a basketball she liked batting around, and Lassiter would jump and swipe footballs from Jason’s hands.I wish I had some pictures of them when they were younger, but his storage shed burned with everything in it. 
Lassiter with his Kong
Jason gave them a lot of attention in the beginning, but that kind of wore off as time went on, and then he moved and left them in my father’s care. My father fed them every day, but he’s in his 70s and didn’t have the energy or desire to take care of them the way they should have been. I had been trying for several years to get Jason to give them up and he would agree to it, but then change his mind. I emailed several places trying to find a home for them and when Vicky said In-Sync would take them, I got him to agree to give them up, and my father had them loaded and on the road before he could change his mind. When In-Sync took Sierra and Lassiter, I thought the least I could do was volunteer, and I wanted to make sure the cats didn’t think they had been abandoned. They are so happy at In-Sync, and my family is happy they are in such a great place. I’ve shown them pictures of the cats playing with their favorite Kong toy and laying around on the playground. I can’t imagine not being at In-Sync myself, I love every minute I’m there, even when it’s hot and smelly! Vicky puts the needs of the cats above everything else, and it’s awesome to be a part of that!

Lassiter (front) and Sierra (back)
Thank you, Leslie, for sharing the cougars' early beginnings with us.  We are very happy to have Sierra, Lassiter, and Leslie part of our In-Sync Exotics' family!

Medical Updates!

Last week, several of our cats went to the vet for either follow-up treatments or medical care.  Here is what we know so far:

Franklin:  You may recall in April and May, Franklin, one of our domestic cats, went to the vet because he was feeling poorly.  He was successfully treated for a parasitic infection in his blood that may have been responsible for the inflammation of his heart plus he was put on medication for a slight heart murmur.  More good news on Franklin's health condition--Franklin received a clean bill of health and for the time being, he no longer requires any more medication!  Franklin is one tough kitty!  Franklin is often seen in the cheetah habitat area, visually supervising the work progress.  We just hope he doesn't leave his "seal of approval" in the fresh concrete (think paw prints people)!

Sox:  Last week we took Sox to the vet because we noticed Sox has an irritated left eye and his head is starting to bob (as if he’s shaking his head “yes”). Sox underwent several tests and the results are in.

Sox is hyperthyroid and will require special treatment. Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid glands. Hyperthyroidism occurs most commonly in older cats and is rare in dogs. The average age of cats with hyperthyroidism is 13 years of age; only about 5 % of hyperthyroid cats are younger than 10 years of age. There are two  thyroid glands located in the neck. One or both of the glands can enlarge and overproduce thyroid hormone. Involvement of both glands is more common than involvement of one gland. Thyroid hormone affects the function of most organs in the body, so the signs of hyperthyroidism are quite variable. Thankfully, Sox's condition can be treated with the proper medication and diet. 

As to his eye condition, well have you ever noticed that half his face is covered in black fur and the other side with white fur?  Well, our vet thinks that his eye (the one on the "white" side of his face) looks pinker than his other eye and he wants to make sure it's just the sunlight that is bothering his eye and not something else more serious.  So lucky us gets to keep him inside, which he hates, for an experiment to determine how light affects his light-colored eye,  for about seven days (to see if his eye irritation clears up on its own).  Sox can go outside when the sun goes down, but must remain in the office during the day!  We will keep you updated on Sox's progress.

Tobias:  Ever since Tobias' arrival, we've been treating our lynx for a reoccurring cough. He was treated three separate times and each time his cough went away. Unfortunately, his cough is back again, so we took Tobias to the vet for a closer look to find out why his cough keeps returning! Our vet also checked out the mystery spots that shows up and disappears between his front and back legs. The only spot that seems to bother Tobias is the one located on his left inner thigh.

Our vet ran several tests to include x-rays and a skin culture and the results are in.  His skin culture test revealed that Tobias has a treatable skin infection.  Hopefully, within a few weeks, his "spots" will go away.

We also learned that Tobias may have either fluid or fat around his heart. His blood work came back okay but his white blood cell count was slightly elevated. In order to determine whether or not it is fluid or fat around his heart, he will be given a diuretic.  If the diuretic works, then it was fluid--if it doesn't work, then it may be fat, which we cannot surgically remove.  We will keep you updated on Tobia's medical treatment progress.

We are still waiting on test results for Gideon (follow-up visit and it was time for his shots and micro-chip); Spirit (follow-up check-up); and Sketcher (chronic sneezing).  As soon as their results comes in, we shall share with you their medical status.

We close with commercial announcements!  A subtle reminder to tell Razoo why you love In-Sync Exotics!  Deadline is August 31, 2012!  Say as much or little as you like! https://www.facebook.com/RazooGiving/app_254175528027588  Please don't forget to support your favorite sanctuary!  Thank you kind In-Sync Exotics' animal supporters!

Putting for Paws!

Have you visited our Putting for Paws Golf Tournament webpage yet? Well if you haven't, then you don't know what you're missing!  Last year, we were able to raise a little over $7,000 for the animals, thanks to the golfers, kind sponsors and donors!  This year, with your help, we hope to raise over $10,000 for the animals!  

Here are the details:

WHEN: Monday, September 17.  8:30 a.m. Tee Time

WHERE:  Old American Golf Club in The Colony

FORMAT:  4 Man Scramble, Shotgun Start

The Old American pays homage to the environment on which the course was built. Preservation of the wildlife and resources surrounding the course were innate to the design.  Careful attention was paid to the conservation and utilization of water throughout the course. Native grasses, trees and plants are used in order to preserve water as well as create intentional wildlife habitats. An abundance of wildlife makes its home on the course, including wild turkeys, deer, coyotes and birds of prey, such as the Red Tail Hawk, which nests the immense oaks to the left of #13 and the right of #16.

This year, we have several exciting golf contests plus some terrific prizes from our sponsors and donors!  This should be a day of fun, whether you are an experienced golfer or just learning the game.  Team and single players are welcome! Ready to register?  Great!  Click HERE to register for this great event and remember to invite your friends to play!

Can't make the golf tournament, but you want to sponsor one of the holes? Great! Click HERE for sponsorship information!  To make a golf prize donation, click HERE!  Thank you for supporting In-Sync Exotics!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting and will join us again tomorrow for more news and updates on our wild ones! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!



  1. Are Sierra and Lassiter in an enclosure together? The one with the dog igloo and a regular concrete den? Because I walked by that particular enclosure one time and one of the cougars was in the igloo, and the other one was in the den, and the one in the den, upon seeing me, IMMEDIATELY rolled over on his/her back and exposed his/her belly for rubbins. (Not typical behaviour from an apex predator in the wild, I'm guessing...)

    Do the larger cats get FHV like the domestic ones do?

    I do know that you can give thyroid medication in a transdermal gel; if he's even slightly difficult to medicate and you're unfamiliar with the process, check this out: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=898

    You'll have to have a compounding pharmacy mix the medication for you, but we're talking about medicating him by rubbing his head, basically.

  2. Greetings Diana and thanks for asking great questions. Let's go through them one at a time...

    Yes, Sierra and Lassiter live in the same enclosure together. Our cats have a tendency to show off their tummies when they are feeling comfortable and strees-free. Our cats know they are loved and well-fed, and it shows (or shall we say their tummies "shows!").

    Our larger cats cannot get the FHV (also known as "feline viral rhinotracheitis") like our domestic cats, but our bobcats are suseptible to this virus, so they must be vaccinated.

    We are familiar with the thyroid medication as it was used on Keenan. In order for the medicine to work, we had to apply the meds to Keenan's ears because it had to make direct contact with his skin.

    Again, thanks for the great questions, Diana, and for commenting on our blog!