Saturday, October 8

We've got all this love to give

We got a bit of bad news today when Phil took Gonzo to his clinic for a check-up. He's been shedding quite a bit, which happens periodically, so we're never sure if it's a seasonal thing or the first indications of adrenal gland disease. We had a scare almost a year ago, and it turned out that Gonzo had a fatty acid deficiency that was making him lose his fur. So we were prescribed smelly fish oil to feed him, which he gobbled up. His fur grew thicker and he fattened up and all was back to normal. But in the past two weeks, he has lost a lot of fur and if you tug ever so slightly on his hair, it will come out in clumps. So we decided it was time for yet another visit to the vet, just to make sure the shedding was normal and could be remedied.

One of the doctors felt of his abdomen for lumps, which can indicate either intestinal blockages or swollen tumor-type things, both of which can result in hair loss and malnutrition. The first doctor said she felt a lump and was afraid it was indicative of adrenal gland problems, especially given the rapid hair loss. But she got busy with an emergency, so she had to go do other things before she got a chance to inspect further. Another doctor looked at Gonzo later and said he couldn't detect a lump at all. Phil told him about Gonzo's periodic shedding and how it's always been solved by administering fatty acids. So this doctor recommended conservative treatment for a couple of weeks before we go digging around in Gonzo's stomach. I'm not sure what to think; I want ultrasounds and bloodwork and other research to go on. Neither of these doctors really specializes in ferrets and if there is an adrenal gland problem, a couple of weeks could be a death sentence if it's advanced enough.

Poor Gonz. He's only four. But I swear we go through this every time the weather changes. It's just that one of these days it's pretty much guaranteed that he or Felix or both will develop an adrenal problem. There's really nothing you can do to prevent it, and when it happens, it's a crap shoot as to whether the ferret will recover. I'm convinced that if there was an imminent disease that struck 80 percent of cats or dogs when they turned five or six, the scientific community would be all over it, figuring out ways to improve and lengthen the animals' lives. I'm not sure why ferrets are so predisposed to this disease and why there can't be a cure, but it's frustrating knowing that their already short lives will be cut even shorter by some cruel illness that makes their hair fall out.

I read some sad news today, too: Sidelines is canning Flash. I don't know what exactly is going on at Sidelines but I know there's trouble and I'm furious that it's beginning to affect the content of the paper. I don't like that the adviser says they don't have the authority to print a certain type of content. Sounds like a bunch of horseshit to me. I've e-mailed the pricipals in the matter and I'm still waiting to hear from them, because if there is anything I can do to help undo this colossal mistake, I'd like to try. Maybe I don't understand their particular path to this fabled "financial independence," but taking giant leaps backward because ad staff can't do its job sounds like anti-progress to me. And it's setting them up for a major, major fall. And that's a travesty.

The new Fiona Apple album is good, but I have to confess: The versions of "Better Version of Me" and "Not About Love" I heard leaked online are far superior to the versions that made it onto the album. They produced all the flavor out of them. I love the slight sloppiness of the piano in "Better Version" and the drama of the string arrangement in "Not About Love." But both qualities evaporated before the CDs hit store shelves. Lame!

Tomorrow's (today's) the big wedding. I'm more or less prepared. My gameplan for the evening is to snatch my nephews away (I'm sure the "honeymooning" couple won't mind) and go see the Wallace and Gromit movie. I might even have to break out the Wallace and Gromit T-shirt. Yes, I have one, and no, you can't have it.

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