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Shiro Update

mood: hopeful…!
currently working on: All the King’s Women revision round 1

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but the vet took some of Shiro’s poo for tests on Friday. He said it’d take about three business days, so he told us to wait until Wednesday or Thursday for the result.

Meanwhile, Shiro’s been very wet and uncomfortable. Also her diarrhea made her fur matted and dirty. I went out and bought a bottle of special unscented and alcohol-free shampoo for small animals for Shiro, and Hero Material and I washed her last night. She bit me hard twice. I didn’t mind though. She’s very sweet (and super-feisty) and doesn’t usually bite, so I know she must’ve been extremely stressed out about getting washed with soap and water.

Hero Material and I’ve been also hand-feeding her. She’s very picky about her food now, so we bought all kinds of stuff that a hamster might want to eat (except sweets) and chopped them up and fed them to her. She’s been very good about taking those small bits of food from us, and she loves diced skinless almonds, walnut pieces, crushed peanuts, chopped carrots, corns and baby food.

Today, the vet called Hero Material. He started the conversation by asking about Shiro’s health; he knows she’s been losing a lot of weight. So he used a super polite form of Japanese to say, “Is Shiro still alive?”

Of course, we were happy to tell him. Shiro’s one tough hamster, and she’s a fighter.

The vet said that the test came back positive for parasite eggs. They’re very unusual, and he doesn’t know how she could’ve gotten them. But he said he’d prescribe some medicine to kill those nasty things in her tummy. He also wants to gather more poo samples and run extra tests to rule out other possibilities. Since there’s no animal medical insurance, he said the tests and medicine would cost “too much”. Hero Material told him nothing was too good for our Shiro. (Besides, the Japanese doctors’ idea of expensive is $20-30 for a visit plus medicine and $70-100 for lab tests. That’s like nothing to us Americans who are used to paying hundreds of dollars just to say the word “doctor”.)

Hero Material and I are very hopeful that Shiro’s going to make a full recovery. When that happens, I’m going to feed her so she doubles her weight. (She lost about half her original weight so far.)

A little haiku I wrote for Shiro yesterday:

Her life not an ounce
Small, wet white — trundling by
Brings tears to my heart

5 comments to “Shiro Update”

  1. Sarah Leslie
    · February 4th, 2009 at 3:12 am · Link

    I hope Shiro’s feeling better soon. In my twenties my very first pet was a Syrian hamster. I’d not been allowed to have pets when I was younger – I don’t think my parents trusted me. :)

  2. Lynn Daniels
    · February 4th, 2009 at 11:02 am · Link

    I’ve been out of commission a while, but I was just reading up on Shiro. {{{hugs}}} I’m glad to see she’s doing better.

    Your haiku brought tears to my eyes. I’m such a sucker for pets.

    Sending prayers for Shiro’s continued recovery.

  3. Nadia Lee
    · February 4th, 2009 at 2:02 pm · Link

    Hi Sarah — Thank you very much. Shiro is my first pet as well, so I feel especially attached. My parents didn’t allow me to have any pets as well.

    Lynn — Oh same here. I never thought I’d love her this much, but I do. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. *hugs*

  4. Bethany
    · February 11th, 2009 at 2:17 am · Link

    Awww, I hope Shiro gets better soon! It’s so sad when our babies are sick (fur babies count!).

    • Nadia Lee
      · February 12th, 2009 at 7:22 pm · Link

      Thanks, Bethany! :)

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