Tuesday, September 1, 2015

5 Pets That Make Me Nervous

What?! You mean there are pets that actually make me nervous out there? Yes - there are. I want to be clear by stating that I do not dislike these animals, but they sometimes make me nervous in a hospital setting. They don't make me nervous in average every day settings where they are happy in their own surroundings.

Me and one of my favorite patients!

I am not saying they are bad pets or animals. I might act the same way if I were going to the vet where strange people wanted to poke and prod me. Mostly, this is just a look back to some memories I've had that I can look back on and giggle about. At least a little bit anyways. ;) And maybe you will too!

So, I present to you with 5 pets that make me nervous, in no particular order:

1. Squirrels

I know what you might be thinking - people keep squirrels as pets? Well, sometimes... I can think of 3 pet squirrels I've worked with in the past. One of them was fairly easy to handle, but the other 2 were pretty darn wild. (This is an animal I think should live in the wild.) 

Each of them have their own special story, but one in particular is rather unique. His mom was a squirrel lady. She came to our clinic wearing her special "squirrel backpack". It was like a squirrel stuffed animal with squirrel and acorn pins and things on it. She had a squirrel who she had rescued at a young age that had suffered a head injury. 

depositphotos/brm1949

Said squirrel's head injury had left him with bad teeth that he wasn't able to grind down on his own like he was supposed to. This meant he needed to come to the vet every few weeks so that we could grind them down for him. 

One day, I was tasked with helping the vet do this. This meant I was going to have to catch this squirrel and hold him down while the vet performed the procedure. I could feel myself starting to sweat. 

We were trying to get the squirrel out of his box and I had a towel handy. All of a sudden, he decided to dart out of the box like a firework straight towards the doctor and we found ourselves on a squirrel chase. Don't worry, we did this in a closed room for this very reason. 

I was so nervous holding the squirrel once we had him, but was thankful the vet seemed to know what he was doing and it was over in no time. I am definitely not a good squirrel wrangler.

2. Macaws

Macaws are big parrots that come in a large variety of sizes and colors. I've worked with many different macaws and they aren't too scary once you get the hang of it. I think the most nerve-wracking part is catching them and getting them wrapped in a towel for their exams. 

Macaws are intimidating because of their size. They have huge beaks, sharp claws, and a deafening squawk. And they are strong! Thankfully, I was never bitten by one. 


I can remember having to hold a Hyacinth Macaw (like the one in the video) for the vet while she performed a nail and beak trim. It took quite a while and we both worked up a nice sweat. These are the largest types of Macaws out there and they are very strong! 

3. Prairie Dogs

Yes, people keep these as pets quite often. We saw a lot of prairie dogs at our clinic. My first experience with a prairie dog was my brother's. He bought one to keep as a pet, until he learned he was allergic and needed to return it to the store. This prairie dog was friendly and I was able to pick him up and pet him. 

depositphotos/missisya

But, often times when these animals visited us at the vet clinic they became a little hostile. Again, who can blame them. Out of all the animals we saw, these were one of the only 2 that I wore leather gloves to handle. (The other was hedgehogs, just because they were spiky and it made it easier.) They are extremely agile, move quickly, and were not afraid to offer a bite. 

I eventually gained the title of "prairie dog wrangler" and found myself being asked to hold them for the doctors often. 

4. Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are adorable little marsupials that are often kept as pets. We also saw a lot of sugar gliders, and almost none of them were ever happy to visit the doctor's office. I'd watch them crawl all over their owner's arms and shoulders in the exam room, but when it came time to hold them for an exam they usually became angry. 

I think these pets might top my list of pets that make me nervous. My palms would begin to sweat. They have some of the sharpest and longest teeth I've ever seen. They use their teeth to chew through bark and eat sap in the wild. Extremely intimidating!

depositphotos/eugenesergeev

Also, they are difficult to hold and I feel bad for them. You have to hold their heads steady and you can tell they just hate it so much because they are crabbing the whole time. (Crabbing is a scary noise that sounds like an angry swarm of bees.)

I was definitely never good at catching them. It kind of reminds me of sports. You can never be good at sports if you're afraid of the ball. Well, I guess you can never be good with sugar gliders if you're afraid of them too. 

5. Gerbils

I have no idea why, but gerbils make me nervous. Growing up, I was always a hamster person and am very used to hamsters. Gerbils are definitely different though, I think. Still, I don't quite understand why gerbils make me nervous. 

depositphotos/ganet9

Perhaps it is because they jump and seem more agile than hamsters are. Also, you are never supposed to pull a gerbil's tail. It will pull the skin right off and leave the bone of the tail exposed. I've seen it before once. A family's child had pulled the gerbil's tail and it needed to be amputated afterwards. 

I would never intentionally pull any animal's tail, but just the thought of accidentally harming the gerbils would always sit in the back of my head. Maybe that's another reason why they made me nervous. 

What about you? Are there any animals or types of pets that make you nervous? Have you or would you ever consider overcoming your fear with them?

30 comments:

  1. oh your favorite patient looks a little like me :o) my mom has that problem with monkeys...but she never thought that it would be a problem... till she met my dad who had a capuchin monkey that time :o)

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    1. Haha! She kind of does! She was a silver misty grey pup like you. I might be kind of scared to handle a monkey I think. We did not see those.

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  2. This was incredibly interesting!! One of my favorite animals is squirrels and I enjoyed reading that you worked with one.
    I admire you, I could never have handled many of the animals you had to work with on a daily basis.
    DakotasDen

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    1. Squirrels are fun to watch, but gosh they can get wild lol. They are wild animals after all, I guess.

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  3. I'm afraid I simply can't tolerate snakes. I know lots of people love them to bits and have them as pets and swear they are lovely, gentle, etc. but I simply can't help myself. No matter how docile they are, they make me BEYOND nervous!

    Pam

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    1. One of our managers had a fear of snakes as well, and we had to warn her any time there was a snake in the clinic so she could avoid the treatment area. I have been bit by a snake before. I might be a little nervous handling one now since that occurred, but I think I'd be more aware than anything.

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  4. I didn't even realize people kept prairie dogs as pets. Ferrets make me nervous- not for me, but I would be afrid to have them with my cats.

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    1. I didn't either! But yes, they do and they seem to be growing a little in popularity. I've had ferrets before, and the dog was good friends with them. We had a cat at the time too, but for some reason I just cannot remember how they got along. Maybe it's because she showed up on our door step one day and decided she wanted to live outside mostly.

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  5. I'm right there with you on the Macaws! I quickly learned birds weren't my thing because my hands would get too hot when holding them, especially after the vet told the Macaw could bite my finger off if I wasn't holding him properly! We had a squirrel once too, weird. Snapping turtles and snakes always made me a bit nervous too! Sugar gliders were my favorite, especially when they tried to climb up my sleeve :)

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    1. The first bird I ever had to hold was a macaw... it was for a relief vet and he was like "just hold it by the neck and don't let it bite me". Talk about nerve racking! I loved the birds though and worked very closely with our board certified avian doctor.

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  6. Prairie dogs do weird me out! LOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  7. My human uncle used to have gerbils when he was a kid, but mum didn't like them much!! She also doesn't like snakes or reptiles of any kind ... oh and spiders mol!!

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    1. Well, I don't care for the tarantulas either. Boy am I glad we did not treat those at our hospital...

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  8. Hmmmmm. We had gerbils and hamsters and now have dogs, cats, horses, chickens and cows. Snakes are a problem and I definitely don't get owning them as pets although I know alot of people do!

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    1. I'd love to have some chickens one day!

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  9. One day Mommy was on the subway and someone had a pet tarantula. It was climbing all over him. Mommy said NEVER!! No way, no how. She freaked out.

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    1. I'm not sure I would like that either! My friend's dad had one when we were kids. I would never hold it though.

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  10. We don't do any reptiles at our house, but Mom loves Gerbils. She had over a bizillion of them as a kid she says and she still loves them. Can't imagine a pet squirrel or prairie dog, that would just be weird.

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  11. guys.....de food serviss gurl sayz NOE thanx ta snakes & taran toolaz....frank lee we gotta a greez with her....we R knot two keen on monitor lizardz either......♥♥♥

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    1. Ooo I got to meet a type of monitor lizard once. He was very cool!

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  12. OK that's just scary about a Gerbil's tail; I had no idea. I'd be nervous to handle one as well after knowing that. I don't have much experience with big birds so I'd be really intimidated by them - those beaks scare me a bit.

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    1. I also didn't know that until I went to college. Isn't it just awful?! Thankfully, the same thing does not happen with rats and it's "safe" to hold onto their tails. The beaks are huge! I've been nommed on by a couple of smaller birds and one decent bite from a Moluccan cockatoo. Definitely scary!

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  13. Actually, dogs make me a little nervous. But I don't think that's a bad thing. Some of the people who are fearless do really terrible things.

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    1. Dogs in general do not make me nervous, but there were some patients in particular that did. Ones that were difficult to handle. There was one dog, sweetest thing to her person and saw them walking everyday. She boarded with us sometimes and as soon as you set her food in the kennel, if you turned your back she would charge and let out the most ferocious bark. She only liked one of the vets, and she eventually had to come up and care for her on the weekends.

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  14. I can't help noticing that every animal on this list is a wild species that is more or less "tamed". Domestic animals, like dogs and cats, have been genetically changed through selective breeding to be more suitable for living in close proximity to humans. I know I've mentioned this before, but many of the animals in the zoo's education program were pets once; their owners found them hard to manage when they grew up. I'm not judging the owners or saying the animals you mention can't be affectionate pets. My son had a gerbil and I cried when it died. It just puts a red flag up for me when we take for granted bringing wild animals in to be pets in our homes.

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    1. Yes, they are. I definitely believe squirrels should stay in the wild. And probably prairie dogs too. Most can be very nice pets and I also do not like to judge people on the pets they choose, but they take a very special dedication - especially the birds. Many exotic pets do not receive the care that they should.

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  15. Honestly mom is trying not to laugh. She expected to see all these scary dangerous animals but NOT! But if you say they're dangerous we believe you! Love Dolly

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    1. BOL - Well it is funny to me that I have this sort of fear of such cute little things.

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  16. Snakes and anything I can accidentally step on and kill. Fish make me nervous too, because they take a lot of care. I have murdered enough fish to know that they are not the pet for me.

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    1. I think some of these make me nervous because of their small size and I'm worried about hurting them too. I have a fish right now. There used to be more of them, but they passed away. I feel bad for him being all alone so I might have to get him a friend.

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