Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pond Rescue

A thin film of water floating over viscous ooze was all that remained of the water hole in the pond last weekend.

The water was crowded with dead and dieing minnows when I came upon the puddle at mid day.

The bigger minnows had already expired, doomed by their greater need for oxygen I suppose. Warm water holds less oxygen than cooler water and this inch of water over a dark mud background had been absorbing thermal energy all morning long.
Beneath the dead adults, hordes of tiny minnows were spending their last minutes in the oxygen depleted water.

I walked back up to the barn and grabbed a bucket and one of my D-frame dip nets. Returning to the pond I squished out through the muck and dragged the net through the puddle. It came up filled with mud like not quite set chocolate pudding.

When I sloshed the slop into the water filled bucket, the mud sank and the live minnows rose to the top. I worked the net a few times, picked up a few pitiful stragglers flipping about and headed back to the aquaculture tank.

At the tank, I poured the muddy water into a smaller net, strained the minnows and guests from the muck and added them to the turtle tank.

Here's what was in the mud ...

Diving beetle larvae eating dead minnows ... totally oblivious to the fact that their puddle and their time was evaporating under a Florida sun.

Lucky, lucky minnows. These are Gambusia.

A snail and a water boatman.

Hideous wiggly StarTrekmoviedropinChekov'sear scary looking insect larvae.

Okay, bugologists ... what the heck are these?

BAD NEWS DEPARTMENT: After two great frisky days, Gumbo relapsed today with a very dangerous 105 degree fever. He's back at the vet for more intensive blood tests and IV fluids.

Sad and frustrating.

I just felt like I owe you news about him even if it's not good.

3:35 pm pupdate: He's at the vet still. His fever is normal and he is frisking about with the vet techs. Blood test results should be back tomorrow. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is high on the suspect list.

It's like a rollercoaster ...


lej619 said...

well &*^%$%^&* !! and just when we thought Gumbo was out of the woods. Hugs and kiss for him. Did they say what was wrong with him earlier? get well soon Gombo your family misses you!

Anonymous said...

Really sorry to hear about Gumbo...hopefully he will bounce back.
As for the identification...not sure what they are but they cost about 5 RMB a dozen per skewer in China night market, LOL

kathy a. said...

oh, i'm so sorry about gumbo. thinking good thoughts for him.

Freste said...

Gee, thanks for the Chekov reference, FC. Now I'll be smacking the h%%l out of my ear all day long... Yack. It appears to be related to the Eastern Borinitzvaetuyerbranedowntuyertoes larvae.

Gumbo's zest, zeal and zip will help him through this unexpected road bump. Many warm hugs to the perky pup.

kathy a. said...

the post was about the pond, and it looks like you performed a fine rescue there, too.

Suze said...

Sounds like Gumbo has some sort of infection that is embedded somewhere - so when they take the IV out, after some hours, it takes over again. I hope they can finally kick that infections a$$ out and that Gumbo STAYS better.

debbie said...

I wasn't expecting that news. Poor baby. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way. Thanks for keeping us posted.

Floridacracker said...

They are really suspecting Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever. Blood samples went off for testing today, should be back tomorrow.

No doubt they are!

Kathy A,
Thanks, I know this is exhausting.
As for the rescue, I introduced the minnows into the pond so I felt responsible for their progeny.

What a pup! I'm ready for him to be well.

I think you are spot on. It's also been about 24 hours since his most powerful course of antibiotics was complete.

I think we are all emotionally invested in this pup now, so I'm not keeping any pup secrets. It could still wind up a sad story, but if you read PF, you're involved.
Thank you.

Laura said...

Oh no!!! My prayers are with him. Keep us posted, I think about that little guy more often than you know!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, really glad you helped out the pond critters but, truly, this is very frustrating and sad to hear about Gumbo's ups and downs. I dearly hope that the little feller makes it and that his healing starts very soon and is quick!! Extra love being sent his way!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of gumbo's relapse - sad and frustrating news. Keeping fingers crossed; I know those little critters get into our hearts so quickly you don't even see it happening.

I'm glad you rescued the minnows. I like it that there are people like you who care about all sorts of animals and want to help them.

Kathleen said...

Lucky minnows indeed! You are a kind soul.

I too am so disappointed to hear Gumbo has relapsed. He is such a special boy. I'm sending him more prayers and positive energy. Are you near a vet school? They might give more insight. I had been treating a horse, the vet said she had an infection, on and off for 8 months. I took her to Ohio State (I love those people)and they knew it was cancer within minutes. She had surgery, was in the hospital for two weeks (talk about a vet bill!)and lived for many years. Just a suggestion.

I'm keeping you in my thoughts too - you must be exhausted!

Cathy S. said...

Limbo indeed. Praying... As for your post on my blog, somehow I picked up that sad part of my job that I am totally uneducated for. Something about success breeding success. I don't know anything but that it is hard hard work.

Floridacracker said...


Thank you for that :)

Thanks, he's had a really good afternoon here at home.

I just couldn't stand by, natural event or not.
Besides, they have helped me by eating mosquito larvae so I owed them.

We are, and that is an excellent suggestion if this does not resolve after the bloodwork info.
UF's vet school is an hour away.

Cathy S,
I can imagine how frustrating that job can be. I deal with so many "parents" that are totally clueless about raising kids. Good luck.

SophieMae said...

Bless his poor little heart! He must be so scared... and wondering why he's being hurt. We'll keep praying for him. You just keep loving on him... as much as you can. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Floridacracker said...

Will do Sophie.

Laura said...

great update!! If he spend the afternoon playing with Bear, he's a trooper!!!

threecollie said...

Poor, poor puppy! And your poor family, thinking he is okay and then this relapse. What is the prognosis and treatment of spotted fever? I hope it is something that is reasonably easily dealt with. Meantime, good thoughts to him and all the FCs

Floridacracker said...

You got that right! Bear is a maniac!

Strong antibiotic regimen. He's doing great this morn!

Doug Taron said...

Your awuatic larvae have me stumpted. I don't think they are diving beetle larves- the head is not swollen. They may be whirligig beetle larvae. Got any idea about the size? I really think that you should put this one on It's an excellent photo and they are a bit thin on images of the larvae of aquatic beetles.

SwampAngel65 said...

Damn! Poor guy. He'll never forget all you've done for him and I bet he'll be the most devoted pup you've ever lived with.

Floridacracker said...

They were about 2 inches long and icky.

He's had a real good day today.