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Old 06-04-04, 05:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep-2002
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Age: 36
Posts: 187
Hey! Well to get back on the prairie dog convo... here is some info!

-The most popular method of "capture" is to flood the tunnels with soapy water, killing off the pups too young to be moved and capturing the other young ones as they try and escape. Usually colds and pneumonia killing off some and making them weak, others that survive get sold to pet stores. Another method is the vacuuming, where a high power vacuum is put down a burrow and sucks the prairie dogs up and throwing them at high power against a metal wall with an inch of two of padding. Again there are fatalities and broken bones, as you can imagine.
A few caring people use humane traps and keep the youngest of the pups who have just emerged from the burrow for the first time.
Now in most cases I have heard from it is up to the collector to get them flea dipped, dewormed, vetted, etc. If you got them from a petstore chain, this was most likely a priority before they took them on. Where you given any papers?
Very important hea;lth information... now you have them DO not have them on shavings AT ALL. It cases respirotory problems, use old sheets or tee shirts (nothing with hoopes that could catch claws) and or hay. Set them up with a big clay pot on its side in a corner and they should figure out to use that as a potty area only. Also, take away any dog food! Pet stores give this to them as a suppliment for mothers milk that they normally would of been on. They need a timothy hay based food available all the time, plenty of good timothy loose hay, and dark greens as treats. Canadian pet connection and most exotic vets will be able to order in Oxbow Prairie Delight for you, a cubed hay based food for everyday feed. Failing that use Oxbows Timothy hay Bunny Basic pellets. Do not use lab blocks, corn, seeds, or alfafa. Think of how they just eat dry grasses in the wild, their digestive tract has evolved for this and a richer diet causes many internal problems where they die painfully around 2 years of age. One vet commented upon disecting a prairie dog who had died this way that his organs had turned to jelly.
Next very important issue, this august/september you MUST get your prairie dogs neutered and/or spayed. During winter they go through RUT where they are VICIOUS and pretty much have to be left alone till spring. Fixing them keeps them friendly and loving all year round.
You may need to work on taming them if they are from a petstore as there only interaction with humans up to this point has been painful scarey trapping and poking and prodding, crating and shipped off. You need to be patient and earn there trust. Do not give them floor time right away, these are very intelligent animals who will try and get there own way and they will not put up with snuggling when run time is more fun.
Lets see, there are a lot of good sites, but check out this group LUV_R_PDS at
Also the Links Road Animal Clinic in toronto is good for vet visits, operations, and neutering.

Good luck with your babies! If you have any questions feel free to pm me!
2.0 ribbon snakes, 0.1.1 bearded dragons, 0.0.2 occellated skinks, 0.01 bibrons gecko, 0.2 redsided garter snakes, Mississippi map turtle, RES turtle & leopard geckos!
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