“Dr. T Lone Star Vet: Bunny 911 (Full Episode)” – Documentary

“Dr. T Lone Star Vet: Bunny 911 (Full Episode)” – Documentary

Bunny 911 (Full Episode) | Dr. T Lone Star Vet

Today’s episode of Dr. T Lone Star Vet follows the heartwarming stories of Shiloh, a scarlet macaw, and Tex Rex, a bearded dragon, as they receive specialized care from Dr. Thielen and Dr. Nixon at their Texas veterinary clinic. Shiloh’s feather-plucking behavior has her owner, Rebecca, concerned, and Dr. T suspects that there may be an underlying medical cause for her distress. The dedicated team conducts a thorough examination, including blood tests and skin and feather analysis, to determine the root of Shiloh’s discomfort. Meanwhile, Tex Rex’s love for swallowing coins has landed him in a dangerous situation. Dr. Nixon quickly intervenes, utilizing an endoscope to retrieve the penny without the need for surgery, all while incorporating Dr. T’s expertise in the process. As the episode unfolds, viewers witness the deep compassion and skillful collaboration between the veterinarians and the pet owners, highlighting the vital role that veterinary care plays in preserving the health and happiness of beloved animal companions. Bunny 911 is a touching testament to the enduring bond between humans and their animal friends, and the unwavering dedication of veterinary professionals to ensure their well-being.

Watch the video by Nat Geo WILD

Video Transcript

DR. T: Oh, look at those beautiful teeth you have. NARRATOR: Deep in the heart of Texas, there’s no such thing as a typical patient for Dr. T, and that includes Shiloh, a four-year-old scarlet macaw with an itchy predicament. REBECCA: Shiloh got her name

Because I am a big Neil Diamond fan. And there’s a song by that name, Shiloh, and she is my companion. She goes with me places, we go to elementary schools, we go to nursing homes. She loves that, you know, and the people really enjoy getting to see her.

NARRATOR: But lately, Shiloh isn’t acting like her usual, happy self. REBECCA: She just spends most of her time pulling at her feathers or preening her feathers, which she’s doing with her beak, and she’s damaging them. There must be an underlying issue and that’s why I brought her here today.

DR. T: Hi. I’m Dr. Thielen, nice to meet you. Hey, pretty girl. You are gorgeous. So, tell me exactly where she’s picking, and can you even show me with her, I don’t have to touch her yet. REBECCA: This is where she’s been picking, looks like.

Right at the base of where her tail meets the body. DR. T: That’s the only spot, though? Oh, okay. REBECCA: What she’s aiming at, what she’s trying to get… DR. T: Is the feather shaft. REBECCA: Yes. And they’re bloody. And that’s what’s worrying me. DR. T: I agree.

Preening is the behavior that a bird does to groom themselves. In Shiloh’s case, she’s taking it to the extreme and we need to figure out why that is. How often does she bathe? REBECCA: That’s the other thing. She won’t come near me for days if I take her to the shower.

DR. T: Oh. REBECCA: And I’ve actually taken her and put her on my chest with a T-shirt on in the shower, and she just gets that, she’s just quaking and does that “uhrrrr.” DR. T: If Shiloh’s not bathing, it can be a serious problem, because, in parrots, baths are pretty necessary

In order to keep their skin and feathers clean and healthy. Otherwise, dirt and dander can build up and trigger anything from abnormal preening to even infections. She is preening a lot. REBECCA: Oh, yeah, it’s just constant. DR. T: Does she do that at home this much? I mean, my bird preens, but jeez,

I mean, she hasn’t stopped since we’ve been here. REBECCA: No, uh-uh. But she’ll just sit there and do that for hours. I try to divert her attention, I get, you know, nuts for her, she loves pine nuts, and I’ll give her three or four of those.

DR. T: Yeah, she’s like obsessed with it, is what’s happening. Not even just her tail, that’s what she’s doing the most damage to, but just preening in general. She just seems very agitated. REBECCA: She is. DR. T: Is she going to let me hold her? REBECCA: Well, she may.

DR. T: I’ll just see. Hi, pretty girl. You gonna go onto me? Want to come up? Good girl! What a good bird, sweetheart. Your momma’s right here. Are you just beautiful? Look at your orange cheeks. Your orange cheeks are so pretty. Can I pet you? Yeah?

Oh, oh, oh. Yes, you’re a good girl, aren’t you? Seeing Shiloh this uncomfortable and in obvious distress is painful for me, so I can only imagine what Shiloh feels like. I’m a bird mom, too, and I know if this was my bird,

I’d do whatever it takes to make her happy and healthy again. So I’m definitely going do everything I can to help Shiloh. These feathers don’t look healthy, though. Do you see them, how they’re black? And they just look brittle and not normal. REBECCA: Because of the not bathing? DR. T: Maybe.

Parrots in general are these highly intelligent, extremely social beings who can have a lot of problems in captivity. Oftentimes there’s some kind of anxiety going on that causes them to over-preen. Because those feathers just don’t look normal, I’m actually thinking that her preening all the time isn’t psychogenic,

There actually may be an underlying medical cause. I definitely want to do a basic medical work-up, but I do have some things in mind that I want to test for, that would mainly involve her skin and feathers. NARRATOR: For Shiloh’s safety and comfort, Dr. T gives her a sedative. MARYANNE: In the muscle. TONYA: Go sleepy. NARRATOR: Takes a blood sample. MARYANNE: There you go. NARRATOR: A feather. DR. T: One, two. (Maryanne gasps) I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. NARRATOR: And a slide impression of Shiloh’s skin will be submitted for testing.

DR. T: Now it’s just a waiting game. We are sending everything off and we’re just gonna wait on results to make a plan. NARRATOR: Just down the hall is Tex Rex, a four-year-old bearded dragon with an appetite for disaster. Thankfully, Dr. Bruce Nixon is here to help.

DR. NIXON: Hi, I’m Dr. Nixon, how are you doing? KELLI: Hi. Hi, good, how are you? DR. NIXON: So, I hear that you have a dragon who thinks he’s a coin purse? KELLI: Yes. While I was out to dinner, I get a hysterical call from my 13-year-old son.

He walked in his room and he threw his wallet on the bed and a couple of coins fell out. Rex is walking around, and he goes, all of a sudden, he just saw that penny and he went over and ate it, before he could do anything about it. DR. NIXON: Hello, Rex.

I know. Pennies are actually made of zinc, and zinc causes a heavy metal toxicosis, okay? And this can really make them ill. NARRATOR: Heavy metal toxicosis can damage internal organs, trigger anemia and even cause death. There’s no time to wait. The penny must come out now.

DR. NIXON: We’re gonna do this step by step. First of all, we want to make sure that it’s really in there. That’s easy, we’re gonna get an x-ray taken. KELLI: Okay. DR. NIXON: Okay? DR. NIXON: Then what we’re going to do is we’re going to anesthetize him briefly

And what we’re probably gonna do is use what’s called a rigid endoscope, okay, to actually go in under anesthesia, through the mouth and into the stomach and we can probably get this out without doing surgery. KELLI: That was our hope, that hopefully it could be removed without surgery.

DR. NIXON: If you’ll let me borrow him for a minute and we’ll take a quick x-ray and we’ll make sure that it’s in there, okay? KELLI: Okay. My son loves this dragon so much, Tex Rex, he’s his buddy. He’s been texting me all day from school. He is beside himself with worry

And I think he feels very responsible. DR. NIXON: Get a radiograph on him. JACOB: No problem. KELLI: And I know my son would be very, very worried if he had to have surgery. JACOB: Oh, there it is. NARRATOR: Tex Rex’s x-ray results are beyond conclusive.

DR. NIXON: No, there’s the Lincoln Memorial right there. We’ve definitely got it in here, so what we need to do now is to prepare for some endoscopic retrieval. NARRATOR: Dr. Nixon drafts Dr. T to be his right-hand vet. DR. NIXON: We’re gonna do good. DR. T: Yay! I’m so excited.

As a vet, there’s no such thing as knowing too much, and one of the things I love most about my job is that I’m always learning more. And I get to collaborate with other amazingly talented vets, like Dr. Nixon, who has a ton of knowledge and experience.

So not only does that benefit me, it benefits all our patients, too. DR. NIXON: Open. NARRATOR: As soon as the anesthesia kicks in, it’s time for Dr. Nixon and Dr. T to get to work. DR. T: Okay. We’re choosing endoscopy instead of a surgery because it’s much less invasive,

There’s no surgery that the animal needs to heal from, and if the penny went in that way, it means it should be able to come out that way. Going down the esophagus. DR. NIXON: Esophagus. We’re going to go into the stomach and actually visually see that penny,

And this is where Dr. Thielen and I are gonna be working in concert. So she’s going to locate the penny and she’s gonna hold it steady, and then I’m gonna come in right behind her and I’m gonna grab the penny, which means that I will get all of the glory.

So, this should work marvelously. NARRATOR: Next door, Molly, a newly adopted Flemish giant rabbit, lands in the ER, and she’s in dire straits. MAIKE: We’ve only had her at home for three days. The person at the rescue said that the owners could no longer afford her care.

DEREK: So, we flew to California and then we brought her back. MAIKE: She was just recently spayed, but other than that, she seemed in good shape. But then we noticed that she was bleeding, and so we checked her belly and we saw that some big thing was sticking out of her incision.

MAIKE: And so we just rushed her here as soon as we noticed, because we were scared she was gonna die on the drive. DR. FREEMAN: Oh, jeez. DR. FREEMAN: She actually started chewing on her incision, so her urinary bladder is sticking out of her abdomen.

We need to figure out a way to put it back in and stabilize her until Dr. Thielen can see her. NARRATOR: Molly’s condition is so serious, even the ER hospital’s Chief of Medicine steps in to help. DR. TURNER: This is shocking. We don’t typically see animals come in

With their bladders outside their body. DR. TURNER: That makes me a little worried that might be the ureter. One of her ureters is bruised and inflamed and possibly damaged. DR. FREEMAN: So there’s a little bit of ulcerations right here. DR. TURNER: This is a huge problem,

Because the ureter is what allows urine to be transported from the kidney to the bladder, and a damaged ureter can lead to kidney failure, as well as a number of other complications. Let’s get this cleaned up, get that bladder back in as quickly as possible,

’cause we don’t want impingement on that second ureter. DR. FREEMAN: Yeah, okay. DR. TURNER: Molly’s bladder is so inflamed that it is not fitting back through her tiny spay incision that had opened up. The bladder’s not going back in the hole. DR. FREEMAN: Yeah. DR. TURNER: Which was sort of the easy way.

DR. FREEMAN: Yeah. DR. TURNER: So at the very least we’re gonna have to extend that incision, flush the belly, we’re worried about the ureter, the kidney may have to go. We are gonna need to get her into the surgery suite so we can extend this incision,

Get a better look at what possible damage has occurred in her body and get this bladder back in as soon as we can. NARRATOR: Molly is given anesthesia and prepped for surgery. HAYLEY: Hey, we need for a doctor in here now! Freeman, it’s your bunny on CPR.

DR. TURNER: What is the issue? What is the issue? HAYLEY: Stopped breathing. DR. TURNER: Okay. NARRATOR: Molly, the Flemish giant rabbit’s bladder is completely outside of her body, and she needs emergency surgery to get it back in. But before surgery even begins,

her condition takes a critical nosedive. DR. TURNER: Go ahead and give this half IV, half IM. We don’t usually give it IV, but we’re going to have to make an exception. Molly has flat-lined on us after we gave her the medications to induce anesthesia.

We are working quickly to try and get her back. We lost heart and the rabbit stopped breathing and we did get a heartbeat back. Have we taken any spontaneous breaths at this point? Okay. These owners literally just got this rabbit within the week. They went all the way to California for this bunny,

So this is a big deal to them, and even in the short period of time, we’ve all gotten attached, so it’s a big deal to us. DR. TURNER: Thankfully, Molly has responded and is more stable, so we need to get in there,

Get that bladder back in and get her sewed up right now. NARRATOR: But within minutes, Molly’s heart rate plunges again. DR. TURNER: Do you have femoral pulse? DR. TURNER: Molly’s heart rate has dropped on us again. I am really worried she’s going to arrest on us a second time,

But Molly is not going to survive unless we get this bladder back in, so we are going to move forward as quickly as possible, open that incision, get the bladder back in, and then hopefully get her more stable to see Dr. Thielen. How much has her heart rate slowed down, anybody?

TONYA: Quite a bit. DR. TURNER: What number? Did she have a heartbeat? TONYA: Yes, she has a heartbeat. NARRATOR: Dr. Turner swiftly extends Molly’s spay incision and inserts her bladder back inside her body. NARRATOR: And for now, Molly’s close brush with death

appears to be behind her. DR. FREEMAN: There you go. KIM: There you go. DR. FREEMAN: Wake up. Hi! HAYLEY: Hey, Molly. KIM: Oh, that’s better. DR. FREEMAN: Hey, Molly. HAYLEY: Hi! Yeah, hi. DR. TURNER: We don’t always see these guys survive to discharge,

But sometimes what we have to focus in on is the teamwork and the small wins, and this was a really good example of teamwork and at least a small step in the right direction, so. Good job, everybody. DR. FREEMAN: Good job.

DR. TURNER: Molly is far from out of the woods at this point. We are going to hopefully get her more stable and then we can transfer the rabbit’s care to Dr. Thielen’s practice completely. NARRATOR: Molly has made it through her surgery,

but Tex Rex is still stomach-deep in his endoscopy. DR. T: I see that brown thing, but that’s not a penny. What is that? Food? DR. NIXON: Poke it. DR. T: It’s gotta be food. DR. NIXON: Well, unfortunately it had a meal right before it ate the penny.

NARRATOR: Tex Rex has a potentially toxic penny in his stomach that needs to come out immediately. But this penny is playing hard to get. DR. T: So, I’m trying to find this penny in this sea of bearded dragon food,

And it’s just, oh, my god, this is a frustrating nightmare. DR. NIXON: The thing that is complicating matters is all of the food that’s in the stomach. If it was just a penny, this would be a piece of cake, but all the food is getting in the way.

DR. T: With the endoscopy, we always have to just keep in mind that this camera is not only really magnified, but every movement, every little tiny movement is a really big movement on the screen. DR. NIXON: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. DR. T: Oh, wait, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

So, although it’s pretty straightforward with how you have to move the camera, finding the penny through all that food is not as easy as it looks. Where’d it go? I just saw something. DR. T: See, it is a mealworm. DR. NIXON: Yeah, that is a worm. DR. T: Oh, that is so gross.

It’s like a waxworm or something. I think you’re gonna have to insufflate it. So we’re gonna actually have to do insufflation. We’re gonna fill the stomach with some water, so that way it distends and be able to swirl around all the food, so hopefully I can see the penny with inside the stomach.

DR. NIXON: It’s a salad inside right now. We’re gonna make it a water balloon with a salad inside. DR. T: Okay. When I’m doing the insufflation, the most important thing is that Tex Rex doesn’t accidentally inhale some of this water, ’cause if that happens and enough liquid gets into his lungs,

At the very least it’s gonna cause an infection, or it could even kill him. So we’re going to intubate him to prevent any extra fluid that’s overfilling from his stomach from going down his trachea. Okay. DR. NIXON: That’s much better. DR. T: Yes. Just still watch the tube.

Okay, so now we go again. The whole time we still have to keep in mind, though, that we’re inside a really sensitive organ, so you want to be really careful and not too rough. DR. NIXON: Is that it right there? DR. T: That’s your mealworm. DR. NIXON: Oh, that is a mealworm.

DR. T: That’s as far as it goes. DR. NIXON: Okay. DR. T: I’m just not seeing the penny. Everything but the frickin’ penny. DR. NIXON: No kidding. There it is! DR. T: (gasps) There it is, there it is, there it is. Don’t move, don’t move, don’t move. DR. NIXON: Instrument. DR. T: Grabbers.

DR. NIXON: Got it. Everybody just be still. DR. T: I’m gonna advance you. Open. Oh, (bleep), I can’t see it. Where’d it go? Oh, no, where’d it go? DR. T: Where’d it go? Oh, no, where’d it go? NARRATOR: A four-year-old bearded dragon, Tex Rex,

has a potentially toxic penny inside his stomach, and Dr. T and Dr. Nixon are on a mission to find it and get it out. But a belly full of food is foiling their plans. DR. NIXON: We can see the salad, we can see the worms.

Okay, let’s do this. Take everything out and now let’s palpate. DR. T: We’re not having great success with our endoscopy exploration. So, desperate times call for desperate measures. We’re gonna have to try something else. NARRATOR: Dr. Nixon physically locates the penny. DR. NIXON: I’m holding the penny in my fingers.

DR. T: You’re holding the penny in your fingers. DR. NIXON: Mm-hm, yep, I am. DR. T: Well, hang on, then, let me find it. I’m thinking that, since I have a pretty good idea of where the penny is in the stomach, if I can get an instrument really carefully down into the stomach,

I might be able to feel that metal on metal sensation, be able to find the penny and pull it out. Ready? Ready? DR. NIXON: Yeah. DR. T: Whaaaaaa!! Oh, my god! That was insane! It’s a 2002 Abe Lincoln. DR. NIXON: Superstars. DR. T: This is amazing. We were in there with our big, fancy equipment and all you needed was a pair of forceps and go down the bearded dragon, and there’s your penny. DR. NIXON: That does not belong to us, that belongs to the client. NARRATOR: Tex Rex is now penny-free and free to go home. DR. NIXON: Look who I have. KELLI: Aw, there he is. He’s probably glad to see you. DR. NIXON: Now you can tell all your friends

That your bearded dragon is now penniless, he’s poor. KELLI: Here’s the penny, and it looks just like it did on the x-ray. DR. NIXON: It wasn’t in there long enough to cause any kind of zinc toxicosis, so this should be the end of it.

KELLI: Ben’s gonna decide what he wants to do with it. Make jewelry or frame it. BENJAMIN: Frame it. KELLI: He can’t eat it if it’s in a frame on the wall. Right? BENJAMIN: Mm-hmm. ♪ ♪ DR. T: Hi, sweet girl. NARRATOR: With Tex Rex out the door and on the mend,

Molly, the Flemish giant rabbit, is transferred from the ER to Dr. T’s care. DR. T: Wow. MARYANNE: Well otherwise. DR. T: She’s not painful there, which is good. Good. Good girl. Can I feel your belly, too, hmm? Oh, she’s so cute.

I understand why they went all the way to California for seeing her now. She is gorgeous. I’m so relieved that the ER was able to save Molly’s life. She’s such a sweet rabbit who’s been through a lot. I mean, she just arrived in Texas a few days ago,

Barely had any time to get settled with her family and now this? I really want to take good care of her. I’m surprised she looks this good after, you know, dying and being revived. She’s quiet, obviously, but what’s her temp? MARYANNE: It’s been high. She was 105 next door.

DR. T: Okay, let’s keep an eye on that. Molly does have quite a high fever, it’s 105 degrees. For a rabbit, it should be anywhere between 101 and 103.5, and so it being that high is concerning. I’m thinking there’s an infection brewing somewhere that we really need to get a hold of.

NARRATOR: And Dr. T detects another issue, too. DR. T: Oh, dear. Well, honey. I know, sweetheart. As I’m starting to examine Molly, I’m seeing this abscess that she has. It’s right beneath her eye, and may be not so noticeable at first because the fur is kind of stuck to the pus,

And it’s, like, covering it. But it’s quite large, it’s oozing and it stinks horribly. At some point it would be nice to clip and clean that thing. It’s just I haven’t wanted to stress her out yet. MARYANNE: Okay, well, let’s just let her relax, then. After she gets morphine, she’s good to chill.

DR. T: My plan for Molly at this point is just oversee her care, get some more fluids into her, make sure her fever is getting controlled, that she’s comfortable, that she’s recovering from this super-crazy, traumatic event that just happened. Her condition is just so fragile,

I really want to take this step by step. NARRATOR: Molly receives a nutrient-dense, high-fiber formula, designed especially for herbivores recovering from surgery or illness. TONYA: You’re being sassy, so I mean, that’s good at least. NARRATOR: And then she gets a much-needed dose of love

from her devoted parents. MARYANNE: She’s got a little cone of shame on so she doesn’t re-open her belly again. MAIKE: Hi, Molly. MARYANNE: Let me get you a towel to put her on. MAIKE: I was so happy to see her. It’s crazy how little time it takes to start missing a bunny.

And we’ve only had her at home for three days and I’ve missed her so much. DEREK: I just want to pick her up and just, like, give her a big hug. DR. T: She is so special. NARRATOR: Dr. T joins them with an update on Molly’s condition.

DR. T: She is doing okay, honestly. We just have a little bit of problems with her fever. The fever can come from three different places. So the abscess is the source of infection that we’ll need to address, but not today. We have the collar on her so she doesn’t pick at herself again,

But while y’all are visiting, we can take it off and you can look at her beautiful face. MAIKE: We have four bunnies at home already. DEREK: She fit right in. All the bunnies loved her. So Molly is meant to be with our pack, I guess,

And I hope that we can take her home. But if she has to stay longer, then that’s okay, too, as long as she gets better. DR. T: The thing that I’m really worried about, though, the very, very most, is her ureter, which is the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder.

And the comment was, when she had the bladder out, was that it was really red and looked compromised. And so, worst-case scenario that happens in that situation is I’ll have to remove the kidney. DEREK: So if worse comes to worst and you have to remove a kidney,

Does that increase the likelihood of the other one… DR. T: The only thing it does is if the other one does have a problem, then we only have one kidney. I can’t remove that one, too. That’s the only problem. But actually, no, it doesn’t increase the chances

That something bad’s gonna happen to the other kidney. DEREK: Okay, cool. DR. T: Which is cool. DR. T: Yeah. Thank goodness. I’ve had bunnies live, like, completely normal lives with one. And the good news is, is, like, we have time, ’cause the other kidney is functioning and she’s urinating.

Considering everything, I’m happy where we’re at. I just don’t want to be lax. So she’s definitely needs to stay with me today, and then I will send her back to the ER overnight for them to just monitor her and then she’ll come back to me. And then we’ll see how she looks.

She may be able to go home end of the day tomorrow, she may need one more day. MAIKE: Okay. We hope to come back tomorrow to take her home and then hopefully she won’t have to stay overnight again. We hope to kind of start providing some stability for her.

She’s been kind of been handed around, first from her owners, then she was at the vet and then she got spayed, and then she had to fly with us, and I really think she needs some quiet and some stability now. DEREK: Honestly, I just hope that she turns out okay.

MAIKE: Okay, Miss Molly, are you gonna be okay? DR. T: Alright, Moll. Little big bunny. Okay, I’ll take really good care of her. Molly, she’s still critical. She has this persistent fever which I’m afraid if we don’t get it under control, she could decline. I’m going to the ER, Mary. MARY: Okay.

DR. T: She’s in way too fragile of a state right now to be left alone without 24-hour monitoring. Any of our patients that require overnight monitoring, like in Molly’s case, we transfer them to the ER so that way they can get the care they need. Hi, here’s your bunny. KIM: Hi, Molly.

DR. T: And I really want Molly to have a happy ending, so I’m gonna do whatever it takes to make sure everything goes well. DR. T: Hi, good morning, Molly. NARRATOR: Molly, the Flemish giant rabbit, makes it through her overnight in the ER and celebrates with a healthy breakfast. Then it’s back to the exam table for a checkup with Dr. T. DR. T: Can I look at her incision,

Just see how much she is picking or not picking. TONYA: And her temperature was 103.1 this morning. DR. T: Oh, fantastic. TONYA: Don’t be crazy. Don’t be crazy. DR. T: She doesn’t seem like she’s doing too much damage to it. Good girl. Good girl. How are you, huh? You feel better?

Urinating, good report overnight? TONYA: Yep. Looks like they’ve recorded some poos in her cage. DR. T: When Molly came in, just a little over 24 hours ago, she was really unstable, and she actually died and was brought back to life by those amazing ER doctors.

And so from dying to reviving and having a surgery from her bladder coming out, I mean she couldn’t look better. NARRATOR: Molly needs more time to heal before she can undergo a conclusive ultrasound check of her bladder, ureter and kidney.

For now, Dr. T sets her sights on Molly’s abscess. DR. T: We really need to take care of Molly’s abscess, but to do that effectively, we need to determine the underlying cause. TONYA: Can I have your face out, please? DR. T: Are you gonna let me do this? TONYA: Maybe.

DR. T: Are you gonna be gross? TONYA: Definitely. DR. T: Definitely. DR. T: At this point, though, I’m just gonna clean the abscess, shave the fur around, so we can try to just manage it, until I can get her to a more stable point where I’m gonna feel much more comfortable

In moving on with some diagnostics. TONYA: Okay. DR. T: This is gonna be the worst part. TONYA: This is gonna be the worst part. DR. T: It’s gonna feel much better after, okay. TONYA: Okay. DR. T: Close your eyes, don’t look. Why am I afraid of this? It’s gonna squirt on me. (laughs)

As I’m flushing the abscess, I’m actually pleasantly surprised. You would think that if it was a really big abscess inside the bone or even from the tooth, that, you know, this giant hole would have a lot of pus ready to kind of come out. God, I’m dying to see.

It just doesn’t feel dental. I wonder if we could just even take x-rays of her head to see. There’s really no pus flushing out of this, which makes me kind of think maybe this is more of a superficial skin abscess versus actually a bone infection, which, I mean, the prognosis is drastically different.

Well, let her relax and that’s all I can feasibly think to do with that. TONYA: Okey-dokey. DR. T: But at least it’s shaved so it won’t, like, collect any more pus on her fur. But I am still concerned about the condition of her ureter and if she’s gonna have any long-term damage

With that or her kidney. And I still have to figure out what’s going on with her abscess and get that treated. So she’s not in the clear yet. But I’m gonna go ahead and send Molly home for the weekend. She’s stable enough now that I think going home with her family

Is gonna be the best thing for her. Hey. Okay, sweetheart. Alright, go feel better. If this gets gross, you can wipe it with some dilute iodine. You just mix a couple drops of iodine with some warm water so it looks like iced tea color. DEREK: We’re really glad that Dr. Thielen saw Molly.

She took really good care of her. So I guess, until Monday we’re just gonna relax on the weekend and just chill together. DR. T: Oh, he’s tiny! KIM: I know. DR. T: (gasps) Hi, teenager. KIM: They’re supposedly 15 weeks out of pouch. NARRATOR: Next up, two furry faces are here

to meet Dr. T for the very first time. DR. T: I have Bandit and Boomer here, who are two really young, adorable little sugar gliders. They’re here just for their first wellness exam and to talk about getting neutered. Oh, they’re darling. So, which one’s which?

KIM: Bandit’s the darker one and Boomer is the lighter one. Yeah. He looks like a Bandit. DR. T: Don’t you nibble. KIM: Boomer is a lot more laidback than Bandit. Boomer will just find a place to just hang out and chill, which is usually on my shoulder or my daughter’s shoulder.

Bandit loves to run around and check things out. I don’t know if they’re brothers or not. They were rehomed to me after the people only had ’em for, like, a week and a half. There was a lady that was trying to rehome two babies that her husband and her two sons

Had bought at a reptile show. She said they didn’t have time for ’em, so I offered to take them and here we are. DR. T: Alright, Boom, how are you? Let’s look at you, huh? KIM: So, yeah, I wanted to come in ’cause I need to get these two fixed

Before I put ’em with my other, yes. DR. T: With your females? I understand. KIM: Yes, yes. DR. T: Oh, I lost it. KIM: We don’t want any babies. I don’t want them to breed with my adult females. They’re already over-bred as it is. So I just, I don’t want any babies.

DR. T: This is the stethoscope. It’s okay, want to smell? I really like working with sugar gliders. They’re just adorable! They have like the biggest eyes and they’re so soft. They’re just one of the cutest animals I think that could possibly exist. NARRATOR: Boomer didn’t seem to mind his exam.

But Bandit is another story. DR. T: No way. Tell me about it. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. (laughs) Okay, dude, I’m sorry. Whoo! It’s like a skunk. Do you smell that? NARRATOR: Male sugar gliders use three scent glands to mark territory, but if they’re nervous or scared, their naturally sweet, musky scent can easily turn sour. DR. T: I know they had scent glands;

I just didn’t expect them to actually smell like that. Because I’ve pissed off a lot of sugar gliders and I’ve never experienced that smell. NARRATOR: Bandit and Boomer passed their wellness exams with flying colors. But these little guys aren’t ready to be neutered just yet.

DR. T: I would wait, just because I want them to be an adult size. KIM: Mm-hmm, yeah. DR. T: It’s more because of the anesthesia. Whenever there is a neonate animal, you’re always pretty cautious about anesthetizing them, just because, you know, they’re not fully developed, something could go wrong.

And so I always think it’s much safer to wait till the animal’s a little bit older to do elective procedures on them. So I’ll see you in, like, a month. KIM: Okay. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ NARRATOR: Shiloh, a four-year-old scarlet macaw, has been obsessively preening for weeks.

Now that her medical test results are back, Dr. T immediately detects the reason why. DR. T: Ooh, here. Here! That is all yeast. Yeah, it’s all yeast. Not normal. It’s that, that, that, that. All the big purple splotches is the yeast.

The skin cytology showed that there is a lot of yeast all over Shiloh’s skin. You may have a low level of yeast on your skin, but it should be nothing compared to what I was seeing on that microscope. I mean, it’s thick and it’s everywhere,

And I bet that’s why the bird is just constantly itchy, itchy, itchy, itchy, itchy. NARRATOR: Yeast infections are a fungal disease and can be a common problem for exotic birds. Causes may include malnutrition and poor hygiene.

DR. T: Really, the best way for me to treat this is a bath. The purpose of the bath is to be able to administer an anti-fungal shampoo, to get it all over, not only her skin but also her feathers, because if I had to guess,

This yeast is pretty much all over her body. The only tricky part with this is that we already know Shiloh doesn’t like water. NARRATOR: Bathing Shiloh calls for backup, so Dr. T enlists the help of her vet tech, Maryanne.

DR. T: So I was thinking, you and I bathe her. MARYANNE: Like, it’s like a one-time thing? DR. T: Today. The only problem is, she doesn’t sedate, and I do not know if she’s gonna let us do this awake. The tricky part with this is that yesterday

When I tried to sedate her, she really did not go to sleep. I really don’t know how I’m gonna accomplish it without… MARYANNE: She’s gonna freak out and panic. It’s not gonna go well. NARRATOR: Shiloh, the scarlet macaw, needs a medicated bath to treat the nasty fungal yeast infection that’s driving her to obsessively preen. But there’s a big hitch. Shiloh hates baths, and on top of that, she doesn’t sedate easily, either.

DR. T: Just like in people, different individuals and animals have different responses to medications, and in Shiloh’s case, she’s not really seeming to get very sedated with my drugs. However, she’s relaxed enough, and I don’t want to give her any more at this point. Getting it underneath that wing, getting it on all the feathers. I’m so sorry, Shiloh. Is it good? You’re okay, sweetie? Don’t know if that was a yes or a no. It was a something. Birds do not need soap in their baths, they just need water baths, unless your bird has a yeast infection. That’s why we use sedation, ’cause this is very abnormal to happen for a bird. Let’s get your skin on your feet, too, huh? Maybe it’s on there.

We don’t know where it’s at. It’s everywhere. (squawk) I know! It does look pretty cute. (squawk) I know. It looks so cute. Hopefully she’ll just feel a lot better after this because her skin won’t be as itchy. Good girl! Let’s ring you out. MARYANNE: Want to do her neck? (squawk)

DR. T: We very well may need to continue bathing her, maybe even weekly. However, I want to do at least this initial bath today, put her on an oral anti-fungal and then see if that helps. NARRATOR: For her comfort, Shiloh is transferred to a heated incubator.

DR. T: There’s, like, air that’s, like, blowing the heat, so I think it’s gonna help her dry, actually, without actually blow-drying her. NARRATOR: And a few hours later, she’s ready to hit the road. MARYANNE: That’s it, that’s over, it’s all done. REBECCA: There you go, momma. Hello, babe.

Who’s cute? I love you. For the last couple of months, Shiloh has just been miserable. I’m really looking forward to having a happy, healthy bird, and I’m very appreciative to Dr. Thielen. And so, I feel like she not only saved Shiloh, but she’s given me more tools to work with

So that it doesn’t happen again. Want to go home? We go bye-bye? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ DR. T: You’re doing a real good job, Molly. NARRATOR: Molly, the Flemish giant rabbit, survived emergency surgery to reinsert her bladder, and now she’s back for a crucial follow-up exam. DR. T: When Molly arrived in the ER with her bladder literally hanging out,

Dr. Turner assessed her and noticed that one of her ureters, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder, looked really inflamed and potentially compromised. So now that Molly’s had some time to recover, we need to do an ultrasound to make sure there’s not gonna be any long-term damage. That’s the bladder there?

DR. RAMIREZ: That’s the bladder. Very small. DR. T: Yeah. You don’t see any free fluid around it, so that’s good. DR. RAMIREZ: I don’t. DR. T: Molly’s bladder looks perfect, so now we need to investigate the ureters. The notes from the ER commented that one of the ureters looked pretty traumatized,

So we’re gonna check both ureters, just to make sure everything looks okay. My biggest concern here is that if her ureter looks damaged, we very likely could be dealing with kidney damage, too, and if that’s the case, we’re looking at another surgery and possible kidney removal.

DR. RAMIREZ: I don’t know that we will find a ureter unless it’s really huge. There we go. DR. T: There. Beautiful. Molly’s ureters look great, and now we’re on to the kidneys, and hopefully they look just as good. DR. RAMIREZ: There’s the kidney. 3.5 centimeters? DR. T: Okay.

DR. RAMIREZ: Yeah, the architecture of the right kidney looks really pretty good. Can we tilt her a little bit towards me? JENNIFER: Mm-hmm. DR. RAMIREZ: Yeah, so we can find that other kidney. DR. RAMIREZ: There we go. DR. T: There. DR. RAMIREZ: It’s the same. It’s the same size, okay, good.

DR. T: Good, perfect! DR. RAMIREZ: I think she got really lucky. DR. T: That’s great. Good! Awesome. Molly’s ultrasound looks great! The kidneys looked good, and so at this point, I’m going to check that problem off our list, and we’re just gonna go ahead and focus on her face.

NARRATOR: To solve the mystery behind Molly’s abscess, Dr. T turns to skull x-rays for clues. TONYA: Let’s do one more. Pull everything back. DR. T: Oftentimes in rabbits, facial abscesses are related to dental disease. So, I really need to get some good imaging to try to look

At Molly’s teeth so we can get a diagnosis and work on fixing it. And by going over to dentistry, I’ll get the help of Dr. Nossaman who’s a board-certified dentist. If you just look at this x-ray, you can see, like, a little bit of asymmetry,

And what concerns me is on this right lateral, these two teeth right here. I mean, I can tell you these roots come too tall and they’re a little… DR. NOSSAMAN: Deformed. DR. T: Yeah, but I’m not convinced I need to go in and pull this rabbit’s tooth.

I took my normal four view skull x-rays as I always do, and it’s a little ambiguous. I was expecting the tooth to look horrible, but it kind of doesn’t. Do you think an intra-oral x-ray on a rabbit would work? DR. NOSSAMAN: You could try. DR. T: I don’t do them often.

DR. NOSSAMAN: Yes. DR. T: At this point, I really need a specialized x-ray so I can highlight just the problematic area and not be confused by the rest of the skull. If I take a dental x-ray, I’m gonna be able to see a much crisper, clearer image and really nail down that diagnosis.

DR. NOSSAMAN: There we go. NARRATOR: And Molly’s dental x-rays give Dr. T the answer she’s been digging for. DR. T: Oh, yeah! Look at that one tooth. Right? DR. NOSSAMAN: This right here? DR. T: Yes. Oh, my goodness! DR. NOSSAMAN: Ahh. Good job!

DR. T: Taking a look at the dental x-ray, you can very clearly see the tooth and the root, and it’s not healthy, not normal. NARRATOR: Molly’s got not just one, but two extremely infected teeth. DR. T: But look, I mean, that’s obvious. HOLLIE: That’s a huge abscess. I saw it.

DR. T: You seen it. She has these infected teeth. We have to remove them, there’s no other option. If we don’t take care of this infection, then what could potentially happen is the infection can spread to the surrounding teeth as well as the jaw.

NARRATOR: This means Molly has to have another surgery, and that doesn’t come without risks. DR. T: Last time Molly was anesthetized, she died and had to be brought back to life, so the idea of having to re-anesthetize her again definitely scares me, but we have no choice.

Alright, can I have the anesthesia, please? Unfortunately, the only way for me to cure Molly’s abscess is to remove the infected teeth. This poor little bunny just has to get through one more procedure. DR. T: We are about to extract two of her teeth. Okely-dokely. NARRATOR: Molly, the Flemish giant rabbit,

has two severely abscessed teeth, and it’s up to Dr. T to get them out quickly and safely. DR. T: So, rabbits’ teeth are squared, so I have a much different extractor than a dog or a person would use, because I’m using these flat surfaces

To get on each little corner of the tooth, if you will. So the key is to really fatigue this ligament that’s holding this tooth in place, so I can get it really nice and loose, so when I extract it, it doesn’t break. It’s really, like, in there, man. Uh. And there it is.

NARRATOR: One tooth out, one to go. DR. T: I love dentistry, it’s one of my favorite things, especially rabbit dentistry. I just find it really satisfying ’cause you can kind of instantly cure them. That’s the gross one. Ooh, look at the inside, look at the inside. You see it’s hollow?

No, you don’t appreciate it. It’s hollow inside. DR. CROCKER: I’ll give him Meloxicam. DR. T: It’s hollow inside and the pus is inside. DR. CROCKER: Ooh, it’s completely eaten away. DR. T: Isn’t that cool? I’m really happy to report that rabbits don’t miss their infected teeth.

They haven’t been using them anyways, ’cause they hurt, and so just taking them out is one less thing they have to worry about. NARRATOR: A flush of her mouth and some antibiotics later, it looks like Molly’s on her way to a full recovery.

DR. T: Gonna put a little stitch in her mouth and we’ll be done. So, suturing inside the mouth is actually one of the most difficult things of the whole procedure, ’cause it’s really small and you have to get these knots secured and you have to sew in this little tiny space.

Like, my fingers are small, so I can theoretically get it, but like, a man rabbit doctor, like, I don’t know how he does it. I’m gonna cut that knot a little smaller. That was awesome. All done. Molly made it through her dental surgery, and by removing those infected teeth,

We were able to cure this abscess. So now she’s a much happier, healthy bunny. And even though we’re all gonna miss Molly at the hospital, it’s fantastic that she gets to go home to be with her loving family. Yeah. Oh, she’s so cute. ♪ ♪

NARRATOR: For every animal that goes out the door, another one comes in. Last time Bandit and Boomer were here to see Dr. T, they had a little fun. DR. T: No way! Tell me about it! NARRATOR: But now that these two sugar gliders are a little older, it’s time to take care of some serious business. DR. T: They are now finally big enough that they can undergo anesthesia and have their neuters.

Tonya and Maryanne both are prepping these guys, because I want a technician to monitor each one’s anesthesia individually, so they can make sure that, although we’re doing two surgeries kind of simultaneously, we’re really safe. DR. T: Oh, they’re so cute. Just look at them. I really want some, guys.

TONYA: Sure. You want a sugar glider? DR. T: Yeah, I want two, and then they can stay in a pouch and I can see appointments with them all day long and they’ll be my best friends. I have to admit, they don’t make the best pet for everybody.

They’re nocturnal, they have like a musky odor, they’re really hyper and they run around, but I just find them so adorable. Okay, I’m gonna scrub it up and do this thing. A sugar glider neuter is a lot different from other neuters in the sense that, because they’re marsupials,

Their scrotum is kind of unique. It’s actually above the penis instead of below. If you have it sitting on the gauze, I’m literally just gonna pick up the testicle and cut it, pick up the testicle and cut it, and that’s gonna be it. Okay, so here we go.

This is a sterile cautery that we’re gonna use in order to be able to not only cut the skin and the vessels, but also cauterize everything to make sure it doesn’t bleed. NARRATOR: The procedure only takes a hot minute. DR. T: And that’s it. They’re neutered. Congratulations! TONYA: Yay, guys.

DR. T: Woo! (laughs) NARRATOR: And soon enough, Bandit and Boomer are back up. DR. T: Hello, hi, good morning. How are you? I know. You got his little pouch? Go back in here. Okay, there you go, bye. Perfect. KIM: Hey! DR. T: Hello. They did really good.

KIM: Hi, Boomer. DELAINEY: Hey, Boomer. DR. T: Say hi, guys. PRODUCER: How are you guys feeling? DELAINEY: Happy. PRODUCER: Yeah, why are you happy? DELAINEY: Because they got fixed and now they can be with the other sugar gliders. KIM: So we can put them with the female

And not worry that we’re gonna have babies. DELAINEY: He’s peeing on me. DR. T: Well, he loves you so much. Welcome to having sugar gliders. I’ve been an exotic animal owner my whole life. We’re probably a little bit more crazy than the average dog/cat owner, but I love it,

And I love people who are just super passionate about their species and want to do it right. Captioned by Side Door Media Services

About Nat Geo WILD

National Geographic Wild is a place for all things animals and for animal-lovers alike. Take a journey through the animal kingdom with us and discover things you never knew before, or rediscover your favorite animals!

Video “Bunny 911 (Full Episode) | Dr. T Lone Star Vet” was uploaded on 06/01/2021 to Youtube Channel Nat Geo WILD