When Scarlett Met Rhett

Dr. John Kaya
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Wednesday - March 03, 2010
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Movies capture the wild imagination of their viewer-ship and transform them into a wonderful adventure.

Unfortunately, real life is not so glamorous.

Sure, as veterinarians we get to see the emergency that comes crashing through our doors, but we also see the sick puppy that squirts diarrhea all over the exam room. The countless times a pet has peed on me are, well, countless. Oh, if my shoes could talk, the stories they would tell.

Once in a blue moon, though, the veterinary hospital can be a fantabulous setting filled with suspense, intrigue and heart-pounding excitement. Such was the case when Mrs. Folgers walked in with her cute, furry family member Scarlett.


It was 4:30 p.m. and all was well in the hospital. That is, until Mrs. Folgers sauntered in with Scarlett in her clutches. The vixen flashed her gorgeous smile at me and I knew I was done for. Scarlett, the guinea pig, had me at hello.

“Doc, something’s wrong with Scarlett. She hasn’t eaten much since yesterday and she seems a little bloated. Please save her,” begged Mrs. Folgers.

Hearing her plea, I knew exactly what I had to do and sprung into action. “Hand her over to me, ma’am. Let me do what I do best.”

As I examined Scarlett, she gazed up at me with eyes that spoke volumes. My instincts were telling me danger, but I gritted my teeth and continued on. A few minutes later, my exam brought me to a startling revelation. “Mrs. Folgers, I think Scarlett is pregnant.”

As Mrs. Folgers stumbled backward in astonishment she whispered the word “Rhett.” Thank goodness the chair caught her as she fell, otherwise I would have two emergencies on my hands. After regaining her composure, Mrs. Folgers explained to me that she just picked up another guinea pig from the pet store. Rhett, a strapping young male guinea pig, was fun, energetic and quite dashing. Too dashing, it seems.

I hurried Scarlett into the X-ray room, and after a few minutes the plot thickened - twins. Since Scarlett was over 2 years old and had never been pregnant, I warned Mrs. Folgers of the soon-to-come difficult birthing. “We need to be on a C-section watch. In other words, if Scarlett seems to be struggling with the delivery of her two pups, we need to go in surgically.”


Mrs. Folgers blank expression said it all. She was not ready for all this drama.

For the next two nights, I tossed and turned in bed anticipating the emergency call that would send me flying to the hospital. On the third day, Mrs. Folgers called to let us know that Scarlett gave birth to two healthy pups. Whew, what a relief. Guinea pig C-sections are very risky, and survival is questionable.

Although I had just met Scarlett, I felt a connection with that cute little furball. I couldn’t bear the thought of something bad happening to my little Scarlett.

You see, unlike Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, when it comes to the Wild Side, “I do give a damn.”

Pet Tip:Be careful when introducing a new guinea pig to your family. Accidental pregnancy in a guinea pig over the age of 8 months can be dangerous.

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