HEALTHY MONKEY QUICK LIST (Dangers That May Get Overlooked)
A few of these items have come to my attention from other monkey moms and a vet that has monkey patients. I didn't know whether to add them in the "Monkey Proofing your Home" section or under "First Aid". Because of their seriousness, I thought they deserved a section all their own. I'll be adding to the list as things are brought to my attention. I wish I had a flashing red light so everyone could be aware of them. Sometimes the smallest thing can be a serious health hazard to our monkey babies. Please pass these on to any monkey moms you know.
I know I can count on my mom to keep me healthy and happy. I can get into things in a split second. If it can hurt me, she makes sure it is locked safely away. If I can get into or under it, she make sure I'll be safe. I may be very smart, but I don't understand how dangerous things can be. Thanks for looking out for me, mom." (BernieMacq))
Strings and thread: Loose threads on wash cloths and clothing, diaper covers, blankets and toys. Any and all threads that can be picked at and eaten. Recently a precious monkey was lost because she would sit and "groom" her blanket and the curtain by her window. No one could have noticed her picking away, here and there, one small thread at a time. She was taken to the vet and they determined it was most likely an upset tummy and she was sent home with a a mild anti-diarrhea medication. Three days later she was rushed into surgery, with a large blockage in her intestine that showed up only after a contrast die x-ray. This blockage was nothing but threads she had eaten, one at a time, over a period of perhaps months. The blockage caused decreased blood flow to her intestine resulting in tissue decay. This darling little girl passed away because of something as seemingly harmless as thread. Check everything your monkey comes in contact with for this hazard. Trim all loose threads and finish edges that may be starting to fray. If you have a doubt, just toss the item...period! As careful as I would like to think I am, I found a favorite stuffed toy with loose threads in the seam that had been picked at. I guess we can never be too vigilant.
Disposable Diaper Lining: To date I have now been alerted to six separate incidences of monkeys that have experienced life threatening intestinal blockage from picking at and ingesting the absorbent paper and poly-fill lining of their disposable diapers. If you are using disposables, please be aware of this serious health hazard and don't assume that your monkey is just picking at the diaper and tossing the material away. Many of them, particularly the young ones, are eating it. Ingesting even just a little of this fiber, a few times a week can accumulate and fail to pass through their intestines causing a life threatening condition that blocks blood flow to the intestines or creates a blockage of waste in their body. Please be vigilant!! So often things we may not think about can have serious consequences. If your baby fails to go potty even one day, contact a vet as soon as possible.
Diaper Rash Creams. Recently a monkey mom noticed a health problem with her "kid" and a vet visit showed zinc toxicity. Knowing that there was no possible way the monk had been exposed to zinc at these levels, some research showed that the major brand of diaper rash cream she regularly used contained zinc as a main ingredient. Many monkeys have been known to put their hands in their diapers and then put their hands to their mouths. This young monkey had managed, over time, to consume enough zinc to seriously endanger his health...all from a child-safe diaper rash cream. Read labels carefully and assume that if it is near a monkey it will likely be consumed.
Pillows and Comforters : I know how much we want to keep our babies cuddly warm and cozy in their beds and play areas, but I've now had two serious incidents brought to light were the monks got bored or started exploring and found a hole (or made one) and started picking out the poly-fill fiber from the lining of pillow and comforters. The monks then eat the filling because just like human infants and toddlers they always have to taste and the goodies they've discovered. This fiber, of course, is not digestible and ends up as a large mass or intestinal obstruction that can lead to blockage or destruction of the intestinal tissue. Both of these conditions, if not caught early can be fatal. Because monkeys are so adept at hiding symptoms of illness, often even serious cases of obstruction go undetected until too late. So, let's stick to smooth cotton blankets folded for pillows and used as covers in bedding..
Fuzzy Blanket Danger: Baby marmosets, tamarins and squirrel monkeys are so tiny with fingers as small in diameter as a toothpick. A baby marmy (she is doing fine now) lost one of her little fingers because a fiber from a soft and fuzzy blanket got wound around her finger and cut off the blood supply. It happened in a matter of hours. Avoid fuzzy blankets. As cuddly and inviting as they may seem, they pose a hazard to a baby monkey. Smooth cotton blankets and cotton flannel are a safer choice. The vet also told me to remind all mommies to check little fingers and toes with every feeding for just that sort of thing.
Pet Hair Danger: Ditto with the pet hair. If you have long haired cats or dogs and your monkey likes to play on them, check fingers and toes for hair that may have become wound around. Same for your hair. We all know how much our little monkeys like to sit and play on our heads and groom our hair. Check to make sure nothing is tangled into little fingers and toes.
Toxin Alert:Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a cyanide and sugar compound that degrades into hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when metabolized and should never be fed to monkeys! Peach, cherry, and apricot pits contain amygdalin to a lesser deree but should also be avoided. I had someone ask me in all seriousness, how they can be bad for the monkeys when in nature they would simply consume all the fruit and not know to discard the seeds. Well, here is the scoop on that... Monkeys are not indigenous anywhere that you will find either apples, peaches, cherries, or apricots! So, simply put, unless we give it to them, they wouldn't have access.
Tobacco products: OK, so we all know it isn't healthy to smoke. That particular argument is for a different website. I've included it here because if you have tobacco products in your home you need to be religious about keeping them locked safely away and out of reach of your monkey. Pretend that pack of cigarettes is a loaded gun if you must, but know this: A monkey ingesting the tobacco from just one cigarette will very likely be fatal. Nicotine is a highly toxic substance. Also be aware that if you smoke in your home and you have a monkey, second-hand smoke will have a severe and permanent impact on his health and well-being.
Even a small monkey like a tamarin can make quick work of a remote
Batteries: Keep items like remote controls, cell phones, flashlights, clocks, and even toys that have batteries out of reach of monkeys. Every battery requires heavy metals like, lead, lithium or mercury and an acid to work. A larger monkey can easily bite into a battery, exposing him or herself to dangerous materials. All monkeys put things into their mouth and a small monkey licking on a battery can have serious consequences. Know where these items are stashed and keep them out of reach of curious little furry hands.
If you have general questions or need details about any of our products, or if you just need to "monkey" talk, please contact me at (253) 862-0432 or email me at LindaLawrence@aol.com If I'm unable to answer your questions, I'll do my best to direct you to someone who can.