Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Silkworm

Last week, Hannah got to take home her first school "pet"- a Silkworm.  In Zimbabwe, they only eat the leaves of mulberry trees, I am not sure about other areas.  It is a typical worm that makes a cocoon and then turns into a moth. They are studying insects and bugs at school.
Hannah was beside herself at the excitement of taking this worm home from school and caring for it and feeding it herself. The night before she got the worm, she was even worried if she would be a good enough Mommy.  I mean how adorable is that? 

So finally the day came- last Monday, the silkworm - also called Angel by Hannah and Silky by Daddy... finally came home.  We had to get Mulberry leaves from our friends house as there are only a few houses with these trees.  Once we did this, we were finally ready to feed it.  She did a great job checking on it every morning and afternoon, playing with it, petting it. She was an excellent Mommy. Yes, you see how I say "was". 
Then... it happened. In an attempt to get the kids to play just five minutes longer and get five more minutes of sleep, we asked Hannah to go play in her room.  In less than three minutes she came running back, literally screaming crying saying she could not find the silkworm. She said she was just petting it and then she lost it.  So, we ran in her room, carefully stepping on the white carpet as the white silkworm may blend in, and then we saw it.  It looked smaller and a little bit strange, and it had some awful looking black stuff behind it. Tom and I knew the outcome of this would not be good.  Hannah was so upset. We did our best to console her as she was simply devastated.  We tried to figure out what happened, but she was confused and then said she may have stepped on it, she did not know. This was of course through a mountain of tears. After about 10 minutes she finally calmed down.  We felt bad and were a little worried about her, but she seemed to be OK.
But wait...I'm not done.
So, after we got dressed and headed down the hall we noticed Piper had thrown up. Immediately Tom and I looked at each other and thought...No, there is no way.  How in the world would Piper had the time to go in the bedroom and even see the silkworm on the floor? And remember, there was only half of it there and we could not figure out where the rest of it went.  Our other thought was maybe Hannah actually did step on it, it may have fallen off her foot (it was small) and then Piper found it? Who knows. 
So, after dismissing those thoughts, I went in the kitchen and made myself a coffee and a bowl of cereal assuming everything was fine.  I finally sat on the couch with the kids to watch some cartoons.  This is when I looked over at Piper. She looked really strange, extremely weird.  I got on the floor and realized...was her face actually swollen??? Her eyes were a bit separated as ours do when we have an allergic reaction on our face and her cheeks were sticking out.  I freaked!  I looked for the vets number in my phone, but of course it was not there. I yelled at the kids - get your clothes on!, we have to take Piper to the vet. (Dad was at the gym.)  So while they got dressed, I googled ... are silkworms poisonous to dogs?  Couldn't find much- thank goodness, other than the fact that the Chinese use it for medicinal purposes, go figure.  I finally called my friend for the vet numbers.  I then tried to call, but the lines would not work. I mean, why now- right?  Coincidentally Daddy walked in the door and I then I rushed out to take Piper to the vet. She had also started developing some raised spots of fur on her back as well- had to be hives, right? 
Let me back track for a minute. So, while Tom and I were consoling Hannah, I remember hearing Chase say- whats wrong with Piper's neck and then he was hitting it back and forth. I said, please leave Piper alone! And then we went back to Hannah. What I did not realize, was that Piper had already started developing a reaction. The hanging skin was actually fluid filled glands hanging from her neck- like a big sack. Just crazy!
SO, out the door I went to the vet. As soon as I got there I only had to wait but a few minutes and the doc took me in. He checked her temperature, it was low. He checked her heart rate, it was fast. He said she was almost in SHOCK!!! After three injections - I was told it would take a little time, but she would be OK. He said we were lucky.  Piper had an allergic reaction to a silkworm.
I mean, can you imagine? Who would of thought...a silkworm?  Piper was much better in 24 hours, still a little swollen, but better and Hannah has no idea that Piper may have actually eaten her pet from school.  I think for now...we will just have to keep it that way.

Left: You can tell Piper is a little bit swollen here the next morning (under her eyes for sure).  Obviously Hannah is happy and as most young children do, had almost forgotten about it the next morning as well.
Right: Normal picture of Piper taken this weekend.

Wow! .... all this from a Silkworm.

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