Caring For Your Pet When Sickness Strikes
Nothing is worse than when your Neopet comes down with one of the many diseases roaming Neopia. Seeing your pet struck down by a mysterious malady can be frightening the first time it happens, and many an owner is known to anxiously flap around trying to help without any solid idea of what to do. But have no fear! This article will guide you through from the first sniffles or aches right through to their eventual recovery.
Phase 1: Hey, was that a sneeze? You look a little sick. Are you sick?
It's a little known fact that a pet will have caught the illness for a significant amount of time before actually showing any symptoms. It's virtually impossible to keep your pet away from all the nasty sicknesses in Neopia, so it's your job to watch out for the very first signs of them being 'not quite right'. Keeping in mind that there are a grand total of 36 known diseases, it may be difficult to know what to look for. Here are some common first signs for a few different illnesses:
Bubbles: Excessive hiccupping occurring with increasing frequency, occasionally with a small bubble.
Fuzzy fungus: A purple tinge beginning around the claws or wingtips, and in the centres of the eyes.
Kikoughela: Scratchy throat
NeoMonia: Uncharacteristic grumpiness and fatigue.
Ugga-Ugga: Your pet starts answering you with short, quick sentences, sometimes grunting.
I advise you to consult your nearest encyclopaedia or resident genius to learn more about spotting the early symptoms of all 36 diseases.
Phase 2: Ah! You're covered in spots! What do I do!?
You now know that something is definitely not right with your pet and something needs to be done. Most importantly, check with them to make sure they're comfortable and ask them about what's making them feel so horrible. It's very important to get a proper diagnosis, as some illnesses can easily be confused with others. So it is your responsibility to organise a doctor to see your pet. If they are still able to walk, the Neopian Hospital located in Neopian Plaza is always the best place to go as they have many medical professionals on hand to look at your pet. If you find that your pet is too unwell to leave the house, or they refuse to (As is the case in Neophobia) you can always organise for a call-out visit from your local Neopian doctor. Make sure you and your pet thoroughly explain what has happened, when it started and any sort of pain it's causing so your doctor will be able to treat you effectively.
Phase 3: Oh come on, PLEASE take the medicine, it's not that bad! Look, I'll even try- EW THAT'S GROSS!
The next step is taking action to save your pet! There are a wide array of medications out there, with most made in Neopian Central, and some from both Lost Desert and Shenkuu. After working in conjunction with your doctor to find the diagnosis, it is then your job to go and get the medicine and give it to your pet. It's worth noting that some diseases have more than one treatment; for example Blurred Vision can be treated with Extra Thick Goggles, Minor Healing Ointment or Finely Ground Bean Powder. The choice is yours. Neopian remedies are typically more scientifically based and are generally in the form of injections, tablets or potions, whilst those from Shenkuu and Lost Desert are a more 'natural' cure, with many derived from local plants and fungi, or using ancient methods of bandaging. Just remember: the faster you get your hands on that remedy, the faster your pet will get better!
Getting your pet to take their medicine can be a bit of a headache, and may involve some serious coaxing or clever thinking. If your pet is so sick that they can't think straight and just won't eat the goopy solution you're trying to feed them, it's ok for you to hide it in their favourite meal. Great tasting and medically beneficial, mmmmm, delicious!
Phase 4: Feeling better yet? No? That's OK, I'll go buy another 5 boxes of tissues.
Want some good advice? Be there for you pet! They're in a difficult part of their life dealing with whatever sickness they may have, and they need all the help you can give. When they're healthy again, I can guarantee you'll much closer to one another and they'll appreciate you that little bit more. Give your pet plenty of encouragement and stay optimistic to keep them from sinking into a grumpy but-I-feel-sick attitude. I'm not necessarily saying be their slave- sometimes it's important to see if they can do some things themselves still so they can keep their dignity and independence. But just keep a helpful mindset and keep an eye out for when they might need you to do something. Some medicines act a lot quicker than others, so it may be a long road to recovery. Keep your patience about you, as it can get quite tiring looking after someone else for a long period of time.
Phase 5: You want to go play Zurroball? That's great! Just don't overdo things!
So your pet has finally gotten close to their old state, albeit with maybe a few flakes of skin missing or red eyes. Make sure you don't keep them cooped up too long before letting them out, as fresh air can do wonders for a pet. Build up their physical activity over a slow period of time; your pet will likely be rundown from their illness, and may overexert themselves which will end with them back in hospital. Before you know it, they'll be back to normal and the only reminder of their illness will be a bin full of tissues or a few spare boxes of tablets.
Congratulations! You are now prepared to look after your Neopet when they get sick! Just remember: be patient, vigilant and helpful to your pet and they'll love you all the more for it.