Dr. Michael Claudio checks out Reef. CONTRIBUTED

Hi friends! Reef the fox here with your weekly “Reef’s Report.” 

I have another treat for you all this week. I sat down with my favorite veterinarian, Dr. Michael Claudio, for a very serious interview and I cannot wait to share it with you all now. So here we go.

Reef: Hi, Dr. Claudio. Thanks for fitting me into your busy schedule. I have some very important questions for you, so let’s start. What is your favorite part of being a vet? 

Dr. Claudio: I would say helping animals and their people, restoring hope where it was lost and helping rescue animals gain a second chance at life are all my favorite parts of the job.

Reef: What is the coolest animal you’ve ever worked with? 

Dr Claudio: Tough question, since they’re all so cool in different ways. I’ve really enjoyed my time working with wild “lesser” cats, including a clouded leopard, Asian fishing cat, serval and caracal. Most of these cats had been FWC illegal confiscations, whereby I rehabilitated them from varied states of disease. I’ve also enjoyed working with other mammals, such as coatimundi and jerboa.

Reef: So cool. I like cats, from a distance. So what are the common issues you’ve noticed working with fur farm foxes like me and my friends? 

Dr. Claudio: The majority of illness that I’ve seen in farmed foxes is all relegated to poor genetics and poor animal husbandry within the farm. Fur farm breeders select for a superior coat quality, paying little mind to the other criteria necessary to creating a stealthy/healthy beast. Lots of immune related disease is unfortunately commonplace, as are disfiguring injuries sustained by many fox kits resultant of animal overcrowding at the farms.

Reef: It is very sad and, as you know, I am a victim of it with my paw and tail. So, what is the most unique case you’ve ever had? 

Dr. Claudio: Another tough question, as every day brings me unique cases, second and third opinions. Being big on internal medicine cases, I frequently encounter cases that require the ultimate in thinking outside the box and utilizing my training and knowledge base to solve. I would say that the most unusual case, because of its rarity, was a case of confirmed urinary bladder lymphoma, which has only been documented in the literature less than a handful of times.

Reef: Most important question, what is your favorite thing about me? 

Dr. Claudio: My favorite things about you are your goofy, defiant and dramatic nature. You make me laugh.

Reef: I am one of a kind, that’s for sure. So to close out this interview, what is your opinion on fur being used in fashion? 

Dr. Claudio: Frankly, my opinion on fashion fur is that cavemen died out a very long time ago. There is no need for protective warmth with so many other readily available fabrics designed for such. Moreover, who needs to get caught in the rain and end up smelling like a wet dog? Help spare needless animal suffering and buy synthetic.

Reef: Thanks so much Dr. Claudio! Dr. Claudio is the primary veterinarian for Pawsitive Beginnings and he takes great care of all six foxes here! 

That’s all for this week. Reef, over and out.

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Reef was born on a fur farm on or around March 28, 2021. He was able to be rescued when his mother and siblings started to reject him. Reef is missing toes on his front, right paw and the tip of his tail is missing due to injuries sustained in his short time on the fur farm. Reef arrived at Key Largo on May 6, 2021 by Nicole Navarro, of Pawsitive Beginnings Inc.