Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Saga of Paco the Donkey Coming up Lame at the Lazy Vegan!!

What a week it has been at the Lazy Vegan!  Or make that WEEKS!  On the day we buried our beloved Solo, Paco came up lame and got progressively worse.  At first we thought it was just an infected hoof.  The vet came and cleaned it out and bandaged it all up.  And then it just progressed - from one leg to the other, until suddenly he was walking like a very, very old donkey (barely at all) - very scary to watch!  Plus, he started to swell up under his donkey "legpits", also very alarming.  Since one leg in particular seemed the worst, we wanted to rule out a possible fracture, so the vet came with his handy portable xray machine.  CHA CHING!  Cha Ching!  CHA CHING!  (No, that's not the sound of the xray machine - that's the sound in my head when I paid the bill for that particular visit!).  Xrays came back fine.  Then the blood work came back NOT fine - his white blood cell count was sky-high.  The vet resubmitted the blood to the lab to test for something called "Pigeon Fever".  He wanted Paco on antibiotics right away.  By this point I was pretty darn frantic about my little donk!  I called our neighbors down the lane (they have horse AND donkey experience - Barney the standard-sized donkey has been with them for sixteen years!) and they came to assess Paco and agreed he was in dire shape and gave me the name of a second vet.  So to wrap up this story (which has not ended yet), the second vet was very helpful over the phone and said Paco needed much stronger painkillers than the ones he was currently on.  So without telling my current vet that I had sought a second opinion, I requested the stronger painkillers from him the next morning, and it made a huge difference in Paco's comfort - soon he was walking much better and just acted better!  We found out it was not Pigeon Fever (OMG - what a relief - the condition is highly contagious and just painful and gross - I would have had to somehow "drain" big swollen areas on Paco's chest and would have had to separate the donkeys if he had it!), and as of this moment we still don't know what it is...the vet will come out AGAIN next week to take a new blood sample to retest to see if the white blood cell count has come down.  But the really good news is that he is much improved!!  He even hee-hawed tonight - the first time since he has been sick!  Still not walking completely normally, but his swollen areas have gone down.  I am very hopeful.  It has been extremely stressful worrying about him, especially while in the midst of grieving still for little old Solo!  I am optimistic that Paco will recover - but am very aware that he's still on major painkillers right now that could be masking whatever the illness is...so we're not out of the woods yet!
Vet visit number one (how many vet visits does one donkey need in a week?  A lot!!).
Cleaning out and bandaging the infected hoof.
The very patient donkey patient!
The foreman assures Wasabi that we're taking care of her donkey brother!
These two have been inseparable ever since Solo died.
More beautiful lambs!  I love the how this one is trying to get her mama's attention!
The tilt of the head - so adorable!
"Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Look down!"
Got the boys a new dog bed, and they love it.
Checking in with Paco.  By this time his front knees were also swollen.

Loving the new bed!
And getting ready for vet visit number two!

Waiting for the vet to show up.

Kisses from "Papa".

Checking out the hoof again.

Another new bandage.  Yes, that's duct tape, folks!
Concerned siblings of two different species wait indoors.
Enjoying the sunshine on the new bed!
More lambs!
I just want to take one home!

Wasabi hoping that Paco will recover.
Vet visit number three!  The day of xrays!  Paco had to be heavily sedated for this.  That's why he's standing calmly at the barn while Weegie investigates the xray equipment!
The vet and vet tech get ready - notice the protective anti-radiation gowns!  (I stood far away!).
We had to have Luigi move into the pasture, but it was so cute - he stayed and watched the whole time.

Poor Paco!

They took a lot of xrays of one leg.

It isn't every day you see a donkey being xrayed, so I took a lot of photos!

The vet is checking out his computer to see the images.

Here's one of the xray images, above!  Kind of cute!  It will go in his donkey book, for sure!
The canvas print I ordered of Solo from Shutterfly arrived and I put it near the print of Boulder so I can see them both all the time.

Oh, ugh.  The above roll is filled with antibiotic paste for Paco.  Really hard to get him to take it.  We now have to mix it with applesauce and use a syringe to get it in his mouth!
The foreman arrives home after a long day of painting at the fixer...which, by the way, is now rented!  We weren't quite ready, but we made it work, anyway!

Our really nice neighbors brought the boys this wheat grass treat!
Despite worrying so much about Paco, we still had a wonderful time down in Santa Cruz celebrating Randy's mom's 90th birthday!!! She is absolutely amazing at age 90!!

Juliana (the birthday girl!!) and Claire!
Relaxing in the living room.
Chatting with her grandson!

Nick and Paul!
Judith, the birthday girl and Claire!
Denise and Karina get caught up.
A toast!

Karina and the birthday girl!

The birthday dance!  I also have a video of this, but could not upload it here for some reason.

I hope to be able to dance like this when I'm 90!!

Randy's sister did a great job picking out the lunch spread.

Here comes the cake!

Make a wish!
My ridiculous daughter!
Now that's better...
The birthday plant!

Planting the birthday plant.

Silly sisters and a yellow ribbon.
Dail supervises!

Putting a bow on Paul!

Many planting helpers!

The birthday girl with her daughter!
 The last few photos of the fixer before a client of ours rented it today (very rushed to get it all ready - the foreman spent the whole day putting up blinds, etc.!)...here's the new tile in the bathroom, which still needs to be grouted tomorrow in places.
 New carpet!
 Finished kitchen!
 Putting up blinds!

 The new tenant moves in!  Goodbye, fixer...at least for now!
The foreman gets an A+++ for another remodel well done!!  I get pretty good grades for supervision and meal preparation and runs to Lowe's and Home Depot!