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!
Here's one of the xray images, above! Kind of cute! It will go in his donkey book, for sure!
The birthday girl with her daughter!
HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY, JULIANA!!!
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!