This is the story of David, the little sheep who faced a giant of an obstacle, and lived to tell the tale.
On 16 September 2014, a little lamb was surrendered to us with a severe case of scours (diarrhoea) which his owners had tried in vain to treat. Sadly however, he failed to improve so in a last ditch effort to save his life, they handed him over to us.
It turned out that David’s problems were much bigger than just worms – he also had a very nasty infection where a faeces-covered castration ring sat tightly around his scrotum, so it was that (as well as a persistent worm burden) which caused his severe weakness, prolonged diarrhoea, dehydration and weight loss. David was very progressed in his illness so we were super apprehensive about our ability to help him, but the one thing that gave us hope was that despite his very fragile state, David would still nibble on grass or hay if you offered it to him. Amazing! So based on that one promising sign from an animal that was in every other way moribund, we decided to give it a shot.
After 11 hours of high care with lots of food, vitamins, medications, fluids, constant comforting and supervision – his system seemed to be stabilising. He was still very weak but was settling and even started chewing his cud (a great sign!). We were all still very anxious for his survival but this was far more progress than we thought we’d get! Surgery was scheduled for the following day to remove the ring & scrotum.
It was risky to put him through surgery but we were very thankful that we did as the vet found maggots had gotten into the infected tissue! This is something we could not see from the outside and would’ve been making poor David very uncomfortable. He came though the surgery OK, but he was very quiet that night and our former shred of confidence was waning to a new all time low.
Happily, that very night at 10:30pm he suddenly started eating and drinking with renewed enthusiasm and then again early the next morning. It was still a long road ahead, but it gave us all the encouragement we needed to push on. His appetite improved more over the next two days and he even managed to lift his head every now and then as he began regaining his strength.
He had a small set back on the fourth day; he had lost some strength and was having more difficulty holding his head up again. We examined him closely and found that the surgery site was becoming inflamed again – most likely because it was so hard to keep that area clean given that he could not stand to eliminate wastes. A mere dressing wasn’t protecting the wound enough so we fashioned a “lamb nappy” for him. This helped a LOT and he continued to improve after that.
CLICK HERE to view even more photos and some lovely videos of David’s first few steps on storehouse.co
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