It’s been quite a few weeks for #1389 and the Keepers who care for him. You can read about him and see a photo of our veterinarian “working on his leg” in an earlier post.
After his physical in November, this wolf stopped putting weight on his back right leg. Radiographs (x-rays) were taken. Surgeons at the NCSU Vet School reviewed the information and determined that this wolf has a torn ligament, some other damage, and arthritis to boot.
We separated him from his brothers to give him rest and medicine. His knee improved so much, that we put him back in the exhibit to see how he would do. He and alpha wolf, #1390, had a fairly intense scuffle: not a surprise that some re-establishment of pecking order would occur, but it was still a scary sight to watch. For two days, we had two limping wolves and great distance between them. By Sunday, we were basically back to “normal”: the alpha wolf, one sometimes limping wolf, and their blind brother.
The story does not end here however: yesterday, Keeper Marilyn noticed that this wolf’s face looked different and his eyes looked squinty. Dr. Staab-Carter was here and believed the wolf was having an allergic reaction to a bite. All the Keepers grabbed their gear and went to catch the wolf. He received shots of adrenaline and Benedryl. It appears as if the wolf was bitten on top of his head by some sort of insect, spider, or possibly even a snake.
As of this morning, the swelling was down. He does have a bump on his head, likely where he was bitten. I’m not sure what else can happen to this guy? He’s certainly had more than his fair share of issues, and I for one, am wishing him a restful, happy, and healthy new year!