Our beautiful girl is in trouble. Just a few weeks ago we noticed that she had a minor limp for a few short days, and then it quickly went away leading us to believe that it had healed. Three days later she was limping again. When she would not come out to get her dinner, we knew something was wrong and went in to her enclosure to look for her. Watonie was never a big fan of her care takers being too close. She has a few favorites but overall humans are to be seen only from afar. We spotted her sitting very still and looking worried. As we approached, our mere presence inside her enclosures was enough to make her move, but when she stood up to move away it was obvious she was in a lot of pain. Wolves are experts at hiding their ailments, so for her to be visibly in pain, we knew there was something very wrong. Her rear legs were both shaking, and she was hunched in half with her tail tucked under. We made the decision to capture her first thing in the morning as it was already nearing dark.
In the morning, we set up a fence at the lower end of her enclosure which funneled into a small lock with a roof. Six of us maneuvered her into this smaller area and from there scooped her into a crate. All in all it went very well. Her brothers stayed far away not wanting to be part of the capture.
We rushed her to emergency where she had x-rays, a limited Ultrasound, and a few other tests. It was determined that Watonie had a mass in her abdomen the size of a tennis ball and both of her ACLs were possibly torn. We brought her home and scheduled an exploratory surgery and spay for October 8, 2020. We hoped that the mass was ovary related. Surgery began and her surgeon found that her ovaries were cystic. One ovary was infected and had swelled to the size of a tennis ball.
A complete ovariohysterectomy was performed, and her incision is healing without complication. However, she still has the two failing ACLs. Left untreated she may live for a few months, but she would eventually succumb to the pain and lose the ability to walk. She is only nine years old. To avoid a slow decline, we want to give Watonie a fighting chance and to keep the separation from her pack at a minimum we have opted to do a bilateral CBLO.
The surgery will take hours and the recovery means many more weeks of pain and separation. But she is strong and when she comes out of quarantine to rejoin her family, she will be a bionic wolf with rear legs that are stronger than ever! She will be able to run with her brothers again or run circles around them if she wants too. Of course there is concern for her wellbeing. There will be the worry of infection, and implant rejection and mental depression from being removed from her pack. There will be exhaustion. We will be at her side working with her daily tracking her recovery. We will do all that we can do and will give her every opportunity to grow older gracefully.
Watonie is a shy beautiful soul. She came to us a scared little girl June 2011 and has been here safe for all these years. She lives with her brothers Running Bear and Achilles. They live a happy and simple life in their forest home away from the world and the many dangers that forsake so many of her kind.
We are asking for your help with the costs of this life saving measure we are taking for Watonie. We also need comforters for her recovery room and help with vet bills and medications. Please reach out to us if you have a comforter to donate.
Please give Watonie a fighting chance. Every penny will help.