June 27, 2011

Just as Sissy and Dulary seemed to be better in spirits and in appetite, there was another setback… Misty got sick. One evening at 5 p.m. feed, Misty allowed Dulary to come over and eat most of her food. We had hoped it was Misty being sisterly, but at 10 p.m., Misty made it quite obvious she did not feel well. She wasn't vocal, walked away from food when it was put down, and Dulary seemed concerned. Misty was doing very similar "posturing" to what Sissy had done, stretching with her mouth open, making her discomfort evident.

The next morning, Dulary was by the barn but Misty was down a hill in an area she does not frequent. This time she had her mouth clenched shut while tensing her belly. She again turned away when food was offered, but we were able to obtain a urine sample, and an in-house strip indicated a high level of blood present in the urine. Misty was too weak to even find water, so water was brought to her out in the habitat. During this time, Dulary seemed stressed and very distracted by Misty's behavior. Although Dulary did not stay with Misty, she also was not interested in her own food, and could be seen walking back and forth in different areas of the habitat.

Misty

Throughout that day, Sissy's appetite was steady. Dulary continued to pick up a couple of pieces of produce before walking away from her food, and Misty only drank. The next day was very similar—with updates being given to Dr. Mikota regularly. Sissy maintained, Dulary picked, and Misty got quieter, looked exhausted, continued to posture, wanted nothing to do with food, and wasn't that interested in Dulary's companionship, either.

In the afternoon there was a positive sign for Misty—she came back towards the barn and went into the pond. She did not try to find Dulary, but instead stayed in the pond for a couple of hours by herself. When she exited, she and Dulary joined up at the back of the barn and dusted in the woods for an hour before Dulary decided she wanted to go in the pond, too, and they both returned to swim. Dulary got out after several hours, but Misty remained in the water for a little over an hour after that. When she exited, she walked in the opposite direction of Dulary and leaned on some trees, where she immediately began her posturing again.

Late that night at 10 p.m. feed, Misty was located by the fence line for PC, so permission was given to administer a shot of banamine for her discomfort. Dulary joined her shortly thereafter, remaining more interested in Misty than her food.

The next morning was the first time Misty entertained the thought of food. She did not want produce, but did eat a couple of mouthfuls of hay. Again, the small signs that bring us big relief. Later that afternoon, she ate 2 bananas and an apple, and at 5 p.m. feed she ate 6 more pieces of produce.

Our dear Misty is built like a "tank" and always looks like she could withstand anything, so watching her not feel well is not only difficult, it's somewhat unbelievable. With Misty heading in the right direction, Dulary's interest in food has picked up again, and she is actually eating well. Not quite normal, but almost there. Misty is still at the picking stage when it comes to produce, but is doing well with hay, so her system is moving along nicely.

Sissy is still having her moments—doing really well up until the other day, when she didn't want much food until her 10 p.m. feed. One recent morning she ate, but it was slow, and not anything like her usual self. So we continue to keep a vigilant eye on them all, being thankful that Winkie, Shirley and Tarra seem to be in perfect health, and hoping they stay that way!

Recently at Q-Barn, Debbie and Ronnie shared the same pasture with Minnie again, as has been our usual afternoon routine to give them more time together. Debbie and Ronnie wandered out into Field 4, so Minnie didn't see them since she was playing in the Upper Pond. As Ele-Cam viewers can attest, the Upper Pond is surrounded by trees, making it a lovely place to hide when it's hot…but also hidden from view of our camera. Apparently, the excellent shade hid Minnie's friends from her, too.

As the day wore on, Minnie descended from the Upper Pond into Field 3, still completely missing her companions in Field 4. It wasn't until dinner that Minnie finally noticed Debbie and Ronnie. Just as her Caregiver was delivering her enticing dinner, Minnie turned away and went straight to greet Debbie and Ronnie. Unfortunately by that late hour, it was time to separate the three again for the evening. Minnie, being truly cooperative, engaged with Debbie for a brief half hour, and then graciously followed her Caregiver away.