THE MACHINE

The Machine 2017-07-18T04:40:48+00:00

THE MACHINE

B Jul 2016
D Jul 03, 2017

The Machine was rescued from Depot Beach in NSW on May 28, 2017. The area is well-known with local carers, for wildlife in poor condition, perhaps due to a lack of food sources and too much human food from well-intended holiday makers feeding them. These kangaroos often have an overburden of parasites too.

The Machine was discovered by a camper in the area, when he noticed the joey had a broken foot. After rescue, an x-ray revealed he had a broken calcaneus – that’s the heel bone. It means euthanasia for an adult, but for a joey, if the growth plates are intact, surgery can often repair it and the joey can return to the wild successfully.

He was quite tame on rescue, used to being around people. Due to his poor condition, we guess he lost his mother weeks before – perhaps around the time his foot was broken. The Machine had surgery with one of the best wildlife vets in the country. During the 3-hour operation, it was discovered that the break was over 3 weeks old, and heavily infected by 3 different strains of bacteria, that entered the area via a puncture mark on the same foot (perhaps from another animal bite). This meant he was on antibiotics twice a day to rid the infection and give his foot a chance to heal.

A trip back to the vet a week later showed that his foot was healing well and this joey’s chances were looking good! He was in poor condition on rescue, though. His fur was unkempt and he was several kilos underweight. Many faeces and urine tests were undertaken to check him for various bacterial issues, but they always came back negative.

On Wed Jun 28, we sensed something wasn’t right with him. More tests were taken to local vets, and we requested his Saturday appointment with the wildlife vet be moved forward as a precaution as well. However, as is often the case with the deadly macropod disease coccidiosis, by the time it was diagnosed, it was too late. This joey was thankfully sedated during a 36-hour intensive care period at the vet surgery, but sadly his body, already weakened from the stress of losing his mother and breaking his foot, was just too much to bear. He passed away at 5.30am on Mon Jul 03.

Sadly, had he not succumbed to that insidious disease, he would have successfully returned to the wild fully functioning. His broken which had healed incredibly well, which makes his story ever sadder.

The Machine got his odd name on arrival because he didn’t stop eating! It was like he’d never seen so much grass in his life! The grass disappeared into his mouth like a non-stop conveyor belt.

This joey had to remain in a pouch a lot – to be kept off his foot so it healed correctly. He didn’t mind, and would enjoy lying in the sun with us munching away and receiving his favourite special face pats. When he was inside during the evenings, his pouch was separate from the others, attached inside a cot. This was to prevent him hopping around in case he got out. It meant he was the first face we saw in the morning. He was always awake eagerly awaiting his bottle when we entered the room.

The Machine only lived with us for five short weeks, but he made an impact on us that will last a lifetime. During his short stay, he was pain-free, he knew love, he knew how to scam the best face pats in the world and he knew an endless supply of yummy food and warmth. Thank you, dear sweet boy, for letting us get to know you.

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