B Feb 7, 2017
D Jan 25, 2018
A fellow carer once told us when we first started and one of our first arrivals, Riley, nearly died: “Eastern Greys are so difficult, and they seem to last either 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months”. And so it was with William, who begin showing illness exactly 3 months after arriving here.
William was rescued In October 2017, when he was thrown from his mother’s pouch, during a violent fence-hanging incident. He lived with a lovely lady called Clare for a few weeks, who also had the much older Jess & Juno in care. All three arrived here together on November 10th, and William was very happy to be done with the pesky older girls, finding new friends his own age in Mars, Rufus and Frankie.
He was 3kg and 8.5 months old when he arrived, and settled into his new surroundings immediately. He loved hopping around the property and play-fighting with his mates. He never showed any illness or distress and was growing very fast. So fast, that along with Mars, he was moved into the older joey area with the O-Mob, as both were becoming too unruly for the joey room once they were over 5kg.
He continued to thrive until around the middle of January. On Jan 13th, he’d added a very respectable 405grams of body weight from the week prior, but on Jan 19th he was weighed again and had lost 5g. Around the same time he became a little lazier about bottle time. No longer did he race to us, but he would still approach and drink his full bottle.
His faeces started to change colour, which caused alarm, but feacal tests didn’t reveal anything ominous. A few days later, Sayo noticed a sloppy bad colour poop on the grass, but we didn’t know who it was from. The next day, William left 20ml of his first bottle, drank the second in full, and refused the third. His poo went runny. By morning, William was displaying distress and was rushed to the vet, prolapsing on the way.
The vet diagnosed Clostridial enteritis, and told us it was fatal in sheep. We had read that kangaroos could be saved from these bacteria, which William probably got from eating dirt and grass, so we tried for 36 hours straight to help him, before deciding that it was in his best interests to have him euthanised, at 5.15pm on January 25, 2017 – 3 months and 3 days after he first arrived.
A necropsy was performed, confirming that William did indeed have Clostridial enteritis, and that the damage was so extensive, that there was nothing we could have done, to save his life. Whilst that information was comforting to us, it didn’t help William, who had previously been a very happy, healthy and strong joey with huge potential.
Having never experienced such a disease with previous joeys in care, the only solace we can take, is that we have learnt a lot from his unfortunate death, and that knowledge may save a life in future.
William, darling boy… your life here was short, but we take comfort in seeing the joy in your eyes and happiness in your heart as you bounded around the property with your friends. As an animal rescued from certain death months earlier, you were still one of the lucky ones who was taken into care by human predators. You learnt to trust them and they cared for you and showed you unconditional love – and thank you for showing us the same sweet boy. Rest now, then go find your mother… she’s waiting for you.
Thank you to Lauren, who sponsored William whilst he was in care, and of course to our volunteer Maddy, whom William bonded particularly close with.
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