FORT COLLINS, Colo. "Remember the Ike of the running llama who was on the lamb in Yellowstone National Park for three months last year?"
He escaped following a strategically located herd of llamas, owned by the Yellowstone Lama, which gives tourists the animals of the herd. But he was not clear. On Tuesday, nearly 11 months after leaving the park, his new owner took him to Fort Collins to look after the cause of his escapades: Big Toothache.
"He wanted to get out of a situation that was painful," said Susie Hulsmeier-Sinai, owner of the Yellowstone Lama, who renamed him Lewis. "When I rescued him, he made a promise that I would take care of him, too."
This week, Lewis and the crew departed for Colorado from their home in Bozeman, Montana, because of James L's reputation at Colorado State University.
Famous and non-known animals are treated there. Country music singer Tanya Tucker took her dog Kona there when a tumor was found in his heart.
The hospital treats the puppy with heart disease (although he dies during open heart surgery). And that helped Marley the grizzly bear from Georgia, which suffers from two broken elbows.
Lewis – named after Lewis Lake where he was found – is right there, at least as far as notoriety is concerned, the Colorado Sun reported.
An abscess in his mouth probably disturbed Lewis for years before he enrolled in a midnight operation at CSU. Just like in humans, an abscess is a buildup of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. It usually comes from a bacterial infection. No one knows when Louis received it, but Hulsmeier-Sinai said he may have been kicked in the mouth by another pack of llamas.
Its original owner, Christine Bathy, told Jackson Hole News and A Guide last October that its guides would loosen its harness to ease the discomfort. But in the summer of 2018, he "completely slipped out of his robe because he is mean and knows he can," Batty told News & Guide. Its owners failed to capture it and Lewis became a slight sensation on the internet after his image was shared on Instagram.
Last October, as winter approached, Hulsmeier-Sinai could not stand it anymore. She was given permission to remove Lewis from the park. Putting three of his lamas on the trail, Lewis settled into his animals and followed them into the trailer.
“In fact, he followed our small group of lamas of his own volition. We never put it on the line, "she said. "He wanted to get out of a situation that was painful."
After Lewis' rescue, Hulsmeier-Sinai took him to the vet and Lewis was put on antibiotics. But when the infection didn't clear it, doctors realized there was something more serious, even if Lewis didn't show it hurt.
"They are so stoic. They are animals that hide their injuries from potential predators, "Hulsmeier-Sinai said while in the operating room. "Adjacent teeth also appear to be affected, so the infection has spread and they will extract the other two teeth."
As a member of the Lama and Alpaca Rocky Mountain Association, Hulsmeyer-Sinai is already familiar with CSU and reputation its for treating animals.
"Because of my connection with many Lama people in Colorado, I know that many of them bring them here," she said. "The veterinary hospital is very well known. The other alternative was UC Davis (in California), but it was much further. Colorado is the best place for Lewis and for me. ”
The university training and hospital program is well known throughout the country. The school is ranked third in the nation for best veterinary schools this year and is in the first three to two decades according to the US News & World Report ranking.
"I used them for 30 years from time to time. No complaints. Everything that comes out of there is good, ”says Ron Hinds, who lives in Elizabeth and is a cashier for the Alpaca Association. “I know Cody, the tiny little alpaca, she was just not there long ago. It is well known throughout the country. ”
In the last fiscal year ending June 30, the university program treated 46,984 patients. The majority were dogs (31 677), followed by horses (6 637). There were also 181 lamas and alpacas, says Tim Hackett, a professor of emergency medicine and critical care and past medical director of a teaching hospital.
"Every day of the week we have interesting cases. There were days when we had three private jets at Fort Collins Airport for people who brought their animals to treat heart disease or cancer, "Hackett said. "You name it, and we probably did it with animals, except for heart transplants."
Because it is a training hospital, the CSU Center accepts all beings, although it specializes in "naturally occurring diseases," as a cancer or heart disease in pets, he said, work can also have an effect on treating people, such as diseases such as osteosarcoma, bone cancer, common in dogs of large breed. the same way, he said.
"Healed here it was amputation, but by rescuing our feet through a bone transplant, we can provide some level of control over the disease and they will be able to keep their feet, "he said." When we see this problem so often, we can do research because of the number the animals we treat. "
But what is common in llamas and alpacas are tooth abscesses, said Sinn Balch, a veterinarian at Larkspur who treats the infection.
" This happens because it is not cheap. operation. You will have an anesthesia performed on a llama and in the operating room for a decent time. It costs money to do that, "Balkh said." Owners have to make a choice whether to buy hay or take it for surgery? This is not a surgery done when a hat falls. "
Sometimes a tooth falls out, which can Most of the time, the llama does not end with surgery, partly because the llama handles the pain well.
"These guys, llamas and alpacas, for some reason, function well enough with a jaw abscess that they can often be diagnosed," Balkh. "We have many questions and few answers."
Huellsma er-Sinai said she was nervous before his surgery. Wearing a pair of llama earrings for luck, she said she knew she was in good hands, but: "It's always scary to subject anyone."
She said that also rarely spends so much on an animal – there are 14 other lamas back in Montana, and when she learned that the bill would be in the $ 4,000 range, her friends encouraged her to ask the public for help.At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Go campaign Fund Me to raise money for Lewis surgery reached $ 3,813.
Tooth surgery sounded awful. Because the llama's mouth is long, like a horse's, it is difficult to do dental work. Doctors can't tell Lewis, "Open your mouth and say ahhh."
Instead, they punched a hole in his right jaw from the outside to scratch the infection and then began to brush his teeth. Two of his right molars were pulled out of his right jaw. A third tooth in the upper left was also punctured. All were severely affected by periodontal disease, according to doctors who worked at Lewis.
After four hours of surgery, Lewis is expected to recover and come back to eat grass with his blades, adjust his food and continue chewing again with his other rear molars.
Hulsmeier-Sinai is amazed at the generosity of strangers who help fund Lewis's operation. But the cost is likely to be higher now that more teeth are involved. She didn't mind the extra cost, but said she couldn't afford llama prostheses.
"It's ridiculous to want that. I just have two implants in my mouth, "she said. "No, he'll be fine."