On the second early morning of trapping the Charlie Chaplin Colony, Cowbella came wobbling and stumbling up to Melanie’s yard. Kim and I knew immediately something was wrong with her because of the way she was moving.
According to Dr. Harris, Cowbella has “a nasty pelvic fracture, that doesn’t seem super painful, and not much can be done surgically. She’ll likely be functional in the long run but will never walk right.” Here’s her x-ray.
He recommended she rest for about two and a half months, giving a chance for her bones to mend on their own. She should not be spayed until then either. Kim set her up in a dog crate in her house to rest. This presents a conundrum as so far Cowbella is acting feral. Even if she stays inside for a few months until she can be spayed, she will have to definitely stay inside until spring because she won’t have her winter fur coat anymore to keep her warm. Even then, putting her back out after being inside for that long isn’t really an option. Cowbella is only about 5-6 months old – she’s not old enough to have her environment imprinted on her and remember it months later. Most likely she’ll just get used to the dog crate, which isn’t much of a life either, except for short term.
Also, we’re not sure how fast she can run to defend herself. Even worse, there’s a chance that she may not be using her back legs at all any more and is paralyzed. We think we may have trapped very soon after getting hit by a car, perhaps, and her body was still working. It is hard to tell as she does not move in front of us. But when we leave, she is eating, sometimes using the litter box, and sometimes just defecating on the papers. We can’t really get her to move so we’re looking to borrow a camera for the room.
We are grateful to Melanie for covering Cowbella’s care so far. Dr. Harris and the Elmhurst Animal Care Center are excellent and affordable. Along with the x-ray, we tested Cowbella for FIV/FeLV and she is negative. The total bill for her so far is $105.