An Update on Lady’s Feet

A couple of days ago, we noticed that Lady’s feet seemed a little more tender than they usually do. Normally, she walks differently than the other elephants because the state of her feet affects her gait. But something seemed more “off” than usual, and she looked uncomfortable and stiff. Since before she came to sanctuary, Lady has had a bit of trouble bending her elbows and ankles. In fact, when she arrived, her joints were markedly swollen, though that went down fairly quickly with treatment. 

That stiffness is one of the reasons that we offer her topical treatments on her ankles and legs in addition to her anti-inflammatory and pain medications. But we’ve noticed this week that she has mild swelling above her foot and her ankle, which is a new development. It’s not a huge amount of distension, but it is something that those who work specifically with Lady would certainly notice. This is the first time since her arrival that we’ve seen this type of inflammation in that particular area. 

We don’t know the exact reason why the swelling has emerged. She could have slipped and fallen or stepped on uneven ground – or it could be acute and a result of the osteomyelitis that we know she already has; it could be any number of things. We have decided to switch one of her medications to a newer anti-inflammatory medication. The hope is it is more effective for her than what she’s been taking in the past. Just like humans, some people swear by one headache medicine, while others swear by another; every being responds to these types of medications differently. This new medicine is something that other facilities have had good luck with in elephants who weren’t responding very well to other meds in the same category. Lady will be on increased gastrointestinal protectants as we introduce this new medication to her, in order to prevent her system from being too disrupted. We won’t know immediately if this new treatment will be better than what she was previously using, but we have hopes for improvement.

Photo of Lady


  1. REPLY
    Luanne L Schick says

    Sweet, Precious Lady, hopefully you will soon be on recovery road 🙏 ❤️.
    Sending lots love ❤️ 😍 your way.
    Alberta Canada 🇨🇦.

  2. REPLY
    Alana says

    Feel better fast sweet Lady!

  3. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Aahh Mz Sweetness, I hope ur feet and legs get better with new meds. Don’t worry. SCOTT AND VET WILL HELP U.

  4. REPLY
    Eileen L. says

    Hoping for the very best with this new treatment for Ms. Lady! ♥

  5. REPLY
    Audrey says

    Sending Lady lots of love ❤️ & healing ❤️‍🩹 thoughts 💭

  6. REPLY
    Heather Parsons says

    I wonder with the rain you have had recently if it could be arthritis. Considering her problems when she arrived, Lady could be displaying a slow progression of her joint troubles. Just a thought. Thank you for taking great care of these beautiful elephants.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      It’s almost certainly a result of her osteomyelitis, which causes the bones to gradually disintegrate over time.

  7. REPLY
    Zoi says

    Being sick is no fun, so get better and back to having fun in yard 5 soon!. I 💖 you, my sweet Lady.

  8. REPLY
    Julie says

    Sweet, precious Lady! I pray for your health, darling! And thanks ESB for making us feel like a valued family member in the waiting room receiving an update from the treating doctor. We love being a part of this righteous endeavor.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We try to make sure we’re as transparent as possible, since our followers care so deeply about the elephants.

  9. REPLY
    Sue says

    Sending much love and healing thoughts to you Lovely Little Lady. Hoping this new medicine helps you feel better. Thank you to everyone at Sanctuary for the way you monitor everyone there and are always looking for ways to keep them feeling the best they can. Love and hugs ❤️🐘❤️

  10. REPLY
    Wim says

    Hopefully this will help you dear Lady. Sending you strength and healing thoughts. 🤗🐘💚

  11. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    Tremendous healing thoughts and energy to you LadyBug. Be a good girl during your treatments and feel better soon. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you from across the miles.🐘❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  12. REPLY
    Shelley Russell says

    Poor Lady , Osteomyelitis can be so painful. Does she have diabetes? I know there is often a link. I have no idea if elephants can get diabetes ! A wonderful place is Sanctuary and I love to hear about the elephants and seeing the videos gives me great pleasure! And you Scott and everyone are pretty marvellous too 😉🥰

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      There is a link in humans, but Lady likely doesn’t have diabetes. There’s not enough research to determine if elephants can get diabetes and we don’t know of an elephant that’s had it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible for them to get it. We haven’t found a problem with Lady’s glucose levels.

  13. REPLY
    Patricia says

    God bless you precious Lady! I think of you and your foot issues a lot! Praying for everything to get better for you, sweetie! 💖💖💖

  14. REPLY
    Maria Tereza says

    Força Lady! Te amo .

  15. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    Awe sweet Lady. Hope your new meds take effect and you get better soon. Sending love your way🐘🐘🐘

  16. REPLY
    Terry says

    BIG HEALING BABY!!! Come on Lady girl!!!❤️❤️❤️

  17. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Sweet sweet beautiful Lady, now you have crossed that Rainbow Bridge welcomed by your sisters in Heaven, you are already missed so very much by all who were lucky enough to know you and those of us many many miles away…..Rest in Peace sweet girl you are free now 💞🙏🦋

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