Lady continues to receive daily targeted foot care for her recent issue in addition to her regular foot care regimen. The blowout that was beginning to appear has evolved a little bit. It maintained for a few weeks, and then the cuticle became involved. Since then it hasn’t changed and is maintaining again.
Unfortunately, these are not new issues. Although things are coming to the surface at this moment, these are issues that have been lying deeper within the foot for a long time and originated many years ago. We were aware of the tragic condition of Lady’s feet before agreeing to bring her to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, and felt that was one of the primary reasons she needed to be here- so her feet could receive the specialized care they required. Along with her spirit. ❤️
Her left foot shows external issues, but her right foot is the one that is actually causing her discomfort right now. There is nothing notable on the exterior, but something internal has recently begun causing her pain. We have adjusted her treatment accordingly and keep a close eye on her foot to see if there are more definitive signs of what exactly the issue might be.
This is the reality of foot disease in captive elephants. Years of hard unforgiving substrates, lack of exercise, inability to clean surroundings, and sometimes chains cause layer upon layer of issues that become buried deep within the foot. And elephants being as stoic as they are, push through life, as the problem remains untreated and compounds.
It’s hard not to be angry at how preventable all of this is. But it’s also impossible not to be ridiculously proud of how far Lady has come since her arrival. She’s starting to become a little rumble bug and now does ‘cute’ things because she knows they’re cute and she enjoys when her humans fawn over her. On the days her feet are sore, she still graciously presents them, gently holds your hand while you do what is needed, and then hysterically opens her mouth and sticks her tongue out sideways waiting for the big treats coming her way. She couldn’t be any more perfect. Even on the days where it takes us 10 minutes of spraying off her feet to be able to get through the layers of mud armor she has applied. 😉
Her care wouldn’t be possible without her trust, but it also wouldn’t be possible without you all loving and supporting her.
Many of you likely remember the long list of Lady’s foot care products we shared during this year’s Big Payback (Lady Steps of Hope fundraiser). We use those products daily to clean, soak, scrub, spray, and bring her comfort. The bucket (photo below) that we bring to each session, full of healing products, is a bucket of love from our supporters. A love she didn’t know until recently.
Like anyone over a certain age or that has a chronic health condition, Lady has her good days and her bad days, yet she shows up for soaks and footwork ready and willing- sometimes even demanding (when she gets there before us). She loves exploring the habitat. Her face is continually getting softer, and she regularly has joyous trumpet parties. She continues to blossom, regardless of the impact of her past.
We continue to be incredibly grateful for all of your support during the Big Payback, the products it enabled us to purchase, and the work it allows us do. Thank you again for opening your heart up to Lady! We appreciate everyone who played a part in providing her with the best care possible. ❤️