While Mara is stable right now, we want to share an update that she had a gas/colic issue. We came in for night feed two nights ago, and you could tell that she was very crampy. With Rana leading the way, we were able to get the three back to the barn. Mara was very cooperative and came into the treatment chute, and you could see that she was somewhat distended with gas present in her upper abdominal area. Treatment was immediately started to help her become more comfortable while addressing her situation. We stayed with her until about 2 am, when things settled down.
First thing the next morning, she looked more comfortable, but was still not where she needed to be. We continued treatment with her, including medications, rectal fluids, etc., while closely monitoring her and offering small amounts of soft foods every 30 minutes, plus some holistic treatments. During this time, we separated her from Bambi and Rana. At some point in the afternoon there was a torrential downpour and Bambi and Rana had a beautiful, silly grandma party. We recorded some of it and will share when we have time to get it off of our phones. After dinner, we put the three back in together, with Mara continuing to improve.
This morning Mara continued to move in a positive direction: her gassy areas decreased, her appetite increased (although her food consumption is still limited), and her comfort level also seemed better. Today she stayed with the other two, except during treatment. She is not yet 100%, and severe gastrointestinal issues can change at any moment, but we are more comfortable with where she is right now.
We are incredibly grateful that Mara has been so cooperative during every treatment. Training is very necessary, but when an animal is sick and loses food motivation, so much comes down to trust. Mara was a little concerned when we first tried to administer rectal fluids. She did this little nervous shake, but backed up and was a total peach and settled in once we began. And of course, gave little squeaks during her treatment.
As you all know, Mara has had GI issues for over six months now, but this acute episode had the potential to be much more devastating. Not only is Mara very old, but she has weakened with her fluctuations in appetite and food consumption. This is simply the result of decades of captivity. Many people think about foot and joint disease, but the unnatural diet elephants are fed for 40-50 years has a significant impact on their bodies. Mara suffers worse than others in this regard.
It is our hope that Mara continues to improve; she has responded well up until this point- but she is not fully out of the woods yet. We will keep you posted if anything changes, but in this instance, no news is good news – at least for the next 48 hours. It just means we are busy making sure she recovers. Thankfully, we have some lovely assistants. Bambi has been very attentive and gentle towards Mara, using her time with Rana to get out her energy and silliness. And Rana, well, she is lovely Rana.
Please keep Mara in your thoughts and try to replace any worry with positivity about her healing and full recovery. That is what she needs.