Many of you noticed Rana lifting her back legs and slapping between them with her tail in the live videos. We mentioned she had an undiagnosed issue with her vulva at the farm, but they weren’t able to safely investigate it or treat it other than spraying it from a distance.
Generally we like to let elephants settle in a bit before we start attempting any sort of testing or treatment, but Rana was obviously uncomfortable, so we started working with her right away. She has never received any sort of PC training, so we start from scratch.
Rana has been very good with allowing us to treat and inspect the entire area. The photo is of Scott cleaning off an abscess she has on her front left food. When we work between her back legs, three people are involved, so there is no one to take a photo. Scott and our vet Laura are both needed, one to go through all of the folds and flaps, while the other sprays and cleans.
There is nothing super obvious at this point. Most of what was going on was swelling and inflammation. She needed a very thorough cleaning back there, which will become part of her daily routine for now. There is a hole that is old and almost healed, which may have been the beginning of her issue. Right now we are washing, cleaning, flushing and medicating and there is already a marked difference in swelling and her discomfort with the area. We are grateful it doesn’t seem to be anything worse.
While Rana is being very cooperative, she hasn’t earned the title of ‘perfect princess’ just yet (Guida’s nickname when she is anything but This is all a learning process for her and she is used to demanding what she wants and throwing things if she doesn’t get them. This worked for her for years, and now she has to learn it doesn’t work anymore. She has only thrown dirt once since being here (which is very good) and tried to be grabby with the treat bucket once, but nothing major. She is very watchful the closer you get to her head, but again, not abnormal for an elephant with her past that is this new to sanctuary and positive reinforcement. Overall she is doing extremely well.
Step by step, with patience and mutual respect, we’ll all get there together. As she realizes that what we are doing is helping her to feel better, she will learn to trust a little more.
December 26, 2018