Kermit's Terrible Story:
Ok, I know most of you are familiar with Kermit, the little emaciated rescue I took in several months ago. He made a miraculous recovery from MBD,malnutrition, dehydration and just plain neglect. I've kept you up to date on his progress. Well, I almost lost him again from a terrible accident and I'm over the guilt just enough, and he's on the mend well enough, that I want to share the story now.
This involves Isabelle too, and I know you are familiar with her tragic story and end. She and Kermit were housed together freeroaming in a spare bedroom. Since Isabelle's paralysis she pretty much never left the daybed and Kerm had a nice perch right in front of the window. They got along harmoniously and I never had a problem. Isabelle's last day must have been filled with a lot of pain or else I don't think she ever would have done what she did. I came home from work one night at 9:30 and checked on everyone like I always do. In the glow of the hall light I could tell that Kermit's profile was irregular. I snapped on the overhead room light and was horrified by what I saw. Half of Kerm's face was bitten right off, clean and down to the bone. One nostril was completely gone, the other severed and misplaced to the center. The entire upper lip on the right side was gone and the bone scraped clean. There was no blood in the room at all except on Isabelle's lips. The next day was a Sunday and we were obligated to go to a show. My vet was out of town for the weekend and no other herp vet around. Poor Kerm really didn't seem distressed, however hard that is to believe. He ate a large plate of food Sunday morning so I decided to do the show and get him to the vet first thing Monday morning. By later Sunday night his mouth looked worse and a raging infection had set in.
Monday morning both Isabelle and Kerm went to see Doc Mark. I had decided to euthanize Isabelle for reasons I think I already explained. Mark was not optimistic about Kerm. He was not at all sure that Kermit would survive the infection and, if he did, whether healthy tissue would regranulate over the bare bone or not. We started Kermit on oral antibiotics and I continued doing swabbings with dilute Betadine solution. His right eye was tearing excessively and we figured either the tear duct was severed or swollen shut. Kermit went on a hunger strike for 3 weeks and started losing weight quickly. He formed an ugly black scab over the wounds. The infection cleared up quickly and I tried tube feeding him but that seemed to cause a lot of stress, so I started syringe feeding and that went pretty well. After 22 days he finally started eating on his own again and ate like he was making up for lost time!!
This past week I had him back to Mark for a recheck and the scab fell off while we were at the vet. The tissue underneath looks nice and pink, healthy and the bone is being covered! He has regained almost all of the lost weight and he's back to being my little rambunctious sweetheart again.
I felt terrible that my vain efforts to save Isabelle almost cost me not just her, but Kermit as well. I ask myself so many questions.... was she suffering and did I prolong that suffering? Did I miss any sign that could have told me that she would react in this way? Was the effort I put into trying to save her after her paralysis for her benefit or for my own?
Anyway, I have included a link to pictures of Kerm during the healing process. I couldn't bring myself to take pics right after the attack so the first ones were taken 5 days after. These pictures are not pretty, and if you have a weak stomach I probably wouldn't look. But I had to share Kermit's story and the good news of his survival and recovery. He still has a ways to go and he will be permanently disfigured, but he's my Kermit baby and I love him more now than I ever did. He is a true survivor and has the strongest will to live that I've ever seen in an animal.
Thanks for listening, feel free to beat me with a stick as long as you forgive me when you're done......and Sue1, Sue2, and Tom, thanks for the prayers for Kerm and the moral support for me. The last 3 months, and especially this last one, have been a bumpy journey for me and I don't know what I'd do without my friends here.
Isabelle was a rescue we took in almost 2 years ago. She had a healed spinal injury when we got her and in September she fell and reinjured the spine. She had complete paralysis in her rear legs. I was treating her, tube feeding her to suppliment her poor appetite, and bathing and exercizing her legs, hoping for a recovery. Unfortunately the injury involved nerves that served her digestive system as well and she could not eliminate. She went 4 weeks without a bowel movement before I finally had her euthanized. She must have been in some pain, since she always lived harmoniously with any of the igs here. What she did to Kerm was a real shock.