Lewis undergoes complex surgery for broken femur



Lewis spent the weekend of November 10-12 at Dr. Justin Janssen’s in Sheridan, Indiana. Dr. Janssen kept Lewis comfortable and on mild pain killers, while Lewis negotiated his surroundings on three legs. On November 13, we transported Lewis to Dr’s Toni and Gary Cotton of Findley, Ohio. They examined the x-rays and felt that they could do a successful repair of the rear femur, using a human plate.On the evening of November 14, Lewis underwent surgery. The break proved to be far more damaging than the x-rays showed. The bone was split longitudinally. Three veterinarians and assistance from the local hospital were called upon. Lewis weathered the surgery well, and as of morning of November 15, was reported to be able to stand. He is eating and accepting the affection of the veterinary clinic. His prognosis is currently very good. He will be moved later to Dr. Toni Cotton’s farm for a more comfortable stay until we take him back home.

Thank you to everyone for their help and support during this crisis! Starting with our farm sitters, to the veterinarians and all the folks at the ALSA National, our heartfelt thank you for helping us and our llamas get through this ordeal!

Our farm sitters David and Colleen, upon finding the melee of several adult males mixed in with our females and crias, had to individually catch and coral the would-be studs. They lifted Lewis into their minivan for a ride to our vet, an hour away. They waited for our return from Missouri and had a long night that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, making sure all the llamas were safe and accounted for. We don’t know what we would have done without their help at this most critical time!

Thank you to our long-time veterinarian, Dr. Justin Janssen for taking in Lewis during the late evening and caring for him all weekend until our return. We knew he was in the best of hands!

Thank you to all the folks at the ALSA Nationals who unselfishly acted to assist us when we had to rush home, a drive of several hours that could easily preclude our ability to either care for or show our llamas in Columbia. Our friends instantly chipped in to feed and care for our llamas, and made arrangements to groom them before the show and be sure that each llama had a handler to go into the show ring in the event that we could not return in time. Show management and people who found out about our situation all helped, and as we left Missouri to head for home, we knew our animals were in good hands! 4H youth had even been contacted to help out if necessary. We even had an offer to bring our llamas back home to us, in case we could not return that weekend. What a relief to not have to worry about them as we faced the long trip home to unknown damage.

When we returned to the show grounds Saturday morning after hours of driving and a sleepless night, our stalls were clean, and animals ready for the last minute touch ups to enter the show ring. We are truly indebted to the efforts of many people who jumped in to take care of our animals; some friends that we had known and others that we would make the acquaintance of that weekend! Thank you! When people say that llama folks are the greatest, they really mean it!

And lastly, thank you to Dr’s Toni and Gary Cotton for doing the surgery on Lewis. Your willingness to undertake this difficult task in only matched by Lewis’ courage through all he has been through. Our trust in your capabilities has been repaid many times over.

Comments are closed.