Surgery and After

Surgery and AfterLewis has had his first day of recovery after surgery on March 28. He is reported in good spirits and eating, as well as standing. However his exercise will have to be limited due to the fear of putting too much stress on the fracture at this time.

The good news after the surgery was that it went well, with Dr. Silveira debriding considerable dead bone and tissue. He also removed the plate and all the screws, so these will not be able to cause any future problems or infection. An external fixator now supports the leg instead of the bone plate. The fixator can be much more easily removed once it is no longer needed. The bone was packed with antibiotic “beads” and a drain installed for twice daily flushing to prevent further infection. The doctor is optimistic that he has achieved the intended clean up of the bone and surrounding tissue.

The bad news is that the bone callous was not sufficient to supply any support for the leg. Considerable dead tissue was removed, so that the leg is essential broken again. Lewis’ two greatest risks at this time are that the leg could collapse, or that he could become depressed and stop eating. Since everyone is reluctant to take him for his daily walks outdoors, depression is a real danger. However, exercise could stress the leg beyond what it might be able to handle. What a dilemma!

Lewis’ previous stall mate, the beautiful female alpaca on loan from the university research program, is due to have a baby! Lewis now has another buddy, a male alpaca, who is keeping him company.

We appreciate the emails and calls we have received about Lewis. Your prayers are needed more than ever now, as Lewis’ prognosis is guarded until significant bone growth can occur to support the leg safely. The staff at OSU continues to take the best of care of him, and they try to keep his spirits up during this long ordeal. We thank everyone more than you can know!

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