Nemo rocked up on 2nd March 2020 (not too long before the island shut down and we lost a load of our staff, good times!!) with hind limb paralysis, and wounds from where he’d been dragging his legs about. He was really bright though, wolfing down fish and biccies like no-one’s business! The plan was to keep him on cage rest to see if he improved – unfortunately he actually deteriorated, with his hind limbs hyperextending backwards, unable to weight bear at all.
We started physio a week or so after he came in, and Jono our head ACA (animal care assistant) was optimistic that there was a good chance of him regaining significant use of his limbs.
By mid-May, Nemo was was using his hind limbs more, but improvement plateaued and started sliding around using forelimbs and kicking his back legs.
Over the many months we’ve known him, Nemo has slowly improved, putting more weight on his back legs, though he never has full control over them. But he’s happy! The most important thing is quality of life when deciding an animal’s future – if they’re paralysed and unable to live a fulfilling life, it’s just not ethical (or kind) to keep them alive. But Nemo – despite his issues – is a very happy chappy. He scoots around comfortably on the tiled floor without getting sores, which is important. And he’s worked out how to drag himself up on to our office chairs?! Hench boi!