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FREYA xxx

9 Feb

FREYA xxx

http://www.facebook.com/BatReachRescueCentre

We have had the most devastating week and are saddened to bring you the news that our little orphaned Green Ringtail Possum, Freya, suddenly passed away last night. This was the last photo taken of her before she died.

Please read her amazing story…

Freya arrived in our care four weeks ago after being plucked from her mother by an owl and accidently dropped onto a road where a friend found her and promptly brought her to us.

It was obvious that there was something wrong, apart from a little swelling around her face there was no evidence of serious physical or internal injury, yet there was blood in her faeces.
Seen by a vet straight away, it was thought to be stress related digestive upset because Green Ringtails are notorious for having very stressed out natures. If it continued through the next day without change then it was to be tested. The result; a high count of the Coccidia Protozoa in her digestive system; multiplying due to stress and stripping the lining of her intestines.

After 48hrs of anti-biotics we saw the complete removal of the infection but it also destroyed all the good bacteria in her guts and disturbed the balance, none the less, she perked up wonderfully, started eating really well, exploring and teething.

And that’s where we were when we last updated you on her progress.

Unfortunately things started to go back downhill, despite all the improvement the good bacteria in her guts were not returning despite high doses of pro-biotics in her milk.
The faeces took on a funny smell after we updated you last week, we thought that the stress on her system had resulted in an e-coli infection; we started her back on the anti-biotics immediately and sent another sample off to the vet to get it confirmed. After a couple of days she started to improve again but then we received the test results from the vet, it wasn’t e-coli, but a drug-resistance staphylococcus and Streptococcus infection that was being kept at bay by the anti-biotics but not being destroyed…We were starting to discuss options when the alarm bells went off Wednesday morning, Freya suffered a large rectal prolapse.

We called the vet and told them we were on the way and they were good enough to spare one of the vets to quickly give her small 5 minute operation under anaesthetic to put the prolapse back in. The veterinary staffs were much taken with Little Freya, as everyone she met was, and they knew how important she was as a rare species and helped us every step of the way to try and get her back to full health so she could return to the wild.
The vet put in a purse string suture which was to hold the rectum in place but that evening it came out again, worse this time, to the point where the end of the colon could be seen, we were so stressed and so worried all night we didn’t get any sleep, we kept it wet with glucose water until we could rush her to the vet first thing Thursday morning.

The options were weighed before she had her surgery. We were stuck in a Catch 22. Being a small animal, with no information or reference to advise us on how well Green Ringtails handle anaesthetic, there was a chance that the surgery could kill her, but without the surgery and just to put the prolapse back in a second time could result in a third prolapse and us having to make the decision to put her down.
So four hours of pacing a hole in the floor later we got the phone rang, it was the vet saying Freya was out of surgery, she was awake and ready to come home, no problems occurred during the procedure.

Every hurdle, she has overcome and when they called saying that she had survived we didn’t think anything would ever stop her, she had a strong desire to live. She was a brave and beautiful girl.

Having not eaten since the previous afternoon she was hungry and once back at the centre she relaxed and quite happily went to sleep in her pouch down Hannah’s t-shirt after a little bit of milk. We maintained very small, regular feeds all evening to give her little bottom some rest time but that evening before bed her little heart suddenly failed and she died in Hannah’s arms.

Green Ringtails, being rare and stressful, there is no way to know if it was the anaesthetic that caused her to die or just the stress from the whole situation. The Green Ringtails have been known to just die unexpectantly due to stress or separation anxiety. It is because of this that Freya spent the whole four weeks living in a pouch, pegged to the inside of Hannah’s t-shirt, day and night. If she was put down she would cry until she was picked up again.

Such a beautiful animal to care for, she will be dearly missed; her little smiling chubby face was the highlight of everyone’s day. She was the first topic of conversation everyday when the local volunteers came over to help with the fruit chopping. Although she only left us last night, we cannot believe that she is gone and we are burying her under our favourite tree later this afternoon where beautiful white flowers will always stand above her.

Many of you hadn’t heard of a Green Ringtail Possum before you saw Freya and when we first announced her to you, her picture was viewed by thousands of people. Although we won’t get to watch her grow up and get released, she at least raised the awareness of her species ten-fold during her short stay with us.

We did everything we could to save her but in the end you can only try your best.

Thank you all for following her story, although brief, she was a beautiful individual and will always be loved. We all look forward to seeing her again one day at the Rainbow Bridge…x

Freya well xxx

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