On the morning of October the 7th we found Luna, our black leopard curled up in her house surrounded by vomit. On entering her enclosure we found even more vomit in her camp. She looked exhausted and not at all happy. In cases like these we have a period of observation to try to determine what can be wrong.
Staff sat with her throughout the day and although she came over to say hello, it was clear that something wasn't right. We considered the possibility of an obstruction in her throat.
Unable to get a vet out that afternoon due to it being the weekend, Luna was checked on hourly throughout the night. We hoped there would be some improvement by the morning but sadly not.
Dr Claudia Cordel came out to visit and agreed that we would need to sedate Luna to investigate. We successfully darted and sedated Luna before transporting her to the Cheetah Experience vet clinic. An x-ray was performed to determine whether or not there was an obstruction but the x-rays were unclear. Luna was put on a drip, bloods were taken and a thorough physical exam took place. Dr Claudia was unable to get a clear view of Luna's throat so we decided to transport her to a local vet practice to see if they could help.
Dr Claudia and Dr Rochelle examined Luna, intubated her and maintained the anaesthetic while consulting with a specialist practice in Johannesburg. Unable to have a clear view of Luna's throat, they were unable to extract any possible obstruction without potentially tearing the osophagus. A tear to the osophagus is fatal.... Luna's condition was serious, without intervention she wouldn't be able to eat and drink, without the perfect intervention there was a high chance she wouldn't make it.
It was decided that transferring her through to Johannesburg would give her the best chance of survival. Fourways in Joburg has some of the best and most up to date equipment as well as being the closest available emergency clinic.
Staff and our volunteer vet nurse accompanied and drove Luna through a huge storm to get to the Fourways clinic safely. Luna had to remain asleep the whole was and was monitored constantly.
On arrival at the clinic (at 11pm) the clinic staff jumped into action, they gave Luna another X-ray, ultrasound and scoped her to try to see what the problem was. Everything including the bloods came back clear, we are left a bit baffled as to why Luna so suddenly became so ill, but on return to Cheetah Experience (at 4am next morning) she looked so much better. It is unclear as to whether the treatment or the drive dislodged the obstruction, or if there was never an obstruction in the first place. Either way, when Luna was fully awake he was clearly back to her old self. Her behaviour returned to normal, she was playing, running around and stalking again!
It has taken a bit longer for her appetite to return, but specially prepared meals of chicken fillet with her medication is given daily and she has begun to eat better.
Whatever it was, we are glad that she feels better. The Cheetah Experience and the veterinary staff all worked seamlessly to help save her life. Ultimately it is a miracle... one which we can never say thank you enough!
Luna's vet bills have so far come to R8489, please can you consider donating and sharing our campaign with friends, family and colleagues to help us raise the funds.
Thank you to all, love from Luna and the team at Cheetah Experience