Monday, March 26, 2007

Negro is making progress

Negro came to us on the 24th February 2007 but it was not until the 28th that we diagnosed Rickets. We began his treatment at once. Negro’s recovery from Rickets is slow but definite. He is housed in a small hospital enclosure in order to lessen the chance of hurting himself. A fall or misfooting in a large enclosure could be disastrous, particularly if he were to damage his weak backbone. He has a dietary supplement in milk, of Vitamins and calcium in addition to his regular meals. He has this twice a day. It was difficult, at first to get him to accept the milk. We were told when he arrived that he did not drink milk because it gave him hiccups. This turned out to be a myth fortunately.
I have been a doubting Thomas all through this treatment. I just could not see how a belated supply of calcium could reinforce already formed bone. Each day Negro displays more activity. He is using his legs, arms and tail much more vigorously. This can only be because there is less pain and more strength in these limbs. His characteristic gait, walking on his forearms rather than his hands is also noticeably less. This is the feature of his recovery which has surprised me most. I was prepared to believe that he could metabolize the calcium into bone but I thought that the gait was not only a matter of bone structure but also of habit. Of course he is young and still growing and that must be the explanation of the changes in the bone. Naturally it makes me unhappy to see him in a small enclosure. I want to see him swinging on ropes and climbing trees. His incarceration will probably continue for another month.

His location does have compensations. He is very close to the enclosure with MonaLisa Emma, Rosita, Nancy as well as Mañiña and Schatov. There is considerable interaction between them and he now joins in the morning and evening chorus. He has a very fine voice. Rosita is a frequent visitor. She wriggles through the wire whenever Negro gets his food. This is usually just a few minute before her food is served but she just can’t wait. Rosita and Negro are becoming good friends. She is probably his first friend.
We are already thinking about his future. Maybe Sussy would accept him as a surrogate son. There is a possibility that Chippy, the very beautiful female howler from San Carlos may be coming to live with us soon. She also might want a son. Howlers are very particular when choosing friends and it will be a matter of asking them who they prefer to live with.

No comments: