Out of the multitude of animals we rescued over the years, this Christmas we had a very special and more demanding one.
Meet Beella, the sheep (or more precisely, ewe).
I’ve found her on Dec 25th in the Studencic area (after Liski and on the bases of the Osorscica mountain) unable to walk and barely crawling a few cm trying to hide. Although she’s from the Island of Losinj, she’s a “wild” (a few generations of sheep that lived freely and unconstrained on our island) member of the Creska breed (Cres sheep – Creska ovca).Although I initially though she wouldn’t have made it, she survived the night and I brought her home the next day to either see if we could address her condition or avoid a slow and painful death. She looked kind of pregnant to my untrained eye due to an enlarged udder (I also thought she was larger but turned out I was wrong on that) and our dear vet, Aleksandra Pap Devcic, suggested that she might be hypocalcemic due to her fetus using up the calcium to grow and the arid conditions of the area where I’ve found her.Turns out she was right and a few hours after receiving a large dose of calcium she managed to stand up – almost magically and similarly to that story when Jesus told a paralyzed man “Get up and walk” and so he did (not that I believe in miracles – I do however believe in medical biochemistry). When talking calcium, don’t think about slow processes like osteoporosis and such. Beella had no such condition. Think instead cell signaling where calcium and potassium ions play an essential role and without the correct concentration of them, the pathways of our bodies cease to function. (Some of you with certain cardiac conditions will surely have heard about medications that act as calcium channel blockers.) After her calcium levels return into a normal range her muscles regain function and she slowly started recovering.
For the first few days she was still regaining her appetite (one’d need muscles to eat) and complete mobility but after 2-3 days, she’s like new. I’ve also removed tens of ticks from her which might have worsened her condition. Following the first few days she was acting normally and became very tame – although she was “wild” and never had any close human interaction before, she’d come when called and eat from my hand. Her favorite treats were apples and a piece of toast but she’d mainly eat lots of hey and oak leaves (“crnika”).Due to her probably being pregnant (the alternative hypothesis is that she had a spontaneous abortion but currently, the former hypothesis seems even more probable) and the risk for remission I didn’t feel at ease releasing her where I’ve found her (in an area of food and water scarcity for her). I also didn’t feel like giving her to somebody who’d just treat her as a money making machine and kill her eventual child.
This is where Grgina Arka jumped in to help and offered her (and her eventual child) a safe home to live happily forever and ever. After about 10 days spent with Beella being our guests, I brought her to Grgin Konak / Grgina Arka where she’ll continue to live, receive Ca if she ever end up having hypocalcemia again and maybe give birth to a beautiful lam of a Creska breed, this time somewhere far away from our island in a small safe corner near Bjelovar.