Sasha lioness recovering after major surgery

Sasha is recovering after several hours of highly complex surgery on her leg, to repair damage caused by a botched declawing operation in the circus. Her toes were cut off, but Sasha was left with a damaged, infected toe.

When ADI took Sasha out of the circus in Guatemala we saw she was limping. We arranged ultrasound and x-rays in our temporary rescue centre. The remains of the painful toe were removed in our field hospital, and a slow-moving cancer was diagnosed. The vets warned that a follow-up would be needed with better equipment and facilities.

Since her arrival at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, she has been carefully monitored and received painkillers for her limp. Dr Peter Caldwell has conducted a full range of x-rays, blood and tissue tests before suggesting a sophisticated operation to give her back the use of her leg – removal of 8cm of damaged bone and a titanium and bone cement implant.

We gave the go-ahead for the operation and further investigation, to give Sasha the best chance of a happy life at the sanctuary after years of suffering and negligent care in the circus.

Sasha is now recovering, and appears to very much enjoy being hand-fed special treats by the veterinary team! She is under constant observation. Good news is that there is no trace of the original fibrosarcoma and no cancer in her lungs or other organs, she is fit, but a bone cyst has fractured her leg. All of the damaged bone and tissue has been removed for testing to check for any further disease. We are dearly hoping that Sasha will fully recover use of her leg and be pain and cancer free.

The materials, equipment and intensive care are going to be expensive, and her stay in hospital will be long and costly, requiring constant attention and pain control. It will take about 4-6 weeks. She will remain in hospital until fully fit. Dr Caldwell believes the repair can give Sasha a good life.

You will notice from her photos, that Sasha has a (rather gorgeous) mane. This is due to a hormone imbalance and following sterilization in Guatemala her mane dropped away for a time, but has returned. This will also be investigated and resolved in case it causes any further health issues.

Thanks to the generosity of one of our anonymous donors, the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary is covered for day-to-day veterinary needs – but we are now facing an expensive challenge to give Sasha the best care available.

Please help us do whatever it takes to give Sasha a happy life. She waited all her life for freedom, we brought her to her homeland, now, she really deserves every chance we can give her. Thank you.

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