Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff treating Penny’s current condition as serious

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-21 19:58:46-04

Penny’s current condition is being treated as serious, according to the most recent update on the newest member of the giraffe herd at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Penny recently re-injured her back right leg after being found splayed in her stall shortly after she was born in early June. The Zoo said they are now treating her current condition as serious and taking it day by day.

Penny underwent surgery earlier in the month after she hadn’t laid down in over four days, according to the zoo. 

Veterinary and zoo staff have been continuing to treat and monitor her for an abscess discovered behind her right hind leg. Although the abscess is the primary concern, the idea that Penny could overcompensate her weight into her two front legs became care team members’ secondary concern. 

Penny underwent a procedure on July 11, where casts were put on her two front legs in hopes to prevent her from overcompensating any weight to the front of her body. The zoo said the giraffe calf did have some trouble figuring out how to move with her new casts on, but her care team kept a close eye on her to help with any tumbles.

Veterinary staff also drained the abscess to relieve any excess fluid that same week. 

Penny’s care team later decided to have the casts removed on July 16, due to a growing concern that Penny wasn’t getting enough rest while laying down with the casts on. Zoo staff wrote in their most recent update, "the hope was that the casts were on long enough to allow her fetlocks to correct themselves, but unfortunately, that was not the case."

The giraffe calf has developed dropped fetlocks in her front legs, which is swelling around the fetlock and knee joints, according to the zoo. So, custom splints have been made to provide the animal comfort while the veterinary team begins cold laser therapy.

The zoo has also consulted with an equine veterinarian and chiropractor to discuss treatment going forward. To donate to Penny’s care, click here