Gipsy is an old camel of around 25 years old who worked in a circus. One day a veterinarian from the region calls Patrick Violas and Florence Ollivet-Courtois to consult on the animal which had a serious anterior right limp.
Result: Gipsy's state is not compatible with travel and work. But the circus has to go again. The owner therefore decides to entrust them with his camel so that they can take care of her.
All animals deserve the best treatments as long as they fight with us (otherwise it is relentless). And Gipsy is a fighter! We gave her x rays: carp fracture (wrist). Gipsy was taken to an equine clinic to have an MRI. She should not move when her limb is in the narrow conduit surrounding her fractured limb. So they need to tranquillise her enough to keep her quiet, without spitting on everyone, but not too much for her to stand.
Her life depends on it, this exam will let us know if we can try a surgery. With her strong will and Patrick Violas who puts her under, his back against her thorax to support her, Gipsy brilliantly passes his examination which reveals a possibility of surgery.
You have to completely shave the hairy limb for surgery. We’re in October, the camel is in winter hair which protects her from the extreme temperatures that her species encounters in her home environment (-30°C in the Gobi Desert). It took three people, several hair clippers and other scissors to get to the end in time! Gipsy endures it without too much reaction (a mask was put on her nose to avoid sputum and other bites all the same).
The operation lasted 5 hours. Unfortunately, the surgery did not restore function to the joint. But Gipsy gets up every day and walks around at her own pace. She eats, doesn’t lose weight and doesn’t give up her life as a retired, somewhat handicapped, but serene camel. We brought in a prosthetic technician who makes her a prosthesis to help her walk. A saddler makes a custom harness to hold the brace.
Gipsy continues to exemplify will and self-denial every day, despite her age and disability. Respect.