One of our oldest cheetahs, Sandy, has not been doing well in the recent past. At 17, Sandy is one of the oldest living cheetahs in the world and one of CCF’s favourite cheetahs, coming to CCF when she was just 3 months of age. At the beginning of May, the cheetah team had noticed a decrease in appetite and a change in behavior and immediately started frequent observations on her through out the day. At this time, we were able to obtain blood on Sandy which was sent to a lab for analysis. Sandy’s appetite and attitude seemed to increase in positive way, but unfortunately, after a couple of days, Sandy’s health went back downhill.
Our veterinary team opted to anesthetize Sandy for a full medical checkup and to administer antibiotics, fluids and steroids. Sandy made a full recovery from anesthesia and the team soon received blood work results. Sandy has been diagnosed with acute renal failure. Renal disease is one of the main causes of death in cats, including cheetahs. It has been a difficult week working with Sandy and getting her comfortable enough to allow us to administer fluids every other day and give her injections daily. However, with the treatment Sandys health has improved and her attitude is almost back to normal. She is not out of the woods yet, but the team will be obtaining blood work again to compare her organ functioning to see how we need to proceed next. Dr. Laurie Marker has known Sandy since she was a small cub and provided close care for her during her younger days. Once again, Dr. Marker is helping the team care for Sandy and has allowed the team to provide medical care without having to anesthetize or use physical restraint. Sandy will be on supportive care for the rest of her life, but the CCF team was been able to work quickly and efficiently to provide Sandy with some extra time with us as they get her through her renal disease.