By Chris R.
Within an hour, Austin was on his way to emergency for
assistance. Dr Peter gave pain relief, fluids, cleaned his wounds and
tucked him in at ICU, which would become his home for the next ten days.
|Austin with his rescuer|
Austin’s determination and his need for affection soon won
the hearts and minds of all who encountered him in clinic. He was given
the best care and attention while in ICU and after two weeks, was able to
come home to the Sanctuary. Upon his return, we commenced intensive
antibiotic treatment on Austin’s eyes. He was patient and cooperative
despite the three hourly drops throughout the day and night. Sadly, the
fly damage to his eyes before his rescue was irreparable and on day three of
treatment, the decision was made to surgically remove Austin’s eyes to give him
every chance of a full recovery. He returned to clinic on the Monday, following
lots and hugs and encouragement, for his procedure.
Austin’s eye removal surgery went to plan and two days later
he was given the all clear to return to the Valley. He was quiet but
comfortable and spent his first night cuddling his new toys, donated by the
volunteers. He had time with his new foster lamb fam, with Buddy, Teddy
and Alby very keen to meet a new friend. By Sunday, we noticed a decline
in Austin’s energy levels and appetite and a visit to clinic first this Monday
Sadly, Austin’s little body was struggling. Three weeks of fighting infections was taking its toll. But Austin didn’t give up. On the Tuesday, following fluids, a change in antibiotics and readmission to ICU, baby Austin again rallied. He stood up and nibbled hay and we were excited. Sadly, our joy was short lived. After another day, Austin’s little body crashed. At midnight that night, the vet team who had helped him live for the past three weeks now said goodbye, patting his frail body as he at last found his wings.
The impact of Austin’s fight was profound. During his
short time, Sanctuary volunteers and followers, veterinary staff and students
were touched by his spirit. While his story has a heartbreaking end,
Austin’s legacy remains, as does that of all the animals loved and lost in the
Valley. Each year, we work hard to save animals whose chances of survival
may be low. No matter what the chance, there is always hope.
Rest in peace little Austin, a tiny hero, always in our