Captain Salomon, aka Solly, was rescued as when he was a few weeks old along with his brother named Rue (who was rescued by our friends at BellaView Farm Sanctuary). It was clear from the start that both have the same medical condition, which first only impacted the laxity in their legs. For a few months, he got along great in his wheelchair. One day Solly had some trouble getting around, but was mysteriously not in pain. A routine xray shocked us by showing a several fractures, some new and some old, but most startlingly, a large break in his femur. His brother Rue also suffered a break in his femur, and it became clear that these boys had a genetic condition that caused extremely brittle bones, especially in their back legs.
Our vets have collaborated with human doctors and famous sheep specialists across the globe to try and diagnose Solly's condition, but it seems like it's something never seen before.
We were faced with two options: amputate, or fix the fracture with surgery. We opted for surgery, and thanks to the help of his incredibly medical team and the donations and prayers from Ziggy nation, everything went better than we could have hoped. Fast forward a few months and the unthinkable happened. Baby Solly was being carried inside after a morning full of fun in his wheelchair, when his caretaker's feet got tangled in a blanket on the floor and they both fell. Solly's bones, as delicate as they are, were broken in several places in his back legs. It was heartbreaking, stressful, and everyone was worried sick. We didn't want to ignore Solly's quality of life, and didn't think it would be fair to put him through more surgery and pins in his bones, especially when they could break again later down the line.
Solly thrived after his bilateral leg amputation. Though he couldn't walk, he enjoyed being pushed around in his wheelchair, being carried everywhere, and even swinging in his outdoor swing. Solly bonded closely with Moko, our other disabled sheep. The two became dubbed the "bed sheep" in our house, and every night, they slept in a king sized bed with Jay, fighting for his attention. Solly lived another 1.5 years after this surgery with no complications whatsoever - it seemed like taking off those unhealthy legs solved many of his medical issues. In March 2022, we unexpectedly lost Solly. The weather had begun warming up again, and he had spent all day outside playing with his friends, getting snuggles, and getting pushed in his swing. That evening, we noticed he seemed uncomfortable, was breathing heavily and his heart was pounding. Within 20 minutes, his heart began to slow, and he seemed almost peaceful as he passed in our arms. Meanwhile, we felt like the world was ending. Rue passed away in a similar manner, almost exactly a year prior. Our vet believes these random cardiac arrests that took these precious souls too soon was likely related to the myriad of genetic malformations, which we can only guess was underlying and impacting their hearts all along. Adjusting to life without Solly has been so hard on us and on Moko, Solly's best friend. Solly was truly the epitome of innocence, and although 2 years was far too short, we feel truly blessed for those beautiful years we did have with him, even though we were expecting a lifetime more with him.