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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
8 September 1999 Issue

Twinkie
By FurCare@aol.com

Twinkie is a young male raccoon, born about May of this year. On July 7th of this year, Twinkie was hit by a car. The accident caused multiple compound fractures to Twinkie's left front leg, a head injury, and possible internal injuries. Twinkie was brought to our center virtually unconscious. The future did not look too bright for him.

We treated his open wounds and gave him antibiotics and fluids. A few hours later he was able to drink on his own with a little help from us. We started him on a liquid diet. His wounds would have to heal closed before his leg could be set and casted. He was kept in a small cage to prevent his moving about and fitted with a collar to prevent him licking or biting the bandages on his leg.

He never lost his appetite (I don't think 'coons ever do) and ate and drank well when we held his bowl near him. He progressed well in the next two days and we changed him to a "soft" diet. His bowel and urinary functions were normal which indicated no serious internal injuries.

His bloodshot eyes cleared up and he perked up well. Getting more and more feisty. I was actually glad when he tried to bite me as I changed his bandage.

Within a week, the wounds dried and closed and his leg could be set and cast. He really didn't like this apparatus, but that was good too!!!! He was put on a normal diet, and quickly gained weight and strength.

About two weeks ago, the cast came off. Twinkie's leg was stiff and he didn't use it much. I thought he might end up being a permanent resident of the center. But in a few days he began to use the leg and it was no longer stiff. Within a week, he was using it in a normal fashion.

Why the name "Twinkie"? One of the treats we give the 'coons here is day old twinkies we buy at the bakery outlet. "Twinkie" loved them and as soon as he got his cast off used BOTH front paws to grab them through the cage.

Last week, I took Twinkie to a nearby state park. His seven week visit with us was nearing an end. It was early morning, and a cool one at that, unusual for this summer. I took him in a carrier for a long walk far from the roads (he had a history of trouble with roads). As the morning dew in the tall grass wet my legs, I wondered if that was what made me feel cold. I definitely had chills. Did Twinkie know he was leaving us?

I set the carrier down and opened the door. He took off like a shot, no sign of ever being injured. Just as I was about to shout "INGRATE!!!!", Twinkie stopped on the trail and looked back at me for a few moments, then disappeared into his new home.

Good-bye Twinkie.

Go on to Nikola Tesla
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