Most of the exotic animals brought into Big Cat Rescue
require regular visits with the vet. (Dr. Stacie Wadsworth and Dr. Jim Ray of Carrollwood Cats) Transporting large animals offsite is very difficult in most cases, and many times regular vets simply don't have the equipment to adequately treat them.
But going in to the procedure, veterinarian Stacie Wadsworth had a sinking feeling that her last hope for diagnosing why Nakoma couldn't walk would not work.
feared the lion would have to be destroyed.
Just before 2 p.m. Sunday, her
fears were confirmed.
The MRI -- which Wadsworth
had hoped would show a bone problem that could be treated by surgery -- showed there was nothing that could be treated.
To make matters worse, Nakoma
had trouble breathing while under anesthesia and had to be rushed to Wadsworth's veterinary practice for artificial respiration.
, but in those critical minutes afterward, they had to make a decision.
They decided to euthanize the 2-year-old male.
"It was very difficult," said Wadsworth, a veterinarian at Carrollwood Cats who had been treating the lion for 1 1/2 years.
Ultimately, however, "There was nothing we could do," Wadsworth