After we recently posted on our cheetah Sophiah who has been unwell, we received so many enquiries from supporters that we’d like to update you on her progress and fill those in who may have missed our initial posts.

At the beginning of last week she suddenly became very lethargic and disinterested in her food. We contacted Provet Wildlife Services to come and have a look. Dr. Jenine Rabie and Janelle Goodrich came over immediately and examined Sophiah in the feeding enclosure.

Dr Rabie checked Sophiah’s teeth and tongue for ulcers and also her heart, but all seemed well. Palpating the stomach to check the liver, milt and intestines revealed that Sophiah’s abdomen and intestines were badly bloated and that she was dehydrated due to an upset stomach. She was given antibiotics and a two-litre drip to improve her dehydration. Her liver was checked again, but all seemed fine.

Sophiah seemed much better the next day and was given another drip and a shot of antibiotics. Her appetite returned and she gobbled down a kilogram of mince.

The day after, after having had a second kilogram of mince, she seemed better still. We gave her two feeds of a kilogram of mince each to build her digestion up gradually to her normal two-kilogram feed per day.

However, a few days later there was a setback. Sophiah stopped eating and became lethargic again. We took her to Dr. Rabie and when x-rays showed that Sophiah’s abdomen was still full of gas,a decision was made to operate. A blockage was suspected in the intestines, which was removed.

Recovery after surgery

Our patient recovered very well after surgery and was returned to HESC to convalesce. There was no sign of any discomfort after the op and she clearly enjoyed all the attention she received. We initially reduced her feeds to frequent small portions to ensure that there was no further blockage in the intestines and she was soon eating normally again.

She was kept in the HESC hospital for five days to finish her course of antibiotics after which she was reunited with her two sisters in the cheetah enclosure. We believe that Sophiah is back to her normal and beautiful old self again and are grateful for her speedy recovery.