Two Instances of Crippled Pups This Year

I’m posting videos from two families today. Both families lost one of their pups early on — we don’t know the cause, but we do know that young pup mortality rate is high. In addition, each of these families has a youngster whose walking is compromised, leaving them physically challenged and disadvantaged.

The mobility problem, as seen by a wildlife vet who looked at one of the videos, seems not to lie in the legs, but in the lower back. I saw both of these youngsters early on in their lives, either in videos from field cameras or first-hand, and neither began life with this disability. It’s highly possible there was a lower spinal back injury, or there may be a developmental problem, or a disease that caused this, such as distemper. With distemper, which is a disease currently going around in our wildlife community, tremors, twitching, imbalance, and limb weakness all may occur. Signs may progress to death or may become non-progressive and permanent. Recovery is also possible [Google]. There is no cure.

Both the vet and I decided that it would be best to leave these animals to live their lives naturally. Coyotes are hardy, hopefully they will overcome their handicaps.

This is Tiny Tim. This video was taken at 2.5 months of age. He has improved tremendously and I’ll post that improvement soon.

I named the first little fella Tiny Tim, taken from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The second I’ve named/labeled Adams after Jane Adams, John Adams’ daughter, who was left crippled after contracting a fever as a young child. Please know that childhood diseases and injuries can lead to life-long disabilities in all species.

The important thing to note here is that these compromised youngsters are not being rejected by their families: they are right in there, interacting and participating to the fullest. It’s heartwarming to see this. It will be interesting to follow these two, if we are able to, to see how their lives progress.

If you see a coyote with walking difficulty — maybe not even difficulty, but definitely walking differently — please video or photograph and send to me: we can do updates occasionally! The second video in this posting in fact is not mine, but sent to me by Nick Jago who did a great job of videoing this family. Thank you, Nick! :)

This is the second youngster — taken when the pup is four-months-old — with apparently the same affliction. Notice how she interacts absolutely normally with her family members: the compromised animal, though disadvantaged, is living a normal life.

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