Some of these photos are painful to view. This is a shot of Caplin Rous a few days after he was neutered. He could not stand or sit by himself. You can see how his paws are contracted in the front and his legs are all stiff. You can also notice that his hind end is not under him. At this point he had almost no control of his limbs.
This is taken five days later. I got him a special pool that wasn’t too deep and that I could fit on the porch because it was raining all the time that year (unlike this year when it never rains). I wanted him to be able to use his legs as much as possible and being in the water meant he didn’t need them to carry his weight. Normally a pool with an inflatable rim is a terrible idea for a capybara.
He got out of the pool before I could stop him and this is what it looked like. The poor baby! What you can’t see is that he was virtually blind too since he had ulcers on this eyes. The ulcers were caused by him not blinking for about the first day after his surgery.
Two weeks later, he seemed fully recovered, other than losing a little bit of weight. He was too big for me to pick up but Sheldon is stronger than I am. I think this is the last time he went to work with me.
The sad thing is, it is possible that the neutering surgery is what eventually killed him. The anesthesia that caused his paralysis may have damaged his liver, which is why it took so long to clear out of his system. Conversely, he may have already had a bad liver and that’s why he couldn’t clear the anesthesia out. We will never know.
Fully recovered, Caplin was back to his old antics. Swimming in the creek was about his favorite thing to do in the world.
Unlike Garibaldi, Caplin was not afraid to go anywhere or do anything. In this photo he is visiting his favorite fourth grade class. You can see how little he was but also how well-behaved. The kids practically fought over who would get to hold the leash.
Caplin adored all the attention and you can see he was perfectly comfortable being in a strange place and surrounded by children. Nothing ever phased him.
Another difference between Caplin and Garibaldi is the use of pool toys. Caplin loved to chase a toy, grab it and try to rip it to shreds. He could grab that ball and I’d use the rubber loop to pull him all over the pool. Garibaldi likes pool toys okay, but he is not fighting with them. At most he is trying to throw them around.
This is the first photo I can find of Caplin eating his signature food, the popsicle. He already has his second signature food, yogurt, on his nose. He liked most flavors of popsicles but, surprisingly, not blueberry.
Don’t forget that if you’d like to buy a Caplin Rous Commemorative Necklace, they are on sale for $15 until his birthday on July 10th. Supplies are limited.