Wolf care staff noticed Lucas having difficulty with balance and stability in his hind legs this morning. The Center Veterinarian, Dr. Chip Hanson arrived for an examination and prescribed Deramax, a pain killer to ease his discomfort from a chronic degenerative spine condition. If this is not effective, a more aggressive treatment with steroids may be implemented. This spinal condition was first identified in the October 2004 immobilzation, where all the wolves were drugged and brought to the lab for a complete examination. Staff have been monitoring his comfort level and were quick to note any change in behavior, attitude or pain response. He's been on joint and immuno-nutritional aid supplements for the management of chronic inflammatory conditions for the last several years. The last several weeks, wolf care staff have had many daily brushing sessions to remove shedding hair in efforts to make him more comfortable. As his winter coat was shed, his physical structure was more apparent. He appears to be losing muscle tone and motor skills as well as having difficulty with muscle control during defecation, possibly indicating that this condition is worsening. Wolf care staff delivered a straw bale to the pack for more comfort and warmth during today's rain. Lucas was hand fed several pounds of meat after the Deramax treatment and will be on daily feedings to reduce and stomach discomfort during the treatments. With the Ethology class on site this week, there is significant observation time to monitor his health. We will post to the logs any significant changes that may occur.

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