Operation that will remove eye and tumor or not? Advice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicken Chickita, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an 8-month old Polish hen named Mavis. She is a very loved chicken who lives with 2 other young chickens on our enclosed porch and free ranges in the back yard. These chickens are my first attempt at having a flock and whose purpose are as pets. Two weeks ago I noticed a large growth on the side of Mavis's head. I thought that it was an infection but it turned out to be a tumor, more specifically squamous cell carcinoma. I found a wonderful vet who operated right away. He wasn't able to remove the whole tumor without removing her eye but he removed more of it and cut off the blood supply to what was left. We were hoping that the tumor would then die. Saturday I am taking her back in for her follow-up appointment. The tumor is large and has obviously come back. I'm very torn about what to do.

    On one hand, other than the tumor she seems happy and healthly. She is eating and energetic. She's separated from the rest of the flock for the time being but seems happy and loves her constant treats. She's used to being handled so is putting up with the twice daily liquid oral antibiotic and some cuddling. (Ever tried to give a chicken an oral antibiotic twice a day? We must look silly.) She's having a hard time with depth perception as the tumor has enclosed her eye again, but otherwise seems okay. She is only 8 months old and that seems so young to be put down.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure how much she would suffer without an eye since it looks like they will have to remove it to help ensure the tumor doesn't return. The surgery isn't 100% guaranteed. Also, my husband probably thinks I'm being ridiculous paying for surgery for a chicken. I suppose he may be right.

    I'm just trying to figure out what to do. I've been going over and over it in my head. I'd love to hear from other chicken lovers to get their opinions. Thanks!
     
  2. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    not really sure what to say, but, I work in health care and I see lots of people living with their cancers as best they can, if she seems happy, is eating and pooping, etc.. then maybe you can at least wait until she shows signs of pain. This is a tough one, just like putting down your dog, you will always question weather you did it to soon or not soon enough, it's hard to choose when we love them. I wish you and her well.
     
  3. DelawareSilkie

    DelawareSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not going to be the first one to tell you that paying for chicken surgery is rediculous, cause if you love and care for a pet, then the costs do not matter. If you really love this Polish hen, then do whatever you think to ensure her good welfare. If it gets too much for her, then euthanasia might be the better solution. Tumours do not get any better, and if your hen must loose and eye for the sake of her well-being, then do what you must. Put into perspective: A hen without an eye but surrounded by love and safe, secure land is better off than a two-eyed hen enclosed in a tight, stuffy cage without sunlight and regard.

    Some people say that chickens are chickens and you dont need to spend the time and effort on them when they're in critical health, but no one on here would say that. If your pets bring you joy merely just watching them scratch the yard, why not help them in their time of need? I hope everything goes well.
     
  4. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a hen in surgery this afternoon that is going to cost me near a grand. She is a pet and trusts me to take care of her (whether her little brain knows it or not). You are not crazy but compassionate and living up to your deal with your pet.

    As long as the chances are pretty good that this will resolve the problem, and you can afford it, go for it. If you look around BYC, you will see that there are many chickens that are missing an eye or blind and do just fine.

    Do what your gut tells you to do.

    My 2 cents.

    Hugs and good thoughts.
     
  5. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for your encouragement. I'm seriously leaning towards getting her the surgery if her vet thinks that he will be able to remove all of the tumor if he also removes her eye. Everyday when I'm giving her medications to her and putting ointment on her surgery wound she's such a good sport. Plus, I give her an apple each time and she proves that she's still happily eating and enjoying her treats. I do really appreciate your advice! I agree that when she became my pet I promised to take care of her as best I could. I don't know much about squamous cell carncenoma but hopefully it works out.

    This is Mavis before the tumor.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Good luck with your hen! It sounds like she'll be coming home to lots of love. Many hugs to you and your sweetie chicken too!
     
  7. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

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    Quote:[​IMG] I disagree, thats why she was asking for our advice.

    I would do the surgery if money isn't much of a problem. But if it is then I would surpass the surgery and give her the best love you can with the money your willing to spend on her.
     
  8. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] I disagree, thats why she was asking for our advice.

    I would do the surgery if money isn't much of a problem. But if it is then I would surpass the surgery and give her the best love you can with the money your willing to spend on her.

    You make a good point. You probably aren't surprised to hear its the exact point that my wonderful husband and I may disagree on. He's being a great sport and isn't complaining, but I know that he thinks chicken surgery is an excessive expense. He hasn't asked me to cancel the appointment yet. He may be right and my view may be clouded by my love for Mavis, yet presently I'm leaning towards getting her the surgery. At first I thought that if it didn't work the first time that I wouldn't pursue it, but I'm apparently changing my mind.
     
  9. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I have a blind hen and various chickens with one eye.... The blind hen is in a pen with another and a little roo. She still lays, eats and drinks, sings the egg song and perches. My one eyed chickens still run the yard, do all the chicken things they ever did before. They are just easier to catch on that side... LOl

    If you can afford the surgery, then go for it. If you can not, and it is going to affect the lives or well being of your family and other pets, then let her live out her life the best she can and love her all the more while she's with you.
     
  10. Chicken Chickita

    Chicken Chickita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you. That's good to know that your one-eyed chickens do all of the things that they did before. That's very encouraging. That was one of the most important things to me. I think I'm going to have the surgery unless the vet sees her on Saturday and advices against it. I'm glad to hear that your blind or partially blind chickens are happy!
     

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