Sad day!! I could use advice.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mmttw, May 26, 2012.

  1. mmttw

    mmttw Hatching

    Feb 29, 2012
    Took my beloved rooster to the vet today, and found out that he has a tumor on the back of his head. I have only had him for about a month and a half. I got him and a hen from a local rescue, and they both immediately stole my heart. His girlfriend came with some mysterious infection, and died two weeks ago. He is very depressed, and I believe this has caused this tumor to start growing faster. He had it when I got him, but this is my first time having chickens and he is a Silkie, so I wasn't sure what all growth their should be making his "comb". The vet I saw wanted another vet with more experience to decide if surgery would help him or not, so I am stuck waiting until next week to find out if that's even an option.

    Has anyone else had tumors on their chickens? Particularly on their head? If so, what did you do, and how did it turn out? I am in full on freak out mode. I just lost her, I don't want to lose him too.
  2. Mama Hen Chris

    Mama Hen Chris Songster

    Aug 24, 2010
    Peoria, AZ
    I am no expert but I couldn't figure out why my pullet stopped laying. I checked her over and found some type of bug eggs attached to her feathers near her vent. I figure I would give her a bath with coconut shampoo and as I got near her head, I found this tumor. She has such thick feathers, I was surprised I missed it. I took her to the vet and he removed it and it healed up nicely. It was like a sebaceous cyst. She began to eat and feel better but then she started downhill again. I found more cysts all over her body. I was shocked and she passed away sometime during the night.

    Both her sisters had passed prior to this (they had other issues) and I do think she was very depressed.

    I hope this is not the case for you. I understand how you feel and keep us posted on your roo. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. mmttw

    mmttw Hatching

    Feb 29, 2012
    That actually looks quite a bit like his. I really hope it isn't fatal. He is a huge cuddle bug, and I just adore him. She was also a snuggler, both with me, and him, and I know he misses her. He hasn't crowed more than a handful of times since she passed. I think it may be suppressing his immune system. They did give me an immunity booster for him, but it is really odd stuff. I hope it helps.

    Thanks so much for responding. I am really not doing well with this :(.
  4. ellend

    ellend Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    cleveland, ohio
    So sorry about your boy. I've been rescuing wildlife and domestics since childhood, and it's always horrible and heartbreaking when things go south. The WORST, though, is the regrets about waiting too long to "do the right thing" because of hoping they'll recover with treatment, and inadvertently causing them suffering. Now I try very hard to error on the side of caution--euthanasia beats suffering. Not always successful at that, though, because my crystal ball doesn't work. : (

    I hope your case is a benign tumor that can be excised. Good luck. If things don't go your way, though, be kind to him, and kind to yourself; you gave him a wonderful period of life, and kindness. He's not replaceable, but there are so many more needing rescue--if you lose him, I hope you will pass on the gift he gave you to another in-desperate-need creature. It's the best we can do.
  5. mmttw

    mmttw Hatching

    Feb 29, 2012
    Thank you so much for understanding. Unfortunately, I did end up losing him. We went in to have the tumor removed, and when they went to stick the tube down his throat to knock him out, they found another tumor in there, and the tube would not go in. I did supportive care for the rest of his life, and he did well right up until he just passed away in sometime between lights out, and morning. The vet said it was a virus that causes cancer that he had passed to her, and they both died of the same thing.

    I was devastated, but my rescue gal that I got them from saw it differently. She was sad that they had passed, but she had learned that I would do anything for them while they were in my care, so she started working me not long after. She had a tiny little "girl" that was super flighty, and afraid of everything. This little one was not doing well with all of the bigger chickens at the rescue, so I agreed to try again (after disinfecting the crap out of everything they had touched, and most things they hadn't). After much trust building, we made friends, but I knew chickens are happier with friends of their own kind too, so I also took on two little girls that seemed to get along well enough with my Autumn. I am back in with both hands and both feet. The little girl ended up being (of course) a boy, but the two girls are actually girls, and they get along really well. They are all very sweet, and very well loved by me too. These three seem to be healthy, and my Autumn (the rooster) has grown into a very loving little man. The girls came that way, but Autumn took a little more work lol.

    I still miss Buck and Tilly (the first two), but the three I have now have done a lot for healing my heart, and I am a die hard chicken fan for life now.

    In all honesty, if I had known for sure how Buck would go, I probably would have gone the more humane route, but also honestly, I couldn't stand the thought of losing him. It was probably a little selfish, but in my defense, he was still eating and drinking, and seeming to me like there was a chance he would recover right up until the end. Hindsight being 20/20 I know he was telling me he didn't want to continue fighting, but I loved that little guy with all my heart, and wanted him to come around and be able to bond with another female some day (didn't know he was contagious). He did not know of this plan, and mourned Tilly so much he couldn't work up the will to live without her.

    Thanks again for understanding, and it's great to know there are others like me. In rescue, when you win, there is nothing like it. When you lose, it hurts like a bugger. You keep going for the wins.

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