Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cabinwriter, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. cabinwriter

    cabinwriter Hatching

    Apr 2, 2009
    Our two-year-old turken Zsa Zsa, who 18 months ago survived a rattlesnake bite to the neck thanks to my wife's love and dedication and hand-feeding, died yesterday. Here's what happened:

    She had been listless for several days, staying away from other chickens, sometimes refusing food, even grapes, her favorite. Debra put down paper towels and kept Zsa on the bed with her at night, gave her water through an eye-dropper, forced bits of food through her beak, and after a week, she appeared to be completely recovered. After another week, however, the symptoms returned along with a new one (swollen abdomen) and Debra decided it was time to see the vet.

    The diagnosis? Peritonitis. The recommended procedure? Give her half of a 25 mg caplet of Novox twice a day for seven days plus a 375 mg tablet of Clavamox twice a day for 14 days plus a subcutaneous injection of 60 ccs of Lactated Ringer's twice daily for five days and then once daily for five days. The vet's technician showed us how to load the syringe and attach the tube and needle. She then put Zsa Zsa on her back, saying this would calm her, and pointed out the crevice between the thigh and the body where the needle was to be inserted. I only wish now that I had insisted that the technician actually administer the first injection. Instead we drove Zsa home, gave her the pills and put her on her back.

    I held her while Debra prepared the syringe, made sure there was no air in the line and inserted the needle as we had been instructed. Zsa was anything but calm She struggled mightily as Debra began pressing the plunger to pump in the (hopefully) life-saving fluid. When the syringe was almost empty, Zsa stopped struggling and went limp. We removed the needle, then both of us burst into tears as we realized she was dead and we had killed her.

    Before we take up this matter with the veterinary clinic, I decided we should post the details on a couple of poultry sites to see if anyone can shed some light on what might have gone wrong.

    She was an incredible bird, a true best friend who was fond of hopping into our laps as we read on the porch, nudging us for pats and bringing joy into our lives.

    She will be sorely missed.


  2. chiknlady

    chiknlady Songster

    May 12, 2008
    SE PA
    so sorry for your loss...
  3. karen71

    karen71 Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Bear, DE
    I am sorry for your loss
  4. Lets Farm!

    Lets Farm! In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2009
    I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope there's some one on who can give you some advice and comfort.
  5. Hens_And_Chicks

    Hens_And_Chicks Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    I'm so sorry.

    You meant well.

  6. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    oh, my heart breaks for you. Yes, it would have been better had the tech taken the time to actually administer the first injection (or have you do it there in the office under supervision). Take comfort in knowing that Zsa Zsa (I also have a Zsa Zsa; she's a Silkie) knew she was loved, and she had a good life. I'm so sorry for your loss.
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I'm so sorry for your loss.
  8. thebritt

    thebritt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Did the technician tell you that, once the needle is inserted, you need to pull the plunger out a little to be sure you're not in a blood vessle (blood would enter the srynge, and you would know to pull it out, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and try another spot nearby)? It's possible the needle hit a major blood vessle, such as the femoral artery. That would explain the quick death. Very sorry for your loss. It sucks to have to learn a lesson in such a traumatic manner.
    Note: This is the same for giving any injection to any animal.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm so sorry, it's especially heartbreaking when something you were doing to *help* ends with them dying.

    It is possible of course that something went wrong with the injection, but remember that it is also possible that just the general stress of the (perfectly sensible) procedure was too much for her fragile heart and the dice just rolled the wrong way. There is some risk of that in treating *any* stressed, ill small animal.

    It sure sounds to me like you did the right thing and have nothing to blame yourself for, no matter how bad you might understandably feel.

    Big hug,


  10. cabinwriter

    cabinwriter Hatching

    Apr 2, 2009
    Debra and I thank all of you for your kind words of support as we deal wth the loss of Zsa Zsa. Your generosity in sharing comments and theories with us is most comforting. -cabinwriter

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