Upset: Putting one down today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LTygress, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went out this morning and checked on the chickens when I first woke up. I recently put 12 half-grown chicks in the main pen from the brooder, along with a mommy hen and her four chicks. I keep checking in to make sure everyone is getting along. We're on day two, and they're doing just fine.

    I came back inside, and a couple of hours later started making special feed for them. Today was the normal bucket full of crumbles and scratch, but I also mixed in 7 cans of tuna. I have the babies, plus many of the older ones are molting, so I added tuna for extra protein. They also LOVE it, and the tuna is usually gone in a few seconds. Today was no exception!

    Usually after the bucket is empty of feed (poured out in several spots around their pen) I collect eggs back into the same bucket to go back inside. When I bent down into the lean-to looking for eggs, I found one of my buff polish under there laying down. I realized she hadn't been out tearing into the feed like the others do - and none of them have been known to pass up tuna! So that made me worry, but as I put the eggs in the bucket, I realized she was having a lot of trouble standing. I picked her up and noticed her left leg was dangling rather freely.


    I moved it around, and never even felt a muscle tense up in her leg. I felt up the leg, and moved it side-to-side and it hit me. Her leg was completely broken. As I moved it, I felt the popping of tendons, and the scraping of bone against bone. It moved FAR too freely out to the sides, and she still had absolutely no movement in any of it. It feels like the break is somewhere up in her thigh. And I'm betting she was most likely mounted when she wasn't prepared, or was in a bad position for it. Her and her sister had just come into that stage where they are about to lay, and they get mounted a lot because of it right now.

    But I tried one more test to determine what I would do with her.... I clawed into her leg and foot with my own fingernails. Not a single response. She doesn't even feel her leg anymore. By the time I get to a vet, they'll probably charge me hundreds of dollars to fix it - and I VERY seriously doubt she'll ever really have her leg back, if she can't feel it now. The vet will most likely want to take the leg completely off (loss of feeling also probably means loss of blood flow), and/or put her down anyway.


    So when my brother-in-law wakes up, I'm having him put her down. And I'm definitely hurting because she was one of my favorites. She and her sister would always run up to me when they heard me, and stand on my feet. As a buff polish, they are semi-blind because of their crests, but she knew my voice and knew I would protect her and handle her gently. And the sad thing is, I started out with 7 buff polish pullets, but lost all except these last two. And once I put this one down, I'll only have the last one left.

    I'm upset to be losing one of my babies. But I know her quality of life will never be the same, and I can't justify paying out hundreds of dollars just for her life to be so messed up anyway.

    Just wanted to share with those that can understand how I feel.


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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    So sorry about your poor little girl, and the decision you had to make for her.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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  4. Kyzmette

    Kyzmette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry you're having to go through this. I don't personally believe in putting animals down unless they've reached the end of their lives. I've lived through pain and unbelievable suffering and was ready to go, but when I came out on the other side I was thankful. I know these critters aren't human, but they will fight to live if you give them a chance. Each of us must make our own decisions, and if your decision is to release her from her suffering, then my heart goes out to you because I know you will be suffering, too. Either way, I know it's a difficult decision to make.
     
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately, the break is right at her patella (knee) so splinting is almost certainly useless.
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    I would try splinting it, you'd be surprised how well they can heal. I know a break that high is hard to splint, but it's worth a try. Maybe you could make a sling, too?

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    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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  8. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well my sister and brother-in-law have been awake for a while, and haven't taken her yet. I have a feeling they forgot about it. So it's making it more difficult watching her rest in a towel-lined basket, eating and drinking just fine.

    So I've decided that fate will choose. If they forgot, and my nieces and nephews make it home from school first (they will never put an animal down with my youngest niece at home - she is super sensitive to that), I'll try to splint it and see what happens. If they remember, then I will let her go.

    The good news is I have all sorts of supplies that I could make a splint with. Do you all think, if I try to rehabilitate her, that I should put her on antibiotics while she heals? Or should I skip that since there is no open wound associated with it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  9. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had to let her go. I tried the splint, but the break was just too high. Then, after I secured the splint and realized I hadn't even covered the break, I caused her a LOT of pain trying to get it back off - she even bit me for it!

    I felt so incredibly bad. And I tried to put her in a sling made out of an old t-shirt and a milk crate, but the break was again so high that she was actually resting her body ON it. My brother-in-law is preparing to take her outside now. My poor baby.
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    So sorry! [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     

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