Sunday 2 December 2012

Respiratory Infection - Amelia Update

Stupid, relentless mycoplasma.  I think I jumped the gun on saying that Amelia was improving.  She found a legless lizard (pre battered by the dogs so it was very much DOA) and proceeded to try and eat it in peace in the pen.  She was relentlessly pursued by Selene and Rosa who wanted it all for themselves.  Amelia was out of breath and wheezing so hard.  She had only been chased for a minute or maybe two at the most but it was too much for her.

Her breathing was wet, hard, stuttering and laboured.  She was gulping down fluid and was deep red with a hint of blue.  It seems that when ever she exerts herself, even a very small amount, that she is quickly pushed to the edge of her limits.  She did however manage to eat the lizard in one big piece - so the chase was not for nothing. 

By the amount of food her and Rosa are eating, they both seem to be laying or on the verge of laying eggs again.  Which is usually a healthy sign.  I'm thankful that Summer is on the way as I don't think she could survive Winter weather at the moment. 

I've  been in touch with the Vet who says to continue with the anti biotic powder in her water.  He feels she may need another 2 or 3 extra weeks to get control.  I had this ridiculous dream last night about not being able to find Amelia, so it's obviously weighing on my conscience.  Perth weather has lost the plot and gone back to Winter storms, just as we're less than 2 days out from the start of Summer.  Little Amelia is outside in the cold and I'm worried for her.  I picked her up (after some initial avoidance on her part) and gave her a hug this morning and a bit of a talking to.  Not certain she appreciated either but hopefully my sub conscience got the hint and I won't be looking for her tonight.  

Amelia - November 2012.  Snacking on mash

I was reading a poultry magazine earlier this week which did a whole article about mycoplasma in chickens.  I was really interested obviously, as I thought I'd find some useful information about Amelia.  Unfortunately it was pretty ordinary.  The advice ultimately was;
1. Not to get a hen with mycoplasma to begin with,
2. Quarantine all new hens for 2 weeks to detect any problems (Rosa didn't show symptoms for nearly 6 months and Amelia only croaked for the first two days and then nothing more for months also),
3. Generally don't bother with Veterinary treatments etc as they may not be effective on the particular strain of mycoplasma (the articled mentioned 4 known strains) and
4. Although you could get the hen tested to detect what strain the infection is (I had Ruby tested for a throat infection for a bit over $100 and this uncovered three, simultaneous infections) you probably wouldn't bother for your home chook as it's very expensive. 

I would love to see someone tell that to a dog owner.  My feeling is, if you're not going to ever bother getting medical treatment for a pet, then either don't get them at all or have them quickly put to sleep with the greatest dignity and kindness possible if their condition is such that the animal is clearly in a chronic state of suffering.  Having pets is a responsibility, not a right and pets have the right to a responsible owner. 

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