Diamond’s gone

Over the last few weeks Diamond had gone down hill. After her double dose treatment with flubenvet to her beak she had passed some gape worms. She was making a snoring sound on her perch at night and I thought that it was probably dead worms clogging her airway and making breathing difficult.

Diamond continued to have a mucky bottom. It was really black and was causing hard lumps to cling to her feathers. I had hoped that I could keep her going for three weeks and then treat her again as recommended.

Then over the last week Diamond spent her afternoons on the branch perch above the ladder. Her bottom was bobbing up and down and her breathing was laboured. She looked really poorly.

Diamond’s beak needing trimming again and once we had done this and put her down she looked like she was about to have a heart attack. She was panting and wobbly. I said to my husband that I thought it was the stress of being handled.

A few days before this I had cleaned her very mucky bottom and I thought she was having a heart attack when I put her down. She was breathing through an open beak and flopping down on one wing then the other. I ran indoors and chopped some tomato in the hope that it would revive her but when I returned to the run she seemed to have recovered.

I dropped tomato in front of her and she ate it. As the days went on Diamond was spending part of the afternoons in the chicken shed. This is never a good sign. For the last two nights Diamond didn’t go to her low perch but sat on the floor in the pine shavings.

This was just a couple of days before Diamond was due to be treated again which was why we had trimmed her beak to make it easier and I had cleaned her bottom so that I could monitor her once starting treatment.

I knew in my heart of hearts that it was unlikely Diamond was going to get better. I continued to read other peoples experiences on the reddit forum. People that had tried to treat for gape worm said there was a very low survival rate.

Seeing how badly Diamond was being effected by us handling her I decided that it would be too hard on her to pick her up and put flubenvet in her beak for seven days especially when I was beginning to feel that it wasn’t going to work anyway.

I called the vet and made an appointment to take Diamond in. Once in the cat box Diamond was very stressed. She was again breathing through an open beak and flapping. It was very stressful. The vet saw me straight away and said that Diamond was having heart failure. I have been here before with Sienna. The vet put Diamond to sleep and once again I was crying. I feel heart sick and I am terrified of any of the other girls getting gape worm. I just hope we won’t be that unlucky.

We have only had Diamond for eight months and she has had problems in all of that time. She was a year and four months old and had never laid an egg.

I feel so sad for her. I have grown really fond of our special needs chicken and I have tried so hard to get her through this. I should probably have let her go earlier but it is always so hard to give up.

I feel as if we go through one thing after another and my blog has become really sad lately. It’s almost enough to make me give up and yet I love chickens so much. We will stay at six for the near future. It makes me worry about having girls in future and yet if you don’t add new girls the flock will gradually die out. We seem to have had a run of bad luck lately.

The thing that truly terrifies me is the possibility of any of the other girls picking up gape worm. I am scared of losing them one by one. This is the worse thing that we have had to deal with so far because it is so hard to treat.

I will do a tribute for Diamond tomorrow. Her time with us was short but she was such a lovely girl despite all her problems.

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2 Responses to Diamond’s gone

  1. DAVID says:

    Sorry I’ve been out of commission for a week and so much has happened. So sorry about Diamond although, as ever, you did your best in every way. Probably, she should never have been sold to you in the first place. Ironically, my light sussex, Lacy, has a dirty-ish bum, but is fine and laying well.

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