Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Unexpected

Tilda is still living in the kitchen on a B&B basis.    She's started to come out of the dog crate to have a little wander around that end of the kitchen, and so we no longer shut the door.    She gets breakfast (even though she has a pot of pellets, a pot of treats, a pot of grit, a pot of water and a peckablock available ll the time) when DH comes down in the morning to feed the cats. When I come down, she's out of her pen and ready to be taken to her outside run for the day,

In the day, I do treats for everyone - including Tilda.  In the evening, I shut the rest of the Girls away and then collect Tilda and bring her in for the evening.  She has some dinner, and then settles down in her pen to watch us and chat with us during the evening. She eats well, drinks well.  She preens herself. 

This evening, I looked out of the window and decided to put the Girls away a little early.  Tilda was standing by the netting which separates her run from theirs, watching me.   I shut the Girls away, turned round to  go into Tilda's run...and she was collapsed on her side, eyes shut.

I scooped her up, rushed into the house and shouted for DH to bring the drops.  I laid her on the kitchen floor, got some drops into her  beak, and then sat beside her stroking her and talking to her.    In the heat of the moment - in the shock - I had  completely forgotten that we had agreed DNR (do not resuscitate).   

A minute or two of constant stroking and talking dragged past.  She was breathing, but otherwise unresponsive. She was still on her side.  I stroked her feet. They didn't grip my fingers like hens feel normally do.  But she did open her eyes.   I sat up, stroked her for a bit.  Then I told her that I'd leave her be for a while (after all, maybe she didn't really appreciate the stroking, it was perhaps more for my comfort than hers).  I knelt up, getting ready to stand. She rolled over. I stood up: she was now the right way up.  I moved away, and a few seconds later she got, unsteadily, to her feet.   

I put her in her pen. I put some corn in her treat feeder. She ate it. She's looking a bit spaced out at the moment, and I don't know what will happen.

I remembered the DNR.  DH and I discussed it again.  Maybe letting her go was the long-term kinder thing to do.  But it's hard to do nothing when there is something that can be done.  Especially when her last attack was weeks ago.  

If she didn't want to be resuscitated, she should keel over during the night when we aren't there to save her, then I wouldn't have to make the "do nothing" decision,./ 

I guess what I do, or don't do, will depend on what happens over the next few hours.  I've told myself that if she has another attack this evening, I'll let her go.   Beyond that, I can make no promises.

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