Saturday, November 24, 2007

lies and dead babies

....took Suzy's body to the vet for a post-mortem this morning. From the initial exam, it seems that she might have died of iron-storage disease, which is known to affect mynahs and softbills. What isn't known is an effective way to prevent it or treat it if it develops. Research shows that the same percentage of birds within a species develop it on both a low-iron and a normal diet. It does seem though to be common in certain family groups, so it's possible that a genetic predisposition to the disease can be triggered by diet. Seems that about the only treatment is bleeding the bird every two weeks. This makes it anaemic, and when new blood cells are produced, iron is pulled from the liver to make the new cells. Sounds archaic, but logical. Just don't know if I'd want to subject a bird to twice-monthly blood drawings.

Not of course, that it matters to Suzy. She's dead.

Chatted to the vet as well about not telling mynah-mommy about the bird dying, and returning 'Suzy' in a few days. I have another of about the same age, and any character difference could be explained by the vet trips and treatment. Not really ethical, I know, but I'm certain that it was nothing to do with her care of the bird. And she is absolutely devastated by Suzy's illness. She's the sort of person who blames herself for anything that goes wrong, she's already beating herself up about the mousebird from last weekend who wasn't able to be released, and I just don't have the heart to tell her that one of her darling babies has died. Vet reckons it's a mynah and they are all arrogant, domineering little beasties anyway...

The two little pinkies that had survived from Tuesday both died today. Shit shit shit. After 4 days, I care too much for them already. Still have one pinky, picked up on Weds. Looking ok, but let's not count him before he gets feathers and flies away - hatching is not quite certain enough. Pic is of him, species unknown so far.


Aqua said...

Hi Jcat,

You are so kind and care so much about others feelings. I know it will be painful for Suzy's "mom" to hear she has passed away, but I think it is important that she know the truth.

The autopsy results and your explanation that she could have done nothing better than she did will soften the blow and any worries she might have about her responsibility for Suzy's passing.

I believe it is important for people to experience these passings of pets and other small friends. It may help people with perspective when the time come that they lose a human friend or family member.

I know that my neices were better able to face their Grandma's passing because they had watched their cat and dog pass away beforehand. They had experienced a death before having to face the awful reality of losing someone else so close to them.

Also, if you lie about Suzy I worry your conscience will be bothered. It is a hard decision to make. These are just some things I thought about when I read your post. I will support whatever you choose to do.

jcat said...

A....I know you are right, in all you say. Not that I have much of a conscience, but what there is would definitely not be comfortable lying to a friend about something like this.
She's already so upset though, never mind when she knows it has died.....