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.