Slightly less bionic
August 22, 2009 § Leave a comment
An update on Frida, the Bionic Chicken.
On August 17th we took her back in to see Pauline, worried about one of the small pins that joined the two metal rods together. (The top pin, the one that sits against her chest muscle.) It’s been a bit of a nuisance for a while – Pauline cut it as short as she could, and we’ve had it padded with elastoplast so it couldn’t stick in to her. But it had managed to work further out, and was not just digging in to her, but had actually poked itself through her skin and into her body. (Ouch!) So after consulting a new X-ray, Pauline decided that the external rod and pins could safely come off/out.
Which we duly did, with Jo holding Frida and Pauline wielding pliers. They came off fairly easily, except for the same damn pin, which we just couldn’t get to come free. And Frida had a full crop, so putting her under anaesthetic would be too risky, unless it was absolutely necessary. So Pauline improvised with a rubber stopper, some wadding, quite a bit of elastoplast and another few metres of vetwrap bandage.
That was Monday. On Tuesday, Frida managed to preen the bung and bandages off the pin. We tried to replace them , but couldn’t actually feel where the end of the pin was anymore. We were due to go back in to see Pauline at the end of the week anyhow, so we decided to just monitor the situation, and see how things progressed.
On the 22nd we took her back in to see Pauline. This was four weeks after the operation – in theory long enough for the healing to have taken place. It was an early appointment and we’d withheld food from Frida (NOT a popular move), so Pauline put her under very light anaesthetic, and removed the pin.
After taking a number of different X-rays, we decided that she would be ok to have all the bandages off now – there are no wounds and no orthopedic accessories to protect any more, and her leg and thigh feathers (plucked for the operation) were growing back.
So that’s where we are at the moment. Frida looks like a normal chicken, although she’s still not really putting weight on the leg yet. (There’s been a fair bit of muscle wastage, so it’ll take a while.) We’ll take her back in to Pauline in ten days or so, and (fingers crossed) may be ready to take the final pin out …