Sad news – Sasha

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

We lost Sasha yesterday.

She’d made a really good recovery, against the odds, from her prolapse – the last little bit of damaged tissue had sloughed off; her insides were remaining inside when she pooed; she was eating normally and generally seemed to be doing really really well. We were making sure she got an hour outside in full sun every day (vitamin D is important for metabolising calcium), which she usually spent scritching in the leaves underneath the big magnolia, and sunning herself. She was, as far as we could tell, exactly herself. A bit grumpy about being kept inside all the time, but herself.

And then yesterday, with no warning, she went into a convulsion and died.

I heard her beaking at her grit container, jiggling it against the wire and throwing some of the grit out into the cage. Typical ‘I’m bored!’ stuff. I’d already moved it a bit higher up, so she wasn’t wasting quite so much. Then I heard her giving it a hell of a rattle, and went out to her, grumping.

And found her on her back, convulsing. I grabbed her out of the cage and tried to work out what was happening, but it was already too late. She was dead in my arms before I could do anything.

When I could get a grip on myself again, I had a good look over her to try and see what on earth had happened. There was no swelling anywhere, no sign of infection or inflammation. No injuries at all that I could see, so we assumed it must have been some sort of sceptacemia, following on from the prolapse.

We took her in to Pauline, to do a gross postmortem. The only thing she could see was that Sasha’s throat was full of mucus, and there seemed to be a small seed or bit of vegetation of some sort in the  mucus. So the best guess Pauline has is that she inhaled a seed somehow, presumably earlier that day when I gave her some outside-time, and that it triggered a buildup of mucus that suddenly flooded her throat, and that killed her.

Utterly utterly bizarre. And nothing anyone could do.

We’re all pretty distraught. Poor Pauline. I keep thinking I need to make appointments to bring in some of our girls when they are absolutely fine, just so she can have a pleasant experience. We don’t go in unless we think there’s something wrong, and we’ve had quite a lot of major dramas over the last few years.

Poor Sasha. God, it’s so unfair that we got her over the big catastrophe, and then she dies like this! Talk about making you paranoid – what in heaven’s name do you do to prevent it happening again? Never give them access to anything that could lodge in an airway? The only way to avoid that would be keep them on concrete and feed them mush. And even then there would be something.

We brought her home and buried her in the orchard, under a double-grafted nectarine. The girls will spend summer and autumn in there, so she won’t be lonely.

Poor  sweet, funny little Sasha.


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