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Julianna

Staggering lethargic Welsummer

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Reaching out for some wisdom in a last ditch attempt to save my 24 week old Welsummer. She has been poorly for 3 weeks, had 2 courses of antibiotics for ?respiratory infection, been wormed, offered various herbal dietary supplements, and she's not getting better or worse.  She is eating and drinking for herself (though has lost weight), normal poo. Symptoms - occasional cough but mainly staggering about, very unsteady on her feet, and lethargic, and when she goes to peck at food, she often seems to miss, as if she can't see it properly or can't aim her head straight. She will be eating one moment and then doze off the next. She isn't scratching around or very alert.  She spends long periods with her head tucked into her body, asleep.  We are stuck in limbo with her, not knowing whether to hold out for some recovery or put her out of her misery. I don't think she's in pain, but she is clearly not well. We have brought her in from the cold the last few nights, but the vet said separating her from her two companions would stress her so in the daytime she is outside. I wonder if it could be neurological (and in which case, incurable I guess?).  Any experience and advice welcome. Thank you.  PS her comb has not developed (even prior to her illness) - no idea if that is relevant - which then makes me wonder if this is something to do with coming to maturity??

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Sounds like she is rather poorly. Are her pupils equal? Staggering and poor sight could be Mareks, but I’m no vet and it’s very hard to guess without seeing the hen.

Has she laid any eggs? 

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You have clearly given her much support and so, if she is not improving, maybe it's time to say goodbye? It's very hard and the instinct is to think the animal is going to get better but I have been through this with several hamsters. Really thinking and hoping that they will improve - they didn't and I felt horrible and guilty about keeping them going (for us really) when I should have been brave (for them) and made the decision to have them PTS. Try not to let your heart rule your head and look at it from a quality of life point of view.

Good luck......it's the very worst part of animal owning. 

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Thanks so much for your replies. We took the very hard decision to end her suffering tonight. Heartbroken but comfortable it was the right decision for her 😢

Here she is in better times 🥰

39EFD76F-1567-408E-A608-35EEE1EFD0A8.jpeg

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Sorry to hear that BUT well done you - it takes courage to make that call! Never, never easy but better sooner rather than later.

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