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This is Myrtle. I know how she feels.

Very poorly. Our little six month old Cou Nou or naked neck from Transylvania, cannot breath. A few days ago I noticed her gasping for breath, her little velvety skinned neck stretched skyward to grasp air.We have a dog kennel in our kitchen for emergency patients and Myrtle settled in for a few days of anti-biotics and worming treatments. She even laid an egg!

But last night she took a turn for the worse. All night belaboured breathing. She is so exhausted trying to grasp little breaths of oxygen. She can’t even lay down as she starts to rattle and cough.I know how she feels. As a child I had untreated chronic asthma. My mother, who didn’t work, would come into my room and ask me to stop that wheezing as she couldn’t sleep. Abominable attitude to an eight year old! At seventeen my parents finally took me to a lung specialist. Dr Capel. German. My hero.Not only did he berate my mother soundly for her lack of duty of care but also noticed my jaw deformity and asked how I ate and was I bullied. No I ate with difficulty and boy was I bullied!My mother asked why the relevance to my asthma. Here he angrily told her that my breathing was the least of my issues as it was easily dealt with. The other matter was of urgency and there on the spot he arranged an urgent meeting with the top orthodontist in London. To cut a long story short I had private treatment free over a two year period to carry out pioneering surgery.My jaw was broken and two sections removed, all wired back and eight months of metal brackets in place. It worked. Today you wouldn’t know unless I went through a very sensitive security barrier. There are still wires in place but it’s healed and my DNA code has smoothed it all back perfectly.Myrtle is not being told to be quiet. I am nursing her as best I can with hugs, egg yolk in critical care solution and advice from my homestead friends in America. Vets tomorrow, but we are in France and chickens are food, not pets. I know she should have oxygen, a food tube and a camera down her throat to check for Gapeworm.

Gapeworm lives in the chickens throat, living off it’s host. Eventually suffocating the poor chicken, the worms in the meantime lay eggs, which the chicken dispersed via her poop. A horrid parasite!It’s going to be a long night. I hope she is strong willed enough to hang on and this little girl can be running about again doing naughty chicken things in no time.❤

UPDATE. Little Myrtle passed yesterday 27th. A really awful morning eith me desperately trying everything from hand feeding, trying to clear her crop, checking her bottom to cold compresses, and even asthma drugs.

I had to go out. She was gone when I returned. I was devastated that she died alone.

Autopsy was inconclusive but he vet was vague. I think she had a ruptured air sac. According to my books it is treatable by the vet. They had no ideas or interest in trying.

What I am left with now is that I can try and deal with problems that can be treated with meds but operations will be difficult, if impossible. I will continue to seek out a good vet.

RIP little one. 😪

13 thoughts on “This is Myrtle. I know how she feels.

    1. She passed. 😪 our vets didn’t do the checks they should and all I could do was try what I could. In the end what I think she had would have needed vet intervention. I am really upset.


  1. My condolences on Myrtle’s passing. She clearly knew kindness before she left this plane – hopefully, it provides some comfort to you. If you haven’t already been there, BackYard Chickens is a very helpful resource that may come in handy in the future (when an avian vet isn’t an option) – there’s even a forum for seeking/providing advice about illnesses and injuries, and you can search posts, too:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was at the time unpleasant. But it worked and I very rarely set of alarms in shop doors now due to metal bits! Surgery and ant theft systems are both more subtle now. I still feel bad about Myrtle. 😦


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