Thursday, November 19, 2009

Liz update...17 hours out

Good morning,

Well…several tube feedings and fluids throughout the night and my dear Liz is still with me, weak but alive. She was resistant to the cannula this morning, so I took her out and wrapped her up so I can use both hands to insert the cannula correctly and (wo)man the plunger, as it is a very large syringe. There is this spot between my two work desks where I can wedge her into an upright position…oh, the improvising one must do when one has only two hands!

She is still VERY weak and so I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, but I’m delighted she lived through the night. When they are this low in weight and dehydrated, their kidneys will shut down and then you may as well pick out the organ music. She eliminated at some point earlier because I stuck my hand in the wet, sticky mess when I was putting her back in the crate. Oh well…that’s why God made soap.

I covered her up after this feeding and she doesn’t look very good…squatting, with her feathers all poofy and her eyes closed. There is a certain amount of stress associated with being handled and force-fed, so there is this fine line I walk in trying to do what is medically necessary and killing them with kindness. I gave her a good amount of food this time, so I will only annoy her with oral fluids every 30 minutes for the next few hours and will see how things go. If she scoots out from under the covers later, I will know she is warm enough.

There is this thing I do with them when they are low like this where I gently touch their beak and rictal bristles with my thumb and forefinger. They will close their eyes, move their heads back and forth and open their mouths like when they were young and reacting to their moms. Many of you have seen me do this with my almost 20 year old Great Horned owl, Sam. It’s a mommy thing. Back when they were little babies and daddy would bring food to the nest, he would pass it over to mom and she would tear it up and gently touch the beak of her babes, which is the signal that ‘supper’s here!”. My Sam LOVES it when I touch his beak, so I do this to the weak and dying so maybe they can go back to their start at life and remember how much their mama went through to raise them. Sam has proven to me over and over that they have recall, so I hope this makes them feel like mama cares for them, even if it’s to transition them to the other side.

Tactile stimulation is important regardless of what sort of animal you are….m.

Before wedging her into 'the crack'

Covered up after the feeding

Thank you for taking time....m.


At November 19, 2009 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Gaina said...

We're all keeping our fingers crossed over here... :)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home