At 8am Tuesday morning, Laurence, our compassionate, knowledgeable vet and I made the decision to euthanase Saffron. Late afternoon, Saffron suddenly developed a new and debilitating set of neurological issues after a period of relative calm. She spent the night on heavy pain meds in my bedroom. Neither of us slept much. Saffron battled to get comfy and dozed on me while I sat in bed for most of the night.
Her pain was tangible.
X rays taken early in the morning revealed congenital issues – including a deformed hip joint, that would have never allowed Saffron to walk or stand. Her other leg was so deformed, she could have never hopped to compensate. She would have lived on tranquilising pain killers and been mostly cage bound. There were some other complicating factors too. A deformed spinal chord, her balling muscles. A life, we (Dr Beherens and I), with input from a few other trusted consultants, was not a life we would want for ourselves or Saffron.
Secondary issues such as swollen joints and sores were starting to develop despite regular physio.
We agreed that even with the best care and nursing, which I would have given, we could not keep Saffron comfy enough to warrant any type of quality of life. We have had, and have many special needs chickens, but in all cases with some help they manage a good life.
I feel as comfy as one can feel with the difficult decision when choosing to end a life. Grateful to be able to put her out of her pain, but acutely aware the decision is a responsible and sad one.
Thank you to Cathy for seeing the challenges Saffron was having and taking action by delivering her to me for these last 3 months. Thank you to Dr Beherens for his support medically and emotionally. To Sophie, Karla, Nick and Lilly for the daily care of Saffron, especially while I was away, and to my friends and FB friends (you) for all the support and words of encouragement when it came to Saffron.
Saffron brought so much joy with her. A truly tenacious hen who bore her disability with acceptance, and Grace.
My heart is very sore today as I miss my friend and face the third day in months with no Saffron cuddles and kisses.
Love you Saffron. You made your mark in your short time on earth.