Sad good bye
Thursday, November 29, 2012
From wildlife rehabilitator and Wild Friends manager Carmen Smith:
Lilli passed away this week.
When we arrived in the morning to give Lilli her breakfast, we discovered she had passed away during the night. The vet believes this happened very quickly, and after consulting with another vet who concurred, it was clear there was no way to catch this or prevent this, short of winding back the clock and getting our hands on Lilli before she gained the weight.
When we accepted Lilli into Wild Friends, we knew she was going to struggle a lot. As a broad-breasted turkey (genetically selected for meat production, not longevity), with a bad leg made worse by her obesity, the odds were against her. She improved through weight loss and medication (Adequan and Metacam injections for her joints), but all this still added up to limited mobility. Her limited mobility caused edema (an abnormal accumulation of fluid) in her ankle.
The edema was on her bad leg. The vet believed she had always had this edema, to some degree, since the weight gain. It was very small and only discovered during a necropsy after she passed. It was so small you couldn't feel it or see it from the outside. The edema caused intermittent congestion with her venous blood supply and anemia, overstressing her body's ability to clot. Each episode of intermittent congestion caused a little bit of muscle damage (smaller than a pea), and the muscle damage in the same location eventually caused a very small bit of muscle to die. The death of the muscle released a bunch of potassium into her bloodstream, resulting in cardiac arrest.
We are all very saddened by her loss, but at the same time so very grateful to have had a chance to get to know her and take care of her. She came a long way since I met her almost a year ago when she couldn’t even stand and the stress of coming up to Best Friends for a health assessment and exam was enough to send her into respiratory distress.
She had a lot of friends and will be very missed.