Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Update on Birdie...it's a long road ahead, I think

The fact she can still smile gets my heart. Birdie relapsed.

It has been about a month since we ended the two week treatment for Birdie's fight with the meningeal worm, and she was doing really well, although I could see the wobbles and damage in her balance/rear end, but she was able to rise on her own, eat, graze, etc. We knew it could take months or longer for slow improvement, and we might never get better results. But I was feeling hopeful.

But that changed yesterday-Birdie could not get up without my help. Once up it took her some time to get balanced. I opted to put her in barn to be safe. At feedings last night she was unable to rise until I helped her. I also noticed her neck had developed a slight curve-which I now realize is a normal part of this dreaded disease.

I called my vet and we are going back to a shot a day of anti inflammatory med to see if that will help. The vet said not to panic that the nerve damage is there and it is a slow process for nerve recovery-and she will always have some. It is also possible she fell due to her condition [I witnessed her falling a few days ago] and that is adding to immobility. It really bummed me out that it seemed so sudden, but the vet said this is a pretty typical way the recovery can work. I have been researching as much as possible, and this post had several success stories, and then some not so positive outcomes. There is no answer as to 'if' of 'when' she will be 'okay'. And okay if she is in time, will most likely mean 'damaged'.

This morning I again had to help her up and she fell in the beginning. There are other anti inflammatory drugs we can try but we are trying to start with this one to see how much it helps.

She is up and eating -and still smiling -it’s so hard to watch her like this.

This is largely my fault. While I can't control Nature, I did not know about the M. worm and being new in Maine and without a vet when we arrived, I treated/dewormed like I always have out West. Once I began researching it was too late. She most likely contacted the worm in the summer, and we saw the first symptom on October 6. Fortunately, we got to her right away, since I spend so much time with her and saw the symptom. But...I feel responsible for this.

I will fight for her and with her for as long as I have to. She is one of the most special creatures in the entire universe and I will never give up on her. I hope together we can pull through this.