January 5, 2009
Miri went to the vet today. She's been
going every week for nearly a month now, since I found
blood in her poop. We could see a small tumor inside her
vent, but she nearly had a heart attack when our vet
tried to do a cloacal exam, so he didn't do it. We
started with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory
medication to rule out an infection, but it came without
Today she went in for surgery to remove
the tumor and have a biopsy done.
I have to admit, back in the Spring I
began to see the signs and told friends and visitors
that I suspected that cancer had taken a hold of her.
She was breathing a little different and walking slower.
We brought her to the vet back then, but he found
nothing wrong with her. We opted against an x-ray since
he would have to put her under to do it, to control her
stress levels, and she is so old that we thought the
dangers didn't warrant it. I was sure what it was and
let it be at that.
So when the call came this afternoon and
the vet told me that the visible part of Miri's tumor
was just "the tip of the iceberg," I was not surprised.
Very upset, but not surprised. He did not perform the
surgery since the mass was so large and confirmed that
it was cancer.
I brought her home and let her into the
barn with Benny and the girls and she settled down
She looks pretty good, but her feathers
are a little unkept around the edges, which is one of
the first signs that the end is drawing near. Still, as
long as she seems comfortable and is eating, drinking,
walking and swimming, we are not going to interfere and
we will leave her be and let her enjoy the last of her
days with us, which hopefully are many.
Last year after we lost Glory, Elijah
and Daisy May within the course of a couple of months, I
looked at Miri and said, "Don't you dare, little
girl. Don't you dare leave me now." And part of me
thinks she has hung on for 2009 for my sake more than
hers--to give her Momma Duck a rest from all the losses.
And Benny's arrival just helped her do it for me. Is
that crazy? That a beautiful little animal would hang on
to keep me from having a break down... I don't think
Benny (front) and Miri (back)
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