In early to mid-March, Oreo began acting 'off'. It began with her being less interested in treats every morning. She also developed this sunken, kind of depressed, appearance. Not her usual perky self, aside from the 'angry eyes' she sports, of course.
On the morning of March 19th, Oreo's balance was off, and she was very unstable. We called the vet and got her an emergency appointment.
During the exam, it was discovered that she was jaundiced, but there was no fluid in her abdomen, which was good news. The x-rays didn't show a stuck egg, so the doctor presumed kidney and/or liver disease. Oreo was put on a liver supplement, an antibiotic, and something for pain/anti-inflammatory. Since she was still eating and interested in preening, we were sent home with directions to follow up in 3-5 days if she wasn't showing signs of recovery.
On March 24th, we returned to the vet with no improvement. All the meds she was on hadn't done anything for 5 days. At this point, the vet didn't have much hope. She said it was likely cancer and tumors were likely causing the jaundice and possibly pressing on a nerve causing the balance issues. I inquired about CBD oil, and she wasn't familiar with the treatment in chickens, but said we could try Hemp Seed Oil, by adding it to her food. We got a refill of pain meds, because we wanted to make sure she was comfortable. At that point, I started speaking with my friend Tami, who has treated cancer in one of her own chickens using CBD oil. We went out and bought the oil, and Tami guided us through the first steps.
When Oreo started the oil, we feared the cancer was too progressed to make a difference and it was only a matter of time before she left us. She was in such bad shape. She fell over very frequently, especially when trying to defecate. While her appetite was good, it was difficult for her to stay standing very long in order to eat at the dish. We were close to euthanasia, because her quality of life was not what we wanted for her. However, we wanted to give the CBD oil at least a week before losing hope. But there were many mornings that first week after March 19th, that we went to give her meds in the morning, and weren't sure we'd find her alive. It was very touch-and-go.
We slowly increased her dose, diluted with the coconut oil, and she always maintained an appetite. On the nice days, we would take her outside to visit her friends and feel the sunshine.
It didn't take long before we started to see subtle changes in her. Over time, she needed less assistance to stand back up and her tail started to rise. She also slowly got her voice back! Soon, it was every single day we saw improvement.
Oreo is our miracle. It finally feels so good to help one. We have suffered so much loss, we needed this for morale. She continues to improve and amaze us. She goes to bed and gets up on her own, when we leave the room, she squawks for us to return, and she doesn't fall down hardly at all! Her balance isn't 100%, but very close. She putters around the kitchen searching from crumbs and keeps us entertained with her antics. She LOVES popcorn, sunflower seeds, and raisins! We don't know if the CBD oil has halted the progression of the cancer, or reversed it, we're just happy she's happy and comfortable!
There's no way of knowing how long she has left, but we will continue with the CBD oil as long as she's with us. The power of this amazing, healing plant, astounds us. Everyone should have access to this medicinal plant! If you'd like to sponsor Oreo, click the Sponsor A Chicken button on our home page, and you can contribute to her care. She would love healing thoughts as well! Thank you & stay tuned for updates on her!