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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure how many of you remember Wonka... but I know I am way overdue to update you all. :)

I suppose Wonka's story is very bittersweet. Having her in my life was an absolute rollercoaster of joy and sadness. She will always, always, have a very special place in my heart. She taught me so much and is the very reason why I am going to commence studying Veterinary Science in January 2011. Pigeons are amazing creatures and are far too often misunderstood, overlooked and underestimated. But all of you know that already. :p

I think I left off Wonka's story when she was still on her road to recovery.

Well, in the following weeks Wonka made leaps and bounds in her recovery progress. Soon I was chasing her around our garage and she was expertly flying and dodging objects! She had the appetite of a horse and she had gained weight beautifully. I think the last time I weighed her she was a very healthy and plump 360g (up from the measly 284g when I first brought her home).



It felt like it was an exceptionally long road to get her to this point. There was a lot of force feeding, moving her hutch and lots and lots of panic over her condition!

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
But one day... I thought she was ready.

Wonka was released with others of her own kind! That day was the first time in 5 months that she had seen another pigeon! :D





For some reason, which I did not know yet, Wonka refused to fly. She would not leave me. I even chased all the wild pigeons away in the hopes that Wonka would get a fright and fly after them... but she did not.

So she came back home with me. (And I was secretly very happy.)

I later found out when I posted on this forum that she didn't look very healthy at all and that I was lucky to get her back! :eek:

So I finally decided that I had to tell a very good Avian Vet about Wonka because there was obviously still something wrong with her. I would just have to try and protect Wonka's life as best as I possibly could (and I was seriously prepared to run out of the vet surgery with Wonka if they told me they had to put her to sleep for being a feral).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It didn't come to that, but something amazing happened instead. The most wonderful Avian Vet saw Wonka and actually fell in love with her! The vet has her own pigeon loft and simply adores pigeons. So Wonka went to a wonderful home where she enjoyed 24/7 medical care and the company of many other pigeon pals. I can't imagine a bird going to a better home than that of a caring avian vet's! :D

I got frequent email updates and all was well. Wonka was happy. :)

Then, two months ago, Wonka took a turn for the worse...

The vet saw her not putting pressure on her wonky foot anymore and took her back to the clinic for X-rays and blood work.



She was put under anesthetics for the X-ray. It turned out that Wonka's foot and bone were heavily infected and must have been very painful for her. :( Since, in the avian vet's experience, pigeons generally do not do well at all with a whole foot and leg amputation, the desicion was made not to wake Wonka up. Wonka was put to sleep and, I believe, she died happy. She had a wonderful last few weeks.

I am forever grateful that a necropsy was performed on her! It revealed quite a lot about her condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The necropsy revealed that Wonka had an immense cancerous abdominal tumour on her reproductive system. This was a ticking time bomb in Wonka and it was calculated that by the sheer size of it, Wonka should not have lived as long as she did! She was literally living on borrowed time.

This tumour is what made Wonka crawl under a car and wait for death on the day I found her. I think, in the wild, she was ready to give up.

The lumps of "meaty eggs" she laid were actually pieces of this tumour breaking off and passing through her!







That is the end to Wonka's story, though I will always and forever remember her. Wonka has given me a new perspective on life. It might seem very strange to some of you that a pigeon could change my life so profoundly... all I can say is that I found Wonka - or Wonka found me - while I was going through a very difficult time.

Thank you Wonka. For the good and the bad... for everything. I'll always love you.



Thank you to all the members on this forum who helped me help Wonka. I am forever indebted to you all. I wish I could repay you all for the unbelievably valuable information and support you gave me. I really mean that. Without you guys, Wonka would not have made it that far. If there is anything I can ever do for you guys then please let me know. Thank you so much.
 

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Thanks for the update, I am so sorry that Wonka has gone and that there was so much wrong with her...I hope that she wasn't in pain. One of my pigeons has a suspected tumour of the oviduct but is home and looks happy although it is a "ticking bomb".

in the avian vet's experience, pigeons generally do not do well at all with a whole foot and leg amputation
For the sake of other pigeon in the same situation I have to say that my own experience has been very different:

Our Danny had both his feet amputated in 2002 and is well, as are Cinderella, Tootsy and Titch who all lost one foot and have been here for 5-6 years.

The only one that didn't last was Harry who had a whole leg amputation, was fine for 2 years and then had trouble with the remaining leg. But she had two happy, problem -free years which, for a feral with a 3 year life expectancy at hatching was good.

There is even is a feral pigeon that has lost both feet but has been turning up at John's balcony for about 10 years now, and Stumpy, a one footed pigeon that I used to feed lasted 3 years before she disapperaed, it is most likely she died of causes unrelated to her foot.
 

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I agree that birds can do quite well with one leg but given the tumor, the vet probably did the kindest thing. You gave a great deal to improve the quality of her remaining life and I have every confidance that she knew that and knows that still! Bless your heart and hers.
 

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Chompie_Puppy, how could Wonka be forgotten. I want to thank you for stopping by and giving us a final update on Wonka. You tried so very hard for her and I wish the outcome would have been as happy as it seemed it was going to be for her. I think you are in the right place for people understanding how profoundly a pigeon can effect one's thoughts on so many things in life. Her entering your life seems to have set you on a path where you will be able to help so many of God's creatures, this truly is profound.

Bless you and I wish you only the best in life,

Karyn
 

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I, too, add my thanks for Wonka's update, chompie puppy!

I also think the Vet made a wise decision based on that tumor.

Yes, indeed, we understand - completely - how, just one pigeon, can completely change one's life! MR. Squeaks changed mine! Because of him, I not only have more pigeons, but have met people all over the world, who I consider my friends!

Sending comforting thoughts with love and hugs

Shi/MR. Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/WoeBeGone/Rae Charles :)
 

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Cannot say more than what others already have - you gave your friend a great gift and he\she returned the favor. I know it is hard - believe me we have all been there - but Wonka's in a better place now - and thanks to you and your vet friend she\he got the chance to live a nice pigeon life for a while. Again - a great gift you gave your friend. Others shall cross your path now as well.
 
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