My glider, Stitch, died last Tuesday. It was a horrible finding, and I waited to post until I had his Necropsy and Histopath results.
I found him in his wheel, with a pool of blood below. His face was stuck to the wheel, as he had bled to death out his mouth. He is a lone glider. I couldn't find anything obvious that would have caused this. I tried to look in his mouth to see if he maybe bit his tongue. I couldn't find anything at all.
His necropsy came back that he had an acute pulmonary hemorrhage--basically all of the capillaries in his lungs failed and he bled to death. The vet could find nothing obvious as a cause, so we decided to send out for a histopath.
Dr Revell found that Stitch was septic. His organs were filled with bacteria of unknown type (not cultured). There was a thrombi (described to me as a clot) of bacteria in his heart, that they believe "showered the body with bacterial emboli resulting in multiorgan inflammation" The infection that Stitch had started in his heart. We don't know when, why or how. Dr Brandt tells me that this type of infection is commonly seen in conjunction with an open wound, Stitch had no open wounds at all.
Really, Stitch looked and acted perfectly normal every minute I saw him. And, really, Dr Brandt said, other than the fact that he is dead, Stitch LOOKED healthy. Dr Brandt even asked if there was any access to electrical cords or a plug, as they see this in animals that chew through hot electrical wires, I tole him no, the closest plug is 15 feet away, and there is no way. Well, Dr Brandt spent a little time looking for burn marks in Stitch's mouth, meaning, Stitch did NOT look like a candidate for infection. He was suprised that there was no warning. He ate normally, behaved normally, played normally. Didn't lose any weight, never lost his appetite. As a matter of fact, the last time I saw him alive, he was eating.
So, the point of all of this is that they hide their illnesses VERY, VERY well.
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Shawna
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