New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Chicken abdomen like water balloon

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey.. Just got home from vacation, and my chicken is standing like a penguin, puffed up and her abdomen is round and tight like a water balloon, and pretty red/purpley. Her comb is red, but shrunken, and she's eating cheese at the moment, hasn't drank. Just pooped, looks normal. She's standing with her butt directly down. And looks uncomfortable, and like she's staining to get something out. I soaked her in water, have her in a warm, humid room, and husband is getting liquid calcium and oxytocin. Not sure if anyone has similar experience. Please share, I love this bird!
post #2 of 17

It sounds a bit like possible ascites or fluid in the abdomen. This can happen with heart failure or liver disease, but is also sometimes a problem with internal laying and egg yolk peritonitis. Yor chicken sounds like that. Pictures are always helpful. Fluid in the abdomen can cause shortness of breath and labored breathing. If there is fluid present, you can take an 18 gauge needle and puncture the skin to drain off fluid, which is usually yellow if from ascites. Here is a link about this:



photo by Casportpony of a hen with ascites or water belly

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just did this, it's clear, yellow fluid. Headed to the supply store to get a bigger syringe to drain it more quickly. Are there any other possible causes of fluid in the belly? She was literally her fine normal self 7 days ago. Onset that quickly? She's eating and drinking. She's not even quite 2 years old and just finished a pretty hard molt, her first one yet. Could that have triggered this? So sad. She's going to the vet tomorrow.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Based on those photos I'm certain it's "water belly", or ascites. Vet said it could be caused by inadequate protein after a hard molt, so she goes in tomorrow. Getting a large syringe. Drained about 20 ml so far, I'll bet there's at least 200 more. 😞
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
And now it's leaking out of the needle pricks steadily. She seems to feel a bit better. I'm so sad! 😔
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just went to vet. She is severely wasted, very skinny. She has a shell less egg high up in her repro tract that isn't moving down, and there is fluid behind it. She thinks the fluid I pulled out was likely from sterile peritonitis. She's attempting to aspirate the egg small enough so it can pass, but we don't know what's behind it. Hopefully it gets everything moving through, but she's unsure if she can come out of this simply because of her poor body composition at this point. I am so sad. This little bird is my favorite. I just love her, and it makes me sick thinking she could have been suffering while we were gone. The lady who cares for them doesn't know much about them, so she wouldn't have known. I am just devastated. I'm hoping for a miracle. She's being started on calcium injections, metacam for pain and antiinflammatory, oxytocin to stimulate the repro tract, and an antibiotic. The goal is to get her to eat, so if any of you have suggestions, I'd appreciate it. She loves cheese, but I can't keep feeding her only cheese.
post #7 of 17

I'm so glad that you were able to have the vet see her and help. I really hope that she gets better. If she will eat, feed her chopped egg, tuna, liver, or ground meat for extra protein. Since she is severely wasted, you may want to try tube feeding her two or three a day. Vets have the feeding tubes and a catheter-tipped syringe. You can also use a piece of aquarium tubing fitted to a regular tip syringe, but the end that goes into the beak must be rounded off with a lighter so it's not sharp. KayTee baby bird feed is usually used for tube feeding, since chicken feed is too thick. Here is a good link about tube feeding:

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you.. I will ask when I pick her up. She's still at the vet, waiting for the egg to be aspirated. I just don't get what would cause a soft egg to stay that high up in her tract. At the point it's at, it wouldn't be shelled, but there's fluid accumulation around it. No idea.. It just makes me sick. I'm hoping and praying that once she aspirates that egg, that she passes what's behind it and feels better and begins to eat. Who knows. This will be an expensive bill for sure. 😔 But she's my little buddy, and if there's anything within reason that I can do to help her, I will! Hoping for a miracle.
post #9 of 17

How old is your hen?

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
She will be two in March. ☹
She's sitting in a warm water bath right now. Got her to eat oatmeal with some of her food mixed in, some watermelon, and a couple raisins. I've been forcing her to drink more water. I felt up in her vent and can't feel anything, but vet said the blockage was high. I'm hoping that the antiinflammatory drugs and the antibiotics calm everything down enough that she passes whatever it is.. Likely egg fragments. I know her odds aren't great, but I would feel terrible if I put her down without trying something.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home