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Vent Gleet or Prolapsed Vent?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Before starting, the photo below is obviously gross.


We're new chicken owners and have recently had problems with our oldest hen (approximately 15 weeks old). We're having a difficult time figuring out if she has a case of Vent Gleet or if she has a prolapsed vent (or something else we don't know about). During the first few days of treatment she was acting "sick"- she was lethargic, tired, not active, but she has improved to about 90% of her original self in the days following. We've been treating her as if it's Vent Gleet for the last week but have not seen any improvement (but it also hasn't gotten any worse). We have been treating her for the past week with apple cider vinegar water (with Mother), soaking her in a tub of warm water, giving her plain yogurt (sometimes with chopped garlic mixed in), wiping/cleaning the vent multiple times a day and applying Tinactin (anti-fungal ointment).  A few days ago we stumbled upon prolapsed vent and thought that maybe we misdiagnosed her. We switched her to PreporationH ointment as we read that helps reduce the swelling of the vent. 


Is anyone certain as to what this is? And, how to treat it other than the steps we have been taking for the past week.




post #2 of 4

I wonder how it is going with your girl -- We can only commiserate as we have a similar problem and it is also our first time dealing with it.  At first we thought it was just gleet but as soon as we started washing her noticed the prolapse.  It is very red and raw looking, with crusted on poop.  Here are things we tried after reading various information:

- fed her yogurt with raw apple cider vinegar

- washed her bum in warm water trying to get off all of the yeasty-looking discharge... that's when we saw the prolapse 

- got as much off as we could; did not want to rip off the poop

- administered honey on her vent (saw some threads that recommended prep-H or honey; saw on another avian prolapse site that prep-H is not appropriate in this situation, so avoided it)

- tried to re-invert her prolapse but she kept pushing it back out immediately

- felt for an egg but didn't feel any

- then she laid a soft-shelled egg with some blood on it

- soaked her bum in warm water with epsom for quite a while; got some but not all of the poop off

- have her in a dog crate in our garage with water (with some vinegar in it), a dish of regular feed, a dish of yogurt & vinegar mixed with a little feed, and a dish of calcium

- she's wrapped in a towel now.  I saw on another thread a recommendation to use a blow dryer to dry her off, but with her cloaca still prolapsed don't want to dry it out.


She has been eating just fine, running around, etc. until we started treating her.  We were told by the vet (before we saw the prolapse) that we should not separate her as long as the other girls are leaving her alone, and as long as she is appearing her old self.  But once we saw the prolapse and read how serious it is we changed tracks.  We have a call in to the vet but they are closed so we are waiting for the on-call vet to call back.. she is still eating well.


Until we hear back from the vet our plan is to periodically soak her and keep trying to get the rest of the poop off before re-inserting her vent.  I'm off to the store for antibiotic ointment.


Will let you know if our vet gives any different instructions.

post #3 of 4

OK, I think my first post went through and is just being held for the moderator to approve it, so hopefully this one will come after that one, in context...


Here is what my vet said...

- we are doing the right things

- keep bathing her in warm epsom salt water 2-3 times per day

- dry her as possible after.  I asked about hairdryer which I saw on a thread -- I was worried about drying out her vent.  Doc said not necessary, but OK to use hairdryer on low on the feathers surrounding, not directly on the vent (and if we do that we'll do it after putting ointment on her vent)

- honey is a good anti-inflammatory and is fine to put on between baths although can be messy

- agreed with avoiding preparation-H

- cautioned re: antibiotic ointment because it is so strong and she's such a small creature -- suggested getting A&D ointment and mixing a little of the antibiotic ointment into that which will dilute the dose appropriately.  The A&D will help keep her prolapsed vent from drying out

- doc said as long as she is eating well and seeming otherwise healthy we can just keep up this routine

- if vent doesn't stay re-inverted after a few days, OR if she takes a turn for the worse (stops eating, gets listless, etc) we could bring her in

- vet treatment would be a suture on her vent and oral antibiotics

- she can't be laying with a suture... so in the mean time we are keeping her in a darker area to discourage egg production in case she ends up needing the suture.  If she needs to lay you cut the suture and let her lay -- if she doesn't re-prolapse you're good to go, but if she pops out again you continue treating, including getting another suture if necessary


The vet also talked about whether the skin looked healthy or dead.  She said once the tissue is drying out and dying, the prognosis is not good and the bird may well die.  I asked how we could tell whether the black scabby area was poop or dead skin and she said it can be hard to tell, but if it doesn't come off after a few days of 2-3x/day bathing & ointments etc. then it is more likely dead tissue.  I will send her the picture, but it sounded like she might not be able to tell from that either.


My partner who (bless his heart) has been dealing more with the scrubbing part, said he thinks some if it has come off.  So it will be a wait and see.  Crossing our fingers -- of the 3 new girls we got last fall, Little Red is the friendliest, sweetest little thing.


Good luck with your bird.  Hope it's going well.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the update on your vets recommendation!  This weekend we found that our poor girl was covered in  lice and thought that maybe this could also be irritating her vent (we read that they like to hang out and irritate that area). We are going to continue bathing her and keep monitoring the vent area. Hopefully things will get better. She is not acting 100% herself, but about 90% there. She is still eating, drinking, walking around following the others around the backyard. Yesterday they all got a dishsoap bath to try and kill off the lice. Our girl doesn't mind being blow dried after the bath, she lays on our lap and enjoys the warm air (until she starts to get restless that is, haha). We will continue taking care of her and will try epsom salt baths (haven't tried that yet). 

Hopefully your girl gets better soon too! Let us know if you discover something that we haven't tried; seems like we are both on the same path right now. 

Thanks again!!

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