I had an eggbound hen that the vet treated by sucking out the contents of the egg while the hen was under anesthesia, collapsing it, and removing it. Unfortunately, the monster egg was stuck "high up" and was super-calcified. A prior vet tried for a long time to get the egg out without breaking it, and it left my hen with uterine tears and an infection, but she responded to antibiotics. This hen had never been egg-bound before, and all my hens have had a virus recently, and one laid some weird shaped eggs, so I'm thinking the illness may have played a part in the egg binding.
A few days after stopping the antibiotics, my hen went off her food and was penguin-standing now and then. I restarted her meds, and she perked right back up, but I took her to the vet a few days later to make sure there was not another stuck egg. An x-ray showed an egg (smaller and less calcified) in her uterus, which the vet removed with the sucking out the contents method, just to make things easy on the hen, and the egg turned out to be soft-shelled. So, I'm wondering if this was just a normal egg on the way to developing, and maybe there was no real egg-binding, yet.
The vet, who is the only local vet I trust, advised me to get the hen spade by an avian surgeon whom I've used before and trust, based on the assumption this last egg was a second incident of egg-binding. I think she's basing that on symptoms and the presence of an egg. Although, I'm thinking that could have just been the infection still present, plus a coincidental ovulation.
So, I wonder if I need to take that drastic step of spaying, yet. I don't want to take my hen in weekly for an x-ray, and I don't like going against veterinary advice, especially with a vet I want to continue to use. But, I'm thinking that if I check my hen's vent with a gloved, lubricated finger every three days or so, so long as she's acting okay, that I can reliably keep track of whether she gets another stuck egg, and whether she will have an ongoing problem laying. If she lays a normal egg next time, I'll stop the finger checks, and will just watch her for signs of trouble. Does anyone have any opinion on whether this is a good plan???