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Fluid buildup in hens abdomen

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

One of my absolute favorite hens has some type of fluid building up in her abdomen.

She is almost 3 years old, still an active layer and in generally good health otherwise.

Her diet is the same as it has been, no changes there.

What could cause fluid to build up like this?

I used a needle and syringe to draw some of the fluid out, it is mostly clear with a slight yellow tint, almost looks like urine.

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"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
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"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
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post #2 of 19

Poor chook, probably ascites.  You can use a larger syringe to draw off more fluid (make her more comfortable).  Salt/diet restriction?  Possibly a diuretic.

some background:  http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/204601.htm
                               http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/500/understanding-and-controlling-ascites

Good
luck!

post #3 of 19

WITH ALL THAT SAID HERE IS MY EXPERIENCE FROM SEVERAL DECADES PROCESSING CHICKENS FOR THE FREEZER

this happens to older hens as they get a cancerous growth that builds in the back bone where the egg yolk cluster lays in the hens body
this off white sometimes yellow growth is hard tissue and the body builds with fluid and generally she becomes weak and wither dies or just doesn't lay any eggs

as she is 3 yrs old I would venture to say this is what is wrong with her
I never found any treatment for this and culled the chicken for not laying and as I processed old hens for freezer always threw the body away when finding this in a old hen

any questions email me

Glenda L Heywood Brookings SD
frizzlebird7@yahoo.com
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Glenda L Heywood Brookings SD
frizzlebird7@yahoo.com
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan3 

Poor chook, probably ascites.  You can use a larger syringe to draw off more fluid (make her more comfortable).  Salt/diet restriction?  Possibly a diuretic.

some background:  http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/204601.htm
                               http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/500/understanding-and-controlling-ascites

Good
luck!


Very good info in these articles, thank you.

As far as salt intake, she gets very little if any in her diet, so not really anything I can cut back on.

Her lungs are not congested that I can tell, no breathing problems at all, this makes me think that pulmonary hypertension is probably not a factor in this case.

That brings us to liver function.

Now that I think of it her face had been a little pale a few days last week.

I haven't seen any legumes growing on the property, but I will make a thorough inspection tomorrow to make sure that isn't a factor.

"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
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"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
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post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenda L Heywood 

WITH ALL THAT SAID HERE IS MY EXPERIENCE FROM SEVERAL DECADES PROCESSING CHICKENS FOR THE FREEZER

this happens to older hens as they get a cancerous growth that builds in the back bone where the egg yolk cluster lays in the hens body
this off white sometimes yellow growth is hard tissue and the body builds with fluid and generally she becomes weak and wither dies or just doesn't lay any eggs

as she is 3 yrs old I would venture to say this is what is wrong with her
I never found any treatment for this and culled the chicken for not laying and as I processed old hens for freezer always threw the body away when finding this in a old hen

any questions email me


Thanks.

So far she is still active and still laying eggs almost every day.

"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
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"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rooster-red 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan3 

Poor chook, probably ascites.  You can use a larger syringe to draw off more fluid (make her more comfortable).  Salt/diet restriction?  Possibly a diuretic.

some background:  http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/204601.htm
                               http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/500/understanding-and-controlling-ascites

Good
luck!


Very good info in these articles, thank you.

As far as salt intake, she gets very little if any in her diet, so not really anything I can cut back on.

Her lungs are not congested that I can tell, no breathing problems at all, this makes me think that pulmonary hypertension is probably not a factor in this case.

That brings us to liver function.

Now that I think of it her face had been a little pale a few days last week.

I haven't seen any legumes growing on the property, but I will make a thorough inspection tomorrow to make sure that isn't a factor.


Milkthistle is good for the liver (this has been verified) and  ideally you will want to consult an avian on any diuretic med but  an infusion of stinging nettle (you can purchase nettle tea loose or in bags but ensure it is ONLY nettle) in her water (separate  so only she gets it) is a light diuretic and you might try that.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlhunicorn 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rooster-red 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan3 

Poor chook, probably ascites.  You can use a larger syringe to draw off more fluid (make her more comfortable).  Salt/diet restriction?  Possibly a diuretic.

some background:  http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/204601.htm
                               http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/500/understanding-and-controlling-ascites

Good
luck!


Very good info in these articles, thank you.

As far as salt intake, she gets very little if any in her diet, so not really anything I can cut back on.

Her lungs are not congested that I can tell, no breathing problems at all, this makes me think that pulmonary hypertension is probably not a factor in this case.

That brings us to liver function.

Now that I think of it her face had been a little pale a few days last week.

I haven't seen any legumes growing on the property, but I will make a thorough inspection tomorrow to make sure that isn't a factor.


Milkthistle is good for the liver (this has been verified) and  ideally you will want to consult an avian on any diuretic med but  an infusion of stinging nettle (you can purchase nettle tea loose or in bags but ensure it is ONLY nettle) in her water (separate  so only she gets it) is a light diuretic and you might try that.


Thank you for answering the next question I was going to ask before I asked it!

I was going to ask if anyone knew of a diuretic I could use.

Dianna, you amaze me!

"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
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"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
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post #8 of 19

The ascites is secondary to something else going on... the nettle  will only  be supporitve (not at all curative > the vet will have a more powerful dieuretic but this would have possible side effects and I doubt very much if it would be used alone to deal with the ascites) .. I have to leave for the day but will try and find  more specific info on the milk thistle ...
ascites ofen accompanies reproductive problems  so you might have a think on that.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Update:

Today was the first day off I've had in 13 days, so I finally had time to do a more thorough draining.

I drained 342 ML of fluid, and still need to drain more.

The difference was unreal in the hen.

I know its not a cure, but it seemed to greatly help the way she feels.

"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
Reply
"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
Reply
post #10 of 19

In the past I have run across members with a beloved pet  that suffered from ascites (there can be so many primary causes > difficult to comment on that) > they all report the same and I know from the veterinary literature (cage birds)  the same... drain and manage (one member had a hen with this for over four years... she consulted an avian vet and occasionally administered baytril when the fluid indicated a possible infection) and  the bird had a firly good quality of life in that time  but at a certain point  it got worse and she  put her down.)   Drain and manage with general supportive therapy (no stress (incl temp stress > cold  or temp swings will make it worse) ... without knowing the primary cause it difficult to do anything else.

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