I have a Polish hen that is a little over 2 years old. She just recently started panting and hasn't laid an egg since last week. She doesn't lay everyday and sometimes pants right before she does lay. She's been eating and pooping but isn't acting quite as eager as she usually does, so I got worried and took her to the Vet. He checked her all over and then xrayed her but didn't see any eggs so she's not egg bound. He said her abdomen was a little swollen but not alarming and saw very little abnormalities in her xrays. To be on the safe side in case she had early stages of Peritonitis he gave me Baytril and Metacam for her to take for ten days. She is still really panting off and on but I've only gotten one dose of each in her so far. Did anyones hen pant like this? Something's got to be hurting her.
Egg Yolk Peritonitis Prevention or Management - Page 6
Hi smallflock3. I hope your hen gets better soon. As for panting, Casino would pant when she was about to lay or when she was sitting on eggs sometimes. Otherwise she does it when she is stressed out about something - like when I've got her cooped up somewhere. That's all I know about panting - sorry. I hope someone else has more info.
Thanks for the reply, I am so stressed as this hen is the companion bird for a polish rooster I have with special needs (lame). She keeps him going as she's usually full of energy. They have large wire crates inside and a larger pen outside, they are such great birds. They now have a room mate as my last ISA Brown hen (4.5 years old) got sick and went to the Vet last week and she has a tumor. They are treating her with prednisone to try to shrink it. Sorry to introduce this but it is also probably egg related! This is the only addition to my Polish hen lately was the room mate who is very quiet. They are across the room from each other and I think they get along and have been this way for a week. To top that off, I recently lost another hen from complications from a hysterectomy, she had at least 20 rotten egg masses in her and I'm still trying to get over that. Anyway, back to the Polish hen, I guess a warm bath wouldn't hurt her. I gave her one Saturday and it seemed to calm her for a short period of time. I'm slowly going crazy and broke!
oh - you are really having a rough time. I'm so sorry. I am stressed out enough with just one hen to take care of. I was wondering how the vet knew for sure your hen has a tumor. Where is it? Mine said she could have an ovarian tumor but wouldn't know for sure without surgery or else she has peritonitis. I take her in for a follow up on thursday. You are really doing a lot to help your chickens. I know it costs alot. I have already spent so much on one girl. That is so good of you to to all that for them. I hope they all get better soon.
I found a Vet not too far from us that could do an ultrasound. He said when he first examined her that there was something in her abdomen that wasn't right. He did the ultrasound on her abdomen and said it was a large tumor near her liver but I know they really can't tell the point of origin unless like you said, they open her up. Most doctors I have talked to will not operate on tumors unless it was something like in their neck or a place not so close to their organs. The prednisone is just a test, time will tell and having her in the house makes us get even closer to her. She is still scarfing down the crickets.
My Polish is still panting but eats and scratches around but now she sneezes once in a while and has wet nares. It could be allergies or a reaction to the liquid Baytril or ???? I know sneezing is not good!!
How is your Polish doing? Any better today? I go back to the vet tomorrow for a followup. I hope he says she is doing better. She seems like she is doing better, but it's hard to say for sure. He did mention an ultrasound the first time we saw him but I think if she didn't start to do better soon.
Hii evereyone, how are your respective girls doing? Mine is hanging in and seems to still be doing the better-but-worse thing. Much of the fluid in her abdomen suddenly disappeared and she's a bit perkier, but definitely slowing down and losing weight. She seems to have more or less handed head chicken status off to her successor, but will keep order when the need arises. Once the fluid was gone I could feel a huge mass in her abdomen. It doesn't seem to hurt her but she doesn't appreciate having it poked, either. She tends to go quietly off on her own while I have everyone out. But she's enjoying lying in the sun and eating the odd grasshopper. She'll tell me when it's time, I guess. Meanwhile, she's warming up to being snuggled...
You've gotta love what a chicken has: a little bit of attitude, a whole lot of jazz!
You've gotta love what a chicken has: a little bit of attitude, a whole lot of jazz!
My Polish hen is panting less, but still some. Glad to see it slow down! She didn't eat alot this morning, so I'm just holding my breath. She seemed to do better outside in her pen but then she may be hiding it because she knows she's outside and has to be on the defense. I just don't know. I hope the rest of my birds stay well, I don't know if I can nurse anyone else right now.
My ISA Brown hen is holding her own and still getting small doses of the Prednisone. I talked to her Vet today and the instructions were to continue this for another week and then we will lessen the dose the following week. He also said I could try to feed her some rice or cous cous or orzo, anything like that with carbohydrates to try to get her weight up. I really lucked up with this Vet that did the ultrasound on my ISA Brown hen, as the cost was much less than I expected, it was cheaper than the xrays for the Polish hen but then it may be because it was two different Vets. Sorry to talk about cost but I'm not one that can afford all of this, but then feel guilty if I don't try.
I hope all is better with your Casino. This darn egg thing has really gotten to me. It's not fair for these birds to have to go through this pain, I'm now on edge with all my hens and trying to think of preventative maintenance but it's hard to fight genetics. It's nice to have folks to talk to on this forum! It really helps.
Hi Noblerooster and smallflock3. An update on Casino. I took her back to the vet yesterday. He said her abdomen is still swollen but definitely less than it was the first time he saw her about a month ago. He said about half the size. He couldn't feel any masses/tumors just with his hands either. So two good signs, but of course doesn't mean all is well. He said if it was his chicken, he would go ahead with another dose of Lupron and not do another round of Baytril since she is eating. And that was about it. I guess since she has been improving in eating and in energy - I should just leave her be because because Baytril - even though it's good - could also possibly cause her to lose appetite. And unless she starts to go downhill again or not eat again to leave her be for now. So she got more Lupron and I took her back and let her loose. It took me over an hour to catch her that morning - I was getting worried we would miss our appointment. But it's a good sign that she's so hard to catch I guess. The past few days she has definitely been eating more and is more perky.
I totally understand how you feel about the vet smallflock - I can't afford it either but I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to Casino and I didn't do all I could to help her. I just love her so much.
Noblerooster - that would be the day when Casino enjoys snuggling! She really hates being handled. Once you have her confined she is very docile and such, but getting her is another story. I wonder why the fluid in your girl disappeared so suddenly?
I was wondering what the best feed is to give her. Before I had been feeding her egg layer crumble, and this time I had to get some flock raiser because they didn't have egg layer. But I thought about getting Start and grow. Do you think it'd be beneficial to give her start and grow or maybe chick starter because it has antibiotics in it? I also got some millet, flax, sunflower seed and gave it to her and she seemed to enjoy that. She was 3 lbs 13 oz when I took her to the vet the first time about a month ago Then 2 weeks ago only 3 lbs 7 oz or so. And this time only about 3 lbs 5 oz. Some of the weight loss I guess is due to the fluid being less but also some regular weight loss from not eating I guess. Hopefully she won't go down anymore as she is eating regularly now.
The Polish hen is not panting anymore but she's hardly eating and is molting, so is my ISA Brown hen. I know the Polish hen stopped eating her last molt and I had to find stuff to trigger her appetite. She's being pretty quiet too but like I said she is now acting like she did the last molt. I still worry as the Vet had said her abdomen was a little swollen. I am giving her all her meds like was prescribed though.
The ISA Brown hen is being hand fed again and I have ordered a feeding tube and hopefully can get some food into her soon. She picks at her feed, and still is eating lots of crickets. She is the happiest outside scratching and dirt bathing. I wish I could let her stay there but for now I can't. I have to call her Vet tomorrow for another report. It's just hard to tell if she's not eating as much because the tumor is bothering her or if it's the molting. Or if she's going to try to lay again. All my birds are going through the molt to some degree right now. But some still have their appetites.
Emilysteng, I am copying a link to info on feeding. I took this advice, but probably too late for a few of my hens. It is http://www.brittonclouse.com/chickenrunrescue/FHealthy%20Diet809-1.pdf. Check out this website too for other good information.
Noble Rooster, I had another ISA Brown hen that had Peritonitis and she would swell up off and on and waddle but back then we didn't know enough to realize exactly what was happening to her. She died at 2 years old from it, I guess she just couldn't reabsorb the fluid and it went septic in her. My husband found her in the run and just cried like a baby. I've read more since then and I know people either drain the fluid themselves or have a Vet do it but I don't think with any of these reproductive problems, there is a great permanent fix as hysterectomies if you have the money, still can be fatal. It just breaks my heart, maybe I shouldn't have hens, I guess I just love them too much.