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Successful surgery on chick umbilical hernia

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,
I did not post anything before just in case it did not end well but I'm very confident this chick will be 100% healthy now!
So upon receiving my 35 cackle hatchery chicks at 3 days old, I noticed that one had an umbilical hernia. It seemed dried up and healing. Later that night I saw that the other chicks had pulled the dried up part out of the chick and now there was a bloody length of tissue, about 2 cm long, hanging out of the chick. The other chicks continued to grab the tissue (looked like intestine) pulling it out further. I knew that if I didn't figure out something then the other chicks would kill my hernia chick. I took him/her inside and sterilized the area with alcohol. I attempted to push some of the tissue back in the chick but this was not possible due to swelling and the very small opening of the umbilical cord. I looked at the tissue and it looked pink and whitish in places. After feeling it I decided it "probably" was not intestine. I decided I was going to cut it off to the skin. If this was the chicks intestine I knew it would die but it would also die if it was returned to the other chicks. Even raised by itself, intestine hanging out of the body is lethal. So I was taking a chance with no better alternative. The chick did not seem too distressed so I wrapped his body and head in a wash cloth and flipped him up side down so he would go into a daze. I sterilized hair cutting scissors to make the cut. I cut the tissue away all the way down to the chicks skin. This did bleed a bit and I compressed it with paper Towles until it slowed. After this point I noticed that the opening looked loose enough for more of the chicks inner tissues to come out. I decided to put a stitch in the chick at this point. I used a sterilized everyday sewing needle and cotton thread to put 1 and a half stitches in the chicks umbilical opening. The stitched skin was then sterilized again. This chick did not receive medicated water or feed. I put triple antibiotic ointment on the chicks stitches twice a day for 1 week. Now two weeks later, I just removed the chicks stitch. A scab had formed around the stitches and it stuck out like a small knot (a smaller scab than the original scab). This scab was no longer attached to the skin when I removed the stitch but held in place on top of the skin by the stitch. The opening under the scab was COMPLETELY HEALED. When I removed the thread of the stitch from the chicks skin it left small holes in the chicks skin. Just to be cautious I placed more antibiotic ointment on these small holes. This chick ate and drank normally after I stitched him up and was only a bit lethargic before the procedure when the other chicks were pulling his insides out. So while not a typical case this chick was a success. I hope this helps someone one day. However, I would only resort to this extreme of a measure in emergency situations with no other options.
Edited by Lucky KY Chicks - 7/29/14 at 4:17pm
post #2 of 2

This is an amazing account, thank you so much for sharing in such perfect detail. 

Really- this will come in handy for someone (maybe me?!).  


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