2 year old hen is lethargic, refuses to move or open eyes, and had a bluish comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by machuni, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. machuni

    machuni Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2012
    Carrboro, NC
    Hey everyone,

    My 2 year old red sex-link, Bert, is very sick. She was absolutely fine yesterday evening, was running around, eating grapes, etc. Today, I found her sitting on the ground outside the coop and she is really lethargic, will not move and just sits there, and her comb is turning blue. She is also refusing to eat/drink or even open her eyes and I have yet to see her poop. She had pulled out quite a few feathers around her crop, and her crop is filled with fluid and deviated to the right (but nothing hard or solid that I can feel). Could she have sour crop? We also had to have our septic pump dug up and replaced 2 days ago, could she have ingested something that is causing an infection? She hasn't lost muscle tone, but is having trouble keeping her head up. Could it be botulism? Would it have that fast an effect on her that she did a 180 in less than 24 hours? I listened to her lungs and didn't hear any crackles, and she's not open-mouthed breathing, so I think they're clear, so what's causing the bluish comb? Any advice would be appreciated.

    What I've done so far: 1) Massaged her crop in an attempt to dislodge anything that might be present, 2) Gave her 2.5 ml of olive oil, 3) Gave her 1.5 ml of Trimeth/Sulfate, and of course 4) We brought her in, isolated her, and are keeping her warm.

    Are there any other recommendations? Any suggestions on how often to give her olive oil? Or water? Judging by how little she is moving, I assume she doesn't have long left, but I'm willing to do whatever to try and keep her going.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  2. TTracy

    TTracy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry you are having such troubles with your little hen. I have never had any experience with this but did see this article on BYC. It may or may not be what your hen has, however worth the share. good luck to you. I hope someone else knows more about this!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/blue-comb
     
  3. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was her crop empty in the morning?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I doubt that it is botulism since she does not have flaccid paralysis of her legs--from what I have read is that botulism paralysis goes from the legs up to the wings, then neck, then they stop breathing. Don't use oil in sour crop--use probiotics or yogurt and nystatin or Medistatin available online.
     
  5. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Clotrimazole Vaginal cream also works, it can be bought at a drug store. I have had success with this with sour crop.
     
  6. machuni

    machuni Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2012
    Carrboro, NC
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, Bert passed away yesterday. And it all happened in the span of less than 4 hours. I don't understand because she was totally fine, active, and eating the day before. I opened her crop after she died and did not find anything super unusual. It was really full and did smell sour, but it didn't look like anything was really blocking it. I'm still unsure as to what actually killed her because her weight was fine and it seems more like she asphyxiated than anything else. Any ideas on what could have killed her so fast and caused her to stop breathing? Should I be worried about my other hens?
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Sorry for your loss. Sour crop can be just a symptom of something else more major going on in the body. Could she stand at all before she died? You had said that her muscle tone was still fine, but after re-reading your first post, her eyes were closed and she was sitting. That may have been botulism if she could not stand, hold her head up , or open her eyes. Getting a necropsy by your state vet if another death were to occur would be the way to get a definite answer. Here is a link for botulism: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
     
  8. machuni

    machuni Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know if she couldn't stand, but she wouldn't. She would sometimes stick her legs out when I picked her up, but sink down to the ground and withdraw into herself when I put her back down. She also did not make ANY noises from the time I found her until she died. But I think you're right because she wasn't even trying/struggling to breathe, even though she was clearly turning blue, so I guess she was becoming paralyzed. The only thing I can think of was what I mentioned earlier about our septic pump being dug up a couple of days before. How long is the incubation usually for botulism? Would it only be a couple of days between her ingesting dead/decaying material and dying or longer than that? Also, does it go through a chicken that quickly?

    Thanks again for your earlier replies.
     
  9. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say she was already in the process of dying. It can be sudden. Sour crop unfortunately keeps the crop from working properly. Poisons the bird. It sounds like sour crop, especially being full and sour smell. They hide their sickness from us, and when they are, its often not good.

    As for the other birds, de-worm them all. Worms can slow the emptying of the crop. Of course blockage and many other things can cause sour crop as well.

    I am so sorry for your loss. We get so attached to these birds.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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