Abdominal cysts in a chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Megan23, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Megan23

    Megan23 New Egg

    Apr 2, 2015
    Our 4 year old Dominique has suffered and finally succumbed to a massive amount of cysts in her abdomen. We know of no illness that she ever suffered from other than the occasional bout of diarrhea. She has always been feisty and very social. About a year ago, she began to lay shelless eggs and then a few with deformed shells, then stopped laying altogether. I noticed that her abdomen was large and pendulous. With research I suspected that she might have egg peritonitis. I drained some fluid from her abdomen that did appear to be egg yolk like in appearance. I continued to monitor her and she did have a few days of being very lethargic, sitting in the coop, not eating. I would offer her some of her favorite treats which she did take and she did seem to recover to her normal feisty self. Still no eggs. Periodically, I would check her belly and tap it for fluid accumulation. Usually I would drain about 200 cc of clear odorless fluid. I drained the fluid because as her belly would become distended, she had trouble walking with the bulk of it. Once drained, she could move around better. I would do this every month is so and assumed it was related to an egg peritonitis. I hoped that as she went through a molt, that her egg production would stop and she would have a chance to basically recover her normal abdomen. In January, she began to lay beautiful little round eggs again, but only for about two weeks. Then I noticed that her belly was becoming distended again. As I palpated I could feel multiple pockets of fluid. I drained as many as I could feel the reduce the distension. But, two days ago, she became very lethargic, fluffed and heavy breathing, this time she had no interest in food. I again drained a few more pockets of fluid, but to no avail. She died that evening. I opened her belly and this is what I found-tons of small fluid filled cysts filling her entire abdomen and up under her rib cage. There was no way I could have drained them all or even gotten to them all. I am not clear on what was going on to cause this to happen. All her other organs looked normal. There did not appear to be any egg yolk in her belly, so I am not sure if the original suspicion of egg peritonitis was the cause or not.

    I tried to submit a photo, but it would not load.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Keep trying to post a picture. Since you are new, sometimes a few more posts are needed to post pictures. Sorry for your loss. Casportpony and a few others on here like to share photos of their necropsies to help other people to recognize what they are seeing in necropsies. I have seen a few pictures with many fluid filled sacs in the abdomen. They could be ovarian follicles, but I'm not very knowledgeable about that. Below is a photo of ovarian follicles, I belive, in an internal layer who died. Here is the thread if you would like to read it: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/186940/warning-graphic-pics-of-internal-egg-layer-necropsy

    Photo by TheOldRebel
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    So sorry for your loss. :( I hope it is your only one.


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