??? about necropsy report

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AZmama, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. AZmama

    AZmama In the Brooder

    May 16, 2007
    Several weeks ago I found our barred rock, Checkers, collapsed. I brought her inside to cool her off, thinking it was the heat. (It's around 110 here.) She wasn't improving, and fearing for her life, I took her to the vet. They weren't able to save her. The vet felt it was something other than the heat. Concerned for our other chickens, we had a necropsy done.

    The vet called with the results. She said it was an infection of her reproductive tract. It was specific to her, so I didn't need to worry about the others catching it. But she also mentioned e-coli could have been transmitted in her poo. So do I worry or not?

    Here is the diagnosis and comment section of the report:

    Diagnosis: 1. Acute neuraxonal degeneration, brainstem, optic globes, and white matter of cerebellum. 2. Yolk coelomitis with folliucular degeneration and free yolk in the oviduct. 3. Mild heterophilic splenitis. 4. Mild chronic enteritis.

    Comment: Histologic changes in this case are consistent with yolk coelomitis. The changes in the brain account for the clinical presentation and are likely due to hypoxia associated with a yolk embolus, although the embolus is not present in the plane of section. I am suspicious, based on the gross presentation and histologic changes, that this bird may have low grade sepsis and bacterial oophoritis, and an addendum will follow with results of culture. The histologic changes in the intestine are consistent with chronic antigenic stimulation, likely due to low grade parasitism, although no parasites were seen. The intestinal lesion was likely well tolerated, as this bird was in good to excellent nutritional status at the time of death.

    Addendum: Aerobic culture of the ovary revealed light growth of Proteus and two strains of E. coli. I believe that the Proteus is a contaminant, but that the E. coli may have contributed to the yolk coelomitis.

    The bolded statements are what concern me for the other chickens. I had their droppings tested back in Jan. Nothing.

    All you more experience chicken lovers, do you see anything in this report that I should worry about? What should I do?

    I have one hen that has not been laying most of the summer. Then she started laying after Checkers died. A couple soft eggs, a few normal eggs, now nothing again. She has been getting in the nest, but not laying. Could she have the same thing?
  2. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Do what I did, call the lab and ask for an explanation. I can't remember what it was that got my attention in the report but it was an organism that should not have been there. Turns out it was more than likely cross contamination from the lab.

    They were very nice and explained the findings in a way that were much more understandable. Your vet probably also rec'd a report, you can also call them and ask.
  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    e.coli is found as a "normal" inhabitant of the gut flora of the chicken ...it is opportunistic organism which will rapidly take advantage in time of weakness, stress disease or parasitic challenge and quickly becomes a seconday complicating factor in illness...
    >in other words it is quite normal and you need not fear for your other birds... you should regularly disinfect the housing and run with a good disinfectant that will keep e. coli and salmonella in check ...
    ...it is another reason why you should not feed your birds milk or uncultured dairy products as the e.coli use this as a growth medium (plus the fact that birds do not produce the enzyme lactase to process the lactose in dairy... it gives them a tummy ache and can cause dehydration).
    This is what is nice about a necropsy... now you do not have to worry...
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    I'm no expert and can only muck my way through that, but it sounds like she died of an infection due to "internal laying", a yolk fell into the body cavity instead of traveling down the oviduct. It goes on to explain that she had degeneration of the follicles of the ovaries possibly due to a bacterial infection.

    The part about intestinal lesions is probably due to coccidiosis or worms. Both can damage the lining of the intestine and can lead to scarring that remains even after they are gone.

    Best call the lab and have them explain in layman's terms...
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'm really glad that the necropsy didn't show any contagious disease.

    This is such a hard time of year for your birds. I would mainly just concentrate on continuing to give them the best care you can. If you wanted to, you could always give your birds some probiotics. Good bacteria in the gut helps reduce bad bacteria in the gut.

    There are a lot of causes of internal laying that have nothing to do with E. coli. That seems like an unusual conclusion, to me. You could talk to the lab and your vet, for clarification. I suspect the E. coli was just exploiting an opportunity in a hen with other problems.
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    There are a lot of causes of internal laying that have nothing to do with E. coli. That seems like an unusual conclusion, to me.

    I do not think that is what the lab concluded...it just noted that the e.coli was pathogenic ... I understood the vet to be concerned about it being present in the faeces left behind...
    ...the vet may not realize (if not dealing extensively with chickens) that this is a very common finding with any disease process (that the "natural" e.coli will turn into a pathogenic secondary complication)....​
  7. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Songster

    Jul 27, 2007
    *runs around grabbing petri dishes with media* [​IMG]


    Soooo.....it all depends on the E. coli.

    You should ask them if they ID-ed the different strains. E. coli is so totally normal to be pretty much everywhere. It's only when it's the wrong strain in the wrong place that it gets bad. Basically, it sounds to me like your chicky had some sort human equivalent to a uterine infection--but it's not normal that there would be TWO strains of E. coli without one being more pathogenic. Also ask if they had an anaerobic swab, because if there were at least two types of bacteria, there should be more. Much more.

    Basically, she died because she had too many bacteria in her blood and all the toxins they were producing caused all that "degeneration" all over the place. (Gangrene inside)

    Now, as far as parasitism, that's not all that theoretically could have caused her "chronic antigenic stimulation". I'm not sure if chickens get allergies or cancer or autoimmune disease--but any of these certainly could have caused this--think inflammatory bowel syndrome and the like. This is probably what led the bacteria to get into her system.

    Like other posters have said, E. coli is normal in chicky poopy....but to DC your coop, just spray it with a bit of bleach. If you have a UV light, use that too.

    [​IMG] Sorry....I get a little excited about my bacteria friends....Poor Checkers.[​IMG]

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