Abscess or hernia or ascitis? for over a year

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Keltie, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Keltie

    Keltie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Hi, our hen (about 3 years old) has had a growth on her abdomen below her vent for probably a year now. When we first discovered it, we did some research on this forum, and tried draining it. However, we live in an urban area and the only syringe we could find was from a pharmacy and it was tiny - and it just seemed mean to keep poking and withdrawing so many times she'd be like a pincushion! It also didn't seem like the descriptions on other people's threads (clear fluid) - it was more like watery blood. Anyways, we stopped after the first syringe and decided to just monitor. Since then, she has continued to exhibit normal chicken behaviour: eating, drinking, dustbathing, pooping, scratching, etc. She doesn't lay often (once every week or 2), but she is 3 so that's not too abnormal maybe? When she does lay, the egg has a soft spot, and is kind of oblong shaped. She also goes to bed about an hour before the last bird. (We call her grandma Gertie!)

    Anyways, the growth has increased in size, and we feel like we should give it another try. Although she doesn't show any obvious discomfort, it is so big it is starting to make her run bow-legged.

    Any thoughts/ideas? Do we just use the tiny syringe and persevere to do this as many times as needed? I have read there may be danger in withdrawing too much fluid at a time. I have also read some threads about lancing the abscess, if it is filled with pus (cottage-cheese like consistency) rather than clear fluid, although this seems a lot more daunting than the syringe.

    Recently was reading about a hernia, and that draining this doesn't help either. However, it seems to be related to large egg size, and Gertie's eggs are pretty normal - not as small as our silkie's eggs, but not super giant either.

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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I would not recommend draining it. It may be a hernia or cyst, but I don't think it is ascites fluid. I have a hen with the same problem for the last 2 years. It is soft, but solid. Some of these turn out to be full of fat, or the large intestine, but teratoma, a cyst consisting of tissue from different parts of the body, can also be a possibility. Someone on BYC recently had a hen with one of these, and it burst. Her other chickens were pulling the intestines out when she found the hen dead. My hen is like yours, about 3, and lays an occasional egg. I have been considering culling her, but she gets along fine, but she looks grotesque. If you do cull, and do a necropsy to find out what it is, please post pictures.
     
  3. Keltie

    Keltie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Just as an update - we did try draining it with a syringe. Nothing really came out, but afterwards yellow opaque egg-yolk looking stuff dripped out of the hole the needle had made for a little while. Not a lot, and though we tried one more time none of this stuff came up through the syringe. We kept get inside for a day but she's back with the rest of the flock now, behaving perfectly normally but with her giant sack. Really hard to know what to do - seems a shame to cull her when she still gets enjoyment from life, but the sack looks so uncomfortable and I'd hate to discover the other hens pecking at her burst intestines one day. Will def cut it open when she does die/we cull, and will post a further update. Pls do the same with your bird.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Yes, I will do that. Mine is still enjoying herself as well.
     

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