Abscess or tumor? *Warning, graphic pictures*

Uruviel

In the Brooder
Nov 24, 2021
4
14
23
I noticed some blood on the chest of our alpha hen last night when I went to close them up for the night, and much to my chagrin she has a huge growth on her back between her shoulders. Our hens are only just 7 months old so I know the chances of Marek is possible.

I've done two sessions of hydrotherapy, last night cut away all the feathers that were covering the growth so I could really clean it. I put antiseptic and isolated her in a much warmer room. She's eating and drinking but she has diarrhea that I can easily see now that she's not doing her business on the wood shavings in the coop.

This mornings hydrotherapy got a huge chunk of the scab off, and it's looking more like a tumor to me.

I have an appointment with our vet on Monday, but I'm willing to humanely euthanize her right away if this is likely a tumor. It's hot to the touch as there is clearly infection.

Any thoughts are welcome on what you would do and how to treat. I'm not sure she can survive with a tumor this size.
If it's an abscess I'll keep the vet appointment and get it lanced.

1st picture is once the feathers were cut back and the last showing the indent in the middle is now that most of the scab is gone.
 

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Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,653
60,942
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
I noticed some blood on the chest of our alpha hen last night when I went to close them up for the night, and much to my chagrin she has a huge growth on her back between her shoulders. Our hens are only just 7 months old so I know the chances of Marek is possible.

I've done two sessions of hydrotherapy, last night cut away all the feathers that were covering the growth so I could really clean it. I put antiseptic and isolated her in a much warmer room. She's eating and drinking but she has diarrhea that I can easily see now that she's not doing her business on the wood shavings in the coop.

This mornings hydrotherapy got a huge chunk of the scab off, and it's looking more like a tumor to me.

I have an appointment with our vet on Monday, but I'm willing to humanely euthanize her right away if this is likely a tumor. It's hot to the touch as there is clearly infection.

Any thoughts are welcome on what you would do and how to treat. I'm not sure she can survive with a tumor this size.
If it's an abscess I'll keep the vet appointment and get it lanced.

1st picture is once the feathers were cut back and the last showing the indent in the middle is now that most of the scab is gone.
That's quite large.
Let's get @azygous and @Eggcessive to chime in.
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,946
39,910
1,182
Colorado Rockies
I had a hen like yours where she had been withdrawing from the flock activity, and when I examined her, I found such a wound. I tried to treat it over the next few weeks, and despite debriding and meticulous wound care, it never got any better.

Since, I found this article on bird skin cancers. https://wagwalking.com/bird/condition/squamous-cell-carcinoma- My hen likely had a squamous cell tumor on her preening gland. I euthanized her once I knew she was never going to get any better. And she was obviously in considerable pain.
 

Uruviel

In the Brooder
Nov 24, 2021
4
14
23
Whoa! That's gruesome. If she was mine, I'd put her down regardless of whether it's a tumor or an abscess/infected wound.
That was my initial reaction too, she's just such a trooper. She just wants to spend her time scratching and pretending life is normal!
Makes it such a hard decision.
 

Uruviel

In the Brooder
Nov 24, 2021
4
14
23
I had a hen like yours where she had been withdrawing from the flock activity, and when I examined her, I found such a wound. I tried to treat it over the next few weeks, and despite debriding and meticulous wound care, it never got any better.

Since, I found this article on bird skin cancers. https://wagwalking.com/bird/condition/squamous-cell-carcinoma- My hen likely had a squamous cell tumor on her preening gland. I euthanized her once I knew she was never going to get any better. And she was obviously in considerable pain.
Thank you so much for answering so quickly and for the info. I'm so sorry you've been through this too.. these are my first chickens and she is our very first chick so it's hitting hard.
She's not showing any signs of pain or slowing down whatsoever but I'm sure she isn't comfortable whatsoever with a festering wound like that.

They're such resilient little things!
 

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