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Advice needed for older hen with swollen abdomen and dirty vent. -Drained fluid post #17

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenKeeper37, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. ChickenKeeper37

    ChickenKeeper37 Out Of The Brooder

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    The girl in question has been quiet for about two weeks. She has not had much of an appetite, but was eating so it did not worry me too much.

    Today she took a turn for the worse, and when I let everybody outside she had a little wobble to her walk and I saw she had droppings stuck to her feathers around the vent area. She was also standing around, looking as if she was trying to lay an egg or "go". I cleaned her off, and was more concerned with how swollen her abdomen was. I can't feel any egg stuck, but I don't want to push too hard either and hurt her or make it worse. I could not even feel her crop and she is very thin.

    A little about this red hen. Nosey was given to me from a friend because she was not getting along with some new additions. She is fine with my small "mean" flock, lol. She lays huge eggs, and when I first got her she would lay many eggs with blood spots, most had really weak shells and would crack before I could even get them, they were strange shaped and some had "pimples". The move may have had something to do with this. I changed feed a little to see if that would help and gave less scratch grains. When she started to lay again, she was some better. I think she is at least 5 years old now and I have had her for about a year.

    I have gotten no eggs from her this month, so laying might have nothing to do with what is wrong. I thought of giving her a soak in some warm water, but at the same time I dont want to stress her out for no reason, not when it was getting cold tonight. Tomorrow it will be warmer here and I think it could be worth a try if she is still with us and no better.

    I just don't know what to do for her. I made a mash out of layer pellets, a vitamin supplement, a little oil and some canned veggies and she liked that and ate some. I'll take her out away from the others and feed it to her again in the morning if she wants any, and I think I should put her in the dog crate tomorrow so the others don't bother her. Any adivce, suggestions or recommend reading would be great. I am no chicken expert by any means, and if I missed something please tell me and I'll be happy to give you any info I can. Does she sound egg bound? Could she just be old at 5 or 6? I did change layer pellets two-three months ago and got the Omeg-3 layena. The only other change I can think of, is when I cleaned them out I put down a light dusting of sweet PDZ I had gotten for my horse and it says it can be used with chickens. On the site there is "chicken coop use and directions" http://sweetpdz.com/

    I am really worried and would be very thankful for any help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  2. weezilgirl

    weezilgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sorry Nosey is doing poorly. By all means, put her in a crate away from the other chickens. Keep fresh water available for her at all times.

    From what my neighbors say, 6 is old for a hen. So, age could have something to do with her lethargy and lack of appetite. Have you heard of a product called Red Cell? It has everything under the sun in it (minerals) and can stimulate a hen who isn't eating much.

    I would clean her bottom tomorrow. I use warm wet rags and trim the dirty feathers back. Has she been wormed? One of mine was ill and she rebounded after I wormed her. I feed a sick hen a mixture of boiled egg yolk, cooked liver and a bit of cooking oil. Try to keep her eating. I even used a syringe and fed yoghurt to Thelma. When she felt better, she ate it on her own.

    The blood on the eggs and the pimply spots can be caused by parasites. Do you see any other signs of mites or lice? I dust mine with DE and Sevin. It has kept everyone clean.

    I hope I've given you something to work with. I'm new at this.

    I'll check back tomorrow. Good luck! Goodnight, Pat
     
  3. ChickenKeeper37

    ChickenKeeper37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much Pat! She made it through the night ok, so I am just going to go take her out.

    Is the Red Cell made by Farnam? If it is, then I have seen it all over around here. I never would have thought to give it to a hen though. [​IMG]

    I did clean her up yesterday, but since she spent the night laying in the nest box I am sure I will need to again. Now that you mention it, she has not been wormed in the time I have had her and I'm not sure if she ever has been. Last time I thought of worming the girls (and boy) all the hens were laying really well and I wanted to be able to use the eggs. Right now might be a good time to have them all done, if it's fine to deworm when they are molting/going to molt. I don't want to give nosey any unnecessary chemicals and make her worse, but I'm about ready for last-ditch efforts if it could help.

    Time to go cook for my chook? I do have some lime yogurt on hand. Might have to have someone pick up plain later today if I can get her to eat it. I think the supplement I gave her has some sort of digestive aids in it, but will need to go see what it is. I can't get the info for Manna Pro Omega Egg Maker up online and need to see the bag.

    I have not seen any parasites on the chickens, but I will check 'em again anyway to be sure.

    Just a little note. My barred rock was feeling a little under the weather for a few days to, but nothing near as bad as this. She was a little skittish around the other birds for about three days, then started to molt and is back to her old self again. I am not sure if that means anything or not, just thought I would tell you anyway.

    I was looking up egg peritonitis last night, and with her history of laying it could be a possibility [​IMG]I hope that's not what it is, but I'm trying to brace myself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  4. weezilgirl

    weezilgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Red Cell is made by Farman. I took a teaspoon of warm water and mixed in three drops of Red Cell. I gave it with a syringe in the beak. Carefully. I gave it to her three times a day that first time. Then once a day. My neighbor rodoeos and he gives it to his horses. Bird dog trainers give it to their dogs. I now give it to my dogs in their water and the hens drink there when they want.

    Plain yoghurt would be great although if all I had was lime, I'd go ahead and give it to her.

    I don't know about worming and moulting. I hope someone will weigh in on that one. I didn't even know to worm until this year. No one was feeling sickly so I wormed everyone when I did Thelma.

    I hope it isn't egg peritonitis but if it is, there are ways to deal with it. Thelma got 'sour crop' and I had already watched a video on it and I flipped her upside down and stuff shot out her mouth, like you would not believe! My granddaughter gagged and ran off. :) She is 8. I have learned that there is information on every problem a chicken can have. I always run in and Google it. :)

    Thelma and I did not give up.And we had 4 more months of good times. When it was time, I held her and sang to her. My neighbors were astounded that I had hens her age. I didn't know that they ordinarily live to 3-5 years.

    Check back in later. Pat
     
  5. ChickenKeeper37

    ChickenKeeper37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quick update. I don't think she is egg-bound. She is starting to have a harder time breathing, and opens her mouth for every breath and has clear nasal discharge. She is still eating and drinking and does not seen too distressed, though she was not a fan of the yogurt. We'll see what happens.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Didn't read through the thread, from title, sounds like ascites. Could be heart or liver function issues due to old age, or she could have become an internal layer. As for treatment, I'll refer you to others. I cull all mine.
     
  7. weezilgirl

    weezilgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Has Nosey's comb any purple in it? That will come when there is a lack of oxygen and blood flow. Thelma's crop did that right at the end.
    I don't want to scare you, just prepare you if her comb has turned.
    Is it hot where she is? The breathing through the beak could be due to that. I made little 'mudholes' for Thelma to sit in when she
    was hot. If she is in a crate and you're as crazy as I am, put a small fan on her. I know.[​IMG] But it helped.

    I've been invited by family to eat homemade ice cream. I'll check back with you when I return. Pat
     
  8. ChickenKeeper37

    ChickenKeeper37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Pat. I'm glad to hear Thelma did well for so many months! We are trying do what we can for nosey and keep her comfortable as long as we can.

    After some reading I'm still confused on worming, haha. I am might try and call a vet that knows something about chickens; I think that would be the fastest way to get the answers I need.

    No purple in her comb right now. She is still up and wanting to eat and drink when I let her out this morning. It was warm yesterday, but she is still breathing through her beak off and on even today and it's still cool out.

     
    Aw. I would go get a fan set up, but I have just been letting her go in the barn aisle in the day and it's cooler in there anyway. She wants to move around and I felt bad for her in the crate, and it's not like she is going to wonder too far.


    I made it out to TSC yesterday. I could not get Red Cell there, so picked up a vitamin and electrolyte powder to add to her water and something called VetRx. It says "for relief of upper respiratory ailments" and I thought it might help with her breathing, and at worst it would not hurt her.
     
    Homemade ice cream sounds really good right now...


    Silkiechicken, Thank you! That will give me some new things to go look up [​IMG]
     
  9. weezilgirl

    weezilgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm so happy that Nosey is up and around. It is great that she can roam and not have to stay in the crate. I had to put Thelma in one because Louise decided to peck her because she was looking poorly. I don't understand hens being so mean to one that is sick, but they are. Greyhounds will gang up also. The reason I know that bit of ' trivia' is because my daughter and I rescue them.

    Sounds like you're doing great for Nosey. Glad you could find all those supplements and the RX. The only antibiotic I know about is Duramycin. A member here told me about it or I read a thread with the information. I don't remember which. I used it when she had a thin yellow stool. Something worked because she started having normal BMs. I also kept her on yoghurt for a long time. She hated it and the other hens would positively swoon when they smelled it. :) Just like kids.

    The ice cream was wonderful! Vanilla!

    Keep me updated. Pat
     
  10. ChickenKeeper37

    ChickenKeeper37 Out Of The Brooder

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    I had no idea Greyhounds would do that. I alway thought they looked like such gentle dogs.

    I could not find an antibiotic to use. The only one they had for poultry would have been very hard to divide up for just one bird, and I don't know enough about them to get one that does not say it's ok for chickens. Still useing the RX and she does not seem any worse.

    I don't really have much of an update. Everything is going along about the same as before, though now that Nosey is out she wants my luch when I take it to the barn and seems to enjoy eating the cat food [​IMG]
     

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