Air bubbles under chicks skin

Cattt123

Chirping
Jul 29, 2020
43
70
79
United Kingdom
Hi all,
I’ve read all I can on here about this but looking for some opinions.

Chick is a couple days old. Very lethargic, still eats and drinks but needs encouragement.

Chick has a critical care vitamin water and has had a very small amount of boiled egg yolk.

You can see in the pics there is a bubbly bit under the skin. Feels like liquid but you can see the air bubbles. If I press hard there is a crackly sound. Crop is full as you can see, is this just a full crop, is it a burst air sac?

I just sterilised the area, lanced it with a sterile needle and it went down, but has immediately refilled.

How long should I leave it until I release it again?
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007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Oct 25, 2015
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It has a tear in the air sac. It's not know for certain what causes it to rupture, sometimes it's because of an attack by predators, ie; hawk attacks. Also, thought to be caused by startling a bird in it's sleep!
Treatment is to sterilize the area and using a sterile needle, insert it just enough to release the air trapped under the skin.

It can be a 'one off' event or it can happen again, within a week or a month. It may also return within an hour. The quicker the treatment is administered, the better the likelyhood of it reoccurring is diminished.
It's not fully understood why some birds have this condition and others do not but with proper treatment there appears to be no long term side effects.
 

Cattt123

Chirping
Jul 29, 2020
43
70
79
United Kingdom
It has a tear in the air sac. It's not know for certain what causes it to rupture, sometimes it's because of an attack by predators, ie; hawk attacks. Also, thought to be caused by startling a bird in it's sleep!
Treatment is to sterilize the area and using a sterile needle, insert it just enough to release the air trapped under the skin.

It can be a 'one off' event or it can happen again, within a week or a month. It may also return within an hour. The quicker the treatment is administered, the better the likelyhood of it reoccurring is diminished.
It's not fully understood why some birds have this condition and others do not but with proper treatment there appears to be no long term side effects.

Thank you for this! I did the treatment already and it went down, came back and I did it again. Then it didn’t come back for about 18 hours.

it’s there again now but I’m worried because I can see stuff in the area too. I would imagine it’s what the inside of the crop looks like -their food but all mushy and soft.
But it still crackles when gently pushed, and still has some air bubbles in.

Should I continue to lance it do you think?
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007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Oct 25, 2015
33,661
201,714
1,652
South Central Texas
The poor chick has chronic Subcutaneous Emphysema, aka, ruptured air sac. The 'crackling' sound is a sure sign of rupture, it's made when pushing the air around under the skin. It might need surgery to install a stint or to actually close the rupture....that would require a veterinarian and would be expensive. The chick being so small would present a huge problem in actually performing the surgery!

You may just keep releasing the air, it might heal it's self? Usually surgery is only performed on larger fowl that are rare or expensive specimens.
I'm not a veterinarian! but have treated my own birds that had ruptured air sac due to a predator attack. The probability of secondary infection is increased each time treatment is administered. If your willing to take on those risks and continue the treatment, then 'go for it'. :fl

Hope your chick recovers without too many treatments. :hugs
 
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Cattt123

Chirping
Jul 29, 2020
43
70
79
United Kingdom
Any update on the chick?
So I’ve taken her to the vet - I did use a tiny needle myself (disinfected the area and sterilised needle etc) and released the air initially. Since then, there is like solid stuff in there, it just looks like her crop but bulging in an abnormal place.

Frustratingly the vet appointment was in the AM when her crop isn’t enlarged, so the vet did a thorough exam and couldn’t really see the issue. She tested the crop and found no infection there, and basically said as long as she keeps eating, drinking and putting on weight she should be fine.

I did send some images the evening after so the vet could see what I meant, and she said that it doesn’t look like the air sac, but it is definitely abnormal. I can see air bubbles in there so I still wonder if it is the air sac, and it crackles when touched so...

I think I’ll book her for a recheck this week but late in the day so hopefully they can have a better look.

I hate not knowing how to help!
she has gone from 11g on Saturday to 21g today so she’s definitely growing!
 

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