Another sick hen. Sour crop, now swollen abdomen.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by McClucken, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. McClucken

    McClucken Just Hatched

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    Dec 30, 2015
    Last week my alpha hen died of what seemed like sour crop. No treatment helped, she was in steady decline and died. Now a related hen, much lower rank, is showing similar symptoms, lethargy, not eating, dehydrated, odd light coloured slimy poop, but her crop seems fine and her belly is tight like a water balloon, Also very hot. She is doing a sort of rhythmic straining, don't know if she is maybe having trouble breathing. Can't feel in egg problems, She is moulting and hasn't laid in a week or so. Help please!
     
  2. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2017
    To me it sounds like Ascites or internal laying. In ascites, fluid builds up in the body cavity as a side effect of organ failure or cancer. The fluid puts pressure on the organs, making breathing and pooping difficult. This would explain the poop and breathing.
    or another possibility is internal laying ,where eggs are being dropped into the body cavity and the matter is building up to quickly for the chicken to absorb it. They both have almost the same symptoms. You can drain the abdomen using a sterilized needle. (I know it's really scary, but its not that bad once you work up the courage to do it) it's only a temporary cure, but the results I've had have been very successful. The other option would be eggbound, but I've never had a chicken swell in the abdomen when it happens. But if you think she might have that, you can always put on a rubber glove with vassaline and check. I hope this was helpful, and I hope she improves! Keep us posted.[​IMG]
     
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  3. McClucken

    McClucken Just Hatched

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    Dec 30, 2015
    Thanks LittlePip21
    I did examine for bound egg but found nothing, She was off lay because of the moulting, Its Autumn (Fall) here so all my mature hens stopped laying at once to moult. Its so strange that the other hen had the exact same symptoms except that it was her crop was full of liquid. I treated that hen with everything in the sour crop arsenal but she did not respond at all. Its too much of a co-incidence for the problems not to be related I think. How do you drain with a needle?
     
  4. McClucken

    McClucken Just Hatched

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    Oh my, I just watched some needle draining on YouTube. Courage is needed I think. Also saw an interesting article about peritonitis. We were mixing the layer mash with starter mash just recently. Possibly the lack of calcium could have led to both the hens troubles.
     
  5. the poppster

    the poppster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just culled a couple of old hens...they weren't laying anymore and seemed to be feeling under the weather...tried a few cures, but they weren't responding. They both had ascites, but the weird thing was the intestines and internal organs of one of them were covered with little pearl like "tumors" almost look like undeveloped eggs. I looked it up and it could be Avian TB...which is evidently not unusual in older backyard flocks...has anyone else seen this?
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    The crop is a barometer for the condition of the bird. If it's not functioning properly, it can mean they got moldy feed, however, it often simply means her systems are shutting down due to some internal issue, like internal laying which is not treatable. The crop quits, either impacts, sours or both and since it's the only outer thing we can see, we think it's the crop, but it's a symptom of something more sinister, generally.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    The pearl-like tumors are usually reproductive cancer. I would not jump to the TB conclusion.


    As for draining, it won't fix the hen. It may make her slightly more comfortable, unless the process just stresses her out. If you look for threads about my hens Olivia and Ivy, you'll see I drained them periodically, but the condition is chronic.

    Here's one: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/362422/drained-a-hens-abdomen-rest-in-peace-olivia-11-5-10


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...cc-yellow-fluid-rip-hope-graphic-photos-added
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  8. the poppster

    the poppster Chillin' With My Peeps

    This didn't look anything like a cancerous tumor or tumors...I looked it up in the chicken health handbook and evidently avian TB is common in aging back yard flocks...it is not normally catchy to humans, unless they have a very weak immune system...it might be possible, but according to what I read, it's unlikely. A bird can live with it for months or years, before it causes any outward signs...and they are usually attributed to old age...the major cause i confinement...
     
  9. the poppster

    the poppster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I touched the wrong spot on this screen! The tumors I found looked like strings of grayish,yellow,tan tapioca sized little adhesions on the outside of the intestines...actually almost all of the internal organs. God, I wish I could have taken a picture! Of the two hens only one had them....they both were suffering from fluid collecting in the abdomen...age related heart failure. If I have to cull anymore, I will get a picture, if I find the "tumors" again.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Let me tell you that you may not recognize the cancerous tumors in chickens as looking like you'd think. And there are MANY similar symptoms in several diseases, so I still would not jump to the TB conclusion. Chicken hens, especially hatchery stock, get reproductive cancers frequently. They are the only animal that develops spontaneous ovarian cancer like human women so they are studied to seek a cure.

    As an aside, a vet I know told me that if a hen has a raging infection, it sends bacteria throughout her system and can result in little tumors throughout her body.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017

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