Ascites?? Swollen, squishy abdomen - WITH PICS & VIDEO (page 9)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tamtam84, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    212
    8
    114
    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    My Golden Laced Wyandotte, Buttercup, is 2.5 years old. About a week ago I noticed her acting lethargic and her tail was droopy. She got better, but since yesterday she seems worse. Tail down, abdomen very swollen and squishy, and she has what looks like egg yolk on her fluff under her vent.

    [​IMG]

    When I tried to clean off her fluff, she put her tail down and didn't want me to mess with it. Her vent looks normal, moist and pink (couldn't get a close up of that). Here's what she has on her fluff, my husband says it is definitely egg yolk.

    [​IMG]

    She hasn't layed in quite some time. She started her molt back in November and hasn't started laying again yet. The previous year after her molt she was laying again in early February.

    The area where her fluff is (her abdomen/bottom) seems very large and is squishy. I don't feel anything hard in there so I don't think she's eggbound. It just seems like there's a lot of fluid. I would say that it feels like it's swollen to about the size of a softball or larger.

    I've been researching and found threads where people drained the fluid, but ultimately it was fatal for the hen. I want to take her to the vet, but my husband thinks if it's going to kill her anyway he doesn't want to spend any money for a visit/medicine. The last hen we took to the vet died the next day so we were out close to $100 for nothing (I think the visit stressed her out majorly and she was already so weak that she passed that night in her coop).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to see my Buttercup go, but if it is going to kill her I want to know so I can be prepared. I have a bad feeling. :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  2. Romochickencrazy

    Romochickencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    She may have an egg that broke inside of her. Did read up on this once but will have to look back to give you any suggestion. If I do recall correctly it did say something about soaking her rear end. I'll have to get back to you though....[​IMG]
     
  3. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    212
    8
    114
    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    @Romochickencrazy - Thanks for the reply. I'll look more into that possibility.
     
  4. Romochickencrazy

    Romochickencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry that I never got back to you. Haven't been on for awhile. How did you make out?
     
  5. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    212
    8
    114
    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    Buttercup is still pretty much the same. She goes back and forth between not moving around much and then acting like her normal self. I gave the chickens some scrambled eggs yesterday and she gobbled them up.

    The sad thing is, right after I wrote this post one of my other girls died from what I suspect was internal laying. Same symptoms as Buttercup, but she was gone only a few days after I noticed her initial symptoms. She went downhill really fast.

    The more I research, I think it may be ascites. She has all the symptoms - water balloon feeling in her abdomen and walking like a penguin with her tail down. I don't know if I could drain her myself, so I think I'm going to ask my husband if we can take her to the vet soon and see what the vet says. From what I've read, if it is ascites, she may have to be drained every few months. Maybe I can have the vet show me how to do it if that is the case.

    I don't want to lose her too! Thanks for checking back in with me :)
     
  6. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

    405
    9
    134
    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    It does sound like ascites. I had a hen who survived with it for several years. It can be caused by congestive heart failure or fatty liver disease (the case with my hen). I took her to the vet about every six to eight months to be drained and she perked right up afterwards. The fluid, if left undrained, will eventually cause her difficulty in breathing and put extra strain on her heart and circulatory system. The vet proscribed milk thistle extract to help with the underlying liver disease and it seemed to work quite well. I'd have her looked at by a vet and have her abdomen drained.
     
  7. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    212
    8
    114
    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    @gallusdomesticus - I saw your replies on some other threads and that's what lead me to think it is ascites. Thanks for your advice. I made an appointment with the vet today after I get off work so hopefully Buttercup will be feeling better by this evening! Since your hen lived with it for a few years, that gives me some hope! I thought she was laying internally and would die from it, so I'm hoping it is ascites so it's something that is treatable.

    Last Friday we lost a hen and eight baby chicks, so I can't handle much more loss right now :(
     
  8. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

    405
    9
    134
    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    Good luck with your hen. It's obvious you care for her.
    My hen eventually passed away from the effects of anesthesia following surgery for a blocked oviduct. Her normally squishy abdomen started getting hard and an xray showed a mass in her oviduct which turned out to be a blockage that caused yolks to back up in her. The surgery was successful but she never came out of the anesthesia. The vet said that her liver was almost normal and the ascites was almost gone after a couple of years of her milk thistle therapy. I hope she gets the correct treatment and fully recovers...I love wyandottes and she is a beauty.
     
  9. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    212
    8
    114
    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    Thank you, I really do care about her. Sorry to hear about your hen passing. It's never easy.

    I ended up taking Buttercup to the vet yesterday and it stressed her out soooo bad. She weighed just over 6lbs and the vet took her temp - it was 108. I've seen different things on a normal temp for chickens; some say 103 but I've seen up to 107 is normal, so I'm not sure if 108 is high or not. The vet said it was very high and that "she's basically cooking."

    She took a fecal sample and there are no parasites which is good. She got some fluid from her abdomen and ran that and said it was full of bacteria. She gave Buttercup a shot of calcium just in case she was eggbound and that might help her pass an egg. I didn't think that was really necessary, but figured what the heck. She also gave her a shot of lasix (furosemide) to help her body absorb the fluid.

    I asked her if she would drain the fluid, but the vet said Buttercup was so stressed that it wouldn't be good to drain her at that point. She gave me a syringe so I could do it myself, but it's a tiny little thing so I'm going to get a bigger one today so I can drain more fluid. I did drain a few ml of fluid off her last night.

    The vet gave me some baytril to give her 1ml twice a day. It's beef flavored so she doesn't seem to mind it. I just squirt a little at a time onto her beak and she drinks it.

    I was pretty worried that she wouldn't make it through the night because the vet visit stressed her out so bad and she was looking way worse after I got her home. But she made it! She even got onto her roost last night and stayed there until the morning. I fed her some oatmeal with her layer crumbles on top and she gobbled it up.

    I really hope she pulls through. I'm trying everything I can. If anyone has any suggestions of anything else I can do please let me know!!!
     
  10. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

    405
    9
    134
    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    Baytril is a good antibiotic for birds and should help with any infection. I don't think her temperature is that much out of normal. My birds seem to run 103-105 however, if she has an infection, 108 seems to back that up. I do think its important to get the fluid out of her....you don't have to get it all, but reduce the fluid in her to relieve the stress that puts on her circulatory system. Ascites fluid is clear and straw colored, if it's cloudy, I would suspect an infection which might be good news as it should respond to antibiotics. We're pulling for her!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by