Autopsy Shows Enlarged Liver, Need Help Identifying Problem! Graphic!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hillbrothers eggs, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. hillbrothers eggs

    hillbrothers eggs Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2009
    Placerville, CA
    Today I lost the best looking Chicken in my Flock. She was the mother hen. Her feathers were beautiful and she was the biggest out of the whole flock. She actually had all her feathers! I noticed that she was really panting today and when I checked her, her abdomen was very distended and tight. I thought that she was egg bound. I could feel what I thought was one egg if not two. One of them was down by her left leg and then one was below her cochlea. I put her in a warm bath for about 45 min and fed her some oatmeal with some calcium and yogurt. I also gave her some oil. She really gobbled it down. I massaged her tummy and thought we were making progress. I then took her out of the bath and held her on my lap on a heating pad. It was then that she really began to struggle. She was really pushing hard and her head turned bright red. I could tell she was really tiring. She kept lying her head down and every once in awhile she would try to get away from me (probably more a spasm of pain). This whole time, I thought we were dealing with a bound egg or two.

    With the way she was struggling, I decided to try the bath again, because that seemed to calm her down the most. By the time that I placed her in the bath, she took her last breathe and closed her eyes.

    I decided to go ahead and do an autopsy on the beautiful girl to see what caused her death, so hopefully my other girls don't have to endure the same fate. What I found shocked me. I was totally prepared to find at least one of two bound eggs, but what I found instead was EXTREMELY ENLARGED LIVER. The liver was approximately 5 inches long and 3 inches thick. One side of the liver was all fat and the other side was what looked like a large growth on the liver. After dissecting the liver I found the normal sized liver encased between the fat and the growth.

    All other organs looked OK. The intestines were not inflamed, the gizzard looked OK, the lungs looked fine IMO, the heart seemed larger than normal, but she was a big orpington.

    The following are Photos I took of the liver. What I would like to know is if anyone has seen something like this or has any idea what could have caused it. Who knows, maybe she just had liver cancer. PLEASE BEWARE, VERY GRAPHIC PICTURES!!!!

    This picture is of the liver with the tumor showing.

    This is of the fatty side of the liver. The fat is about 1.5 inches thick.

    This picture is the liver dissected where fat and tumor come together. You can clearly see the liver in the middle.

    This final picture is a dissection of the tumor. The top portion shows the tissue structure. The lower portion is the other side with the liver in the middle.

    All our chickens are fed organic feed. They also free range. This hen was about 1.5 years old.

    After thinking about it, I had noticed that after Kelsey would eat something, she would act like she had something caught in her throat and she was trying to cough it up. That is the only thing that I can think of that could have shown that something was wrong. She hasn't been held very much lately, otherwise I might have noticed that her abdomen was bigger. She didn't act different until today.

    So, I would appreciate any thoughts, experiences or insights into what this thing could be. I do know that she has had it for awhile considering the size that it is.

    Thanks and sorry for the grossness of the pictures... Please do not eat while looking at them...

  2. roosters4sale

    roosters4sale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Hi. The liver is the bodies filter. The only other thing i can put up as suspect would be some poison that the liver could not filter. ( Only speculating)
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  4. hillbrothers eggs

    hillbrothers eggs Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2009
    Placerville, CA

    It seems like it had extra growth hormone or something due to how large it got and the fat layer on the other side. I am leaning more toward a tumor of some sort. She may have gotten something into her system at some point while free ranging. I do recall that a couple of weeks ago, I had my heater cleaned and the maintenance guy cleaned it out front on our driveway. He used some sort of soap cleaner. Before I realized it a couple of the chickens were over pecking at the run off. I can't remember if she was one the chickens doing this though. But I don't think that would explain the fat on the liver. It is not normal to have fat on the liver like that.
  5. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2010
    If you found eggs in her, perhaps the enlarged liver and whatever else was inflamed secondary to the liver was making it too difficult to lay the eggs. Perhaps the condition of the liver was incidental and wasn't what did the poor girl in.
  6. hillbrothers eggs

    hillbrothers eggs Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2009
    Placerville, CA
    That's just it, I did not find any eggs in her. What I was feeling upon palpation was the two ends of the liver, which felt like the pointy end of an egg. And the way she was pushing made it seem like she was bound up. Of course, if I had something that big in me I would want to push it out too.
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Sorry for your loss, It would really be hard to make a guess as to what your hen had, Google chicken disease's and maybe you can find an answer I hope so.
  8. valsey

    valsey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    You can google images of the tumors for lymphoid looks spotty.

    Maybe fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome?
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    It looks like liver neoplasia (cancer- carcinoma) to me, but really hard to tell from a photo. You live in CA, you should really take advantage of our FREE state service.

    free poultry necropsy with all the bells and whistles by the experts. you just need to get the bird there. drive or mail in a styro cooler.
    1 person likes this.

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