Bloody head, then dead - warning - not so nice photo included

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by zeebyrd, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. zeebyrd

    zeebyrd New Egg

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    Sep 24, 2013
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    Yesterday afternoon I found one of my three hens with a very bloody head, eye closed, and laying down. She was breathing very slowly. I knew she would not make it.

    I checked my other two hens and one rooster. Not one of them had any blood on them. There was a lot of blood in one or two spots in the enclosed pen, but no sign that she could have gotten hurt on anything in the pen or coop.

    Contrary to what I expected, the other two hens were very concerned about her and layed as close as possible to her. The rooster was also being very protective. With what I have heard about chickens, I expected them to be pecking her due to all the blood. This was almost like a show of concern on their part. So, this doesn't appear to have been an attack by the other birds.

    Anyway, Sophie, was not much older than 6 months. A friend gave her and one other Wyandotte hen to me. Queen Latifah is the other hen, which I believe is her actual sister.

    This also happened to Sophie about a week ago, but it was nowhere near as severe. I took her inside, cleaned her up a bit, dried her off and put her back outside. It was late and my vet was closed at that hour. I decided that if Sophie wasn't better in the morning, I would take her to the vet. She was fine the next morning, no more bleeding, but you could tell that she had had something wrong the night before as I wasn't able to clean her perfectly.

    This past weekend Sophie looked great. In fact, the day before yesterday, she looked great. I was very impressed with her recovery. Then, I find her as below.

    There is an eye beneath the closed lid. Initially I thought there wasn't. I could not locate the source of the bleeding, nor could my vet. Though I knew she probably wouldn't last much longer, I took her to the vet to be put down humanely and checked out to determine the cause of her condition.

    Sophie died while we we waiting for our vet appointment. He did a very thorough exam after the fact, but could not find any reason why she would be bleeding. There was nothing in her mouth or crop. There was so much blood, but no indication of the source. [​IMG]


    I checked my birds today and they all look fine. My birds get the best of care, so I know it has to be some natural cause. It doesn't appear to be any explainable injury. No predators can enter either the enclosed pen or the coop, other than a small mouse, due to the way the pen is reinforced above, below and on all sides.

    I also believe that since Sophie had the same, but somewhat milder symptoms last week, that this was more of an illness rather than an injury.

    Any ideas? Both my vet and I are researching to see if we can find the cause.
     
  2. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can get a necropsy done to determine her death.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  3. zeebyrd

    zeebyrd New Egg

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    Sep 24, 2013
    Maryland
    It wasn't done. I am keeping an eye on all the other birds to make sure they're all fine. If it happens to another, which a number of other vets don't believe will happen, I will have a post mortem done.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    save your money. One of her pen mates killed her. She tried to hide her head or turn away from her assailant or assailants but there was no where for her to run or to hide. This is why you found blood in several places but the rest of your birds were uninjured. The most likely medical reason for her death was exhaustion and shock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  5. zeebyrd

    zeebyrd New Egg

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    Sep 24, 2013
    Maryland

    That was my first thought. However, none of the other three birds had blood on them. Not one speck.
     

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