Bony protrusion, lethargy/starvation, and maybe inflammation of something

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Uncluckable, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Uncluckable

    Uncluckable Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2012
    One of our pet chickens (leghorn) started to show a weird, hard protrusion around/above her breast, and began to be lethargic (stopping eating at some point), and eventually couldn't even stand up.

    She's been living in a box for over a week now, kicking sporadically, but never eating or drinking on her own. We've been keeping her alive with sugar water, but it's not a good life she's living (though she's lasted way longer than anyone expected). We don't want her to suffer, but before putting her down it seemed worth checking to see if anyone here might have some magic knowledge that would allow us to save her.

    Here are a couple pictures taken right after giving her a warm bath (in case she was eggbound, and to maybe help with the lice that are swarming her these days. And also to help clean her, since she can't dust bathe. Regardless, it made it a lot easier to see her inflammed/protruding sections):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The top protrusion, like I said, has been noticeable for a while. It feels bony, and like it has joints in it or something, and one theory is that it's something dislocated. But maybe it's a really really hard trachea or something -- my grasp of chicken anatomy is regrettably slim.

    The swollen-looking bottom part is... I don't know, her crop? I don't know if it just looks swollen because the rest of her is so emaciated from not eating, or if it's actually inflamed.

    She doesn't act like she's in a lot of pain, but she's bound to be suffering some, and we'd feel better about putting her out of her misery if someone could give any more experienced analysis. And of course it would be great if we could save her (or learn something, and maybe save the next chicken sooner...), but we're really not expecting that at this point.

    Thanks...
     
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know, I'm thinking impacted crop? Poor thing. I don't much about it, if that's what it is. I'm awfully sorry your poor girl is suffering. =(
     
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The big round protrusion looks like an impacted crop, but I don't know about that bony protrusion under her neck. I am wondering if the crop is so enlarged with food stuck in it, that it pushed on the clavicle and dislocated it? In any case, if you want to treat her, search for treatment of impacted crop.
     
  4. Uncluckable

    Uncluckable Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2012
    You guys were right about the crop being bloated. Pretty much all it had in it though was the sugar water we'd been feeding her (we were able to get her to vomit it up by holding her upside down and massaging it).

    However we investigated more closely and realized the bony protrusion is actually her spine! It curves straight forward from below her head, in a most disconcerting fashion. What on earth could have brought about such a thing? Is it some sort of disease-caused/genetic chicken scoliosis? Could it possibly be the result of some injury? It didn't seem broken, just incredibly and unnaturally curved forward.

    She has since passed on, mercifully (just as we were about to put her out of her misery, having discovered the spine issue).
     
  5. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did she have wry neck? That is a spasm of neck muscles, resulting in twisted neck. I've never dealt with this before, but I imagine it could be severe enough to twist the spine as happened to your bird. In humans there are multiple causes, and in chickens I've read on this forum people saying it can be caused by a genetic abnormality or a vitamin deficiency. I wonder if impacted crop caused malnutrition and a deficiency of one or more vitamins, bringing on wry neck.
     
  6. Uncluckable

    Uncluckable Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, hmm, that's entirely possible! I'd never heard of wry neck before. If so, it's a pretty darn severe case of it (180 degree twist?). I wonder if we could have fixed it somehow. Hopefully it's not something we'll ever see again, at least to that degree.
     
  7. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I don't know if you could have brought that bird back into good health at the time you posted, but if you had caught and treated the impacted crop early on, it might have prevented the wry neck (if that's what it was).
     
  8. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    But don't beat yourself up about not having caught it sooner.
     
  9. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, sorry, I wasn't intending to make anyone feel guilty. I have certainly lost birds that probably could have been easily saved, had I known earlier what was ailing them. Everyone has to learn. just wanted to make sure the OP understood the possible connection between the 2 problems.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Uncluckable

    Uncluckable Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2012
    Right, that's how I took it, Janine, and I appreciated your input.
    But thanks, CountryGoddess, for your sensitivity.
    We did feel bad about making the poor bird suffer, but hopefully what we learned will help us with future poultry ailments (which seem much more common than I had supposed!)
     

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