Can Sour Crop Cause Seizures?

MageofMist

Crowing
Dec 9, 2016
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One of my Serama pullets, Betty, came down with a really bad case of sour crop where she was super lethargic, extending her neck gasping, with gurgling sounds in her crop, squeaking and having fits which included wing beating, jumping up in the air then flipping over on to her back or side with her legs curling up under her and having her head drop down to her chest with her neck becoming stiff.

Her crop was squishy, her beak was full of mucus and she stank of a sour smell, which pointed to sour crop, but I had never heard of it causing seizures before. I honestly thought I was going to lose her last night as I sat there massaging her crop and reading what else I could do. I force fed her a tiny piece of diced garlic in which she freaked out again, but a minute later, she started coming back, and ate the rest of the garlic by herself. When she finally pooped, it was runny and had a strong sour smell as well.

Betty has since recovered and is back to her old energetic self, and has ACV in her water to help combat any more of the sour crop.
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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No. It won't directly cause seizures. But a crop full of liquid that is being massaged can cause fluid to get into her airway and cause choking and cut off her breathing. When a chicken can't breathe, they panic and flap their wings and then pass out. Often that will revive them as their position changes and airway reopens. I've seen this happen in my flock when a hen choked on a cherry tomato.

It is not advisable to massage a crop full of sour liquid for this reason.
 

MageofMist

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Dec 9, 2016
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No. It won't directly cause seizures. But a crop full of liquid that is being massaged can cause fluid to get into her airway and cause choking and cut off her breathing. When a chicken can't breathe, they panic and flap their wings and then pass out. Often that will revive them as their position changes and airway reopens. I've seen this happen in my flock when a hen choked on a cherry tomato.

It is not advisable to massage a crop full of sour liquid for this reason.

Betty was having these symptoms even before I started massaging her crop, and everywhere I read suggested it.

She was fine for 3 days afterwards, no sign of laboured breathing and was eating and drinking with no issue while being treated with ACV in the water during them. But today she is having the same seizures without any sign of sour crop being involved, as her crop had been acting normally since treatment began and the sour smell is gone.
 

MageofMist

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Dec 9, 2016
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Weird...

I'm not sure how sour crop could cause a neurological disorder, unless she was somehow suffered brain damage from choking???

It seems to be related to heat?
Stuck her under my gecko lamp for a couple minutes and she perked up, so she is sitting on a hot water bottle now.

She ate a little bit of food, but isn't drinking yet by herself.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Vitamin E can often control neurological issues. Try giving her one E capsule each day for a week and see what happens. It won't make her condition any worse and it could solve her problem.

I have a thirteen-year old hen who has a benign, but growing tumor on her head that was starting to cause her to have torticolis. She couldn't even eat or drink because of the neck contortions. She returned to normal within a few days on the E, and an occasional E capsule given directly into her beak has kept her issue in abeyance.

Give it with selenium for maximum absorption or with egg.
 

lotuscsp

In the Brooder
Oct 6, 2021
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(Long comment im sorry) Okay....im going to be honest, I recently registered an account with this website specifically to search/question something that sounds almost exactly like what you've described.
I have been SO overwhelmingly frustrated with trying to find some sort of info that points to crop issues somehow coinciding with seizures/convulsive episodes!!!
I have an old silkie rooster, at least 12 years old, who's never had any issues besides mites and the like up until recently. I suspected an impacted crop around the 1st of this month, nursed him back to himself (at least I thought), and a couple of days later he was outside of his recovery habitat (very shallow kiddie pool lol), and after checking on him he violently started seizing/convulsing??? I had no idea what was going on and while hysterically sobbing lol, I was able to pick him up and get him standing and it seemed to stop it mostly but he had a few more episodes that first day. I'm very attached to him and he's my only chicken 😭
I've researched everything it could possibly be- but it took at least a week of 24/7 monitoring/nursing to smell his first 'sour crop breath', so im currently on day 3 of miconazole with him and hoping for the best. Every vet in the area that would treat a chicken told me to euthanize him without seeing him- even the receptionist said that at one clinic???
I had come up with a list of possible reasons for it all; 1st thought was wry neck, 2nd was some sort of respiratory illness, gapeworm....crop issues..? I know if it were something like Mareks or NCD he would be much worse at this point, if even still here at all....there's so much conflicting information on it all and it's honestly overwhelming. I'm so sorry for this long reply, but this is literally the first post I've come across that sounds like what he's been dealing with as well. The current record of days without a convulsive episode is 3, always holding my breath though. I thought he was done for that first day things went downhill. I hope your baby gets better or you can get some answers. If my boy doesn't fully recover, ive already accepted that he may just end up being a special needs rooster for the remainder of his being 🤧
 

TheOddOneOut

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(Long comment im sorry) Okay....im going to be honest, I recently registered an account with this website specifically to search/question something that sounds almost exactly like what you've described.
I have been SO overwhelmingly frustrated with trying to find some sort of info that points to crop issues somehow coinciding with seizures/convulsive episodes!!!
I have an old silkie rooster, at least 12 years old, who's never had any issues besides mites and the like up until recently. I suspected an impacted crop around the 1st of this month, nursed him back to himself (at least I thought), and a couple of days later he was outside of his recovery habitat (very shallow kiddie pool lol), and after checking on him he violently started seizing/convulsing??? I had no idea what was going on and while hysterically sobbing lol, I was able to pick him up and get him standing and it seemed to stop it mostly but he had a few more episodes that first day. I'm very attached to him and he's my only chicken 😭
I've researched everything it could possibly be- but it took at least a week of 24/7 monitoring/nursing to smell his first 'sour crop breath', so im currently on day 3 of miconazole with him and hoping for the best. Every vet in the area that would treat a chicken told me to euthanize him without seeing him- even the receptionist said that at one clinic???
I had come up with a list of possible reasons for it all; 1st thought was wry neck, 2nd was some sort of respiratory illness, gapeworm....crop issues..? I know if it were something like Mareks or NCD he would be much worse at this point, if even still here at all....there's so much conflicting information on it all and it's honestly overwhelming. I'm so sorry for this long reply, but this is literally the first post I've come across that sounds like what he's been dealing with as well. The current record of days without a convulsive episode is 3, always holding my breath though. I thought he was done for that first day things went downhill. I hope your baby gets better or you can get some answers. If my boy doesn't fully recover, ive already accepted that he may just end up being a special needs rooster for the remainder of his being 🤧
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I wish I knew how to help.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,425
38,604
1,142
Colorado Rockies
(Long comment im sorry) Okay....im going to be honest, I recently registered an account with this website specifically to search/question something that sounds almost exactly like what you've described.
I have been SO overwhelmingly frustrated with trying to find some sort of info that points to crop issues somehow coinciding with seizures/convulsive episodes!!!
I have an old silkie rooster, at least 12 years old, who's never had any issues besides mites and the like up until recently. I suspected an impacted crop around the 1st of this month, nursed him back to himself (at least I thought), and a couple of days later he was outside of his recovery habitat (very shallow kiddie pool lol), and after checking on him he violently started seizing/convulsing??? I had no idea what was going on and while hysterically sobbing lol, I was able to pick him up and get him standing and it seemed to stop it mostly but he had a few more episodes that first day. I'm very attached to him and he's my only chicken 😭
I've researched everything it could possibly be- but it took at least a week of 24/7 monitoring/nursing to smell his first 'sour crop breath', so im currently on day 3 of miconazole with him and hoping for the best. Every vet in the area that would treat a chicken told me to euthanize him without seeing him- even the receptionist said that at one clinic???
I had come up with a list of possible reasons for it all; 1st thought was wry neck, 2nd was some sort of respiratory illness, gapeworm....crop issues..? I know if it were something like Mareks or NCD he would be much worse at this point, if even still here at all....there's so much conflicting information on it all and it's honestly overwhelming. I'm so sorry for this long reply, but this is literally the first post I've come across that sounds like what he's been dealing with as well. The current record of days without a convulsive episode is 3, always holding my breath though. I thought he was done for that first day things went downhill. I hope your baby gets better or you can get some answers. If my boy doesn't fully recover, ive already accepted that he may just end up being a special needs rooster for the remainder of his being 🤧
This isn't to say that sour crop isn't somehow causing the seizures, but it's more likely it's coincidental to it, and there's another underlying issue causing both.

Mostly, when we get threads such as this one and a post like yours where it's not known what underlying issue is causing all of the trouble, we suggest ways to treat the symptoms - miconazole to treat sour crop and vitamin E to treat the seizures.

Another thing you can try to treat the seizures is sugar water. This elevates glucose levels and it also feeds the brain. It's harmless and may restore chemical balance in the brain tissues.
 

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