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Chick neck swollen emergency

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jarchey, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. jarchey

    jarchey New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2017
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    New here. I got 25 chicks 4 weeks ago. They've been thriving, running around and scratching and eating. They've had access to chick grit, water, and organic feed. At night they sleep under the heater but during the day they love to run around.
    This morning, I came in to see if they needed any food or water. One of my Dominique chicks wasn't running around like the others. It was laying face down, and I thought it might just be napping. When I looked closer, I noticed that it's neck was HUGE and swollen. When I looked up swollen neck, it suggested that maybe it was an impacted crop, but that's more on the front and this is more on the back. It's huge and bulbous and see through when I hold it up to the light.
    [​IMG][/IMG][​IMG]
    This seems to have happened overnight. I called McMurry and they've never heard of such a thing- they're going to give me a call back. This poor chick isn't moving and is barely staying awake and when I hold it it seems to be shaking. Any ideas on what the heck this could be??? I'm very freaked out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. It looks like the chick has a leaking air sac (subcutaneous emphysema) that was probably caused by an injury to the neck or near it. Is it having trouble breathing, or do you hear a click when it breathes? If it does not appear in distress, you could leave it alone. Can you get some needles at your feed store? An 18 gauge is what is usually used, but I have used 22 or 20 gauge in a pinch on my 2 week old. The 18 gauge is larger and will let more air through. You have to barely puncture the skin with the needle, and leaving it in, try to squeeze out as much air like you are deflating an air mattress. Extra hands are helpful. It may have to be punctured in another spot. The one I deflated, took several punctures. Then remove the needle and press a fingertip over the hole to help seal it. A piece of gauze dipped in a little vaseline, (or a bandaid with neopsorin) can seal it fairly well, so the air doesn't come back. But I would try it without the greasy ointment at first. These may have to be repeated more than once. My chick looked limp after I did this, and I thought it was dead. But it revived quickly and it was successful. Try to get the baby to drink some water with electrolytes.
    Here is some reading about this:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/171121/deflating-subcutaneous-emphysema
    https://www.ijasvm.com/ijasvmadmin/upload/IJASVM_5113cbc51d31b.pdf

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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How is the chick now?
     
  4. jarchey

    jarchey New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Hi thank you so much for your answer!!! This morning before your reply, I googled around on this subject. I could only find one thing on it, but basically it recommended to "pop" it. We did that with a sterilized needle, and put her back with the others. She's running around and acting totally normal. I had to go to work, but I just got home and she's doing great. It seemed to puff up again, but nowhere near as bad, and we popped it again and it went down. We're going to keep an eye on it, but health wise she seems like she's thriving. We're keeping a close eye on her and we're hoping she makes a full recovery. It really freaked me out!
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    That doesn't occur that often, and the only way I knew what to do with my own chick several years ago, was because of what I had read about it on BYC. I'm so glad to hear that she is doing okay. Please give us an update on her condition in a day or two.
     

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