Chicken Hospice- hen with reproductive tumor

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Haveandtohold, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Haveandtohold

    Haveandtohold Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2013
    Boulder,CO
    My sweet hen Bottom is a Red Star and is turning 4 years old this fall. She had surgery for an impacted crop back in April and hasn't quite recovered months later. Since then she's kind of gone down hill and so we took her to the vet again who found the probable cause, a golf ball sized tumor possibly in her reproductive system. He suggested we euthanize. I don't think she's in any pain and now that she's living in the house full time she has perked up considerably and seems almost back to her old self. However, I imagine it's only a matter of time. So my question is, does anyone else have experience with this sort of thing? She eats, she drinks, she walks around, she bocks at me to let her up on my lap to be petted, very normal stuff. How long could she have? What's the best way to treat her to prolong her life and increase her comfort? If the tumor is noncancerous does it still pose the same threat to her life? She's losing interest in her layer crumbles and mostly only eats the scrambled eggs made with Ensure the vet recommended to put some weight back on her. Will this make her condition worse by depriving her of proper nutrition? Any advice on how to make the end of her life the best possible would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. New Chicken Lad

    New Chicken Lad Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 16, 2012
    Northern New Jersey
    So sorry for both you and Bottom... I have read on some forums and threads that chickens are very good at hiding their pain, so it would be a little difficult for you to tell is she is or isn't in pain... But only you can know and decide what to do.

    As far as her feed, you could mix it with water to make a pasty mash and hide it in her scrambled eggs w/ensure. I see you said the vet said to give her the eggs w/ensure... Doesn't ensure have lots of sugar??? I would think the amount of sugar would not be good for your hen. I'm thinking the vet suggested the ensure because it is high protein. There are other ways to increase her protein like changing her feed to either a chick starter or maybe better yet, a flock raiser feed. The flock raiser feed has something like 20% protein, where as layer feed is like 16%. Dried mealworms are very high in protein and I'm sure there isn't a chicken located on this earth that doesn't love love love them.

    Another option is getting some dried alfalfa, from your feed store. It is a perennial forage legume, high in protein. I put it in my chickens feed in the winter when they can't get bugs and slugs from the ground. You could mix it with the feed, water it down together into a mash then add to the scrambled eggs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfalfa

    I wish you the best, nothing worse than deciding to put down a pet whether it's a dog, cat or even a chicken... Helen[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. DutchsCluckers

    DutchsCluckers New Egg

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    Aug 25, 2013
    Sorry to here this. I personally do not know how long she might have but I do know that the tumors weaken them. I lost one
    of my Rhode Island Reds named Red today on the vets table. She had grown in size and thinking she had a egg break inside
    her. I took her to the vet and the doc checked her vent and found multiple tumors in her ovaries. She got so spooked from this
    she died on the spot. I am new to all this and never dreamt of a chicken with cancer.
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  4. Haveandtohold

    Haveandtohold Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2013
    Boulder,CO
    I'm so sorry for your loss. She looks like a beautiful big lady. I lost my girl with the tumor just a few weeks ago and it was very hard. I suppose it's just the way of things when you love a creature with a fairly short lifespan.
     

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