Chicken w/ swollen abdomen, not pooping? - UPDATE: respiratory disease

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hatchling, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Hatchling

    Hatchling New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 1, 2013
    Okay, so about two weeks ago I found my four year old red star hen sitting on the ground in the coop, not moving much. She still seemed pretty perky (bright eyed, head up, etc.) but I brought her inside and put her in a cage with some sugar and vitamin water. She wasn't eating anything, but she drank a TON of water. Also, she was pooping smelly, watery green discharge. About 4 hours after I brought her in, she layed a tiny, soft shelled egg (not quite normal: it didn't have a yolk and looked like it had a piece of poop in it) and then continued to improve until I let her back outside and she was completely normal again.

    Anyway, I thought she was all better, but this morning I went out to the coop and she was sitting on the ground again, lethargic, and her abdomen was swollen like with fluid. I've brought her inside again, and she seems exactly like she was last time, except she hasn't laid an egg and she's not pooping at all, which worries me. I have her on sugar and vitamin water, but that's all I can think of to do.

    Additional information: I tried giving her a warm bath in case she was egg-bound, but she hated it and jumped back out. She's been eating all stock mash and scratch grains, as well as free-ranging on the warm days, and she hasn't laid an egg for months. None of my other chickens have had any of her symptoms.

    She's been through a lot in her life (worms, mites, cattle panels falling on her, etc.) and she's quite a trooper so I'm hoping that we'll be able to get through this together.

    Any input on what she might have and what I can do would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    thinking of you and your hen. I lost a roo to fatty liver disease which also had swelling in the abdomen (ascites) look for speckledhen she has been thru the worst of it....

    I think I've read that antibiotics can help temporarily. Best wishes.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It's very common for hens, as they get older, to start having reproductive tract issues. They may start laying soft shelled eggs, thin shelled eggs that break when they lay, or they may lay internally and develop egg yolk peritonitis. Ascites is often a result of those internal issues. Sometimes putting them on antibiotic's and draining the fluid helps them feel better and buys them a little more time but it doesn't cure the underlying cause and they usually pass from it in the end. Just lost one a few weeks ago to the same problem.

    Now if you wanted to save the hen at all costs and spend big bucks some avian vets will spay a hen. That is the only way to solve laying related problems. If you do it you just have to hope there is not some other underlying cause like a heart/circulatory or liver/kidney problem in addition.
     
  4. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. Hatchling

    Hatchling New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 1, 2013
    Thanks for all your advice and support. She's started pooping, and she ate some cottage cheese (her favorite) and chicken mash today, so I haven't given up all hope yet. I think I'll try some antibiotics with her and just hope for the best.
     
  6. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

    431
    9
    101
    May 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    you might want to try supplementing her feed/mash with extra calcium and vitamin D - it should help her with stronger egg shells, and also calcium helps muscle contraction and can help with prolapse. I use liquid calcium and put it on top of some mash or other soft food, they eat it right up.
     
  7. Hatchling

    Hatchling New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 1, 2013
    I just put her back outside a couple hours ago because she wasn't getting any better and she wasn't getting any worse, and I know she hates "The Cage". So when I put her in the coop, she perked up a lot and started pecking around and making some noise (a quiet chicken is an unhappy chicken, in my experience). So anyway, even if she is still sick, I don't think she's contagious, so I'm just going to leave her out there. I did give her some liquid vitamins (I think it had calcium and vit D in it) so I hope that helped a little bit.
     
  8. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

    431
    9
    101
    May 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    this is a very good article:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/search/label/egg binding

    i just had an issue with one of my girls, who was egg bound and prolapsed, and i am pretty sure speedy response and lots of calcium is what saved her. She is back to normal now.

    Hope your girl recovers. Eating and pooping is a good sign, but i would keep a very careful eye on the mass. You may want to be ready to give her antibiotics. Baytril (off label) is probably a good one if an egg broke inside.
     
  9. Hatchling

    Hatchling New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 1, 2013
    So, on Saturday night, I went to close up the chickens and found one of my old (about seven years) hens sitting on the floor, gasping. Every time she'd take a breath, she'd open her mouth really wide and make a rasping sound. I immediately rushed her inside and forced some Ivermectic down her (I thought she probably had gapes) but, unfortunately, she died about two hours later -- her comb turned purple and she was stretching out her neck like she couldn't get enough oxygen. After that, I thought the whole ordeal was over but the next day I found one of my other chickens all puffed up with very watery eyes. Upon further research, I found out that probably my whole flock has some sort of respiratory disease.

    Anyway, the reason I'm telling all of this is that I think that's probably what the chicken who I started this thread about had. It makes sense because she improved greatly after being indoors for a couple day and, even though I thought she had a reproductive system disorder, I had been keeping her on antibiotics, just in case. Then she probably got sick again two weeks later because she hadn't completely gotten rid of the bug (right now she is as healthy as ever and I'm hoping she'll stay that way :)). Anyway, that's my theory about this whole chicken drama.

    Any thoughts about if that's really what's inflicting my flock?

    Oh, and also, does anyone know whether I can get eyedrops locally for my chicken with the watery eyes?
     
  10. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

    431
    9
    101
    May 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    If you still have the body - but i guess you do not - you should have necropsied, so you know what you need to treat for.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by