Chicken with hard, swollen abdomen - help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrsdelore, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. mrsdelore

    mrsdelore Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2015
    Upstate, NY
    I already had one chicken like this that I ended up putting down. Her oviduct was FILLED with huge lash eggs. Now I have another one with the same symptoms except I seem to have caught it sooner and several months later, she is still alive but no change to her belly.
    In both cases, it seems to be something they developed coming out of molting. My guess is salpingitis and I would further guess it's caused by the same thing that shows up in other hens as bumblefoot.I don't know where that is coming from. Feed is kept dry and clean in a metal garbage can and it's under cover, not out in the weather. Water dishes are elevated and changed often to keep the water clean.

    Anyway, the hen's issues/symptoms are:

    Enlarged/hard belly/bottom - like from her vent to her legs, not from her legs up to her chest. It has kind of pushed her legs further apart.
    Comb - pale and small (about the same as you would see during molt)
    Occasional runny poo
    Occasional penguin stance, but she also moves around fine. She gets up on the roost, runs around the yard fine. She does not, however, lower down onto her feet when roosting but stays more upright.
    Loss of breast muscle mass

    She does NOT and has never shown symptoms of - rasping, wheezing, coughing, eye discharge, nasal discharge

    On internal exam - I can feel there is *something* filling up her abdominal cavity, but I don't know what or how to get it to pass. I'm assuming lash eggs, but how do I get her to get them out?

    We do not have a vet anywhere within a 4-hour radius that treats chickens and as much as I love her, I'm not driving 4 hours.

    Treatments so far:
    For the better part of the past two months, she's been on oxytetracycline.
    Currently, she is off the OTC and I'm working on trying to get some weight on her. She gets two daily meals of oatmeal and mealworms with some vitamins and electrolytes.
    Periodic warm water soaks with epsom salt.

    What else can I and should I be trying?

    Aside from not wanting to lose another hen to this, I'd like to have some clue of what it is and how to prevent it ideally, but at the very least treat it going forward.

    Thank you for any insight you can share.
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    If she is extremely egg bound you will NOT be able to get them remove besides a Operation. The oval duct is blocked and all the soaking is not going to do any good. Re-read---I said extreme egg bound. For people that have never seen this I have some "gross" pic some call them----I call them educational pics that I could post if the Moderator says its ok! Just a cut open extreme egg bound hen.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Unfortunately, I doubt if anything you do could help her. Internal laying, salpingitis, egg yolk peritonitis are all related. If you could have spayed her or a vet had given her hormone implants early on, she might have lived longer. Antibiotics might help temporarily with salpingitis, but I don't think there is any long term cure. This is such a common problem in many hens. There are some good threads to read about these subjects, especially egg yolk peritonitis. Speckledhen and others have posted a lot on their experience. Sorry that you have dealt with this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
    2 people like this.
  4. mrsdelore

    mrsdelore Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2015
    Upstate, NY
    Thanks.
    This hen and the one I had to put down in December were both red sex links. I wonder if they are more susceptible for it being bred to be heavy layers? They were the same age and the one that's still alive is about a month shy of 2 years old.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    southern Ohio
    From what I have read since joining BYC, the high production hens that hatcheries produce for the public demand, are most likely to suffer from reproductive problems-- egg binding, internal laying, and prolapses. Red sex links, golden comets, hatchery RIR or red production hens are some of those breeds. Bacteria transported up the egg tract from the vent can cause infection leading to some of these problems. The Merck Vet Manual has a number of short articles on many of the rproductive disorders that explain some of these things.
     

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