Chicken with large hard belly, purple comb, lethargy.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pallinore, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. pallinore

    pallinore Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Nov 4, 2013
    Farmington, UT
    I think I have a severely constipated chicken (I'm hoping it's constipation). I went away for the weekend and when I came back I noticed she had a floppy purple comb and was lethargic with a diarrhea messy bottom. I picked her up and her belly is big, hard and lumpy. I gave her a warm epsoms salt bath and checked her cloaca - which was clear. I gave her about 300mg of calcium in honey water thinking she might be egg bound, but I read up on anatomy and I don't think it's that. There are lumps that might be eggs in her abdomen, but they are very lumpy. 4 things I think it might be is internal laying, ascites, massive worm load (I haven't seen any worms) or extremely bad constipation. Her belly is not hot. She was lethargically walking and eating before the bath, but has only been lying still since then. She did have enough energy to fight the bath a little. Breathing is fine, eyes are clear, waddles look good. She's holding her head and tail up. She only pooped a tiny bit of light green and white diarrhea from yesterday evening to this morning. She's not straining to lay, and is walking more like a duck than a penguin.
    I plan on giving her some molasses water tonight, anything else I can do for her?
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    8,861
    2,091
    356
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    It's sounds like you have done some research and are taking good care of her.

    The lumps could be cancer/tumors, Salpingitis, Peritonitis or some other internal laying reproductive issue.
    The purple in the comb is most likely the mass pressing on internal organs/air sacs causing a decrease in oxygen.

    Encourage her to drink and make her as comfortable as you can.

    Peritonitis and internal egg laying issues:
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx

    Salpingitis:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/12/salpingitis-lash-eggs-in-backyard.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...oring-i-opened-her-to-find-this#post_17145142

    NECROPSY
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...scites-and-eyp-very-graphic-necropsy-pictures

    Let us know how she is doing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. pallinore

    pallinore Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Nov 4, 2013
    Farmington, UT
    I gave her some molasses and a liquid glycerin suppository that's for kids with constipation. I'm leaning towards internal laying now since her cloaca is clear. The thing that's confusing me is that she is not standing like a penguin, well she is very slightly. Never laid soft shelled eggs, no respiratory issues. Can they lay eggs into their abdominal cavity? I think I feel very hard egg shaped masses, but there are other softer things in the way. She's just laying there, head and tail up. No interest in food, but I think she drank some water.
    I think I will cull her tonight or tomorrow if she's not improving. It's a hard decision since she's not getting worse, and seems alert and comfortable. I don't understand how that can be since her belly is really big and really hard.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    8,861
    2,091
    356
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Eggs or egg matter can either travel back up the oviduct or "miss" when being dropped into the oviduct. This egg/egg matter can then drop into the abdominal cavity where it causes infection, pus, fluid, etc.

    The necropsy link I referenced above shows what it could look like - Kath (@casportpony ) was kind enough to post them. She explains a little bit about it. It's sometimes hard to determine, Egg Yolk Peritonitis, Ascites and Salpingitis - these are all sometimes call "egg bound" and can look similar in symptom presentation. Salpingitis, usually you will find evidence of lash or a lash egg in the nesting box or on the poop board, but not always. Peritonitis, is more like a fluid filled abdomen - if drained usually the color of egg yolks, Ascites (water belly) is also like a fluid filled abdomen, but usually liquid is more clear.

    I'm so sorry. I wish I had better answers.
     
  5. pallinore

    pallinore Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Nov 4, 2013
    Farmington, UT
    I appreciate your help. It was a faint hope that she was just incredibly constipated. It's weird how she's not walking like a penguin. Anyway, having a very large hard belly has got to be painful for her. I'll do what needs to be done. Thank you.
     
  6. chickcrack

    chickcrack Chillin' With My Peeps

    614
    110
    116
    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada

    You may be feeling a tumor. I just had to help one of my barred rocks along last week. She hasn't laid since February. Was my best and most consistent layer for 3 years. Then she laid a massive egg and just stopped. I would often find her in the nesting box but she didn't lay anything. Tried draining her thinking it was ascites or internal laying but couldn't get any liquid out. She bounced back from near death several times but last week she was clearly suffering and hadn't been able to sleep on a perch for a month due to her hard abdomen. It's a very hard decision to make and I'm sorry for you and your girl.
     
  7. pallinore

    pallinore Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Nov 4, 2013
    Farmington, UT
    This seems to have happened quite quickly. I didn't notice anything last week. I'm going to guess internal laying to have happened so quickly. I hate that she's worse after the stress of the bath and treatments, but I had to try to help her! Thank you.
     
  8. Lincityfarmette

    Lincityfarmette Out Of The Brooder

    129
    7
    32
    Jun 8, 2016
    Pallinore, you tried really hard. I am sorry she had to go. You are brave.
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    56,744
    11,512
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    This post has a picture of a large mass in the repro tract:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ntains-very-graphic-pictures/20#post_15229870

    -Kathy
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    56,744
    11,512
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by