Chicken with recurring impacted crop - WON'T DRINK WATER

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JuanBlanco, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. JuanBlanco

    JuanBlanco New Egg

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    Nov 3, 2013
    Greetings to you all kind people,

    We have a hen that is almost 4 months old. We keep dealing with an impacted crop (that we eventually work through her system based on all the various techniques described in other threads). Well, it's back again - and we need any advice we can get. We are sorry for the length of our post. Just thought we needed to be thorough.

    It all started with a constant 'gaping' or 'yawning'. She stopped drinking - but was still eating. Then a cough started - and she would cough quite strenuousely and very often throughout the day. We separated her from the rest of the flock (only 2 others) - and have had her inside mostly for the last 4 weeks.

    We took her to the vet who said it could be a MG (Mycoplasma Gallisepticum) respiratory infection. So, she gave us Tylosin Powder and said we should give it to her for about 2 weeks. We were still letting her eat her grains and tube feeding her water periodically throughout the day. We would give her the Tylosin dosage once per day. She still wouldn't drink any water, but ate well. The MG test came negative.

    The recurring crop issues began about a week after her 'yawning - gaping' started, which might go along with the water and some long grass she got in to. We noticed a Sour Crop issue first (enlarged mushy crop, sour breath, gurgling in her crop). SO WE STARTED THE TUBE FEEDING PROCESS :-( - learned a lot, got pretty good at it, and are still doing it now as I write this post. Each time Gigi got an impacted crop - this is the 4th time in one month now - we let it empty out completely (- massaging several times/day and feeding her water/yogurt/soft hand feeding formula).

    Finally - 1 MONTH LATER her coughing/gaping is almost gone, and we thought that since her system cleaned out (both the coughing problem and crop) we could let her back to her grains - and now we have an IMPACTED CROP AGAIN:((((((((((. We think it is all because she refuses to even look at the water.

    So...we work on the impacted crop, read up - do our research EVERY NIGHT and do all the suggested methods (almost all) that have good success rates. She has been impacted 4 times now in almost 5 weeks. We monitor what she eats/how she poops VERY closely, her living space is clean and there is clean room temperature water near her all the time... We make sure that we wait long enough after we get the impaction out of her crop... This last time, we felt her crop, seemed empty and we decided to do 1 more day on soft mushy foods until letting her go back to grains - and putting her with the other 2 so she could watch them DRINK and hopefully get her going for water again.

    This morning (1 day after letting her go back to her grains), we woke up and felt her crop - hard as a rock. So, it's back to square one, back to mushy foods, back to tube feeding and making sure we put water in her as well.

    We are stumped, but the biggest issue is that she won't drink. So even if we get this impaction through her and out, we are still going to deal with a bird that eats - but never drinks. Without water, she will obviously die, but if she won't drink, then won't she always get impacted crop because she doesn't have any liquids going down?

    Since this all first began - she no longer gapes or yawns (so that's nice) - and very rarely coughs. Another issue that we have just recently seen (2 days ago) is her left wing seems to be paralyzed (she won't move it or react if we touch it) - and we also recently lost a hen to what we believe was Marek's disease.

    Key Points to this whole mess:
    *We first took her to the vet for what might have been MG - but has now turned into crop issues and NOT DRINKING WATER
    *She was on Tylosin Powder for 2 weeks + Oxine AH humidifier sessions
    *She has had an impacted crop now about 4 times in 5 weeks
    *She will eat grains if we put them out, but won't go near water
    *She is currently back on her soft food diet (tube feeding) - we use Kifir, Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding Formula, Water with vitamins/electrolytes, and some oil)
    *We massage her crop a few times each day - and it always softens up pretty quickly
    *She LOVES laying near an electric heater we put in 'her room'

    *We lost a Hen a few weeks ago to what we believe was Mareks (paralyzed legs, and eventually not eating or drinking)

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!!! My wife and I are first time chicken owners who seem to live on these backyard forums these days. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I don't really know how to help but thought I would at least give you a few links that I am aware of, in that maybe you can gather some helpful information from them (I hope your chicken gets better soon):

    http://www.birdhealth.com.au/flockbirds/poultry/diseases/mareks_disease.html
    mentions crop problems and Mareks

    I have never dealt with Sour Crop, but thought this may be interesting to you:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/630307/sour-crop-cured-with-monistat

    Since your chicken is already under the care of a vet, you may wish to get him/her to prescribe something along those lines if he/she believes it could be fungal, as some sour crop is apparently:
    http://www.avianweb.com/candida.html
    this is for general birds, not chickens
    and this also:http://www.avianweb.com/slowcrop.html

    Additionally I would examine her mouth for canker lesions (cheesy lesions).

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. JuanBlanco

    JuanBlanco New Egg

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    Nov 3, 2013
    Thank you ChickensAreSweet, for your reply, the links and kind wishes~

    Just a quick update: We examined her mouth. Nothing abnormal at all - a healthy mouth. They say canker can be found also in the crop/throat/digestive tract, so we don't know what signs would show that she has cancker. But her mouth doesn't seem to have any abnormal growth/color.

    Gigi's crop is slowly emptying. We keep feeding her our liquid nutritional "drink". She is passing some waste - mostly liquid with a few small solid chunks. We found a piece of pine shaving in her droppings. That's the bedding we use for the other chickens in the coop outside. She must have ingested it - that one day we returned her back to the pen to socialize with her friends. She still doesn't drink; her left wing is still dysfunctional. It doesn't hang down abnormally, but she doesn't move it at all (when stretching her left leg or when cleaning feathers on the left side of her).

    We keep watching and examining her poops. Also thinking of worming her. She hasn't been wormed yet. But before that we'll do some more research.

    Thank you again, we hope and pray she'll get better....
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If she were mine I would tube water until the crop cleared and then feed her nothing but crumbles or other soft easily digestible foods. Maybe there is an impaction in her gizzard that's causing her crop stasis?

    -Kathy
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would not worm her unless you really think she has worms while she is ill, since wormers are VERY hard on hens. They can kill a weak hen.

    Some vets will do a fecal float test for worms for a small fee (false negatives are very possible though).

    Here:
    a chicken with gurgling and hoarse sounding noises had worms:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ts-is-not-coryza-or-crd-parasites-are-rampant

    Again, just wanted to caution you that dewormers are very hard on them...so you can move forward with that knowledge.

    Trust your gut feeling on this...if you think she needs the wormer then by all means give it!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    My vets have instructed me to worm some very sick birds and they have done fine, so now I worm everything unless it looks like the act of handling it will kill it. If she were mine she would get wormed with Fenbendazole (Safeguard or Panacur, liquid or paste) at 50mg/kg orally (that's .5ml per 2.2 pounds) and repeat in 10 days.

    -Kathy
     
  7. JuanBlanco

    JuanBlanco New Egg

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    Nov 3, 2013
    Hello, and thank you all for your replies! Even when the problem remains and it's hard to find out what exactly is wrong, WE GREATLY APPRECIATE all your unseen support thru your posts.

    Well, Gigi's impaction is gone (it took 2 days for the hard ball in her crop to soften up). But right after her impacted crop became soft, it all turned into a sour crop :-( Now, 2 days later - we almost cured that too. She still doesn't drink, but is starting to enjoy watermelon during the day. We do realize that since we are giving her boiled and mashed veggies and tube her with kifir+water+vitamins (and sometimes tomato juice), her body may simply not require more hydration. But, the fact that she still looks at water or any liquids (vegetable broth for example) like it is poison and won't drink on her own for over a month now, worries us to no end...despair and hopelessness are starting to creep in... We've looked EVERYWHERE online, and cannot find any explanation as to why a bird would stop drinking.

    We've decided not to worm her... I examine her poop every single time and do not see any worms/eggs/abnormal mass...and since we've read that worming IS hard on chickens we thought that we shouldn't give it to our already sick and weak Gigi girl.
    We did observe that sometimes when she walks on soft surfaces, she steps not on a fully spread out foot, but on her toes - that are curled under a little (it happens with both feet, and started 2 days ago). Not sure what it may mean....

    So our plan of action is to keep her on soft food for at least one more week, monitor her food intake and how much/regular she poops. Then we will go from there.... We just can't bring ourselves to putting her down...we already lost one of our little chickens 3 weeks ago...

    THANK YOU again for your posts...We'll keep posting updates on Gigi...
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/217/vitamin-b2-deficiency
    curly toe paralysis is a vitamin deficiency

    I am not sure why Gigi's toes are curling but could it be that she isn't absorbing all the vitamins she needs to?

    It sounds like her little body is having a hard time.

    You know, I had a problem with aspergillosis at one time. The cause was moldy feed (also a moldy coop) on the ground where I had thrown it and it sat too long. Signs were wing paralysis, gasping, and rapid deaths.
    http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/disfungi.htm
    crops can be affected by fungus as well

    Just a thought.

    I read that aspergillosis is associated with thirst on one website though....
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150149/
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  9. JuanBlanco

    JuanBlanco New Egg

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    ChickensAreSweet, thank you for your post and helpful info/links...I read the article on aspergillosis, and there are a few symptoms that we've been seeing in Gigi...and it did say about the thirst - only it said "exessive or abnormal thirst" which seems to be the opposite of what Gigi has - not having any thirst at all :-(((, but the other things like "weight loss, gasping, hyperpnoea, nonproductive coughing, anorexia ( - partial in our case), lethargy, ruffled feathers" she does have, and unfortunately they are the symptoms of MANY MANY different diseases :-(

    We are starting to suspect that she indeed might not be absorbing the vitamins we give her. We've been giving her Poly-Vi-Sol since almost the beginning of all these troubles, and yet she is very underweight and her health condition seems to be getting worse...

    A day ago she started gaping again (no coughing so far). Her curly toes got a bit better, but now she is wobbling and seems to have lost her ability to coordinate muscles. It's like we've read in someone's thread - "she was given a new pair of legs and doesn't know what to do with them" - that's what she walks like, so it's more that walking like "drunk"...

    We've given her Oxine (diluted in water) orally and also added a couple of drops of Oil of Oregano and also garlic water - to at least try to kill any possible fungus in her belly/crop. We supplement her good bacteria in the stomach by adding Keffir (lactose free).... But what we are thinking now is that she doesn't absorb enough nutrients and vitamins, and that's why she's lost so much weight. I am wondering if we can give her vitamin injections? Is it a possible thing that people do, if vitamins can't be absorbed through stomach?

    Also does anyone know how much food should a 4 month old chicken eat at one time? We are giving a full 60 ml syringe of Hand feed mash per meal. And she gets 3 or 4 meals a day, plus steamed mashed veggies several times a day (she eats some of it, but not a big amount). We are thinking it is plenty of food, but we might be very wrong....

    Also here are several pictures of her poo this morning... She tends to have liquid poo in the mornings and then semi-liquid and solid droppings throughout the day. Her "bowel movement schedule" seems regular. Does anyone know what the WHITE STUFF IN THE POOP is? And whether it is too much in her waste?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thank you so much again for your help!!!
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You are welcome!

    The white in her poo is urates (urine). Here:
    http://chat.allotment.org/index.php?topic=17568.0

    Since she is having watery diarrhea you may want to do as Kathy said (thank you Kathy!) and worm her. It is what I would do at this point with diarrhea and seemingly poor absorption of nutrients. A poo sample to the vet for worms/cocci would yield some very good information, but I understand if you don't want to do that. I strongly recommend getting this done first since she is so weak.

    Diarrhea, thin hen, could be worms or other conditions of course. Admittedly it seems something else is going on as well. Seeing the diarrhea made me change my mind on this point. I hope you will consider taking a poo sample to the vet for a fecal float if you are able. I believe there is a blood test for Mycoplasma, as well if needed.

    Please understand that I don't know what her diagnosis is. I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013

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