Cockerel with a swollen abdomen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Puddin Fluff, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    I have an almost 4 month old bantum White Face Black Spanish cockerel. I noticed today that he looked puffed up, tail was down, wattles paler than normal. He was somewhat isolating himself from the rest of the flock but would move pretty quickly if a dominate came near him. He did some foraging with the others and ran for scratch. When I picked him up for inspection, I noticed his abdomn felt swollen, firm but not hard, squishable when pressed. Vent was clean and puckered when touched. butt feathers were clean as well. Watched him poop and it was normal color and consistency. When I was holding he appeared to be kind of gasping to breathe but he was not doing this standing on his own.

    No signs of any other birds acting sick.

    Any suggestions for home treatment are appreciated. Vet is not an option.

    Thankyou for any suggestions.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  3. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the response. The gasping was silent and only occurred when I was holding him. Whan he was standing, he did not gasp. If it was worms wouldn't his poo look funny?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Is it his crop that is swollen or his belly? Crop problems can be from grass or other feed that blocks the crop from emptying. Impacted crop or sour crop can be hard to treat. Silent gasping can be a sign of a fungal disease called aspergillosis, from mold spores. Most chickens have some worms if they ever touch the ground. Certain worms can affect different parts of the body--esophagus, crop, different areas of the intestines, eyes, trachea, etc. Coccidiosis is something else that could affect him that could cause puffing up, but diarrhea and a poor appetite would be common with this. I would worm him and the others to start with, then watch for other symptoms. Probiotics in the water can help promote good intestinal health. Here is a link on crop problems:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html

    The following types of worms can be found in poultry:
    • Hair worm - Found in the crop, oesophagus, proventriculus and intestine. Also called Capillaria.
    • Roundworm - Found in the birds digestive system.
    • Gizzard worm - Found in the gizzard, mainly in geese. A common problem for goslings.
    • Tapeworm - Fairly uncommon, found in the intestine.
    • Gapeworm - Found in the trachea and lungs.
    • Caecal worm - Cause little damage but transmit blackhead to Turkeys.
     
  5. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    I forgot to check his crop when I was looking at him last night. It is his belly. If he were a girl I would have thought he might be egg bound or internal laying because of the location of the swelling, but of course there were no hard areas because of no eggs since he is a boy. His abdomen is full/swollen but playable/squishable when pressed.

    Kids opened up this morning. I'll take a look at his crop later. I did see him foraging and eating scratch yesterday.

    The gasping only occurred when I was holding him and I attribute that his abdomen being so full and I was pressing it against his lungs since he quit as soon as I put him down.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  6. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    I checked on him again this afternoon. He is waddling around with the other chickens. Abdomen is still full/swollen. crop feels normal, not hard, not empty. Foraging, running/waddling for scratch. He gasps only when I pic him up. Otherwise, appears to breathe normally. Body is puffed out, tail is low. He is waddling because his abdomen is so full it is spreading his legs somewhat so it is affecting his normal strut.

    I gave him some liquid vitomens and a friend is getting me some of the dewormer recommended above but I won't get it until Monday night.

    I think I am going to try soaking him in Epsom salt bath tomorrow just to see if it helps any. I will also get him some yogurt, the closest pro biotic I can get.

    Any other suggestions appreciated. :)
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    This sounds like ascites to me. Although he seems awfully young for liver failure.......
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Water belly or ascites can be result of heart failure that is related to right sided heart failure or liver scaring. Sometimes it is genetic, or can be from too much salt in the diet or moldy feed. In hens with egg yolk peritonitis, they can get it from infection causing liver failure. I would not soak him in cold weather. You could look to see if his abdomen seems full of fluid. An 18 gauge needle can be used to withdraw fluid if there is ascites or fluid in the belly. Here is a link to read about ascites: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...s_of_poultry/ascites_syndrome_in_poultry.html
    Here is one showing withdrawal of fluid in the belly: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853726/ascites-in-desperate-need-of-some-help-and-guidance

    [​IMG]
    Hen with ascites--Photo by Casportpony
     
  9. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    As far as cold weather, we will be almost 70 degrees tomorrow and he would get a warm water soak then a blow dry indoors. However if it is ascites, it sound irreversible so there isn't much point in doing any thing.

    I have no desire to pull fluid if itisn't a cure, only a diagnosis confirmation.

    Anyone else have suggestions, ideas? Thanks.
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Also sounds like ascites to me... Lost a peachick to it last year, but it was not due to liver failure, it was a heart defect. Necropsy done at UC Davis.

    -Kathy
     

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