Crop full of liquid, throwing up white cream-like stuff, possible egg blockage...

battagliac

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 12, 2012
55
3
94
Woodland, CA (near Sacramento)
White leghorn nearing 9 or 10 years. Hasn't legged egg with shell in couple years but regularly drops egg white, occ. some yolk, at night on roost. Vet said she is old and no longer producing shell. We give her calcium and probiotics. She often shows fluid build up below the vent on stomach area, but it goes away, presumably when she gets rid of fluid. A couple other times she got bad and didn't move much then would clear out and be fine again. Has been 100+ degrees last couple days, but we keep shaded areas wet and all of the other hens are fine, but most are younger. Today her crop area is also full of liquid and she began vomiting white creamy looking stuff, and she is very full of liquid on the back end too. Too late in day to call our vet, so we are wondering of others might know what's going on. I'm thinking maybe an infection or blockage. Our grass fields have dried out and we have a lot of stickers around too. Could it be heat stress at her age? Tumor or organ failure?
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,537
502
NW Oregon
The fluid in the abdomen is likely ascites, which is often from liver or heart failure, as the body builds up with excess fluid. It could be from inflammation in the laying tract as well. Obviously, that's not good.

The crop fluid could be impaction, or additional proof of heart failure with fluid build up in the lungs.

At her age, it probably is just a matter of time, but maybe she will rally. It is amazing she's lasted this long as a White Leghorn which often play out much earlier.

It sounds like you've been doing a good job of TLC to keep her alive this long. Check her crop for grass impaction. Address that with olive oil if necessary, and some massage, (search BYC for step by step details also see here: http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/impacted-crop).

With some TLC, she may continue for who knows how long. Or it could be a downward spiral if it is organ failure, which I suspicion.

If she seems to be enjoying life and not in a lot of pain, I'd offer TLC. But at some point, you have to decide when it's "enough." That's a hard decision when "enough is enough."

For my beloved "grandpa and grandma" chickens, I prefer the CO2 method of euthanasia which takes them out very gently with no trauma. (Get deep bucket with lid. Buy 1/4 pound or so dry ice. Place ice at bottom. Pour about a cup of warm water. Let "steam cloud" build, propping lid to keep it in bucket but venting so it doesn't explode lid. After cloud is dense, gently lower bird into cloud. Close bucket lid, venting for overbuild up. In about 10 seconds after one gulp they are unconscious. They have suffocated in about 30 seconds. Final death is less than a minute. Place styrofoam or something so bird doesn't have to sit on ice if preferred but be sure not to block cloud forming. Just FYI).

My thoughts.
LofMc
 

battagliac

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 12, 2012
55
3
94
Woodland, CA (near Sacramento)
The fluid in the abdomen is likely ascites, which is often from liver or heart failure, as the body builds up with excess fluid. It could be from inflammation in the laying tract as well. Obviously, that's not good.

The crop fluid could be impaction, or additional proof of heart failure with fluid build up in the lungs.

At her age, it probably is just a matter of time, but maybe she will rally. It is amazing she's lasted this long as a White Leghorn which often play out much earlier.

It sounds like you've been doing a good job of TLC to keep her alive this long. Check her crop for grass impaction. Address that with olive oil if necessary, and some massage, (search BYC for step by step details also see here: http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/impacted-crop).

With some TLC, she may continue for who knows how long. Or it could be a downward spiral if it is organ failure, which I suspicion.

If she seems to be enjoying life and not in a lot of pain, I'd offer TLC. But at some point, you have to decide when it's "enough." That's a hard decision when "enough is enough."

For my beloved "grandpa and grandma" chickens, I prefer the CO2 method of euthanasia which takes them out very gently with no trauma. (Get deep bucket with lid. Buy 1/4 pound or so dry ice. Place ice at bottom. Pour about a cup of warm water. Let "steam cloud" build, propping lid to keep it in bucket but venting so it doesn't explode lid. After cloud is dense, gently lower bird into cloud. Close bucket lid, venting for overbuild up. In about 10 seconds after one gulp they are unconscious. They have suffocated in about 30 seconds. Final death is less than a minute. Place styrofoam or something so bird doesn't have to sit on ice if preferred but be sure not to block cloud forming. Just FYI).

My thoughts.
LofMc
Hi there, thanks so much for your thoughtful message. I was gone working in the field yesterday but my wife let me know that leg horn snapped out of it in the morning and is back to her normal self. She was in a separate Coop for the night and when my wife opened it she jumped out and ran out and started eating. As mentioned, she’s gone through this up and down a few times, But this was the first time she was vomiting. Based on your email we looked up all of our chicken species expected lifespans, so that was helpful, and thank you for the information about using CO2. that sounds like a better way than anything I’ve used in the past. Anyway, we appreciate your feedback, So thanks again.
 

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Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,537
502
NW Oregon
Glad to hear she is better at the moment.

I have an old great grandma chicken that keeps surprising me. She took another downturn this month, but now seems more chipper. As long as she seems comfortable and keeping up, I let her go on...but I do have the bucket ready when it's time.

Hopefully she has many more moons to enjoy.
LofMc
 

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