deflating subcutaneous emphysema?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sred98, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    I have a chinese goose that was attacked by my puppy. (Finding a home for the puppy) I blu-koted her and now a few days later, she is healed up, but HUGE. When you pick her up, she feels full of air. There is a condition people get called Subcutaneous Emphysema, so I am sure that is what it is, but I didn't know if anyone here has had to deal with that. It has enveloped her entire body and is now moving to her head. I took an 18 gauge needle and deflated her a little bit on each side. I ended up poking a hole and attempting to draw out fluid or air, but then thought that might be too traumatic, so I poked the hole and removed the needle and pressed around it. You could hear the air coming out like an air mattress with a hole in it! [​IMG]

    What I need to know is, has anyone on here had to do this, how often should I do it, and for how long? She seems to feel a little better. I am more worried about nicking an artery or something like that, but I am basically going in horizontally between the skin and sub-Q tissue. (I'm a nurse)


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  2. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    No one ever have any experience with this???

    I am not finding a lot online...seems to be common in birds with a ruptured air bladder. Looks like the air bladder has to repair itself and I will just have to keep deflating her until it is healed. [​IMG]

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  3. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    I have never personally dealt with it, but a bird's respiratory system is MUCH different than ours. With each breath the air sacs are filled up. When one is ruptured the air that would have gone into the air sac is moved into the body cavity.

    I would say doing it at least 1x per day will help keep her in a comfortable state. Do you know chicken or bird anatomy very well? If not, you "may" want to do a quick study as to where the veins and arteries are however if you keep to the outermost layers of tissue you're almost guranteed to not hit a vein (unless you go towards the neck area...)
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  4. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Yeah, yesterday she started getting it on her neck and head. I am staying away from that. I also think I need a larger gauge needle. I am using an 18G, but it closes really quickly. I feel like I am pricking her for roasting! [​IMG] She seems to get around better after I do it. I ended up doing it twice yesterday. It is obvious where the pockets are. When you press down you can feel the muscle and bone, but in between are air spaces. I really worry about secondary infections, but I am using sterile needles and alcohol, then spraying her with blu-kote. She seems ok.

    Thanks for the reply!

  5. Ryu

    Ryu Songster

    Jan 6, 2009
    I've only seen it in horses and the cause was bacterial. The with a bacteria version the skin will crackle like celophane when you touch it. The treatment for that is antibiotics.

    I've never seen it in chickens, I hope your goose gets better soon.
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Wow, that is weird. It sounds like you've got it whooped.
    I know it's tacky under the circumstances, but I can't help but think of Peking duck. They inflate the skin before cooking. It makes one wonder if someone first cooked a bird in this condition, and found it good.
    I do hope your girl gets better soon. Best of luck. [​IMG]
  7. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    IF you can keep her calm while doing it, keep using the 18 g needle, and leave it in while you squeeze her. I wouldn't do that if she struggles with it (SQ emphysema is painful), as you may inadvertantly lacerate something. Also, with a larger guage needle, be sure to read up on where veins and arteries are like the other person said, as you won't be likely to get a deep vein to stop bleeding if you hit it with a 16g or 14g needle.
    As far as how often, that will depend on her and the size of the hole in her air sack, if she is filling up enough that it's going into her head, I would do it as often as required and as often as she'll tolerate it to keep her more comfortable, as the hole starts to close, you should be able to do it less often.
    Good luck!
  8. ems_chick

    ems_chick Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Morganton, GA
    since youre a nurse could you get iv needles with a cath? you could try using the finger off of a latex glove to make a flutter valve. try 16 or 14g, the cath would remove any need to worry about nicking anything else. we do this on the ambuance for pneumos so maybe it will kinda work for what you have. in people the body just reabsorbs the air but fowl may be a whole different story with the sub-q emph. people i know, geese not so much [​IMG] good luck!
  9. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    I have thought about getting an IV catheter, but since I'm not working right now, just don't have access. I am using our horse leftovers from when I was injecting them. I am pretty sure the stupid puppy ruptured her air bladder. I have no idea how long it takes to heal, though. I am assuming a week or so? I feel really bad for her, and I know she hates me now. [​IMG] She tries to run from me when she sees me, but she can't. It is worse everyday, even after deflation, but she is eating/drinking/pooping, so I guess I will keep it up until she either gets better or takes a turn for the worse. [​IMG]

    If anyone has had to do this, please let me know if you know how to do it better!

  10. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    I was a little more aggressive with it on the 29th, and I did not have to deflate her yesterday or today! Her head and neck is still swollen, but I really really do not want to mess around in that area. There are still some crackles under the skin, but she doesn't look like she has balloons under her skin!

    Thought I would give an update, in case anyone has to deal with this in the future.

    1 person likes this.

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