Do chickens get constipated? UPDATED: 7 days later- a full recovery!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by joneus, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been treating my 2yr old (today!!!) serama hen, Stig, for a prolapsed vent since Friday and have not seen an egg from her since Saturday evening (its now Thursday). I've been keeping her in a dark hospital pen in the house and tending to her vent once or twice a day with Preparation H and Tucks spray. She has progressed to the point where all I have to do is start cleaning her bottom and she pops her vent back in on her own.

    My concern is that ever since this whole issue started, she's been leaking a white fluid from her vent constantly. Its white and gritty, sticky, extremely hard to clean off and looks more like the "white poo" than egg white. It sticks to her feathers & she's constantly grooming. When I first brought her in, it took two really long baths and some super careful tweezer work to get the solidified crud off her vent and feathers (and it smelled awful!). The swelling and angry looking tissue in and around her vent was significantly better looking by that evening.

    This morning after our trip to the bathroom I put her down on the floor to get some exercise while I cleaned up. She walked around for a minute & then started squatting & grunting. Her vent popped out again, and around the time I started thinking, "Oh no! She's egg bound!" she dropped several small, hard, little... er... nuggets, and then went about her business like nothing happened.

    She is behaving, eating and drinking normally. Aside from the white, wet streaks of grossness, the other poops in her hospital pen look normal. I dont see any parasites or blood or anything that would be a cause for concern. I cant feel an egg anywhere in her abdomen and she's been in her dark hospital pen for almost a week (so not really expecting one).

    I'm beginning to wonder if her vent issue is tied to a digestive problem? Could she be constipated & pushing out her vent from the strain? I've been feeding her her normal pellets, a few mealworms once a day, a little scrambled egg w/ eggshells and yogurt (which she does not seem to care for) and I've been giving her vitamin water which she has access to at all times. Her vent stays in until she poops.

    Should I be doing something different? What is that white goo dripping from her vent? How do I stop it?

    GAH!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It sounds like she may have some vent gleet as well as constipation. Make sure she is eating a balanced high quality layer feed and no more than 10 % of the diet should contain treats, and fresh water. Put a probiotic product such as Probios Dispersible Powder in her water daily. Antifungal drugs such as Medistatin (available online) can be used, and antifungal ointments such as Miconazole can be applied to the vent if the area is red from the discharge. Here is a good link: http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/12/vent-gleet-prevention-and-treatment.html
     
  3. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! I'm looking at the pictures and description on the link. The pictures and symptoms fit Stig exactly! THANK YOU!!!
     
  4. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. I've got a call in to the only avian vet in my area & HOPEFULLY she can give me the Nystatin w/o a consultation. Otherwise I'll look into ordering the medistatin. In the mean time, I've given her a solution of Epsom salts & water (to get things started) and sprinkled the same probiotic powder I use to treat my dogs yeast infections (she gets them in her ears) on Stigs food.

    I found another page that discusses Vent Gleet and will try the wheat germ, yogurt & layer feed diet & ACV water treatment and see if that helps, too.

    Off to get some monistat! Poor Stig. Yeast infections are miserable. :-(

    Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I know she's small, but have you checked her for an egg or obstruction by sticking a finger in her vent?

    -Kathy
     
  6. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wanted to post an update on Stig for anyone interested. Today was the first day in 2 weeks that her vent was closed and dry when I checked her this morning! If she stays that way through tomorrow, I'm going to call it a complete recovery!

    Of course, between messing with her cycle and keeping her in a warm house, she is now molting. Its about 20 degrees out with nothing warmer in the forecast for the next week, so it looks like Stig is going to be a house chicken for a little while longer. Her hospital pen is big enough for two bantams (its normal job is to be the broody apartment!), so I may attach a large dog crate to the chicken-door side and bring in one of her sisters to keep her company. I suspect that her mirror-buddy, "Gits" isnt much fun to interact with anymore.

    For anyone interested or stumbling upon this post in the future with a similar problem:

    I think the prolapse was caused by the gleet (yeast infection). Once I discovered that she had this yeast infection, I stopped treating the prolapse and focused my attention on getting the gleet under control. I figured that the swelling from the gleet was making it difficult for Stig to pass anything out of her vent- thus the prolapse.

    I treated her with a combination of things. For the first few days, she got a 15-20min epsom salt bath once a day. I followed that up with spraying her vent with Tucks spray, wiping it clean with hemorrhoid wipes, smearing Monistat cream on her exposed vent and then top dressing that with blu-kote. She ate the Monistat while she groomed herself. I tried to not worry about it- she'd already been eating hemorrhoid cream for a week & if THAT didnt kill her, I figured the antifungal probably wouldnt either. I did NOT try pushing her vent back in until the swelling and discharge were gone (Day 6, yesterday).

    That fist day, I gave her a solution of 1 tsp Epsom Salts to 1oz water, let her drink ALL of it, then switched her to plain water for the rest of the day. That gave her some GNARLY diarrhea for a couple of days, but the purpose of giving her the epsom salt water was to flush her system- so I tried to not worry about that, either. I gave her pellets a top dressing of probiotic powder and offered her 2TBS of applesauce with 1/8 tsp probiotic powder mixed in.

    After that, she got vitamin/mineral/probiotic powder mixed into her water (daily) and I continued to dress her pellets with probiotic powder and fed her the applesauce mixture (with the mega dose of probiotics) once per day for the next 6, now 7 days. I also kept up on cleaning her & treating her with Monistat and hemorrhoid wipes once per day. The smell was gone by day 3, & the swelling and discharge were gone by day 6 (yesterday), so I took a chance and pushed her vent back in. It was still in this morning when I went to continue her treatment and she is no longer having any difficulty passing stools. Her butt feathers are dry and she isnt obsessively grooming herself back there anymore, so there is no (obvious) evidence of the yeast infection discharge.

    I'm going to continue the Monistat for today and heavy dosage of probiotics for another day or two and then start weaning her off of them until its just in her water.

    I am still not entirely sure how she got this. The things I've read point to filthy, wet living conditions, stress, and moldy/dirty food or water. My coop is clean (as clean as I CAN keep it in the winter, anyway) and dry, their food is kept clean & dry in the stainless steel garbage can I've been using for years (plus, I check it often), I clean their water dish daily... the run is a bit damp (again, hard to control that this time of year!), but I rake it weekly and they dont spend much time out there anyway because they're either in their coop or out free ranging this time of year.

    My only thought for why this happened is that they were stayed inside for the better part of 2 weeks while we had a nasty cold snap with a couple of decent snowfalls. She's near the middle of the totem pole- so maybe she got picked on & stressed out when they couldnt/wouldnt go outside for awhile?

    Poor girl. Everyone else seems happy & fine. Hopefully this is "just one of those things..." and the $25 unopened bottle of Medistatin powder will never need to be used.

    OTOH... she's living in a 70 degree house with constant attention and an apartment all to herself. They're outside sharing a chicken coop in January, in New England. Prolapse & gleet aside, she's got a pretty cushy life going on right now!
     
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