Easter egger is weak with a large crop (soft) like a water balloon

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Indy kimmie, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Indy kimmie

    Indy kimmie Hatching

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    Oct 22, 2018
    Our darling, Melinda is acting strangely, shaking her head, sitting on the ground, (before I brought her indoors) with her feathers fluffed, and frequently closing her eyes. She is 7 months old, and had been laying, but probably hasn't for a few days, as there hadn't been a blue egg for 2 days or so. She was eating and drinking as of last night, but since I brought her indoors I am only offering water. Im unsure as to her poop as I haven't seen any. We have an appointment at the Avian vet for tomorrow, But what shall I do in the meantime to improve her chances of living?
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    Two possibilities come to mind. Either she has an impacted crop in which case gentle massage of her crop may help, or she is egg bound and her digestive tract is stopped back up to her crop. Have you checked her vent for a stuck egg by gently inserting a lubricated gloved finger and inch or two at most into her vent. If she is egg bound you should be able to feel an egg pretty close inside, perhaps slightly above. Beware she may poop when you remove your finger, so make sure she is on a thick old towel if you do it with her on your lap. If it is a stuck egg, a calcium tablet like human calcium with vitamin D or a Tums indigestion tablet may help but if she is badly stopped back, the chances are her body will be unable to process it and a warm 20 min soak in an Epsom salts bath and lubricate her vent with whatever you have that is appropriate.... KY jelly or similar or coconut oil etc. then dry her feathers thoroughly with a towel and hair drier and place her in a box with clean nesting material and good ventilation somewhere warm and dark.... a heat pad may help her.

    If it is a straightforward crop impaction and her crop is really full, it may be best to empty some of the fluid out by gently holding her upside down by tilting her forwards and slightly to her right and massaging her crop. I usually hold them against my chest and tip my whole body forwards so that they are supported and I can monitor them closely and stand up to give them a break when they need it. The reason for tipping forward and to the right is that the oesophagus is on the right side of the mouth, so there is less likelihood of the bird aspirating vomit into their trachea if the oesophagus is the lowest point. Be aware that vomiting a chicken is risky because of the potential for aspiration but if you massage a crop that is already full without first vomiting, there is the possibility of the fluid refluxing into the birds mouth and them aspirating anyway.
    An impaction of the crop is often caused by the bird ingesting strands of long fibrous material like grass, hay or straw, but it can also be caused by a foreign object or even a large lump of food getting stuck.

    Let us know how you get on and if you are able to identify if the blockage is at one end or the other. Good luck!
     
    Indy kimmie likes this.
  3. Indy kimmie

    Indy kimmie Hatching

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    Oct 22, 2018
     
  4. Indy kimmie

    Indy kimmie Hatching

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    Oct 22, 2018
    Thank you so much for your response, I"m investigating what the cause could be...and I'll keep you posted.
     
  5. Indy kimmie

    Indy kimmie Hatching

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    Oct 22, 2018
    Ok, so first I checked for egg binding and didn't feel anything. She had pooped in the cage,too. The feces smelled really bad, and was light colored and extremely soft but then again I usually don't get closer than my shoes. Then I palpated her crop, it was really distended, in fact filled my hand, and was soft almost like a water balloon. I was able to get some vomit out, it was mucus with grass and meal worms from last night which is the snack I offer to bring them in for the evening. One of the dried meal worms was virtually untouched, it was as dry as when she gobbled it up. I put her back in the dog kennel inside my house, with water in a bowl. I "vomited" her until I was unable to get further results X2. What now?
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    How long was the piece of grass that came up?
    If her crop is blocked then it is not surprising that the meal worm has not broken down. The crop is basically just like a hopper to hold food and water until the digestive system is ready to process it. It is in the gizzard lower down where things like grains and insects and vegetation are ground up, so that the nutrients from them can be absorbed by the gut.
    Unfortunately if the bird eats too much long grass it gets ravelled up inside the crop to form a soggy mass which acts like a plug, blocking the outlet to the gizzard. The more grass and insects and grains the bird eats after that, the bigger the impaction becomes. If that piece of grass was a couple of inches long or more then it is likely this is her problem.
    Once you have vomited her a little so that the crop is not quite so full, then the next step is to gently massage it. I do 10 min massages 4 times a day. I isolate the bird so that they do not have access to any fibrous material and only feed them a very runny mix of chick crumbs soaked in lots of water with a little oil added and some vitamins like Nutridrench. They should have no access to dry food or anything other than will pass a kitchen sieve, because if it won't pass through a sieve it will not pass through the tangled mass of grass. She will also benefit from a heat source or being brought into a warm environment because she will not be ingesting enough food to maintain her own body temperature. It also makes it a lot easier to pick her up and massage her crop if she is in the house. Massage should be done in a normal upright position. It may take several days to clear the blockage. I had one that took 10 days and another that I couldn't clear and I had to surgically remove it. There was a mass of tangled soggy vegetation the size of a soft ball in her crop and she was only a bantam. That stuff weighed nearly more than she did because she had lost so much weight....they effectively starve. How does her breast bone feel? If it is sharp then this has been going on for quite a while already and she has already used up a lot of her body condition which makes it all the more important to keep her warm.
    Anyway, keep us posted on her progress. Keeping her isolated also enables you to monitor how much poop is coming out. It will be mostly runny because it will be mostly just fluids that are able to pass through the impaction.

    She should quite enjoy the crop massage, so if she seems unhappy, try being a little more gentle. Think of it a bit like kneading a stress ball.
     
    granny hatchet likes this.
  7. Indy kimmie

    Indy kimmie Hatching

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    Oct 22, 2018
    The grass was only about 1 1/2 inches long, but there was a small 1/4 x1/4 piece of carrot shaving. there was a considerable amount of mucusy liquid. She is refusing liquids, and I haven't force fed her, because she could have taken in fluid that I am not aware of. i don't have chick crumbs, but can use a mortar and pedstile to crush chicken pellets. What kind of oil shall I use? olive, canola, or avocado? I have no vitamins, but can pick some up tomorrow. I'm not using a heating pad right now as she may poop on it, but she is in the house. We have an appointment with an avian vet tomorrow at 3 unless she has a miraculous recovery. I think she still has a significant amount of fluid because of the noises I heard as I was massaging her, should I "vomit her again" tomorrow?
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    No, I would not vomit her again at this stage because you need to get the contents of her crop to go downwards or at least some of the fluids.... she cannot survive without fluids going through her system. The only reason I suggested vomiting her initially is to make it a bit less full so that you can massage it without risk of it refluxing up into her beak. Work from the bottom of her crop upwards because there will likely be a plug of material in the bottom which is preventing food and water passing down into her system. Pushing it gently upwards a little should let some of the fluids pass through, a bit like pulling up the plug in a sink allows water to go down the drain. In this case your plug is probably soggy vegetation. You are not looking to push it up into her throat but just manipulate it a bit so that stuff can pass through it.
    If you don't have chick crumbs, regular pellets will do. They don't have to be ground down, just soaked in some warm water until they break up and turn to mush. Mix in a bit of honey or apple sauce to make a wet slush and add a bit of vegetable oil.... olive or coconut oil is good but canola will do, but don't give her that until you manage to get some of the current contents moved through her by gently massaging.
     
    granny hatchet likes this.
  9. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Songster

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    Feb 23, 2018
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    Sounds almost exactly like what happened to my chicken tonight. My chicken had a soft shell egg stuck inside her, so I broke up a Tums in about eight pieces and I held her wrapped up in a towel and opened up her mouth and gave her the pieces one by one. I made sure she was on her roost in the evening and I went back to check on her about an hour later and there was a soft shell egg on the poop board underneath her
     
  10. Indy kimmie

    Indy kimmie Hatching

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    Oct 22, 2018
    i took her to the avian vet, she did have a blocked crop, but unless I was willing to pay for radiographic studies, and an extended vet stay, ($400.00) they couldn't say why she was blocked. I thought it was more humane to end her suffering, so I had her euthanised. She had apparently been ill for some time, as she was thin for her size, which I hadn't realized because the contents of her crop were heavy. Thank you for all your patience, and advice, and your kindness.
     

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