Educational Necropsy Photos-GRAPHIC WARNING! Giant Cyst Contained This...Not Expected

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by speckledhen, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My 5 1/2 year old hen, Ellie, died during the night. She'd been going downhill over the past month and it was expected. She'd always laid humongous, rough and usually thin shelled eggs and after her last molt, did not come back into lay. She had had this small fatty-looking cyst on her bum for a couple of years, same as another hen I have, didn't seem anything too worrisome, even asked a vet about it once. It did not seem to affect either of them. The other hen is fine and laying, a year younger than Ellie was.

    Over the last month, the cyst grew to a monstrous size, sticking out from her bum, maybe four or five times larger than it began. I thought it was either a fatty deposit, or a mass of ingrown feathers, but didn't want to mess with it in this heat, maybe causing a fly strike on her bum. She passed away last night and when I opened up the cyst, got a surprise and something I'd never seen before; well, one thing I'd seen and one I had not.

    Here is the cyst as it was a couple of weeks ago-that, plus her watery poop, her being not well, caused her bum to be dirty so we'd have to hose it off periodically:

    [​IMG]



    Today, the necropsy photos, so if you are squeamish, DON'T LOOK! I did not cut into her actual abdomen, only the cyst. When I got to the intestines, I quit. They seemed normal.

    First, the whitish spot was only fatty stuff
    [​IMG]

    Then, I cut further, seemed normal muscle and tissue, then suddenly, there was a waterfall of bright yellow gunk, too bright and semi liquidy for just fat, maybe some yolk, too:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then, I found this solid ball with veiny exterior and cut it loose; not unusual, seen it before, filled with either cheesy gunk or fibroid like material or even loose yolk, but not outside the abdomen like this one really was-it was contained inside the cyst formation:

    [​IMG]

    Inside the ball, which had a multi layered shell, was what looked like scrambled eggs and pieces of eggshell, not all that astounding from the stuff I've seen, really:

    [​IMG]

    The surprise was the next thing I found. I saw a mass and pulled at it. Out came what I thought would be a cheesy mass that I've seen in many, many internal layers over the years, but it wasn't. It was what appeared to be literally cooked white meat chicken, cooked muscle. I've never seen this in any hen I've ever opened up, only the cheesy layered masses of cooked yolk and infection, but this is something you'd see on your dinner plate. WTH? There were three masses of it. After that, the cyst pocket was emptied and I could see only a normal body cavity.

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    56,762
    11,550
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Sorry for your loss, but thanks for sharing.

    -Kathy
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Anything to add to someone's information arsenal. What I hate was when Isaac saw her body. When she died, she didn't even flap so the others didn't seem to realize she had passed away. When DH showed Isaac her body, he whimpered like a puppy. I feel bad for him. She was one of his only two Delaware hens. Thankfully, his other one, Georgie, the same age as he and Ellie, is laying almost daily and seems in excellent health.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    56,762
    11,550
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Poor Isaac, they really do love their hens, don't they?

    -Kathy
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Ellie and Georgie were the only two hens he has been with every day of his life. Others have come and gone, but those two hatched with him and have never been away from him.

    This makes me concerned about the other hen with the cyst, who is one of my Blue Rocks and also currently in there with Isaac. Last I checked, hers was still very small and it may be completely different than this one.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,995
    2,989
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    That is very interesting, and great information to share. Wonderful pictures and great description. I'm sure each loss really is tough on you, but thanks for this thread. Sorry for your loss.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Thank you. As I always say, just when you think you've seen it all, something pops up you never expected.
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    56,762
    11,550
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    I have two hens with similar looking masses. Both are eating and drinking, but I know it's only a matter of time. [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I just checked Neela's mass and it's still only about 1/4 the size of Ellie's and looks exactly like it's only a ball of fat at this point. Could be it's of an entirely different character, so maybe your hens' are not at all what I found with Ellie, Kathy. Here's hoping, anyway. [​IMG]
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,995
    2,989
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    My husband likes to look at some of the pictures of interesting medical cases on here (he's a pathologist,) so I showed the pictures to him. He said this reminded him of dermoid cyst or a cystic teratoma. These are congenital growths that can contain many different tissues from all over the body, and ovarian dermoid cysts are very common in women. This may not be the same thing, although I found one reference in an old poultry book about cystic teratoma with no information. I found this little paragraph explaining what they are:

    Pathology

    Mature cystic teratomas are encapsulated tumours with mature tissue or organ components. They are composed of well-differentiated derivations from at least two of the three germ cell layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm). They therefore contain developmentally mature skin complete with hair follicles and sweat glands, sometimes luxuriant clumps of long hair, and often pockets of sebum, blood, fat, bone, nails, teeth, eyes, cartilage, and thyroid tissue. Typically their diameter is smaller than 10 cm, and rarely more than 15 cm. Real organoid structures (teeth, fragments of bone) may be present in ~ 30% of cases.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by