Egg Yolk Peritonitis

Shezadandy

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,391
3,093
397
Portland OR
Back in October of last year our hen went through a terrible 10 days- tube feeding and the works, and at the end of it, she passed a truly disgusting lash egg, then roared back to life. It was bittersweet- a little longer together with her but knowing this day would probably come.

She's been well since recovering from that- never laid another egg, which is fine- but this week has shown a decreased appetite- today she was air-pecking the scratch. Once she was on the roost for the night I picked her up to confirm her crop was empty- it was -- so I brought her in, made up a syringe with my favorite mix of poltridrench, molasses and the Exact baby bird food with lots of water. From everything I've read there's no antibiotic that will clean it up.

Almost immediately after the tube feeding, she perked up while I was trimming the icky feathers around her vent and started eating with great gusto before I drew any of the fluid off her abdomen. She's passed two bowel movements since, so have ruled out blockages and the like. I think the appetite problem is a direct result of the EYP.

I did a draw on her abdomen using a 14 gauge needle (nice big hole makes for easy draws for thick material) and pulled out a bunch of thick pus with egg yolk chunks. I've drained water belly before on an old hen whose heart and liver were giving out - nice clear yellow fluid - this was nothing like that- and had a horrible stench.

I'd post a picture of the abdomen contents, but old vs. new technology is getting in the way of that tonight and I don't yet have the right gizmo to make the two talk to each other.

So- the question isn't the diagnosis- it's more a matter of how much of an immediate rebound she showed vs. how much pain she's actually in. It seems like most of the symptomatic behaviors come from the swollen abdomen putting pressure on the other organs as opposed to pain from the infection- but that's what I'm wondering given the almost immediate turnaround tonight.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.
 

PotatoWaffles

Songster
5 Years
Oct 10, 2014
729
228
141
Northwest Ohio
Sorry to hear about your poor hen. EYP is horrible. I'm no expert, but I think that if you're prepared to do this type of treatment in the future, and if your hen seems perky after treatment and is eating and drinking, it might be worth it to give her a chance. For me, when it comes to making decisions to cull, there are a few things that I weigh: whether the bird seems to be in a lot of pain, which is the most important, if I have the resources and time to treat her, and whether she is one of my favorites or if she's more for egg/meat purposes.

I raise chicks every year and, after a year or two when they slow down in egg production, my SO and I cull the birds that are flighty and unhandleable for meat. But we have two or three favorites that are friendly that we keep around that are now nothing more than extra mouths to feed, but we love them lol. I care about all of my birds and care for them and treat their injuries as best I can. But those are the birds i will go above and beyond for.

I wish I could I could offer better advice, but I'm fairly unfamiliar with EYP, as I only just learned about it three days ago when I lost my favorite hen to it. She was the boss of my flock and downright dog-like. She was totally fine on Sunday. We were working on the fence and she got out and was running around in the neighbor's yard having a blast, lol. But on Monday, she was puffed up, dull and listless. We brought her inside and treated her as we would an egg-bound hen, but there was no egg. I did some research and learned about EYP, and her symptoms matched to a T, right down to the swollen abdomen. Even in the short time we had her inside, she had faded even more. She was pressing her head into my SO's arm and couldn't keep her eyes open. So we made the decision to end her misery, even though it gutted us to do so. I feel it was the right thing to do.

In your case, it sounds like your chicken is much more perky and has more life in her than my Rusty did. If you think she has a chance for a few more good months, and you're willing to continue her treatment, I'd say go for it. You've already done so much for your bird, and I applaud your efforts. Best of luck, my friend! :)
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,058
53,317
1,322
southern Ohio
I have had a handful of chickens die or whom I put down who were suffering from reproductive disorders. If I have done a necropsy, I have seen ascites or a blockage in the crop or gizzard. Since your hen has thick pus and egg material coming when you have performed a needle biopsy, I would think that her organs are now in the process of becoming invoved, and she may be suffering. I don’t do a lot of intervention in sick hens after trying some initial care, but I would consider putting her down. Peritonitis in humans is very painful, so I would think she may be suffering. I have had hens with swollen bellies who have lived for a couple of years. If they seem energetic, are eating, and still love to free range with their flock, I let them be. It is sad that these are the most common reasons for chickens’ death.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,391
3,093
397
Portland OR
Thank you both for your words of support. After the short rally yesterday evening, today- while she's got some food in her crop- she's standing around hunched and listless, even as the favorite treats are doled out- so it is time. After the lash egg this fall, I think this was the inevitable outcome- the worst part of being an animal lover- it was just a matter of time. I hate it because she is one of my original chickens and she was our first ever broody. Lots of beautiful memories.
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
11,542
61,877
1,197
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
I’m so sorry. I have a similar story where a hen (Rusty) seemed to recover from EYP, but could never get her weight back up. She had a few more happy, perky months, but eventually succumbed. I regret my last attempt to keep her going. Euthanization would have been the kinder option, as she died just a few days after her last Suprelorin (?) implant. I think you are doing the right thing. Big hug.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,873
33,103
1,092
On the MN prairie.
Thank you both for your words of support. After the short rally yesterday evening, today- while she's got some food in her crop- she's standing around hunched and listless, even as the favorite treats are doled out- so it is time. After the lash egg this fall, I think this was the inevitable outcome- the worst part of being an animal lover- it was just a matter of time. I hate it because she is one of my original chickens and she was our first ever broody. Lots of beautiful memories.
It's a tough thing to have to do, but I think you're doing the kindest thing for your bird.
 

PotatoWaffles

Songster
5 Years
Oct 10, 2014
729
228
141
Northwest Ohio
I’m so sorry. I have a similar story where a hen (Rusty) seemed to recover from EYP, but could never get her weight back up. She had a few more happy, perky months, but eventually succumbed. I regret my last attempt to keep her going. Euthanization would have been the kinder option, as she died just a few days after her last Suprelorin (?) implant. I think you are doing the right thing. Big hug.


I just lost my favorite hen this week to EYP. Her name was also Rusty :(
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom