Have you ever lanced or opened a hard lump or bump on your chicken? Because I'm going to and need advice.

MykaMom

Songster
Apr 19, 2019
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Bishop Hill, Illinois
My 7 minth old cinnamon queen was acting dull,, followed by lethargy. First noticed christmas day.

Despite not feeling anything, I assumed egg bound as I couldn't find anything wrong. Dosed her with tums.

By Saturday, she was drooping. Brought her in to the 1st aid pen and started pushing fluids, calcium, and a bath with Epsom Salts. No improvement. By Monday, she stopped drinking and appeared to be dying.

I started her on tetracycline, 3x/day oral solution(powdered, mixed in water). Force-fed fluids, scrambled egg, peanut butter, anything I could think of.

Monday night, I realized it wasn't her crop looking full or just fluffy feathers: I palpated a hard lump the size of a pecan on the left side of her esophagus, right where the neck joins the body.

While it can be a variety of things, my top 4 are:
1. Staph infection/abscess
2. Foreign body with infection
3. Impacted follicle
4. Impacted gland

I'm going to sharpen my machete first, in case it's highly vascular or black. Then I'll do what I have to.

I'm hoping I can open this up and drain it. If it's one of the above, then she may still recover.

Has anyone here ever done this? I'm confident in my abilities to handle this, but I'd sure like some good advice here.

I have no access to a vet or I wouldn't even consider it. But she's going to die.

I have brand new xacto blade, iodine, antiseptic wash, topical antiseptic, bandaging supplies. If it's infected, it has to remain open to drain. She can stay in the 1st aid pen as long as needed.

What else can I or should I do or not do?
 

RosemaryDuck

Crowing
Dec 15, 2020
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My 7 minth old cinnamon queen was acting dull,, followed by lethargy. First noticed christmas day.

Despite not feeling anything, I assumed egg bound as I couldn't find anything wrong. Dosed her with tums.

By Saturday, she was drooping. Brought her in to the 1st aid pen and started pushing fluids, calcium, and a bath with Epsom Salts. No improvement. By Monday, she stopped drinking and appeared to be dying.

I started her on tetracycline, 3x/day oral solution(powdered, mixed in water). Force-fed fluids, scrambled egg, peanut butter, anything I could think of.

Monday night, I realized it wasn't her crop looking full or just fluffy feathers: I palpated a hard lump the size of a pecan on the left side of her esophagus, right where the neck joins the body.

While it can be a variety of things, my top 4 are:
1. Staph infection/abscess
2. Foreign body with infection
3. Impacted follicle
4. Impacted gland

I'm going to sharpen my machete first, in case it's highly vascular or black. Then I'll do what I have to.

I'm hoping I can open this up and drain it. If it's one of the above, then she may still recover.

Has anyone here ever done this? I'm confident in my abilities to handle this, but I'd sure like some good advice here.

I have no access to a vet or I wouldn't even consider it. But she's going to die.

I have brand new xacto blade, iodine, antiseptic wash, topical antiseptic, bandaging supplies. If it's infected, it has to remain open to drain. She can stay in the 1st aid pen as long as needed.

What else can I or should I do or not do?
Personally I would test it with a needle first before doing any cutting. That way, you can tell if pus starts coming out or just blood what it is. If it's pus, then you can (probably) safely open it. If it's just blood and nothing else then it's likely a tumor or mass. Cutting it open right away could cause her to bleed out pretty quickly, if it's a tumor (considering they have very large veins). With her being very weak already, losing to much blood could be detrimental.
 

MykaMom

Songster
Apr 19, 2019
178
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157
Bishop Hill, Illinois
Personally I would test it with a needle first before doing any cutting. That way, you can tell if pus starts coming out or just blood what it is. If it's pus, then you can (probably) safely open it. If it's just blood and nothing else then it's likely a tumor or mass. Cutting it open right away could cause her to bleed out pretty quickly, if it's a tumor (considering they have very large veins). With her being very weak already, losing to much blood could be detrimental.
I wondered about that. As hard as the lump is, I'm guessing it's a staph infection, but idk.

I DO have several TB needles left from when I was self-administered one of my RA meds. Got pretty good at it too! I hope it's not too small to get a fluid sample out!

Thank you, I will do that first!
 

Weeg

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Jul 1, 2020
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I wondered about that. As hard as the lump is, I'm guessing it's a staph infection, but idk.

I DO have several TB needles left from when I was self-administered one of my RA meds. Got pretty good at it too! I hope it's not too small to get a fluid sample out!

Thank you, I will do that first!
The fact that is is hard makes me think foreign body or tumor. @azygous @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock Use a needle first. Do you have any pictures? It is very hard for us to tell and help if e can't see it. Hope this helps!
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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A hard lump usually means tumor. Soft lump is usually fluid filled. A firm but not hard lump could be infection. Pus on chickens doesn't drain out like humans do. It's solid, waxy material and has to be scraped out.

I've dealt with all of the above, and when it's an infection, by the time the chicken is behaving as you say this one is, it's too late.

That said, you have nothing at all to lose by being aggressive about tackling this. The chicken is certain to die if nothing is done, so anything you do would give the chicken a chance at survival.

Be aware also that if these measures fail and your chicken dies, you can then cut her open and explore for the causes of her falling ill. You will learn a lot that may help in the future.
 

MykaMom

Songster
Apr 19, 2019
178
453
157
Bishop Hill, Illinois
The fact that is is hard makes me think foreign body or tumor. @azygous @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock Use a needle first. Do you have any pictures? It is very hard for us to tell and help if e can't see it. Hope this helps!
No, I don't have one. Her skin over the lump looks normal as do her feathers. There's just nothing to see, which is frustrating.
 

MykaMom

Songster
Apr 19, 2019
178
453
157
Bishop Hill, Illinois
A hard lump usually means tumor. Soft lump is usually fluid filled. A firm but not hard lump could be infection. Pus on chickens doesn't drain out like humans do. It's solid, waxy material and has to be scraped out.

I've dealt with all of the above, and when it's an infection, by the time the chicken is behaving as you say this one is, it's too late.

That said, you have nothing at all to lose by being aggressive about tackling this. The chicken is certain to die if nothing is done, so anything you do would give the chicken a chance at survival.

Be aware also that if these measures fail and your chicken dies, you can then cut her open and explore for the causes of her falling ill. You will learn a lot that may help in the future.
Thank you, this is exactly what I've been thinking re cutting her open if she dies.

The bump is weird: there's something hard and irregular inside, I'm wondering if it's a piece of bark or mulch. There's fluid built up around the hard part.

When my daughter is up(she works 2nd shift) we're going to first stick a needle in and see if there's any fluid that will drain out. If it's all blood, I'm going to assume it's a tumor and euthanize her.

If it's watery pus, then there's infection present and it must be lanced. If it's cottage cheese-like, that's a staph infection and will need thoroughly cleaned out and flushed.

Thankfully, I have iodine for surface disinfectant and chlorhexadine to flush it with.

We'll see: if possible, I'll take some pictures if for nothing else than the learning experience. That she is still alive gives me (some) hope.
 

MykaMom

Songster
Apr 19, 2019
178
453
157
Bishop Hill, Illinois
NOTHING came out. At all. I used a 3ml needle, twice.

The soft swollen part around the lump is completely gone today. But the lump itself is larger, descending down her breast.

Is this a thick, waxy infection that needs removed or an extremely fast growing, hard tumor?

Do I euthanize or try to remove it?
 

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