Help! Chicken seems to be dying!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kuntrydazy, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. kuntrydazy

    kuntrydazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2014
    It's Sunday so I can't take my chicken to a vet. I had an issue with them pecking each other due to the person watching my ranch while I was on vacation leaving the overhead instead of the red heat lamp light on for a week straight (grrrrrrrr!) about a month ago, had just about fixed everyone up. This chicken was put back in with other injured chickens about a week ago, two days ago was put back in the flock. She was almost totally healed and only had a tiny scab, and I put the stuff that's supposed to keep them from pecking each other on it. Yesterday I took her back out as she had a clump the size of a golf ball of congealed blood on her hind end. When I cleaned it up there was only her old cut that had mostly healed to a tiny spot that was reopened. The open sore was tiny and not deep. I don't know why she bled so much. I figured she just got pecked at again so I separated her and cleaned her up and figured she would be fine. I did notice her comb was very white instead of red. She isn't eating or drinking though today and is very floppy and she is now making a gurgling sound when she breathes. I can't tell if the injury was a coincidence and she has an illness, if she hemoraged interiorly somehow (maybe got pecked way worse than I can tell from the outside when she laid?) and was susceptible to illness. I did dropper feed her but I noticed the gurgling before that, and I've had to do it a few times now and know to just put it on the tip of their beak. She looks like she is about to die. Vets near me aren't open until tomorrow. Neither are feed stores where I could get antibiotics or something. She is a 7 month old ancona is that makes a difference and was laying fine up until yesterday.
     
  2. kuntrydazy

    kuntrydazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2014
    Oh if it helps any I'm dropper feeding her three mixtures. Greek probiotic yogurt mixed with honey; then concentrated chamomile tea with echinacea and goldenseal also with honey and coconut oil melted in; then an electrolyte drink made with small amounts of Epsom salt, salt, baking soda, honey, and sugar mixed into a large amount of water. I felt her crop filled out a bit so I plan to wait a few hours before giving her more. She perks up a bit with the yogurt I'm sure the others don't taste great but I'm trying to get anything I can think of in her right now. She has more blood on the small cut and the feathers around it. I'm wondering if she is able to get to it because she is a smaller chicken and has been pecking it herself and has lost too much blood because of it, but I still find that shocking because the cut is just tiny. The amount of congealed (not hard, thick sticky goo) blood yesterday though was also shocking. I can't figure it out. I wrapped her loosely in a towel and put her in the sun (she is in the house with me) so she would be warm and I know won't be getting to the wound (she was in a large cat crate before so she had plenty of space to move around) and in case she does die at least she is in the sun.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sorry about your hen. I would not feed epsom salts to her. It is a strong laxative and may dehydrate her. Try to offer her a small bowl of liquid (electrolytes) to drink on her own, or dip her beak into it. Scrambled egg may entice her to eat. And try adding electrolytes to a small amount of feed. She could be gurgling from something coming up from her crop, or she could be getting a respiratory infection. If you have some flour you can put that on the wound to stop bleeding. Here is a good recipe for chicken electrolytes:

    HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE SOLUTION
    1/2 teaspoon salt substitute* or potassium
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon table salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 gallon water
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  4. kuntrydazy

    kuntrydazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2014
    Thanks, that's exactly what I'm giving her except the recipe I had called for 1/4 tsp of Epsom salts as well. I think the minerals are useful and in case she has some kind of poisoning a laxative might not be a bad idea. I used a product that's supposed to keep hens from pecking each other right before this and while I can't imagine they would sell something marketed that way that is dangerous to ingest, I'm wondering if that's the issue. So I'm treating everything it could possibly be!

    Update: She made it through the night and seems a bit stronger. She is drinking water and is picking at her food and throwing it around, I can't tell if she is eating much of it though. Her comb has regained a little color as well, and gained more throughout the day. It is still pale though. In continuing to research I found some things about the comb and face turning yellow and hers is. I watched her and I think she can reach the cut near her vent and is picking at it, so I'm keeping the light off most of the day. I turned the light on four times for about an hour so she could eat and drink. I also dropper fed her three times - again mixture one of probiotic greek yogurt, mixture two of honey, chamomile, echinacea, and coconut oil, and mixture three which is that electrolyte solution. She was much feistier this evening. She also didn't gurgle.

    A lot of answers I saw to a pale comb talked about anemia from mites, I can't find any sign of mites, but I'm guessing all anemia a look the same, so I'm starting to think the most likely issue is that she lost all that blood for some reason (it really was an enormous amount and not liquid or scabby like most blood, rather it was congealed, and at least golf ball sized, if I somehow lost blood like that I'd be going to the ER, and she is much smaller than me). I can't figure out why she did. It's such a simple cut, and I've never seen something bleed that way. Since yesterday it has completely stabbed over and she isn't losing more blood. When she originally lost the blood she also laid an egg. She hasn't laid since then. I'm wondering if she for some reason hemorrhaged internally when she laid last time and that's why there was so much blood with no corresponding external explanation.

    At this point I'm waiting to go to the vet - my vet is really nice but they don't typically have answers beyond what I've figured out, and actually often seem to know less. Not that I know much, but it seems like vets don't know a ton about chickens. So since she is perking up I'm thinking I'll wait and see how she is tomorrow. That way I'll have more info to offer the vet which seems to help them. The only thing I think a vet might offer is antibiotics, and my vet said it's illegal for him to give chickens antibiotics when he knows I'm selling eggs. Weird, but he is the only chicken vet in my area, so I guess I have to stick with him.

    At least she seems to be improving!
     

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