Help! Hen with hard, swollen belly, has just had mites

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by greercecilia, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. greercecilia

    greercecilia Hatching

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    Jul 27, 2018
    My neighbors have just had a very, very bad infestation of mites for which we used ivermectin drops and diatomaceous earth, but one hen has a pale comb and a very hard, swollen belly. The mites (northern fowl mites I think) were all over her, the worst I've ever seen, but the drops and the dusting seem to have gotten them all for now.

    She is eating some and drinking, her poop is small and watery, with some light brown solids and she just stands with her head up and bottom down as though her belly is too heavy to lift up. Sadly, she is also very thin around her keel bone - I really wish my neighbors had asked for help sooner! I am wondering if it could have anything to do with having been so infested with mites - her abdomen is not soft and squishy (like ascites might be?) but feels very swollen and I don't feel an egg.

    I think I'll check up her vent with a glove and some vaseline but should I maybe try draining her of fluid? If so, how does that work and will it be harmful if there is no fluid in there?

    This is my first time posting here, although I've had poultry for a while and have read many a helpful post on byc!
     
  2. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    A hard, bloated abdomen is often caused by reproductive problems like salpingitis or internal laying, and sadly the outcome is usually poor. It sounds like it's pretty advanced from your description, and there is probably nothing you can do for her at this point. Having this underlying condition likely weakened her and made her more attractive for the mites, it often happens that mites will go after an already sick bird. IF it is fluid, draining can sometimes make them more comfortable for a time, but it's a temporary fix as the underlying condition is still there. And draining does not come without risks. Draining too much too quickly can put them into shock and be fatal. If a vet is an option they can perhaps confirm that is what is going on. If that is not an option, and her quality of life is so diminished, or she is suffering, then euthanasia is probably the kindest thing. I'm sorry that it is not a better scenario. :hugs
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    I agree that she sounds like she is suffering, and putting her down may be the kindest thing to do.
     
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  4. greercecilia

    greercecilia Hatching

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    Ok- Thank you for the quick and thorough reply, I really appreciate it. I didn't feel any egg or egg pieces when I reached up her vent. And just for future reference, my finger wasn't able to go straight back but more toward my right... is that the oviduct?
     
  5. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    I suspect that the matter in the abdomen is putting pressure on all of it, so the intestine and oviduct may be being pushed to one side or the other or be partially blocked by the pressure (thus the droppings being small). Without being able to see it myself that would just be a guess.
     
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  6. greercecilia

    greercecilia Hatching

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    Jul 27, 2018
    Oh ok, good to know. Thanks again for your help.
     

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