HELP--internal layer or eggbound?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Echobabe, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Echobabe

    Echobabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2007
    3 yr old barred rock, usually good layer, large bird. Just noticed her Friday hanging back from others. On examination she is noticeably lighter and acts weak. Little interest in eating. Poo is mostly watery clear mucous with some white urates and occasionally very small and tubular dark green solids. Very little solids have passed over 2 days--mostly watery. Fluffy butt was pasted with evidence of this diarrhea for a few days. She has not passed an egg in this time.

    When I lay her on her back with her head against my tummy, I feel slightly swollen abdomen of the left, soft. The right is also swollen, with a large HARD oval mass starting from under her rib area and pointing toward her leg (feels about 4"). Is this an egg? Or gizzard? Or liver?

    A digital exam does not reveal an egg in her vent. I gave her 2--1/2 hour soaks in warm water just in case. This seemed to make her feel better.

    I have babied her over the weekend with a "buffet" service of fruits, bread, oatmeal, yogurt, scrambled egg, watermelon, grated apple & carrot. She is on tetracycline in the water. All of these have been hit or miss, mostly miss. What seemed to perk her up the most was watermelon and bread while in her sitz bath.

    As for back story, she is normally one of my more aggressive girls. She had a foot sprain about 8 weeks ago that seemed to slow her down a bit, but the sprain healed nicely (no limp). But since then she's been more of a sit around the yard girl, and her comb has become more pink. When I caught up to her Friday, her comb seemed shriveled (dehydration?), which looked better today.

    We were gone last weekend, and my son did a horrible job in keeping water available for all the animals. I am wondering if this could have been caused by my hen getting too dehydrated? And, while I am following the advice for egg bound, am I missing something? Is there a chance this may turn around or am just putting off the inevitable?
  2. Echobabe

    Echobabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2007
    I find it ironic that I am answering my own post for help--this has been over the July 4th weekend, and finding help locally has been nonexistent. Well, almost, if you count we had her into a vet on Saturday, who never examined her abdomen. Completely missing a competent diagnosis, under the 1st vet's care she was shot up with ivermectin, put on antibiotic and quarantined from her friends, fecal sample sent to MSU.

    Sunday I read many posts here, which convinced me I had either an internal layer or eggbound. Since I didn't know what I was feeling in her abdomen (too much to choose from--some felt like egg but was over 4 inches long). Yesterday I called Michigan State University's small animal emergency clinic, who said, "Sorry, the professor on call doesn't know anything about birds. Nor do we know anyone to recommend you to since you aren't in the same county." I am only 40 minutes away, and in the neighboring county. I thought MSU was a teaching vet clinic? Birds are out of their competency?

    I gave up getting an answer here, found the only vet who is considered an avian expert in Jackson County (oddly enough, he is a colleague to the 1st no-nothing vet). Within putting 2 minutes of putting his hands on my hen he verified my conclusion--extremely egg bound (backed up), and the rest of the swollen but squisshy area was egg perotinitis (visual examination of the liquid that came out from a needle, plus under microscope). Oh, and feces back up from everything being swollen out of place.

    Now, if the 1st vet had been competent, I would not have been in a position to hunt down a diagnosis myself--soaking her butt and massaging her abdomen on Sunday. I followed directions here and in my ignorance put my bird through unnecessary pain. If it had been simple eggbound, that would have been a different story. But it wasn't.

    If I had only had someone to talk to who was more informed, my Nelly could have been going about her chicken business in peace for another day or two while we figured out the most humane way to dispatch her. I hope this post remains for the next person in my shoes, well meaning backyard keeper who is inexperienced about eggbound/internal layers.

    And one last point, there is some mythology on here about using automotive started fluid to suffocate your bird "gently". This is completely untrue--there is no ether in these products. It may be easy for YOU, but the bird goes down kicking and screaming--not just slipping off into sleep, but suffocating. If you care about your birds, find a quicker, less tramatic way, like snapping the neck or taking the head. Those are fast, and pretty much painless.
  3. deniker

    deniker Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2010
    El Paso, Tx
    I'm sorry to here that. I was and still am it the same point as you one of my girls at 18 weeks had an intrapped egg, I managed to get the egg out but she had and seem to recovering form a prolapesed vent after much worK and a lot of pain for her it looks somewhat like it should, but I never got the help that I thought I would from this site and this being the first time having chickens. I had no idea what to do. all I can say and do is learn and offer what I know to other and try to be better than some here.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm sorry about your hen. Starter fluid does contain ether, but unless the bird is fairly unresponsive, it doesn't work that well on an adult bird. It's mainly better for chicks. I've had five die from internal laying and another three are going to die soon. It's very common in hens over two years old, especially the production types.

    We have opened up several of the girls who died from this and their oviducts were full of cheesy, cooked gunk.

    It's pretty dull here on holidays and weekends. Sorry you didn't get an answer. To be perfectly honest, I often avoid the Emergencies/Diseases section. It's just too hard for me sometimes.
  5. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    So sorry you had to go through this, I had a similar problem here but at least there was 3 vets that at least tried to help us. I know there are no true chicken vets in my area not even the farm vets deal with chickens but they at least did try to help. I can't for the life of me see why the 1st vet gave a de-wormer to your hen. I am sure with it being a holiday weekend not many people where on. I know speckledhen mention she has this on going problem in her flock so I can understand that this must be a hard post for her to read. I am new to chickens so I am sure I would not have been much help. At least you did find out what was wrong with her and found someone to help with that. I know sometimes when I read post I am not sure if I should respond because I am not sure if I know enough to say something.

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