Help my hen has a swollen belly!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lilchickenz, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. lilchickenz

    lilchickenz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Please help if you can, my poor chicken!! She has a swollen belly and is acting like she doesn't feel well. I went to this website and read about reasons why. It doesn't seem very good like she's suffering and going to die. Should I put a needle in her to try to drain? How do I know it's fluid that could be drained vs some of these other reasons? Should I kill her so she doesn't suffer so long?

    http://www.hobbyfarms.com/6-causes-of-swollen-abdomen-in-chickens-2/

    She's just a bit over 3 years old and she's always been kinda sickly. For the last several months she's been laying what I call "paper eggs" which are eggs with a shell that's so thin like paper and it just makes a big mess. All my other hens lay fine eggs, just her laying these paper eggs. And she hasn't laid anything at all in the last several weeks. So could that mean she's laying inside herself? What can I do to help her or is it best to euthanize her?

    THANK YOU
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    She may have ascites or fluid in her belly from internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, heart disease, or liver problems, but with the thin-shelled eggs, she sounds like she has EYP. I would put her down if she is suffering, but you can try draining her belly to see if it helps. Here are 2 threads that show draining the abdomen, although an experienced vet is a good idea:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853726/ascites-in-desperate-need-of-some-help-and-guidance
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/638821/ascites-swollen-squishy-abdomen-with-pics-video-page-9/80
     
  3. lilchickenz

    lilchickenz Out Of The Brooder

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    Hmm. To me her belly feels more firm than squishy. Could she have a stuck egg? I started feeding them a different feed about 6 to 8 weeks ago. It did make the shells of my other birds thicker/harder. So I wonder if maybe it firmed up the shells on her eggs too and now she has one stuck? She's a golden comet and has often laid these ridiculously large eggs. I gave her a warm bath and tried to massage her but she didn't like it. I stuck my finger in her vent a little bit and could feel something firm. If it's an egg how to get it out? I'm going to get her some antibiotic today. I don't think that can hurt.
     
  4. lilchickenz

    lilchickenz Out Of The Brooder

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    Some of it feels squishy and some of it feels firm. Very confusing.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    If you felt a firm, it could be a stuck egg, or even a lash egg. Get her in a warm humid room, such as a spare bathroom after running a hot shower. You can also place her in a warm shallow bath if she is not too weak. That can kill a very ill chicken, so use caution. Give her a Tums or human calcium tablet either orally or crushed in to some plain yogurt or sour cream. Make sure that she is drinking well since dehydration and not enough calcium can be a cause of egg binding.
    Her history of laying thin shelled eggs could mean that she is suffering from salpingitis or egg yolk peritonitis. Lash eggs or very large pieces of material from salpingitis can form in the abdomen, and some may pass through to or block the vent.
    With ascites, from what I have read, but not experienced, the belly can be squishy, but then become firm with fluid as it collects. A vet or even yourself can try to pull out some of the fluid out occasionally to reduce the pressure to help breathing and pain.
     
  6. lilchickenz

    lilchickenz Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, I will try that now. She was fine in the bath last night so I think she'll be ok with that. She's drinking plenty and eating too but she's not pooping much, mostly just liquid.
     

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