Help! Our baby has some sort of digestive issue. Sour crop?

jtt777

In the Brooder
Jun 8, 2015
25
2
49
Hi, I am seeking as much advice as possible since things aren't yet improving. Here's what happened.

+ 3 year old speckled Sussex hen. Very vibrant, bossy personality
+ Noticed her eating treats and pretty vibrant on 12/1
+ On 12/2, she was not interested in food. Wanted to drink lots of water anywhere she could find it. We checked her crop that night and it was soft and mushy. Her personality was subdued but she ran around the yard a little.
+ On 12/3 AM we checked her crop and it did not empty. It felt partially filled and very watery.
+ 12/3 AM took her to a local vet that is used to dealing with birds. Suspected sour crop or some other infection. Administered Nystatin (oral, once per day) and Doxycycline (injection).
+ when first trying to administer Nystatin, she expelled the contents of her crop. It was mostly all water.
+ Took her home on 12/3 and setup her in a warm room inside the house with food and water. She is subdued and mostly stand in one spot or sits down. She's sleeping a good amount. She drank some water a handful of times yesterday and ate a little (very little).
+ 12/4 AM, crop appears the same, soft and watery. Not very full but something in there. Gave more Nystatin. She perked up a little when she saw people and makes some noise but when no one is around she's very sleepy and inactive.
+ 12/4 PM - She's slept a lot all day, generally stayed in the same area of her cage. I haven't seen her eat or drink much at all. (I did see her open her mouth to the air a little like she was trying to get in some air (only saw that once))
+ We've also smelled around her beak carefully and there are no signs of sour smells

Any ideas what might be going on? I feel we might be missing something else and not sure what the next steps are we should take. I am going to bring her back to the vet tomorrow morning. What else should we be looking for?

Appreciate any advice you can provide.
 

Eggcessive

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A lot of hens over 2 can develop reproductive problems which can put pressure on the organs and cause the digestive system to slow way down or block the passage of food. Internal laying, salpingitis, egg yolk peritonits, ascites or oviduct cancer are some of those problems. Her crop may become sour eventually causing a fungal or bacterial infection. There is not much that can be done about the reproductive problems, but you can feel her lower belly for enlargement or tightness to see if that might be a problem. Hens may become lethargic or walk like a penguin, even prefferring to lie around. I would continue the treatment for the crop problem to see if it goes down and works more normally. Here is some reading about reproductive problems, in case her crop problem is related:
http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/egg-peritonitis

http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
 

jtt777

In the Brooder
Jun 8, 2015
25
2
49
thanks for the tips all. Anyone ever see sour crop without the smell?

Also how long after starting to administer treatment should we see an improvement?
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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I had a hen last year who had a full and puffy crop, but it did not have a sour odor. It eventually smelled sour then later, rotten. I emptied her crop, treated her with tube feeding her water and electrolytes with vitamins, then nystatin, and she lingered for 6 weeks, never getting better. When I did a necropsy, I found what looked like cancer in her oviduct. She weighed almost nothing when I put her down. A lot of people here on BYC have shared similar stories of hens developing crop problems that turned out to be a result of other problems. I hope that your hen gets better.
 

jtt777

In the Brooder
Jun 8, 2015
25
2
49
so went to another more specialized vet today. Our chicken is doing about the same, low energy and not eating anything beside a little bit of yogurt. It looks like she might be running a fever as I think she gets the chills based on how her feathers move. She has energy if you engage her and hasn't lost a lot of weight yet, so I feel we have time to still correct this if we know what it is.

So far we've done an x-ray and nothing showed up. There was some more dense material in the crop but we cleaned that out with a flush and just appeared to be a little bit of grit, nothing much.

The stool sample came up negative for any issue.

There was only a little bit of yeast in the crop sample. It was not enough to justify the severity of her fatigue.

The doctor felt all around her for the potential egg issue and there was no evidence of that. They also commented that her intestines seems totally empty.

I know she wants to eat at times but something is preventing her for eating.

We will be giving her the antifungal and the antibiotic daily now. Also will try to feed her some extra water and baby food via the tube as well.

She's still got a chance I think. I hope she can turn the corner. Maybe she's just fighting an infection.

She had blood work today and result should be in tomorrow.

Any more comments or suggestions?

I
 

Eggcessive

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It sounds like you have received a lot of help from your vet with the xrays and bloodwork. It is good that you have both the antibiotic and the antifungal drugs to treat. I would jut keep encouraging her to drink plenty of water and perhaps massage her crop several times a day. Some people find that using a stool softener, such as Colase or doccusate sodium (the generic version) can help move any blockage on throught the gizzard. Give her 2 of those by giving orally Into the back of the thoat, or by cutting them open and putting into food. They sell a crop medicine that is basically just Colace. Let us know how she is getting along.
 

jtt777

In the Brooder
Jun 8, 2015
25
2
49
thanks for all the help. She's still very much in sleepy mode but is being kept warm inside. She wakes up when we are around, makes some usual chicken noises but as soon as any activity dies down, prefers to go to sleep. Her poop is still mainly water and some of these green peppercorn sized things which i assume is bile. A couple days ago she was interested enough in food such at chopped lettuce and smashed blueberries and ate them on her own accord. The only problem is that it doesn't seem to be moving thorugh her digestive system. I see her crop as smooshy, not hard. If there is some sort of impaction, doesn't seem to be at the crop itself. We are still giving antibiotic, anti fungal, pedialite water, some some about of milk thistle and DMG drops. The vet suggested next some barium and xrays if things aren't improving and we may do that on Thursday. I did see her make some brown green cecal poo and i noticed the smallest bit of brown in her poop recently. The improvement just isn't happening fast enough. On a positive note, she isn't getting any perceptibly worse.

Any other ideas?
 

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