Hen about to pop - internal layer???? Updates posted.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ruth, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    I have a one year old Black Sex Link that is so swollen in her abdomen and entire lower belly area that she looks and feels like a water balloon filled to capacity and ready to pop. She's been like this for at least three weeks. She waddles as best she can since her legs barely fit together anymore - she eats and drinks and seems normal in all other aspects.

    I first noticed her about three weeks ago when I noticed one of her feet were swollen. I sat her in warm water bath and she did lay an egg almost immediately which made the stomach go down a little. A week later when I treated her for bumble foot I put her in a hutch so she wouldn't walk around much and her stomach was still swollen but laid an egg that day and the next during her confinement. I let her out of hutch and like I said she seems to be eating and drinking and walks around a little but sticks close to coop instead of freeranging. I went to NY for a week and just got back and she is still the same. I don't think she's laid any eggs lately because hers were usually easy to identify - they were large, dark brown and always very elongated (if that's any clue).

    Last night I gave her another soak and actually did the finger in the vent check. Only thing I could feel was big empty cavity. (Add that to list of things I never thought I would do.) I've isolated her back in hutch to see if she will lay an egg. She's eating, drinking, pooping normally and having been a freeranger all her life - is very upset about being in pen. All others keep coming over to look at her through hutch like they're wondering what she did wrong to get locked up like that.

    I've researched internal layers and can't find much info - seems to be no treatment short of surgery. I don't think it's an egg bound issue but if it's internal layer why did she lay normal eggs two days in a row while in quarantine but her stomach never went down?

    She really does look like she will pop and fly around room if you stick a pin in her. I have felt and massaged and though it's really tightly stretched you can push in one spot at at time and I don't feel anything hard or anything like an egg. On closer observation I don't think there's that many feathers missing I think her skin is just so stretched that it looks like they are.

    Could this have something to do with the staff infection from bumble foot? Her foot went down after the surgery to remove the core. I have started her on a broad spectrum antibiotic (Clavamox)and have add Terramycin to her water just to be safe but don't know what else to do for the poor girl. She looks, feels and walks like a pregnant woman who's about to give birth to quintuplets.

    Any ideas or suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    she is suffering from ascites... a symptom in this case perhaps due to salpingitis or another reproductive disorder? At any rate you need to get her to a vet to relieve her of the excess fluid and he can advise you further... it is a serious symptom so do not delay if you wish to save her.
     
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    What is probably happening assuming this is internal laying as opposed to (ascites or "dropsy) is that most of the yolk material is veering off into the adbomen after leaving the fallopian tube instead of into the oviduct where the white and shell are added.
    This causes swelling and eventually the yolks will rot causing massive infection.

    Strong antibiotics like Baytril will alleviate soem of this but the 2 ducks and the 2 hens I have had over the years with this condition didn't make it. I didn't have the money (or inclination) to do surgery, but it has been done successfully by a vet for one of our members. I will look for the link.

    In the meantime, Keep her in a dark place to discourage more laying and see if you can't find a vet to prescribe a strong anitbiotic. Of course this will not cure it. It may be necessary to let her go now before she is sick and in pain. [​IMG] I am so sorry.
     
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Thanks Terrie & Diana - what is ascites? What is it caused by? I'll try and research in meantime. She does seem to be full of fluid - like a water ballon as described.

    I live in a one stop-sign town (literally). We do have a vet but I've already checked with her and she doesn't treat chickens.
     
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Ascites is a fluid build up. It can be water, blood or anything fluid.

    In internal laying, the fluid is egg yolk which solidifies (cooks) and gets infected.

    I couldn't find th e thread about the surgery on here. Maybe it is on Diana's board, but I couldn't find it there either. Maybe she iwll point us in the right direction.
     
  6. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Thanks Terrie - I remember seeing that thread long ago and it is informative. I know that I won't be paying a vet, even if I could find one, to do surgery on a chicken. Not that I don't care for my chickens just that with a child dying every 7 seconds of starvation, can't in good concsience spend that kind of money on a chicken. I will, however, do anything I can for her short of that.

    I've researched ascites on this site and did find where Diana gave some links to very informative articles on same.

    Though it seems to be meat birds and she's not that, one article said food and improper ventilation - but she's a freeranger and has been her whole life so it can't be improper ventilation. She's always laid an egg every day till now. I'm just stumped as to what could have caused it. Her comb is very bright red - no dark discoloration like the articles said was indicative of heart disease/poor circulation. I'm guessing it could be fluid related to internal laying but like I said, she did lay normal eggs after being bloated like this.

    If I got a syringe, what area would I insert it to drain fluid? Realizing this only treats the symptom and not the condition it would give her some comfort to have some of the swelling reduced.
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    it is crucial to have that fluid out or you run the risk of heart attack and peritonitis...
    It is why I advised you to go to the vet... he can show you how to do it the first time... a member at the other BYC location had a hen that they never really figured out exactly what was causing it... she was a nurse and I remember her saying that her vet showed her how to do it and she was later glad that she had gone first to the vet for that info and advising another member to do the same... I believe she sometimes gave Baytril ... anyway her hen had lived with the condition for several years ... depends on what the underlying cause is and whether it goes septic or not in addition to that
    ETA: btw Mandys hen (Pennys Surgery) did not have the ascites...the belly was always firm and that was the clue that it was yolk material and not ascites
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Thanks Diana - I'll check with my vet in the morning and see if she will see her. She had previously told me she can't/won't operate on a chicken because she "can't put them under". I had asked her about amputating a chick's lower leg which was deformed and in her way but though I practically begged, she wouldn't do it. In fact she made clear that to treat a chicken for anything would be ridiculous. Claims a man here raises prized game cocks and is always wanting her to treat one for something or another and she just laughed as she said it.

    If she would show me how to drain the fluid I would be happy to do it from then on. If the hen was acting sick or in pain I would have her put down but she seems fine other than carrying around a water balloon beneath her and she wants out of that hutch. Just fed her some scrambled egg and gave her another antibiotic pill.

    The Black Sex Links were my first chickens - now one year old - and they are the sweetest of the bunch - always squatting when I get near to be picked up and petted. Only ones that are tame to any degree. I really want to save the sweet girl.
     
  10. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Here's an update:

    She got so bloated and full of water she eventually got to where she could not walk and finally her skin started to tear in spots and bleed. I went to only vet in town and she refuses to treat chickens.

    I gave her another soak in Epsom salt and checked her vent again. This time I did feel an egg - it came out broken and only about half the shell but i could not feel anything else or any more shell - did another check the next day and got another small piece of shell out. Left with nothing else to try - I bought penicillin and started her on injections. I used the needle/syringe to "drain" her. It worked beautifully. I inserted it in water-filled balloon area and drew out a cup of water. She continued leaking water from the needle holes for an hour - she soaked through three folded up towels. Today (one day later) she is up walking and eating and drinking and pooping - she does have what looks like a giant scrotum bag hanging down. I have her confined to rest and hoping for the best and to see if she will return to egg laying. At this point I would just be happy to have her live.
     

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