Hen with Blocked Expanded Esophagus (Impacted Esophagus?)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by matter, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. matter

    matter Hatching

    Aug 17, 2008
    We have a free range hen that has what I think is a blocked esophagus.

    Her crop seems fine, but she seems to have a blockage just ahead of her crop. She's had it for around a week. It's pretty horrible. Her esophagus has expanded out to a diameter of maybe 1/2 inch and it's protruding out in a big half loop in front of her (curve radius of around 1 inch). She keeps her head back to accompany the hugely expanded organ.

    Once it became obvious what had happened we've been giving her just liquids: water, pineapple juice, papaya juice, and occasionally yogurt. (the vet said the two juices would help dissolve things). She seems to be in stable condition, but she's still blocked up.

    We're not really sure what to do. The esophagus is very hard to the touch. I can't imagine being able to massage the contents back out her mouth. I could feel near where the esophagus enters the crop, a sharp hard object in there, I'm thinking she swallowed a piece of plastic or something. (The esophagus is a little softer at that point.)
    I read a lot about impacted crops, and the surgery option, but opening up the esophagus would be a whole different matter, right?

    Any help and advice would be great! Even if there's no way to empty out her esophagus, advice on liquid diets would help.
  2. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    I have heard that olive oil will help "lube" things so that may get it going in the right direction maybe put some in an eyedropper and see if she will drink from that
  3. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    The first step would be to x-ray the lump to see what you are dealing with and discuss the options with a vet. If you do try to work it back up and there is a sharp edge catching on the muscle it could do a lot of damage as you work it free. Since it didn't enter the crop that seems to be the case.
  4. matter

    matter Hatching

    Aug 17, 2008
    The olive oil sounds like a good idea. I think we'll try that.
    We don't really have access to a vet or an x-ray. We only spoke with a vet over the phone...
    That's a good point about sharp edges nnbreeder. Thanks to you both.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008

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