Hen with internal abscess

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Culland, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Culland

    Culland In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2008
    I noticed one of my hens had some white on her butt, so I caught her and I think she has some kind of abscess that is draining out her vent. The vent itself looks ok, but it looks like the abscess is pooling internally and has created a sack of fluid below the vent and the skin there is an angry red color. The feathers are crusted with the leaked fluids as well and there was the white build up that I saw. I washed her off, what a foul smell!, and couldnt find any other spot for the abscess to be leaking from and gentle pressure on the sack of fluid push any out.

    So given that it is likely an abscess, what is the treatment? Medicated feed, or can I give her some antibiotics some how with her regular feed?

    Thanks for any input.

    Cul
     
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Actually that is likely her urates and urine mixed. Pus in chickens is solid and cheesy. However, I wonder if she hasn't broken an egg inside (the fluid), continues to do so, and is now infected.

    First, is she of laying age? Has she missed eggs lately?

    If so, then the first thing I would do would be to get gloves, a baster or syringe without a needle, some cool water, some olive oil, and put her in the tub. Put on the gloves and oil the fingers of your right hand. You will insert the index finger into the upper part of her vent, gently, not pushing if you feel resistance. Please use a helper to very gently but firmly hold her. Look for a wound opening. (I don't think you'll find one but it needs to be ruled out.)

    Feel inside the vent for any masses, egg shells broken, eggs, etc. Use your other hand to hold the abdomen and very very delicately palpate it. Feel the skin between the outside and the inside under the vent and try to locate the fluid. Is it in the meat? Or is it in the vent?

    You will want to fill the baster with cool (not cold, not warm) water and flush out her cloaca gently. Look at what comes out - does it look at all like yolk to you? Or more of the white? Flush all of that out. The cool will cool inflamed tissues. The flush will clean stuff out that might otherwise continue to infect her.

    If she's a young bird, please say so and I wouldn't recommend the above.

    As for antibiotics, the ones you would give with water and feed aren't the right ones. The 'cillins are correct for this - a wound or internal peritonitis. Injectable penicillin is sold at the feed store in their refrigerator. Penicillin G procaine, or regular plain Penicillin are good choices. THey require a 3 cc syringe and an 18 gauge (any length) needle. Most stores sell 3 cc syringes with 25 gauge needles attached for dog/cat shots. You can unscrew the needle and replace it with the screw-on 18 gauge needle. Penicillin is thick and the particles in it are large so you need the bigger size needle, to shake it absolutely thoroughly before using, and for the shot to come to room temperature before giving the shot. (Store the vial in the fridge.) PM for dosage and how to give the shot.

    You will want to keep the area well cleaned off and dry. If you see broken skin, cleanse it with nolvasan and water, or a little iodine in water (made into a light tea-colored solution). Pat dry, and dress any sores with neosporin ointment. You can even use a little baby powder or cornstarch on the area to dry up the skin a bit and easy her irritation.

    In the mean time, please tell us what she's eating, etc? Everything including grit, granite, oyster shells, treats. Where is she kept (coop/run, free range, etc). Please tell us her laying history in detail.

    To help her heal, giving her yogurt (plain - 1 tablespoon) daily and some vitamins'/minerals in the water will help til we get a better idea of what this is. The yogurt will help if this is a yeast infection (very possible) or a bacterial digestive issue as the yogurt contains living bacteria of the same good type that are inside the bird. Those good bacteria help prevent illness and help heal if there is one.

    I'm waiting for your reply before I say more.
     
  3. Culland

    Culland In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Thanks for the reply.

    The white stuff on the outside, matting the area below the vent was solid and cheesy, though that could be cause of drying. The area below the vent, her belly I guess, is more fluid when you push on it, its like a sack of liquid, not cheesy.

    She is a year old, so yes laying eggs. Not sure on if she is laying eggs or not she was with a bunch so wouldn't know if its her or not, but she is now separated so should know in a day or two if she is laying or not. She doesn't ever 'squat' when you go to pick her up, but her comb is healthy looking.

    She eats a general lay ration from my local feed mill, nothing special but its not crumb, its actual seed mix. She is also pastured, so she is in a coop that I move twice a day with 13 other laying hens and then they are let out to free range about 3 hours before dark.

    I will clean her up a bit more tomorrow and see if I can get some stuff together to try your first suggestions.

    Cul
     
  4. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Quote:Interesting. Do you keep the labels from that feed? Do you happen to have the maximum calcium percentage and the minimum phosphorus percentage from it?

    I would love to have a complete feed that was grain based with some sort of a vitamin/mineral package that was for layers. But i've yet to find the exception to the rule that grain feeds are often not complete, simply "fortified" which can mean any level of vitamins/minerals from insufficient almost complete. So if you have the 'white elephant' for which I've been looking, maybe I can find something similar down here.

    Still do provide oyster shell free choice.

    It's tricky to see whether or not that white/yellow is just urates/droppings, or yolk, or pus. I sure wish I could see in person. Seeing what you find on her tomorrow would help. A picture would be lovely - well, er.... helpful! [​IMG]
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    there are no pellets in with that feed? If not then it sounds like scratch to me.
     
  6. Culland

    Culland In the Brooder

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    Sorry for the slow response, had to head out of town unexpectedly.

    She is laying eggs and while I have done nothing but clean her off, she seems to be doing better, going to take a closer look again tomorrow when the wife is home to help. Let you know if I notice anything more specific.

    As for my feed, I really do not pay much attention to it. I take a if they are happy, I am happy approach. I get my feed from the mill down the road that uses local grains to make it, it is not organic. Calcium (actual) is 3.8% and Phosphorus (actual) is 0.55% is what it says on the label.

    Perhaps there is pellets ground up in there, but mostly when I look at it is grains and some grit that I can see.

    Cul
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  7. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Quote:Then it's non-fortified, which means it doesn't have any vitamins at all. The grit is oyster shell - that's how they can claim the calcium level to be that high so that they nearly approach a suitable calcium level for laying (Normal is more like 4.5% cal and 0.55% phos). Oyster shell is full of calcium but useless if the birds don't get some sort of vitamin D to help absorb it. Particularly if it's in a form that they can eat around it, which is why laying pellets or crumbles is useful because they can't pick and choose.
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    My suggestion to you would be to get a commercial crumble or layer feed and a supplement to add to your birds water or feed.
    You might think about having her tested for pullorum just to rule that out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  9. Culland

    Culland In the Brooder

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    In regards to feed, it says it has vitamin A 10000 i.u./kg and Vitamin D-3 3000 i.u./kg and vitamin E 25 iu/kg.

    In regards to my sick chicken I am now pretty sure its not an abscess cause I just found tonight that a couple others have it as well, though not nearly as bad. Here is a picture of the chicken at her worst, sorry not a great shot. She is a lot better now and the other ones are not near as bad. The white stuff has a distinct smell, sulphur is what I keep thinking, but not really sulphur and I am not sure how else to describe it [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the other couple chickens I noticed with it, it just the white rim around the vent area.

    Thanks,

    Cul
     
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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