Hen with swollen abdomen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Studio2770, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure if it's ascites. She certainly isn't eggbound. Our leghorn, Fiona, is 3 years old and has had a swollen abdomen just over a couple months now. I took her to the vet and they think it's likely an infection. They gave me antibiotic injections to give her. They actually seemed to work however she swelled back up.

    I'm actually not very confident in the credibility of the vet we went had (the vet we go to works with chickens and I saw the vet that didn't have as much experience as the other at that place). Why I'm not confident is that she said Fiona had/has a fever of around 107. Don't chickens have body temperatures just above 100 degrees due to their metabolism? Secondly, when teaching me how to inject the antibiotics, she said to make sure and not puncture the lungs. The area was near the breastbone. I then looked up a chicken anatomy to help me out and the lungs are no where near the breastbone. Yeah, there's organs there but not the lungs. Unfortunately the vet costed us more than we're comfortable with (x-rays were done and the office visit fee has gone up) for a chicken. As much as I hate to say she isn't worth the money that's how it is.

    She seemed to be doing okay despite the swelling and runs, eats, drinks, but no laying. Lately though, due to the summer heat and/or some more buildup, she's a little slower. I've been hesitant on the idea of draining fluid vs. letting her eventually pass because I'd hate to let her suffer more than she likely has. There's also the choice of taking her to get euthanized to end it but the fact that she'll push herself to run, eat, and drink keeps me from choosing that. I have looked up some tips on draining because I think if I can handle giving her shots then I can probably handle draining. Of course, the draining likely will only give her more time and take the load off which is a good thing but she'll eventually pass due to whatever to root cause is.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    southern Ohio
    She sounds like she has egg yolk peritonitis. There is really not much that can be done for that, and giving antibiotics, although helpful in her case, usually will not affect the outcome of that too common disease. There are many different reproductive problems in chickens, from cancer, internal laying, to salpingitis, and egg yolk peritonitis, among others. You may want to read some of Speckled Hens's threads about her hens. When giving an intramuscular injection in a chicken, the best place is in the breast muscle, and insert the needle only 1/4 inch under the skin, so as not to inject into an organ such as the heart, liver, or others.
    Chickens' body temperatures are not a very good factor in telling how sick they are, since their body temperatures can be anywhere from 103 to 109, depending on when they have eaten. The less they eat, the lower the body temperature. Here is a chart to read from The Merck Manual:


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    Normal Rectal Temperature Ranges

    Species


    °C


    °F


    Cattle





    Beef cow

    36.7–39.1

    98.0–102.4

    Dairy cow

    38.0–39.3

    100.4–102.8

    Cat

    38.1–39.2

    100.5–102.5

    Chicken (daylight)

    40.6–43.0

    105.0–109.4

    Dog

    37.9–39.9

    100.2–103.8

    Goat

    38.5–39.7

    101.3–103.5

    Horse





    Mare

    37.3–38.2

    99.1–100.8

    Stallion

    37.2–38.1

    99.0–100.6

    Pig

    38.7–39.8

    101.6–103.6

    Rabbit

    38.6–40.1

    101.5–104.2

    Sheep

    38.3–39.9

    100.9–103.8

    Adapted from Robertshaw D. Temperature Regulation and Thermal Environment, in Dukes' Physiology of Domestic Animals, 12th ed., Reece WO, Ed. Copyright 2004 by Cornell University.

    Last full review/revision October 20
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  3. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last full review/revision October 20
    Yeah I think it could be any of those and anything I do will just buy her some time. That is where the vet showed me to put the needle. I assume antibiotics should reduce the swelling since they did it the first time? Then there's draining. I'll take a look at her threads.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Ascites usually involves a tight abdomen, kind of like a drum. If it is just swollen and soft, it may not be ascites, or at least serious enough to need draining. Do a search at the top of this page, and look for a few of the threads.
     
  5. ogfd15

    ogfd15 New Egg

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    This sounds like what my hen may be experiencing. I'm not sure if you can tell from the pics, but her abdomen is swollen, her bottom is bare, tail feathers are droopy and I'm almost sure she isn't laying any eggs. I was looking to see if anything could be done for her within reason. Thanks!



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  6. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It kinda feels like I'm holding a water balloon. There might be lumps but I gotta feel again later on. I forgot to point out that her poop is normal, if anything there might be some diarrhea but I doubt it. I to have tabs open with threads on this topic but will continue looking.
     

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