Hen with swollen abdomen

darlingdarla

Songster
Oct 28, 2018
206
378
146
Laurel, Maryland
I have an EE hen with a slightly swollen abdomen, like there's a small water balloon inside of her. She's acting healthy otherwise, the only abnormal thing about her is she's had a messy vent area for the last few weeks. She doesn't have diarrhea regularly, every so often she'll pass something more liquidity but i felt it was rare enough not to be very concerning, i haven't seen any eggy droppings either.
I would like some more information on egg peritonitis, I've surfed the BYC articles and threads as well as the internet, i still feel ill prepared for if my girl has this, i know she will most likely die but I'm trying not to jump to worst case scenario until i know if there is something wrong.
I'm not sure if she is internally laying, but her abdomen is definitely a bit swollen. I'm going to get up early and watch to see if she lays.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,178
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1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
I have an EE hen with a slightly swollen abdomen, like there's a small water balloon inside of her. She's acting healthy otherwise, the only abnormal thing about her is she's had a messy vent area for the last few weeks. She doesn't have diarrhea regularly, every so often she'll pass something more liquidity but i felt it was rare enough not to be very concerning, i haven't seen any eggy droppings either.
I would like some more information on egg peritonitis, I've surfed the BYC articles and threads as well as the internet, i still feel ill prepared for if my girl has this, i know she will most likely die but I'm trying not to jump to worst case scenario until i know if there is something wrong.
I'm not sure if she is internally laying, but her abdomen is definitely a bit swollen. I'm going to get up early and watch to see if she lays.
Sometimes it's very hard to know what the problem is until a hen dies or is culled and a necropsy is performed.

A water balloon like swelling would be associated to Ascites, but there is usually something else going on to cause the fluid to build up in the belly.
Internal laying, EYP, cancer, tumors, Salpingitis are all considered reproductive disorders in my book. A hen can have egg yolks/egg matter in the belly along with tumors/cancer and fluid.

A lot depends on whether the hen is a pet or not. I usually just watch mine to see that they are eating/drinking and offer supportive care when needed. I check the crop to make sure it's emptying and leave them be. Once they start a decline, then I look to see if I can do anything for them - get the crop moving, administer extra vitamins or try to get them to eat. Sometimes they rally, sometimes they don't and I put them down.

Some people do drain their hens if they have fluid in the abdomen and they are in distress. This can give them some relief for a while. You do risk infection when draining, so an antibiotic would probably be a good idea.
http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
http://www.scoopfromthecoop.com/laying-issues-internal-layers-and-peritonitis/
 

darlingdarla

Songster
Oct 28, 2018
206
378
146
Laurel, Maryland
Sometimes it's very hard to know what the problem is until a hen dies or is culled and a necropsy is performed.

A water balloon like swelling would be associated to Ascites, but there is usually something else going on to cause the fluid to build up in the belly.
Internal laying, EYP, cancer, tumors, Salpingitis are all considered reproductive disorders in my book. A hen can have egg yolks/egg matter in the belly along with tumors/cancer and fluid.

A lot depends on whether the hen is a pet or not. I usually just watch mine to see that they are eating/drinking and offer supportive care when needed. I check the crop to make sure it's emptying and leave them be. Once they start a decline, then I look to see if I can do anything for them - get the crop moving, administer extra vitamins or try to get them to eat. Sometimes they rally, sometimes they don't and I put them down.

Some people do drain their hens if they have fluid in the abdomen and they are in distress. This can give them some relief for a while. You do risk infection when draining, so an antibiotic would probably be a good idea.
http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
http://www.scoopfromthecoop.com/laying-issues-internal-layers-and-peritonitis/
Thank you, i don't want to prolong her life if is something that i can't fix. She doesn't act uncomfortable or in pain and is still herself so i think I'll leave her be and if she starts showing more symptoms I'll figure it out from there. It's very unfortunate, she's always the first hen to run up to me in the mornings. And one thing i forgot to include in my original post, she turned two years old in August this year.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,178
52,473
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
Thank you, i don't want to prolong her life if is something that i can't fix. She doesn't act uncomfortable or in pain and is still herself so i think I'll leave her be and if she starts showing more symptoms I'll figure it out from there. It's very unfortunate, she's always the first hen to run up to me in the mornings. And one thing i forgot to include in my original post, she turned two years old in August this year.
That's what I would do. Just keep an eye on her, as long as they don't show discomfort, pain, they are eating/drinking, relatively active/engaging in activities with the flock and are not being picked on, I just leave them be.
 

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