Impacted Crop - Updated, and seeking further advice please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by krista74, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    Can someone kindly explain to me the treatment and possible outcomes of an Impacted Crop?

    I have a 1 year old BO with a very distended, hard crop which is about the size and feel of a tennis ball. She is very quiet and has been for a couple of weeks now as she is currently in moult, but it's only today that I noticed the size of her crop.

    I understand what an Impacted Crop is - a big, twine-like ball of long grasses and the like, and I know that excess water consumption in an attempt to shift it causes a Sour Crop. In fact, I had one girl pass from a Sour Crop some time ago.

    This girl is different in that she is not consuming excessive water or anything by way of food. She is not stretching her neck or looking uncomfortable, and her breath smells fine. Rather, she is just finding quiet spots to stand alone, looking into the distance.

    I have segregated her to a dog crate (a Modified Buster Cage) this evening (under the cover of darkness so as to keep her calm) and have given her some soft hay on the bottom of the cage to sleep on and will call the vet tomorrow in the hope that they treat Impacted Crops.

    I'm just wondering what are the possible treatments I can expect, and what is her prognosis? Other than the moult she is fairly well, and did spend some time scratching the ground today when I dug it up, but did not eat anything she found.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    - Krista
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Treatment for impacted crop is olive oil, and if you've caught it soon enough, she should fully recover.

    You fill a syringe with olive oil and squeeze it into her mouth and then massage it into the crop. You should be able to feel the hard mass break up and soften. Keep massaging until the crop empties.

    That's it. But you need to keep checking to make sure it doesn't return.

    A word of caution. It's possible to aspirate the oil into her lungs when you squirt the oil into her mouth. You might read up on how to do it before you try it.

    Usually, you can safely squeeze the oil in, but if the hen is very weak, she may not be able to swallow down the oil without getting some in her lungs.

    But, it's worth the risk in my opinion. Left untreated, she will surely die anyway.
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    UPDATE:

    I took my girl to the vets and they agreed she is impacted. They said that they have never done crop surgery before but that they had seen it done by someone else, and were happy to give it a go tomorrow.

    They said she was really thin and that her keel bone was very prominent, but I am confused as she feels exactly the same as all my other girls and they all have 24/7 access to a high quality layer pellet, as well as fresh vegies every day. How do I get them to put on weight?! (Oh, to have that problem myself, lol!)

    Aside from that they gave me some liquid paraffin to give her, and since I was scared to syringe it into her mouth (for fear of drowning her) I cut up some corn kernels and put the paraffin on that (like it was salad dressing!) and she gobbled it up! At least it got into the crop somehow, lol.

    I gave her a good massage afterwards and then this morning when I went to check on her, all the corn had 'passed through' her and looked completely undigested. There was also some other vegetable matter that had passed which also looked 'fresh' but her crop was still rock solid and swollen.

    I guess surgery tomorrow is her only hope :( I hope it all goes ok....

    - Krista



    PS: Moderators, could you kindly relocate this thread to the Emergencies/Diseases Board? My apologies for putting it in the wrong section to start with. I must have been very tired that day! [​IMG] Thankyou, Krista.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  4. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, my girl is presently in surgery for her impacted crop.

    Please cross your fingers for us that she survives the anaesthetic and makes a full recovery.

    - Krista
    (AKA: Worried Chicken Momma....)
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Please keep us updated and I will keep her in my prayers. you too.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Absolutely! We'll be waiting for an update!

    You are so very fortunate to have a vet who can help her. Most of us don't have anyone to turn to in situations such as this. Many of us have even resorted to performing the surgery ourselves. With mixed outcomes.
     
  7. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Currently composing an update - be with you shortly!

    - Krista
     
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, our dear hen, Fire Ant, survived her surgery! At the vet's request I attended the clinic at 4pm to pick her up and take her home, and was told by the reception staff that everyone there loved having her! They said she did great during the anaesthetic, and when she woke up she was bok-ing and clucking like crazy, to which I responded "Sounds like she is back to normal!" The vet then came and took me to see her and said how much he enjoyed having her in the clinic as well! He said "Look! If you rub her back here she talks to you!" and sure enough that is exactly what she did, lol. So, as far as popularity goes, she gets an A+.

    Crop wise, the vet made the following comments:-

    1. The surgery went smoothly and there were no unexpected surprises.
    2. Her crop did have a fair lot of undigested and semi-digested food in it. He showed me some of what he removed, which looked like a whole mess of corn, grasses, grain and some grit-like stuff. He commented that he had expected to find a ball of hay or twine-like material and was surprised there was none.
    3. That whilst the crop certainly was full, he was wondering if maybe there was some form of crop stasis, rather than an impaction per se. ie: That she wasn't blocked, but that the food was not moving along as it should. I told him that when I gave her corn with paraffin (as he had instructed me to do a couple of days prior) she had pooped out the corn looking completely undigested.

    The vet did remind me that their clinic had never seen chickens in for this before, and he wondered if it might be Mareks. He asked if they had been vaccinated (No idea, I got them at 4 months from an auction) and said it could be a symptom of that, but when I refer to my poultry journals I see no mention of this as being a symptom of Mareks. He said to keep an eye on her, feed her what she wants, give her the antibiotics and pain killers he provided (lordy, how am I going to get THAT down her throat!?) and take it day by day. He said if it happens again he doubts there is much more we can do for her, and that a further operation would not be beneficial.

    Right now, I look across my yard and see Fire Ant in her isolation cage. She has another hen in the cage beside her (who has recently recovered from a respiratory infection, but is still there for company!) Fire Ant is bok-ing her head off at the neighbouring hen, pacing the cage and chastising the rest of the flock who are free ranging near by. Business as usual!

    So, going forward: Does anyone have any advice regarding crop stasis? Comments about the correlation between crop stasis and Mareks? Or any other comments in general?

    I am very lucky to have this vet locally, but as he says, whilst he has an affinity with chickens he does not necessarily have the experience to match, and is still learning day by day. As we all are, I suspect!

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  9. Cluckies

    Cluckies Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I would say get her on a good probiotic to help get things back in balance, especially if she is going to be on antibiotics as that kills all the good bacteria as well. No good bacteria in the stomach will prevent food from getting digested. I used this probiotic along with probiotics and electrolytes added to the water (chick saver) when mine had a sour crop and was passing undigested food and diarrhea after I treated the sour crop. Good luck!

    edited to add: I do not know anything about Mareks...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Lots of water and no grains!

    -Kathy
     

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