Large abdomen - The final chapter...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by vantain, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. vantain

    vantain Chirping

    181
    133
    83
    Sep 2, 2018
    Southern Minnesota
    Hey All...

    I just thought I would post an update on my hen "Merry May". She has been dealing with reproductive issues now for over six weeks. I first reported her condition here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/first-case-of-impacted-crop-advice.1296129/#post-21088722

    Following up here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/baytril-dosage-for-sick-hen.1297482/

    and here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/impacted-crop-part-2-paper-compaction.1298755/

    She is a 1 year old Isa Brown hen that, up until six weeks ago, was laying a beautiful egg almost every day. It was literally an overnight change from that, to the start of the soft/no shelled eggs, the lethargy, and crop issues.

    The soft/no shelled eggs issues have not been seen now for about two weeks. Additionally, her appetite returned, and her crop has been empty each morning for the past week now. She has been active with her flock mates, and there has been no more pecking at her vent by the others.

    However, the story doesn't end....her abdomen has grown quite large. Despite this latest development, she is acting more normal than she has in the six plus weeks since this all started. I did start her on Baytril again, just to be sure there wasn't an infection in play that could be helped by the antibiotics. When I cup her abdomen in my hand, it feels very large, especially when compared to her three other flock mates. She does waddle a bit when walking, but other than that, appears quite normal.

    I'm guessing it's ascites, or EYP related. At this point, I'm not really sure what to do, but I'm monitoring the condition, and hoping the swelling doesn't get worse. She seems happy, and I see here jumping up on the outdoor roost with the others, so the condition, so far, is not preventing her from doing what she loves.
     
    anderstr196 and MelissaRose like this.
  2. vantain

    vantain Chirping

    181
    133
    83
    Sep 2, 2018
    Southern Minnesota
    Last night, I witnessed the poor girl make four attempts to get onto the roost by flying up there. All attempts failed. She can't get up on to the roost that way anymore. She finally just walked up the ramp and settled in for the night.

    Today, she is back out in the run with her flock mates, acting fairly normal. I am not certain, but it does seem like the swelling in the abdomen is getting larger. She does not try to fly up to the perches anymore though, and is content to stay on the ground, scratching around, eating and drinking, tail up. She seems to be breathing normally.

    This morning, her crop was empty again...YAY...and there was normal poop under where she was on the roost.

    Yesterday was the end of day six for the Baytril I have been dosing her with. I stopped it today, and am not sure that is the right thing to do or not. I'm also trying to decide if it is worth trying to drain some of the fluid in her abdomen, or just let things go and prepare to end her life when she starts becoming more uncomfortable, or is no longer participating in normal daily activities.

    For now, she is acting normal enough that I will let her be, and just keep monitoring.
     
    MelissaRose likes this.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    42,885
    25,964
    1,012
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I am glad that she finally stopped laying, and has become more active. I would just let her be, and offer support opif she needs it. It can be hard to tell if it is fluid or internal laying masses. I have hens who have lived for quite a while with the large bellies. My hens are 6-8 years old, and only a few still lay. So there is always one of the big bellied hens running around.

    If she has sudden problems breathing or seems in pain, you could try draining with a short 14 gauge needle inserted just under the skin. Get a 16 gauge if you cannot find a 14. If the fluid is yellow, that is a confirmation of ascites. Sometimes it can be cloudy or thick if there is peritonitis. Getting nothing out, may mean there is no fluid. Personally, I do not try draining, but just put them down if they appear to be suffering. Draining is an invasive precedure, and the skin should be cleaned with betadine or chlorhexidene before puncturing the skin.
     
    Sequel, Wyorp Rock and MelissaRose like this.
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    42,885
    25,964
    1,012
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Here is a video showing someone draining a hen:
     
  5. vantain

    vantain Chirping

    181
    133
    83
    Sep 2, 2018
    Southern Minnesota
    Do you think I should have stopped the Baytril? I gave it to her for six days.
     
  6. vantain

    vantain Chirping

    181
    133
    83
    Sep 2, 2018
    Southern Minnesota
    Her abdomen feels about the same today. Her crop was clear again, and she has appetite. Her poop last night looked more runny, not nearly as solid as the day before. I am guessing that is due to her drinking a lot yesterday, going off the baytril, and maybe the little bit of yogurt I have been giving her to help with the loss of good bacteria in her gut.

    By the way, I mix the yogurt into her normal feed. That way, she also gets her normal feed nutrition.
     
    Sequel likes this.
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    42,885
    25,964
    1,012
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Sequel and Wyorp Rock like this.
  8. vantain

    vantain Chirping

    181
    133
    83
    Sep 2, 2018
    Southern Minnesota
    I could be wrong, but the swelling in her abdomen seemed to be less this morning. Her crop was empty again, and she still has an appetite.

    I gave them all water with probiotics in it yesterday, and I continue to give this one hen, a wet mash of their normal feed, with just a teaspoon dab of Greek yogurt.
     
    Sequel and anderstr196 like this.
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    42,885
    25,964
    1,012
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    That is great news. Hoping that she will just enjoy some life without all of the drama and egg laying problems.
     
    Sequel likes this.
  10. vantain

    vantain Chirping

    181
    133
    83
    Sep 2, 2018
    Southern Minnesota
    I am so confused. She was having another great day. This evening I was out doing some yard work, and observed her being totally normal and happy. At one point, she was even up on the outdoor roost in the run, which is something she has been unable to fly up to for the past week.

    I gave her her feed with a small bit of yogurt again, and she was eating it just fine. She ate about half, and seemed to have enough. I put her back with the others, and went about my yard work.

    As it was nearing sunset, I checked on them again, and she was not with the others. I found her in a nesting box. Later, she came out into the run with her wings down, and looking all droopy, like she does when she is straining to get a soft shell egg out. I found a soft shelled egg in the nest she was in.

    At least she got it out, but it seemed to come on suddenly. Normally, when this happens, she is lethargic for a couple of hours, straining to work it out.

    Now what? Should I go back to giving her extra calcium/d3 again?

    I also checked her over quite a bit tonight, and she has a LOT of pin feathers all over her body. None of the other hens have this. Is this a mini molt of some kind? I have been finding a lot of feathers in the coop and run. She is only a year old.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: