Large bulge below vent

friend_computer

Hatching
Oct 20, 2020
4
2
3
Hi,

I have a hen with a large bulge underneath her vent, between her legs. It is roughly the size of a baseball. The hen is very lethargic and her tail is pointing towards the ground when she stands up. Her vent area was quite dirty (it always has been a bit dirty, though), so I gave her a bath. Now she is separated from the other chickens, and she is not even wanting to stand up.

I have attached some photos of her behind. I am sorry about the quality - they were hard to take on my own so I just tried to provide as many angles as I could.

Having done some research, I am led to suspect egg yolk peritonitis, a hernia, or a tumor. Can anyone help me out with diagnosis and/or treatment?
 

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Wyorp Rock

Blessed
Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Having done some research, I am led to suspect egg yolk peritonitis, a hernia, or a tumor. Can anyone help me out with diagnosis and/or treatment?
large bulge underneath her vent, between her legs. It is roughly the size of a baseball. The hen is very lethargic and her tail is pointing towards the ground when she stands up.
Welcome To BYC!

I'm sorry about your hen.
Does the bulge feel fluid filled (tight like a drum) or hard?
Has she been laying eggs?
Is she pooping? What's that like?
I would say she's got a reproductive problem - which one to name it would be hard unless you lose her and perform a necropsy or send the body for analysis.
Cancer, Internal Laying, Salpingitis, EYP, etc. all have similar symptoms. She may also have fluid in the abdomen (Ascites) which can be symptom of the above conditions.
Draining the fluid may give her some relief and make her more comfortable for a while.

I would feel inside her vent for an egg if she's not able to poop.
Do what you can to get her hydrated first, then see if she will eat a bit of wet feed.


 

friend_computer

Hatching
Oct 20, 2020
4
2
3
Thanks for the reply.

Does the bulge feel fluid filled (tight like a drum) or hard?
I would say it feels malleable - I can squish it and it moves around, when I do that she looks uncomfortable, but not in severe (as far as I can tell) pain.

Has she been laying eggs?
I do not believe so.

Is she pooping? What's that like?
She is pooping. The last one got kind of trapped in her vent feathers but otherwise looked normal.
 

friend_computer

Hatching
Oct 20, 2020
4
2
3
Had a feel in the vent for anything egg-like. Definitely couldn't find anything, just some slightly runny/green-ish poo. She hasn't pooped since I isolated her about 6 hours ago, so I'm now running on the assumption that she isn't pooping (could be that she hasn't eaten much though). She appears to be a healthy weight, for what that's worth.
 

micstrachan

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
8,439
32,078
967
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Had a feel in the vent for anything egg-like. Definitely couldn't find anything, just some slightly runny/green-ish poo. She hasn't pooped since I isolated her about 6 hours ago, so I'm now running on the assumption that she isn't pooping (could be that she hasn't eaten much though). She appears to be a healthy weight, for what that's worth.
Sorry about your girl. I, too, would guess it’s a reproductive problem. What are care options for you? An avian vet might be helpful. If you just want her to live out her days and make her as comfortable as possible, we can help with that. I hate to say this, but you might also prepare yourself to possibly lose her. Some hens can do fairly well and others, not so much. We’re here to support whatever you decide.
 

friend_computer

Hatching
Oct 20, 2020
4
2
3
I am willing to go to a vet if there is a decent chance of care, but also apprehensive about cost/benefit given how sick she seems.

If it is a reproductive issue is there a reasonable chance of success in your opinion?
 

Sammi_0411

Crowing
Jun 20, 2020
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I have no experience of this so i cant be much help im afraid i just wanted to say sorry your hen struggling and your a great caring mama shes lucky to have u 🥰🥰
 

Wyorp Rock

Blessed
Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
33,502
45,921
1,262
Southern N.C. Mountains
Had a feel in the vent for anything egg-like. Definitely couldn't find anything, just some slightly runny/green-ish poo. She hasn't pooped since I isolated her about 6 hours ago, so I'm now running on the assumption that she isn't pooping (could be that she hasn't eaten much though). She appears to be a healthy weight, for what that's worth.
I am willing to go to a vet if there is a decent chance of care, but also apprehensive about cost/benefit given how sick she seems.

If it is a reproductive issue is there a reasonable chance of success in your opinion?
Offering supportive care (hand/tube feeding, draining, antibiotics/meds, etc.) may help make her more comfortable for a period of time, but sadly reproductive issues are common in laying hen. I do pet some of mine along if they are able to bounce back in a couple of days, but some are in a state of decline and I make the determination to put them out of their misery.

A vet, if knowledgeable about poultry may be able to give you their opinion and offer suggestions on care and help you determine what's the best course of action.

Everyone does things differently.
 

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