Lost my first one this morning...Autopsy Suggestions? GRAPHIC PICS

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by madimorg, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. madimorg

    madimorg Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2010
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    This morning I went out to let my girls out (28 hens and 3 roos) and when I went into the coop I found my dominique pullet (hatched in July 2010) laying dead next to the chicken door. She had no visible signs of anything being wrong. I haven't been able to check her over very well since I was on my way to work... I took her out of the coop and put her body in a bucket to take a look at later when I get home. This is my first death in my flock and I thought everything was going so well. Now that I think about it I did notice on Monday one of the girls with a drooping tail and I thought to myself I hope it's nothing... and now that I try to think back I do believe it was this girl. At the time I didn't give it much thought because when I noticed the drooping tail she was still acting fine otherwise. Gosh, I wish I could remember positively if it was this one or not but I am about 80% sure it was.
    I'm considering having my husband do an autopsy on her this evening to try to determine what the problem could've been that caused her death. My main concern is that it could be something that may affect the rest of my flock. Does anyone have any suggestions of what he/we should look for in doing this autopsy or what may have happened to this girl? I'm just at a loss and so sad that my Monique is gone... she was such a sweetheart. Thanks for any suggestions or things that may have caused just a random death.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  2. sunnyvera

    sunnyvera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2010
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    I am so sorry for your loss. The EXACT same thing happened to me yesterday. In the morning before work, went to give the girls their treats, and one was dead inside in front of the pop door. I thought she was laying down to lay an egg, I petted her and she was stiff. It really creeped me out (I was bummed for the whole day). No sign of predator or anything. The coop is immaculate and fresh water, etc. When I checked them the nite before, she was roosting happily with her sisters. She was an Australorp, 10 mos. old, good egg layer. No sign of egg-bound, crop felt fine. I wanted to do autopsy, husband thought I was nuts. Oh well. I suppose things happen, but this is my very first natural-looking death, and I am still in shock. Love this site - keep up the good work.
     
  3. madimorg

    madimorg Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Central Ohio
    Well my husband and I are going to try to do an necropsy here in about an hour on my chicken. I sure hope it reveals something as to what the cause of her death was. Not real sure what we are looking for but hopefully it'll reveal itself even to our untrained eye. I did pull up an article on the Ohio State Vet website that had step by step instructions on how to do this... I hope I can handle it. I'm making my husband do the actually cutting and I'll just try to keep telling myself that we are doing the right thing and maybe determining what happened to prevent something with my other girls.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Please let us know what you find, thanks
     
  5. madimorg

    madimorg Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Central Ohio
    Well we did it.... it wasn't as horrible as I was afraid it would be. I did have to put a towel over her head while my husband did the autopsy but aside from that it wasn't bad. We are still at a loss as to what the problem is... hopefully someone can help or give advice. We did find that the keel bone is very crooked but I cant imagine that that would've caused her to die all of a sudden. We looked in the crop and it was emply except for a couple pieces of grass... she died in the middle of the night so it being empty could make sense. We checked the intestines and crop for worms and found nothing. The stomach was full of grit and grain (I think it was grain)... the stomach was rock hard; I'm not sure if that is how it's supose to feel since this was my first time touching one. There werent any developed eggs in her which is kinda what I was thinking maybe the cause of death may have been. The heart did have a section of it that was black like a blood clot... can anyone tell me if this would be normal and happen during death or maybe she had a heart attack? I've included a couple photos.. one of the keel bone and one of the heart... any suggestions? <p>

    [​IMG]<p>[​IMG]
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Sorry about your girl. Thanks for making the effort and posting those shots. The `warped' keel, though it might be associated with nutrient deficiencies early on, isn't too uncommon (our roo and two of our hens are `bent') and isn't always symptomatic of anything (anyone have something please post).

    Looks like she took an infarct. There is some info. on genetics contributing to this. Also lighting (most research is done on production birds): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1789497/pdf/canvetj00316-0022.pdf

    Vid
    on performing necroscopy (for those needing this in the future - focus on reproductive tract but, useful): http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-dissect-female-reproductive-tract-mature-hen-221261/

    Here's
    to hoping this is as much `experience' as you'll get.
     
  7. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank-you very much for posting this and the links. I know it will happen to someone in my flock some day and I will want to know why. I'm sorry for your loss.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Thank you madimorg, those pictures are great. Looks like her heart is the problem, I don't know for sure though just a guess. Sorry you lost her but you did the right thing by trying to find out what happened, hopefully someone that has been through this will be able to enlighten all of us on cause of death. Best wishes and thoughts sending your way. [​IMG]
     

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