Matilda's sick - help diagnosing please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by stargirl, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,
    I've posted in the past about my lovely white star Matilda. The last six months have been crazy - I've had to move house twice, have been unwell and now I am pregnant. My girls have been sadly a bit neglected.

    I'll do the quick format for anyone in a hurry, and the long version below:

    Symptoms: Fluffed up, half-mast tail, not moving, poor appetite.
    Droppings: runny, clear with some white. A big jelly-like in consistency, like egg white.
    Last egg: yesterday or possibly today.
    Additional: Combs very red, can't feel any egg on palpating but not sure what I'm feeling for. Some wetness in nesting box that could be a broken egg yolk but no shell.

    She's been gradually losing feathers for a few months. I assumed it was stress from all the moves and the change in lifestyle - they don't free-range as much as they used to, and Matilda always liked being sitting in my house. I've been supplementing and maintaining a rigorous anti-mite regime but things haven't improved. The other hen is her usual self with no feather loss. Both are egg laying as usual (they lay different colours) although Matilda may have been responsible for a shell-less egg a few weeks back.

    Tonight when I went out Matilda was hunched, fluffed up and not moving. She hadn't eaten the cabbage I'd put in the run this morning, and she's normally the greedy one.

    I brought her in and tried to tempt her with her favourite foods. Not interested. Managed to get her to eat a couple of grapes and a few bites of cheese. Put her in a warm dark cage and she slept, then came out and ate a bit more, including some pellets and cat food. Drank a little water with antibiotics in, and tried to poop - it's slimy water, like egg white, with the usual white urates. In one dropping there was a bit of sticky label, like off some packaging. No idea where she got that from.

    I can't get her seen by the avian vet until tomorrow. I'm concerned that she may be egg bound - there was only one of her eggs in the nesting box today, from two days, so i can't be sure she hasn't laid today. Her shells have been tough as ever, but sometimes a bit bumpy. Or could she have a blockage from eating something bad?

    Does anyone have any ideas?

    Any help greatly appreciated xxx
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  2. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Been observing her in her crate for a while - her breathing is laboured, her chest and vent sort of heave with each breath. The whites of her eyes are red.

    I desperately need her to hang on til morning to see the vets :(
     
  3. RedStarLady1207

    RedStarLady1207 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry your girl is sick. The vet will diagnose tomorrow.

    If she was my bird I would put her in a quiet, dark, warm location, with water and some feed and just leave her alone until tomorrow. She needs to conserve her energy until tomorrow.
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    She can't be egg bound if she's laid an egg within the last few days. She really sounds constipated. Maybe from whatever she ate with the label? Possible to vaseline your finger up and do some exploring. Sounds gross but could be what she needs.
     
  5. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both.
    She made it through the night and we visited the vet this morning. Her crop had emptied and she had managed to pass some droppings over night but they were very watery, with very thin solid parts. Some had pink mucous which I assume was blood. I took a sample to show the vet.

    The vet had a good feel inside her vent and around her abdomen and couldn't find anything at all - nothing to suggest she is egg bound or blocked up. He kept her in and ran blood work - all came back good, free from infection, kidneys fine, liver a tiny bit low functioning but not enough to worry him. He said the next step was an x-ray but first he'd like me to take her home with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and see how she fares over the weekend (he said antibiotics were a preventative measure, in case she was just starting an infection). He's in work Sat & Sunday morning if she gets any worse.

    When I picked her up she'd already had her first dose of the drugs and seemed much brighter. She ate some soaked feed and grapes and I let her play with her roomie, Martha, who was missing her horribly & I was very pleased to see her again. They even ran around outside a bit! After a while though, she started to fade again. Ignored food, standing still, tail down. I tried giving her a warm bath but she just wouldn't sit down, so after half an hour I've dried her off and put her on towels in a warm, covered cage for the night. She did try to poop a little in the water but it was just liquid. No more blood though.

    Any ideas anyone? :(
     
  6. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She laid an enact broken egg shell overnight, along with a load of broken yolk & a little blood. I knew she was bound! I guess the hot bath helped after all.
    This morning she passed her first normal poop - never been so excited by a chicken poo in my life!
    She seems much brighter, much more fight in her now. Gave her the meds & she's outside now with her friend, eating cat food & bullying the dog.

    Hopefully the antibiotics will stop infection/peritonitis taking hold. I figure the antiinfammatories can't hurt either. The last hurdle is seeing if she manages to lay a normal egg again in the next few days. She's normally a daily layer, so she needs to get them out!
     
  7. KnobbyOaks

    KnobbyOaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck with Mathilda. Will follow to see how she is doing.
     
  8. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Knobbyoaks.

    She's doing well! Pooping and acting completely normally again now. I'd like her to be eating a bit more but she's filling her crop and I'm wondering if the meds might be reducing her appetite a bit, as they sometimes do for humans. She's going wild for yoghurt mixed with pellets and her usual favourites, and drinking plenty.

    Tonight is her first night back out in the coop. I added extra bedding and a hot water bottle to help her adjust after being inside for the last few nights. I don't think she'll lay until she's settled back out there, and I wont stop worrying until she lays without any problems! But so far so good [​IMG]. Feeling very lucky!
     
  9. luvmyhens2bits

    luvmyhens2bits New Egg

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    she's a very lucky hen ;)
     

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