Necropsy lung photo - what is this?

Brittney P

Chirping
Aug 20, 2018
30
33
56
Southwest Idaho
Hi,

I had my 7 month old Americana pullet euthanized earlier this week. Her only symptom of illness was weight loss. She was barely eating anything and became emaciated. I had fed her separately from the rest of the flock twice a day for the last couple of weeks - she would only eat a few bites of wet crumbles or a few bites of scrambled egg, and then she'd lose interest. I tried everything to get her interested, but not luck. She otherwise acted completely normal - running around, scratching, dust bathing, preening, very active.

I was worried about hardware disease (they free range on our ranch) and took her to the vet for an x-ray which looked normal (although of course that didn't rule out hardware disease since she may have eaten sharp plastic or some other material). The vet also did a physical exam and could find nothing wrong - she was particularly concerned about respiratory illness because that's so common, but no sign of it. She listened with her stethoscope and her lungs sounded normal.

I had her euthanized as at this point she was emaciated and there did not seem to be any hope of improvement. Upon necropsy, I found one of her lungs had tissue that was dark and hard. The texture was completely different from the soft and squishy texture of the healthy pink tissue. Please see the photo below.
GoldieLung-11-9-18--1.jpg



On her other lung, she had a little bit of the dark tissue on one side of it, but it was nowhere near as extensive.

GoldieLung-11-9-18--left-2.jpg


What is this? Something cancerous? Something sclerotic? Infectious? Surely this is probably related to her loss of appetite, right??? I have googled like crazy but can't find anything that seems quite right. Please help! Thanks!

(Also, none of my other birds are ill, so that's good at least)
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
Having wasted away at 7months old, the prime candidate would be Marek's disease in my opinion. It can cause tumours or secondary infections both bacterial or fungal and the lungs are one of the commonest sites. Did you cut the lungs and airway open and if so, can you post more photos. The angle of the first photo makes it difficult to see a lot of detail but the tumours that I have seen have always been like white fatty tissue or nodules. There are some areas of light tissue in the second lung which look suspiciously like the latter. I'm wondering if there has been some sort of haemorrhage to cause the dark red..... how did you euthanize.... just wondering if that may have had a bearing on it?
Did you check her other organs, in particular the interior of her proventriculus as that is a common site for Marek's to cause neoplasms. Would be happy to look at any other photos you have. I should say that I am not a medical professional, so I am just making judgement based on my own experience of doing DIY necropsies.

@casportpony may have some useful input if she has time to view this and comment.
 

Brittney P

Chirping
Aug 20, 2018
30
33
56
Southwest Idaho
Thank you for your response. She was vaccinated for Mareks but I know that doesn't always prevent the disease.

I wish I had cut the lungs open but I didn't think of it - this is only my second necropsy. I followed Gail Damerow's instructions in Chicken Health Handbook, so if it didn't say to cut something open, I didn't. I don't believe I cut into the proventriculus, but all her organs looked normal on the outside.

The vet euthanized her in a cage - they put in an anesthetic gas and then when she was asleep, they gave her a shot in the heart. Do you think the gas could have caused the darkening and the hardening of the lungs? It was meant to make her unconscious.

Here are the other photos I have:
GoldieLung-11-9-18--2.jpg
GoldieLung-11-9-18--3.jpg
GoldieLung-11-9-18--4.jpg
GoldieLung-11-9-18--5.jpg


This is the healthier looking side of the healthier lung pictured in my first post:
GoldieLung-11-9-18--left-1.jpg


Thanks again for any responses.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,977
37,556
1,096
southern Michigan
Those lungs look nasty! So sorry, and she was really very ill.
Have you tested for anything yet?
One bird might just be unlucky and get sick, but a group of sick individuals needs to be tested for MG, for example.
Mary
 

Brittney P

Chirping
Aug 20, 2018
30
33
56
Southwest Idaho
I didn't have her tested for anything. She showed no symptoms at all except the low appetite leading to emaciation. She otherwise acted completely normal, which is why I suspected hardware disease. The vet also could not find any other symptoms.

I took her body home from the vet after she was euthanized and did the necropsy, then buried her. I have 34 other chickens, all seemingly healthy, so I hope it was just something affecting her. She did have a couple of very tiny pieces of plastic in her gizzard but the gizzard lining didn't appear to be damaged at all.
 

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