NECROPSY: Sudden seizure-like death in bird, stood still and puffed up, found asleep in the coop (Warning, graphic!)

azygous

Enabler
Dec 11, 2009
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You can do a make-shift necropsy yourself. Cut the chicken open as you would to butcher. Sort through the organs and see if they are normal size. The cockerel that was necropsied in my flock to determine leucosis had a two-pound liver. I think you would be able to notice that sort of anomaly.

Leucosis also causes tiny little rice-size tumors all over the organs. While you wouldn't have lab confirmation of a diagnosis, a home necropsy can tell you a lot.

Here is a necropsy I performed. I only needed to crack open the abdominal cavity and what I saw told me all I needed to know. https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-a-chicken-gross-and-disgusting-pics.1296324/
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
219
192
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North Texas
My Coop
You can do a make-shift necropsy yourself. Cut the chicken open as you would to butcher. Sort through the organs and see if they are normal size. The cockerel that was necropsied in my flock to determine leucosis had a two-pound liver. I think you would be able to notice that sort of anomaly.

Leucosis also causes tiny little rice-size tumors all over the organs. While you wouldn't have lab confirmation of a diagnosis, a home necropsy can tell you a lot.

Here is a necropsy I performed. I only needed to crack open the abdominal cavity and what I saw told me all I needed to know. https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-a-chicken-gross-and-disgusting-pics.1296324/
I really don't know if I have the heart for that. However, if its for the good of the flock I don't know if I have a choice...

Moving forward with this idea, what would I be looking for? With that, could you link a site that shows me what a healthy chickens organs would look like, for reference? I do hunt, so I know how to go about cutting into the bird, but there is a difference between a wild animal and a bird you hatched...
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
219
192
96
North Texas
My Coop
You can do a make-shift necropsy yourself. Cut the chicken open as you would to butcher. Sort through the organs and see if they are normal size. The cockerel that was necropsied in my flock to determine leucosis had a two-pound liver. I think you would be able to notice that sort of anomaly.

Leucosis also causes tiny little rice-size tumors all over the organs. While you wouldn't have lab confirmation of a diagnosis, a home necropsy can tell you a lot.

Here is a necropsy I performed. I only needed to crack open the abdominal cavity and what I saw told me all I needed to know. https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-a-chicken-gross-and-disgusting-pics.1296324/
With that, if I do preform an at home necropsy and I don't find any conclusive results, could I still send it off to a lab? I am not in any position to do such, but if I had to / could, would that still be an option?
 

azygous

Enabler
Dec 11, 2009
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You would have to talk to the lab. Many have restrictions on how long after death they will do a necropsy. My take is, if the remains have been refrigerated from the time the chicken dies, until the remains are delivered to the lab, it would seem they can still run samples of tissue to determine the presence of a virus.
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
219
192
96
North Texas
My Coop

Wyorp Rock

nope
Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
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Check with your Ag as suggested, but it would be worth contacting A&M as well. Compare services!
When you talk with them (both places!) ask about fees and services. If too high, then ask if it's possible if you do your own necropsy, can you send them photos and get a consult through email. Some do, some don't. You never know unless you ask - asking is free and it won't hurt.
https://tvmdl.tamu.edu/

I'm sorry that you are dealing with this and things are not going well. If you don't have any success with Ag or A&M, then still take photos and post them. We'll tag in folks to take a look and see if we can help you. A lot of us do our own, but that does not mean that we will know, but it's way for all us to learn and offer input.

I understand it's a difficult decision to make, so take your time thinking about it. Do offer your rooster supportive care while you consider all options. I would give him poultry vitamins a couple of times a week. Something like Poultry Cell that has E, B1, B2 and a variety is what I like best.

Since you hunt, I think you can handle this. Though not quite the same, you are still handling a carcass but just taking a closer look at the organs, intestines, etc.

If interested, here's a good necropsy manual. There's also some good videos on youtube, though quite long.
https://www.uspoultry.org/education.../Lesson11/PoultryAnatomyandPhysiologyPres.pdf
 

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2019
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NW Ontario, Canada
Your best chance of diagnosis for a case that’s kind of nonspecific with the possibility of neurological signs is to send in for necropsy. Usually multiple birds that have been showing the same symptoms is preferred, but not always feasible. I had 2 sebrights that died a few weeks apart, same symptoms but too far apart to send together (although the lab later told me they could have accepted the first bird if I had frozen it - something they originally had told me not to do. 🙄) we had done an in-house necropsy at the clinic I work at on the first one that was inconclusive, nothing obvious. I sent the fresh one off and only had a diagnosis after they did the necropsy and histopathology to look for microscopic changes and lesions. It does add up quickly cost wise here though, so you do have to balance out the cost/return on sending them in. I’m not sure what services are offered at what costs in your area so definitely a good idea to call around and get some estimates and work from there. (FWIW, I’m in NW Ontario and Necropsy and histo here would be $320, although they allow up to 10 birds per case. I declined additional testing because they were pretty confident to make a presumptive diagnosis.)
 

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