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

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
214
186
96
North Texas
My Coop
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
Thank you so much! I just got off the phone with the a bunch of difference agencies, and I am waiting for a call from the Texas Animal Health Commission on the matter. Most likely, if I had to I could do it, but right now I can't get the images of when he was just a day old sitting in my hand out of my head. Still going to call a bunch of places to try and get the best price / most information. If I were to post pictures, should I put them here or in a new thread?
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
214
186
96
North Texas
My Coop
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.)
I am starting the process of getting a necropsy done if it is within a certain price range, and if I could do it and send pictures / small samples for a lower price. Issue is, only one bird has gone and I want to stop any more cases. This guy hasn't been right for a few months. I have made a bunch of threads on here, non were really helpful. Probably will just treat him for generic sickness until I get more conclusive results...
 

azygous

Enabler
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
Please do continue all further developments on this thread. If you decide to post necropsy photos, it's helpful to edit (or have the mods do it) your thread title to include that necropsy info has been added.

Many people who live on BYC forums don't realize that other search engines pick up these thread titles and steer folks here for information. In addition to our members here, you're helping folks all over the world with your thread.
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
214
186
96
North Texas
My Coop
Please do continue all further developments on this thread. If you decide to post necropsy photos, it's helpful to edit (or have the mods do it) your thread title to include that necropsy info has been added.

Many people who live on BYC forums don't realize that other search engines pick up these thread titles and steer folks here for information. In addition to our members here, you're helping folks all over the world with your thread.
Thats how I found this place, googling an issue I had! Still waiting on a call, will keep yall updated
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
214
186
96
North Texas
My Coop
Quick update: My mother seems to believe that he is indeed going blind. I should add that I don't have a way to confirm this, but figured I should update this thread...
 

azygous

Enabler
Dec 11, 2009
21,572
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Colorado Rockies
You can easily test a chicken for blindness. Each eye sees independently of the other. The right eye sees close up and the left eye sees distant objects.

Test each eye separately. To test close vision, sprinkle his favorite treat in the ground and let him find it. Do this without the other chickens being around. If he makes stabs at vacant space, missing his targets, he's going blind in the right eye.

To test the left eye, place the roo around ten feet from you and hold out the treats. If he sees them and comes running over to snatch them, he's seeing fine in that eye. If he ignores you, he has a problem.

Look at each eye carefully. Marek's ocular tumors affect eye color, causing it to fade to a muddy color, and the pupil will shrink and become irregular. Often only one eye is affected.
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
214
186
96
North Texas
My Coop
NECROPSY POST!!!
I finally got the guts up to do this... I might be sending some samples off to a lab if I can't figure this out via email. Made sure everything was clean as well. After this, I almost want to make a savings fund so I never have to worry about this again...

I didn't see anything that really caught my attention, however I really didn't know what to look for. Btw, the bird was semi frozen, so there was a lot of ice to go through...

First thing I checked was the crop. There wasn't a lot out of the normal there, just mushed up feed and some corn.

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Next I moved on into the chest cavity, once again nothing important to note...
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First find I found interesting was a dark spot in the arteries leading into the heart. My first thought was maybe this was a tumor or clot, later on I came to the conclusion that this was a clot but I have no way of knowing if this was pre or post mortem.
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Second real *interesting* find I had was concerning the Clavicular and Cervical air sacs (which I mistook for lungs). They seemed to be almost torn, or fractured. Once again, I have no idea if this happened pre or post mortem.
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For simplicities sake, the left *lung* had a fair degree of green discoloration. This was the same color as the gall bladder (which I latter punctured). I'm looking on google to make sure that I get all this right, and looking back his gall bladder looks a lot bigger than what I am looking at (I'll attach a picture of the diagram at the end).

I should also note that I found a substantial amount of blood / liquid in the mesentery film. This could have been a sign of internal bleeding? Once again, no idea if pre or post mortem.
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Empty cavity. Also, the porous area was soft and squishy to the touch. I have no idea what area this is, nor do I know if it is supposed to have so many holes.
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Extra Pictures I took
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The clot from before...
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Diagram I was referring too...
diagram.png
 

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