Necropsy suggests Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome (FLHS)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nic&Chickies, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    304
    6
    118
    Aug 23, 2010
    New Britain, CT
    Almost a month ago one of my hens didn't go in the coop with the others. It was dark when I went back out to look for her. Using a flashlight, I searched behind the coop, finally finding her body underneath (raised coop)....

    The University of Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory did a necropsy, and the Final Diagnosis was:
    "Intrahepatic hemorrhage and acute hemocoelom" which I lay-translated as she had extreme bleeding from her liver into the body cavity.

    In the last section, COMMENTS, I read: "This finding was strongly suggestive of fatty liver-hemorrhagic syndrome (FLHS) in which excess fat deposited in the liver results in increased liver fragility and hemorrhage. In this case, no lipid accumulation was seen in the liver histologically, a finding which has been reported in a proportion of apparent FLHS cases. Lack of visible lipid accumulation at the time of death could indicate resolution of previous lipidosis or liver fragility and hemorrhage from a different cause, e.g. trauma. Factors that have been implicated in FLHS in laying hens include consumption high energy diets, lack of exercise, high environmental temperatures, hormonal imbalances, genetic predisposition and rapeseed meal or toxins in the diet." So I take from that, that there might not have been anything I could've done , and that I may or may not be able to prevent it in the other three.
    Then today I got an email from Community Chickens (part of Mother Earth News), Subject line: Are Your Chickens Fat? [​IMG]What?!
    I found it interesting timing, and figured others might get something
    out of reading about FLHS. So here are links to the article,
    and the author's blog:
    1. http://www.communitychickens.com/20...s&utm_campaign=CC eNews 12.03.13#.Up5UktJDtJ0
    2.http://www.tillysnest.com/2013/11/fatty-liver-diseases-in-backyard.html

    (I hope this informs, and doesn't "bum out" readers.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

    4,905
    588
    286
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    Thanks for posting that, it ought to help someone.

    I always let my poultry eat as much black sunflower seeds as they liked, but I also gave them rolled oats. Never had a loss to FLHS. Some people though are definitely giving too much fat, and cooked fats at that.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    181
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO

    X 2
     
  4. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,545
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Thank you for your posting with the links. I lost a hen who's eating behavior was pretty gluttonous...but also with the northern climate I live in I gave too much BOSS and scratch for cold nights. Her necropsy this morning revealed an abdominal wall 3/4 inch thick in fat before I even got to the fat laden organs. Free ranging 6 acres of property 6 months of the year didn't even seem to make a difference. This is a tough one. I know she had a good life but will work on turning the others around with their diet.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

    4,905
    588
    286
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    Genetics have a lot to do with it for sure, even what should be a balanced lifestyle and diet don't work for some. Like you said, at least she had quality of life before she went, unlike many hens. Sorry to hear of it, and good on you for finding out why. It can be a tough ask for some to necropsy a pet but it saves many lives to know what actually happened.
     
  6. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,545
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Thank you Chooks4Life for posting a reply here and for your intelligent insight on my thread previously. I have some Milk thistle drops I will be putting in the water and see if it makes a difference for these birds along with the free ranging that's coming to season.

    I think genetics did play a role with this bird. Also it was learned behavior to eat as much as possible when she could. She was raised early with older hens that kept her from the feeder before I adopted her. When she got to eat she was pretty tenacious. Our American feed is very laden with corn as well. I take some heat for this but I know some things are out of my hands.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

    4,905
    588
    286
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    You're welcome, and you're totally right that some things are well and truly out of our hands. In this more tropical area I can grow much of my animal's feed but many other places simply don't have that opportunity. And it doesn't help that many genetic vulnerabilities can be impossible to spot before it's too late.

    I'm interested in changing their diet over time to move from corn, red sorghum etc onto different staples but it'll take a bit of experimentation before I find what works best. Will be interested to hear how the milk thistle drops do.

    Best wishes with your flock.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by