Needle Guage Size Question re: Draining Abdomen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by speckledhen, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    What is the best guage needle to drain fluid from a hen's abdomen? All I have here are 22 guage needles, I believe. I have one hen who seems to have a "full" and tight abdomen, just like Ivy and Ginger had recently. In fact, she is my last deceased hen, Kate's, sister, Olivia. We started her on penicillin just like what saved the last two with similar infections, but if this is ascites and not just infection, may need to try to drain her. She has been broody before, so had a long break within the past year.

    Olivia is a Cochin/Silkie x Barred Rock, a small hen, a scant 5 lbs, if that. She is 3 years old. She just came off her molt and a long eggless period and her comb got back to normal size and reddened up. I've seen her on nests several times, thought she was laying, but the egg could have been her sister Tux's egg--they lay similar size and color. Saw her on two different nests today, but no egg, picked her up on a hunch to check and her abdomen is big and very hard/distended, obviously not a good thing. This happened pretty suddenly because I know I picked her up just a week or so ago. With Ivy and Ginger, we dosed them 3 days each with a double dose of penicillin and they both recovered; Ivy is even laying again. This seems like the same type infection, however, if it's fluid that must be drained, not sure what guage needle to use, maybe 20 guage? 18?

    This is my sweet, poufy-headed Olivia. Seems when her body started back into production, it malfunctioned:
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I think it depends on the fluid type. Real watery stuff you can use a thinner needle, but thick pussy stuff 18-16 guage........ although 16 is pretty big. So sorry.....
  3. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Go with the 16 gauge needle and see what you have. I'd rather have it all out once at a quicker pace. Hopefully not another internal layer! Such rotten luck!

    Do let us know how she is doing after her surgery.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    May be hard to find a needle today, but will see. Maybe I have at least a 20 guage here somewhere. Poor Livvie is back on the nest; she must really feel the pressure and want that outa there!
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    A 20 gauge you can try but be mindful there would bound to be some leakage. It is better than nothing if you don't have that size needle on hand.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If we decide to try to drain her, we'll put her in the broody pen away from the others, in case it leaks. We tried to drain Ivy when her abdomen was like that, but couldn't get anything out, probably because the needle was too small and the infection/fluid too thick. The penicillin did the trick for her and for Ginger, so hopefully, Livvie will survive this. She's a wonderful broody. When my DH used to remove her from the nest to eat and drink, she'd do her thing, poop, then tug on his pants to be taken back to her eggs, LOL. Such a cute little hen, she is!
  7. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    prayers for you girl................. [​IMG]
  8. Airilith

    Airilith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Sending healing thoughts Livvie's way!
  9. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Oh my ..... I do hope to hear good news. [​IMG] Best wishes for a quick recovery for your dear Olivia! [​IMG]
  10. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    hope your very cute girl is okay.

    I'm a former vet tech and second the 16-18 ga. recommendation but as stated it depends on how viscous the fluid is. Bigger needle = faster process, and fast = less stress. 22 ga will take a lot longer even if watery.

    I am sending warm thoughts your way for a recovery. I hope it doesn't come to this, but if you lose any more to similar symptoms, have you considered sending to your state's agricultural lab. Most offer cheap necropsies. I have had 4 deaths similar to yours in the last 2 years, all birds < 3 years old. I just found out that I have lymphoid leukosis in my flock. It is a contagious virus that causes cancer, often you see enlarged abdomens, reproductive/lung/gastro intestinal tumors. This is horrible news but at least I know now.

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