Not emergency: Need necropsy opinions

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ernie85017, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. ernie85017

    ernie85017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2012
    Sorry there are no photos, I was so sad I lost Big Mama, it never occurred to me to take pictures.

    I lost Big Mama a few days ago to what I think might have been cancer. Or is this what happens when they are old and die?

    Big Mama was 4 years old, a golden sex-link, good layer, except for very thin shells that I never could correct, no matter how much calcium she got. I blame this on the first owner who fed her duck feed for her first year! She couldn't process calcium properly. She had a good molt in the fall and replaced her feathers well.

    She started out with labored respirations. I figured it wad CRD and treated her with Tylan and she improved. A couple of days later she worsened again. This time the Tylan didn't help. I learned of LA200 here and ordered that, which didn't help. Added Denagard per the same article here, which didn't help. (Holy Moley does that stuff taste bad! I wouldn't give it to her by mouth, but added to her tube feedings.)

    By then she wouldn't eat. I figured I was in trouble when she wouldn't even eat a raw egg. I checked her mouth and found circular white patches that looked like thrush - no wonder she didn't want to eat. Started treatment with miconazole, probiotics, gentian violet. No improvement.

    She was skin and bones, but her tummy felt large and firm. I had a bad feeling then, because I had a girl with ascites before who died. I wasted an expensive visit to the "avian vet" who drained her abdomen, but it just filled up again. Don't get me started on that vet!

    This went on for days. I stopped the antibiotics and continued treating the thrush and tube feeding her. During this time she did show interest in greens, would peck at them, sometimes weakly, and mostly drop them. The greens were all that she ate during this period. I would put her down in a garden patch daily and she would beak around in the dirt, eat "something" she found, and some baby earthworms. All through this she was alert, but growing weaker.

    I finally had to put her down, I knew I was not going to be able to fix her. At necropsy, I found the following:

    She had a thick layer ( 1/2 inch) of yellow, firm fat around her belly. I was surprised to see this, since she had no fat anywhere else. Is this normal?

    Inside her mouth, throat, esophagus and crop didn't look like thrush but her mouth tissue was very pale.

    When I opened her belly a large amount of ascites fluid drained. Her air sacs looked fine, but now I know the reason for wet lung sounds and labored respirations.

    Her crop was full of the tube feedings I had been giving her, as soon as she died her crop contents started coming out of her mouth.

    Her liver seemed large and a paler that what I have seen. The rich dark red was not there. No lesions.

    Her gizzard was absolutely empty. Thin and limp. Not even little rocks.

    Gall bladder full. Her intestines were shrunken and very firm. There were a few places where some old very dark fluid remained. She had been having small watery poops, with no formed bits. It looked like the intestines hadn't been working in a while, as they were so "hard".

    She had some yolks starting to mature and reproductive system looked fine. Heart looked great.

    Here is my big question: her (dammit! spell check keeps changing this word!) o m e n t u m and intestines were covered with small whitish lesions. They were a bit smaller than sesame seeds, oblong, rounded. I can't figure out what these were and wondered if it was cancer.

    So she had what appears to be a shutdown of her major organs leading to ascites and congested lungs. Unable to eat or process food. How long does it take for a gizzard to look flat, limp, and no stones in it? She was alert to the end, which made me feel guilty about putting her down. With what was going on in her body, I can't imagine how she remained so alert.

    I am sorry this is so long, but I had to say in words what pictures could do quickly. With all the experience on BYC, I figure someone will have seen this before and have an idea what went wrong.

    Thank you all for putting up with this long post and for your feedback.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Sounds a little like Wet Chicken Pox. Read up on Wet Pox and get back to us.

    You kept mentioning cancer and that makes me think Mareks.

    Wet Pox usually has cheesy deposits in the mouth.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    It wasnt fowl pox nor CRD. Possibly ascites as you mentioned. Empty gizzard due to impacted crop or thrush....just my thoughts, not sure about the rest. Sorry for your loss.
  4. ernie85017

    ernie85017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2012

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