Peritonitis/infection/cancer??!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sophielee, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Sophielee

    Sophielee Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2013
    Worcester, UK
    Hello, please excuse the long post, I wanted to include as much info as possible...my 3-4yr old rescue large breed hen, Pearl, has been poorly for several days, her weight is currently ok. She has a history of sporadic laying of soft shelled eggs and suffered a prolapsed vent and subsequent infection last summer and another similar infection (without the prolapse) in September. Both treated successfully with Baytril and Metacam.
    Current symptoms (last 36 hours)...lethargic, eyes closed most of the time, mucky bottom, crop a bit squashy but I think it is filled with water as she's drinking a lot. She has been having trouble holding down food/liquid and has 'vomited' quite a lot but has kept down the latest food and water she has had, on/off diarrhoea (white, brown/black in colour mainly). Comb has flopped over and has darkened on the tips. No smell at all from her mouth as did think of sour crop.
    She first started showing signs of being under the weather 2-3 weeks ago, lethargic, loss of appetite, on/off diarrhoea and bottom getting a bit mucky (same symptoms she had the previous year)...treated her with a 3 day course of Baytril and Metacam...there was a slight improvement but a week later she got poorly again.
    Took her to the vets...her abdomen was quite solid and vet suggested egg peritonitis although on internal examination she couldn't feel anything and said Pearl wasn't showing any signs at all of laying /getting ready to lay (she hasn't laid since last summer) and diagnosed an infection and to treat with a slightly higher dose of antibiotic (Baytril again).
    On return from the vets she was very distressed and started 'vomiting' food that she has eaten 2-3 days previously (presume it had been sitting in her crop) and then wouldn't eat at all. Tried the dose of Baytril and she brought that back up instantly. Thought she would die overnight but still here this morning so phoned vet with my fear of egg peritonitis (as she has been sitting a little bit penguin-like) and he suggested 8 drops of Metacam daily on food for a few days and hopefully she would be ok. (Not heard of this as a treatment for it?!)
    She is drinking lots of water and has started eating again today...I'm giving her plain probiotic yoghurt and mashed up hard boiled egg mixed with plain cottage cheese...about a teaspoon every hour or so. So far she's kept that down.
    The discolouration on her feathers is the liquid she has been regurgitating...you can also see it splattered all over the towel behind (sorry, [​IMG]

    yucky!)
    She looks awful bless her and, although not totally sure what is wrong, I know the prognosis isn't promising but she's trying so hard to keep going so I don't want to give up on her.
    Is there anything else anyone can suggest I could be doing? I have read about an Epsom salt bath...any opinions on this??
    Any help/suggestions/opinions much appreciated.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Find a new vet IMO. That hen is in clear trouble and needs more than antibiotics, and quickly. Given the info you've provided I think she may need surgery.

    I suspect she may have an impacted mass of eggshells inside her, or something else in her reproductive tract, which is interfering with her ability to eat.

    I would give her cold pressed olive oil, about a tablespoonful, in the offchance that this is just a gizzard blockage, since this can help shift it if so, but this really does look like a reproductive block, possibly due to cysts, impacted eggshells, tumors, or whatever else.

    Raw garlic is great for countering internal infections in all mucosal membranes of the body and in studies where it's been combined with artificial antibiotics, it's boosted their efficacy. Garlic contains over 30 natural antibiotics itself, so some crushed or minced raw garlic right now could help her feel a lot better. One or two cloves would be enough.

    To be honest she looks like she's teetering on the brink and I would get her to a vet with more experience with birds than your previous vet is showing.

    If she does not make it I would personally (if you are emotionally up for it) get a necropsy to diagnose what happened both so you know for sure, can perhaps prevent it happening in future or see a way it could have been treated, and educate your vet as well. It could prevent or save future cases.

    Good luck and best wishes. Hope she makes it.
     
  3. Sophielee

    Sophielee Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2013
    Worcester, UK
    Thankyou for your reply...what you have suggested would tie in with her history of previous illness.

    She has gone down hill considerably since my post yesterday and she can't keep any food or fluid down and no longer has the strength to stand up.

    Unfortunately with it being the weekend I can't get to a vet until tomorrow and I fear she will not hold on that long, although I'm praying for a miracle...
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry to hear that, the photo certainly gives the impression she is in a critical state.

    I hope you can get her help in time but if not, good on you for trying. Unfortunately sometimes that's all we can do.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  5. Sophielee

    Sophielee Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2013
    Worcester, UK
    Thanks...Pearl died yesterday:(
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorry for your loss.

    I think the vet made a bad call there but avian medicine for chickens is still in its infancy as pertains to the average customer anyway.

    Are you going to get a necropsy to find out what was wrong? I'd think it might help save some chooks in future, and educate the vet, but if you don't feel up to it I certainly understand.

    [​IMG]

    Best wishes.
     
  7. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2014

    I'm sorry for your loss. You did everything you could for her. Rest in Paradise Pearl. :hugs
     

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