Please help my girl! Bacterial infection? Internal laying?

otis7

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 27, 2012
153
8
91
Maryland
Tried posting before but got no response. We have a rescue rir, not sure of age, who has been very sick. She's never laid for us, we assumed she was done laying. She has been very healthy for a month or so, but after we took a week long vacation she took turn for the worse. Our pet sitters didn't know much about chickens, so they didn't see anything wrong. Whe we got home her bottom was bloated and she looked like she had egg like discharge. Her breathing is raspy and girgly. She often closes her eyes like she is in Pain, and has been lethargic. Our chickens free range under supervision and she still eats, drinks and wanders with the flock, though not with the same gusto as before. She often hangs back when the others go for a walk and stares at us. Today her comb flopped over. We have no trustworthy bird vet in the area, only an old fart who tells us to kill every chicken we bring in with a problem. I want to save my little robin very badly.
 

GoldenSparrow

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
1,582
35
163
Is she squatting? she may be egg bound or be an internal egg layer.
For the pain, as well as, swelling, you can dissolve a 325mg aspirin in one gallon of water.

I will say a prayer for Robin.
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
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Robin isn't going to be able to be saved. You can get some heavy duty antibiotics from a vet to fend off the infection she has brewing, but if she has EYP or internal laying she is going to die. Sooner rather than later. Take her to the 'old fart' and have her euthanized. You will be doing her a kindness.

I am sorry.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,864
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Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
I agree with CMV, sorry. Been there too many times to shine you on about this one. If she is bloated, it's not egg binding, it's egg yolk peritonitis/internal laying or worse (well, it's really not worse, just different), ovarian cancer. I see the cancer in the older hens, even ones who've never had any reproductive issues, and the EYP more in ones 2-4 years old.
 
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CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
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EYP is egg yolk peritonitis. It's a serious bacterial infection of the peritoneal sac which holds all the internal organs. It is caused by a bacterium which is fed by egg yolks dumping into the abdominal cavity during internal laying. It can also spread from other areas of the body and infect the organs in the peritoneal sac. Either way it is very dangerous.
 
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GoldenSparrow

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
1,582
35
163
EYP is egg yolk peritonitis. It's a serious bacterial infection of the peritoneal sac which holds all the internal organs. It is caused by a bacterium which is fed by egg yolks dumping into the abdominal cavity during internal laying. It can also spread from other areas of the body and infect the organs in the peritoneal sac. Either way it is very dangerous.
So it is the same thing as internal egg laying?
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
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No. Internal laying is often the cause of EYP. EYP is the infection that results from the condition. You can have internal laying without EYP theoretically. I once processed a seemingly healthy 1 y.o. layer. When she was opened up she had evidence of internal laying in her abdominal cavity, but she had not ever had any infections up to that point (that we were aware of). If she had gone another year or two she likely would have developed EYP.
 

otis7

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 27, 2012
153
8
91
Maryland
So antibiotics won't save her, but will ease her pain? Should we put her on an aspirin regimen? What kind of antibiotics, how often should we administer them? When she needs to be put down, well do it ourselves in the comfort of her home. We haven't had to put a chicken down yet, but our rough handed vet isn't our first choice. How much time does she have? This is heart breaking. Our flock consists of three hens, two rescues who had broken legs, an accidentally purchased rooster and our little robin. We lost one to prolapse a few months ago and have been battling a lice problem for awhile now. We read constantly and try our best, but chickens seem to be breaking our hearts over and over.
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
176
281
Antibiotics are not going to ease her pain. She will need to have her abdomen drained to do that. That is speckledhen's area of expertise, more than mine. The antibiotics she is going to need are only available through a vet. Aspirin isn't going to make much of a difference. That is like trying to ease the pain of cancer with Tylenol. I can't tell you how much time she has. With the abdominal drainings you may buy her a few more months.

Where she is at right now is where my hen was at this past weekend. I put my hen down. I had been watching mine fail for several weeks and when she started having breathing difficulties and was being isolated/attacked by the flock due to her condition, I decided that her time had come.

You will need to decide how much you want to watch her go through before you euthanize her. I am sorry there isn't more to be done, but that is the way of this condition.
 

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