Please help! Something is wrong with my chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sjmkoop, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. sjmkoop

    sjmkoop New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2017
    Hello! I'm new to backyard chickens and having chickens in general and am looking for some help/advice.
    I have a 5 year old leg horn hen who became quite lethargic about 4 days ago. We don't have a chicken vet locally so am trying home remedies and I've found tons of good advice and insight here.
    At first she wasn't interested at all in food or water and she couldn't stand or hold her own weight. I brought her inside so I could monitor her better. She stopped laying eggs about 2 years ago so I don't think she's egg bound but checked anyway as she had symptoms that seemed to match. I also checked her crop (I think) for any hardness. She had none. Once inside she did start eating and taking fluids and got increasingly more alert. I also checked for mites. I couldn't see any but it looked like she did have them at some point so dusted her with DE as a precaution. Ive given her a few baths (which she loves) to clean her butt as she has diarrhea. She definitely is not eating as much as she should and even though she is more alert she is so weak. I can stand her up and she will stay up for a few minutes before plopping back down. She still cannot stand up on her own. Today, I've noticed that she is breathing with her beak open on and off. I am at a loss. I am so new to this and don't know if I am prolonging her suffering or if there is some way I can help her. Any insight would be so appreciated.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. I would bet that she might have a reproductive problem such as internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis. They can lose weight in the breast bone area, have problems walking preferring to sit, and diarrhea and a poor appetite can be common. Not a lot can be done other than to try to get her to at better and keep her comfortable. Antibiotics usually won't help it unless they're given early, and may not cure it. I would offer her some chopped egg or bits of tuna in water, add some water to a little bowl of feed to make it soupy for her to get more water. Some plain yogurt for probiotics may help as well. If she has not ben wormed recently, I would worm her with Valbazen or SafeGuard liquid goat wormer in case she has worms. I can give you the dosage when you get some.
     
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  3. sjmkoop

    sjmkoop New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2017
    Thank you so much! I have been feeding her scrambled eggs which she gobbles up (who knew?!). She's not crazy about yogurt. Will try tuna also and get some wormer as soon as I can and get back to you for dosage! Is this something that can come on suddenly? She was fine and pretty active up until 4 days ago.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Does she have any fullness or tightness in her lower belly? If you have a helpful vet, you can get a few fresh droppings checked for worms and coccidosis. If it is is egg yolk peritonitis or internal laying, it may have come upon her gradually before any symptoms were noticed.
     
  5. sjmkoop

    sjmkoop New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2017
    I couldn't feel any fullness, maybe a little tight? Her abdomen seems tender as she's not crazy about me palpitating her underside. She wasn't interested in eating or drinking this morning so I'm concerned she's suffering and deteriorating. [​IMG]
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Some hens can develop fluid in the belly or ascites from heart failure or liver failure. It can be common in hens with egg yolk peritonitis. Ascites can cause a full tight lower belly, and labored breathing. If there is fluid causing this, some people or their vet use large needles to periodically remove fluid to remove fluid and decrease pressure. That may not be your hen's problem, but just something to think about. I would continue to get her drinking and eating, and maybe she will perk up on her own.
     
  7. sjmkoop

    sjmkoop New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2017
    Thank you so much for the input! It is so appreciated! Sadly the more research I do on internal layers/egg yolk peritonitis, the more I am convinced this is the issue. I am keeping her comfortable and encouraging her to eat and drink. As long as she is not in pain or suffering, I will keep trying.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That is all you can do. Some try antibiotics, and some who have a vet willing ro help can get hormone implants to stop laying for 4-6 months at a time. Leghorns being such egg laying machines are one of the many breeds that suffer from these things.
     

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