Post-crop surgery treatment

Shezadandy

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,211
2,800
377
Portland OR
Hi All,

I did crop surgery on one of my chickens last night. As is to be expected, she's a little down today and the incision is warm- certainly not unexpected. Everything got sprayed with Vetricyn multiple times throughout the process.

Plan is to give her aspirin, probiotics, and some poultridrench by tube here in a minute to make sure she gets what she needs to start feeling better.

Question is should I add an antibiotic to the mix, and if so- which one. She's coming up on 5 years old and hasn't been an active layer in some time, and will never be eaten. If she ever does lay again, she's in with a small group where her egg is easily identified, so there's no worry about passing anything on to us.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
58,235
49,559
1,242
southern Ohio
Hopefully others who have done crop surgery will chime in, as I have not. What antibiotics do you have? Antibiotics can increase the liklihood of sour crop. Aspirin can help with pain, but can be an anticoagulent as well.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,211
2,800
377
Portland OR
Thanks for the replies!

There was next to no blood during the surgery. There was like one drop when I did the incision and maybe 3 drops or so during the suturing process, so I'm not overly worried about the anticoagulation factor for the aspirin. I did the incision fairly high up and kept it as small as possible, and she's in a crate where I can control what she's eating to avoid stressing the sutured area too much. The unmovable clog was comprised of feathers, oyster shells, some small sticks, oyster shell and a couple pieces of straw.

She was more than pleased to get some hard boiled egg. I got the aspirin, probiotics (probios powder) and poultridrench down, and she's definitely been drinking water on her own. I've got tylan 50, tylosin powder, and amoxicillin 250mg tablets. So, I guess the only one that's injectable is the tylan 50.
 

StPaulieGirls

Songster
13 Years
Aug 14, 2007
116
28
231
Hutchinson, MN
How did your bird fare after this ordeal? Did you decide to use antibiotics. I applaud your nerve and your resourcefulness! We're facing the same ordeal here with a young barred rock hen.
All the best!
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,211
2,800
377
Portland OR
How did your bird fare after this ordeal? Did you decide to use antibiotics. I applaud your nerve and your resourcefulness! We're facing the same ordeal here with a young barred rock hen.
All the best!

Thanks! I didn't end up using antibiotics post-surgery. She did really well, but she was a repeat offender, three times - I think she was the chicken equivalent of a dog with pica.

Keep the post-surgery meals good and small, that includes water, making sure stuff came out the other end before adding more, and that the crop empties. Plus you want to help the crop get back to a smaller state after being stretched by the blockage.

For sensitive chickens, I found the Band-aid "Hurt Free" product which has a little lidocaine in it makes a big difference when it comes time to suture up, i.e. squirt a little, then suture, and so on. Usually it can be found at Walmart for about $4.

(2 pack) Band Aid Brand First Aid Hurt-Free Antiseptic Wash Treatment, 6 fl. oz - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

If you haven't done suturing before, practicing suturing on store-bought chicken - practicing cutting through the skin helped - as did suturing up first the muscle layer then the skin. I used the nylon for practicing along with youtube videos on getting the knots down etc. I still practice that way before doing the real thing.

For the actual stitching- save the "chromic" for stitching the chicken - they are spendy to practice with, so I only use them for the real deal- this pack has a bunch of good practice sutures as well as the chromics. Eventually I bought a full box of just chromic.

Amazon.com: Mixed Sutures Thread with Needle (Absorbable: Chromic Catgut; Non-Absorbable: Nylon, Silk, Polyester, Polypropylene) - Surgical Wound Practice Kit, Emergency First Aid Demo (2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0) 24PK: Industrial & Scientific

Depending on what your hen has swallowed, having a good pair of long hemostats can come in handy. The first time there was no picking at little bits, I just had to pull it out in a big wad.

Amazon.com: SurgicalOnline - 2 Pc 8" Locking Straight & Curved Hemostat Set Ideal for EMT, Firefighter, Dental, Hobby, Fishing, Electronics, Pruning, Taxidermy + More: Health & Personal Care

I keep a 35cc or 60cc feeder syringe handy to backwash the crop once it's mostly emptied- I add a bunch of water, then suck it back out again.

Most "kits" have the basic other stuff, including the scalpels:

Amazon.com: 20 Pcs Advanced Dissection Kit Biology Lab Anatomy Dissecting Set for Medical Students and Veterinary with Stainless Steel Scalpel Knife Handle Blades: Industrial & Scientific
 

StPaulieGirls

Songster
13 Years
Aug 14, 2007
116
28
231
Hutchinson, MN
This is very helpful! Thank you. I really hope it doesn't come to this procedure and that the crop clears with just massage and oil, but it's not looking that way.
All the best to you and your flock!
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,211
2,800
377
Portland OR
This is very helpful! Thank you. I really hope it doesn't come to this procedure and that the crop clears with just massage and oil, but it's not looking that way.
All the best to you and your flock!

Me too - before it came down to surgery there had been multiple other instances where using this guide by @TwoCrows got things going, but then she finally managed to get beyond that and it was like one of those rubber band balls. If she starts to get skinny (feel the breastbone) and you're not able to get any food down there - time to intervene. The stronger she is going into the surgery, the better she'll do afterwards.

I would order what you'd need since some of this stuff can be hard to find locally- also handy to have in the first aid kit. Most of the supply stuff shows up in a day or two if you've got Amazon Prime.

This is my favorite crop guide:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...d-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments.67194/
 

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