Problematic prolapse - would appreciate any advice as to how to progress from here.

ClaireR

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 1, 2013
10
0
22
Hi there,

I'm very new to this chicken malarkey. We got two point of lay hens at the end of February and then added to our tiny flock with a further two a couple of weeks later. They all settled in well and we had no issues until the final hen began to lay. Her first egg was a double yolker and very soon afterwards we found her with a significant prolapse. As well as the vent, there was a spongy mass of bright red tissue, which I couldn't identify, but it was soft (definitely no egg binding).

Thankfully, we caught it early. None of other birds had noticed and I was able to reinsert the tissue very quickly. The following day, she was really hunched and displaying all the signs of a very poorly chicken: long, slow blinks, not eating etc. However, the day after, she was back to her usual self running around, eating and drinking and visibly fine, so we reintroduced her to the flock at night time and hoped for the best. Big mistake, as it turned out.

The next day we saw that one of the other hens was pecking at her and removed her immediately. This time, it was just the vent that had prolapsed, so we cleaned her up with antiseptic, witch hazel and lathered the vent in sugar water and honey. I didn't try to reinsert it at this point, having read that sometimes you can do more harm than good, but now I'm thinking I probably should have.

For the last 11 days, she has been kept in a darkened dog crate with minimal food, but she continues to lay. I suspect I may be overfeeding her - I'm not sure I've quite grasped how much I should be feeding her for maintenance only if she's still laying. She's having no problem pooing (doesn't seem to be hurting her, but the egg laying must be) and we've established a daily ritual of baths, antiseptic, honey and reinsertion of the vent. The tissue is clean and pink. There are no scabs since we've kept it so clean. She's eating and drinking fine - seems totally fine in herself - but I cannot get the vent to stay put. As soon as she poos, it pops straight back out.

I'm giving her a little probiotic yoghurt and acv in her water. I stopped the layers pellets straightaway and have been giving her Weetabix in water and a little mixed corn and oyster shell. The only thing I haven't tried is Prep H, because my research suggests that prolapsed tissues are not the same as haemorrhoids and that constricting a bird's blood supply in those tissues could actually cause her more harm than good. Is this true?

I have no avian vet and am very unwilling to consider culling this bird while she's so active and well in herself. However, neither do I want to prolong her life in a darkened cage, when it doesn't appear to be working anyway. How long is too long?

We've built a separate coop for her now in the hope that she can at least live the rest of her life outdoors. I'm nervous about exposing her to the air and the risk of her being flyblown/ infected, but am at a bit of a loss as to what I should do now. Any advice, no matter how seemingly insignificant would really help me. I want to do right by this bird.
 

realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
375
263
California
You can take her to the vet and get a purse suture placed to help hold it in place. This might help. I've read this is done and it keeps the prolapse into place. you might consider this. I don't think it would be that expensive to do. That's always a option. Good luck to you!
 

sandysylvester

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 18, 2011
88
2
43
I agree with post above.
I am very new to chickens, but my 1st batch 2 years ago had alot of laying issues. Among them a prolapse. I wasn't aware they could live with a prolapsed vent. Nature decided her fate. I put my girls prolapse back in. Within 6 months she died suddenly from it prolapsing again. Good luck.
 
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ClaireR

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 1, 2013
10
0
22
Thanks for responding. Unfortunately, I can't find a vet who will treat chickens locally. It seems many of them still think a prolapsed bird is as good as dead, which is sad as I would take this option if it were doable.
 

SarahInAlaska

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
260
10
103
Speaking as a human who's dealt with prolapse, nothing you can do is going to keep it in. Medical intervention (sutures) will be necessary to keep the prolapsed area back in. But be warned, sutures aren't as good as the real thing and another overly large egg can undo it all so once its done you'll need to still keep an eye on her. Do keep the prolapse pushed in if you can so it isn't exposed to the outside bacteria it wouldn't normally encounter. But I would definitely get her in to the vet.
 

realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
375
263
California
I'm so sorry... have you called around to see if one MIGHT do it? if you state this is what you want done or is no one willing to help? that's so sad and wrong in my onion that they won't help. poor baby! I wish I knew of anything else to do but it seems you have done all you can do...I might get the phone book and call all the vets surely SOMEONE might help! do you have a avain vet available? gosh I wish I could be of more help! can you try to decrease her egg production? that might help some.? but you say every time she goes to the bathroom it pops back out? I'm so sorry. hopefully someone else might know of a trick to help. I wish you the best. I sure hope she gets better.
 

ClaireR

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 1, 2013
10
0
22
Thank you so much for replying. I figured this would be the case, but I'd like to exhaust every avenue before admitting defeat. I will make a last ditch attempt to find an avian vet. But, as Sarah says I'm fully aware that even that might not be enough. Awful to say, but I wish she didn't seem so well in herself. If she were suffering, this decision would be a whole lot easier.
 

SarahInAlaska

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
260
10
103
I
Thank you so much for replying. I figured this would be the case, but I'd like to exhaust every avenue before admitting defeat. I will make a last ditch attempt to find an avian vet. But, as Sarah says I'm fully aware that even that might not be enough. Awful to say, but I wish she didn't seem so well in herself. If she were suffering, this decision would be a whole lot easier.

 


That's such a bummer that you can't find anyone. I'm not looking forward to having to ever find one up here. There aren't a large number of vets here. If she doesn't seem uncomfortable and you still can't find someone I'd say let nature go with it but if it starts to be obviously uncomfortable it might be time to make the hard decision. I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this as you're just starting out. That really stinks.
 

calmada

Hatching
6 Years
May 1, 2013
1
0
6
Hello.
I had this very same problem with my hen Nora. I did have a vet who was willing to treat her (and had some chicken knowledge), however ANY vet could do what he did for her. Your solution is an injection of Lupron, which is a hormone that will stop her from laying for long enough to heal! We tried it at his advice and it worked. She never needed a second injection and she lived for years (she was an old lady when I adopted her into our flock)! I swear by it, and my vet said that he had good luck with other birds he had treated with Lupron. I hope this helps and you find someone who will treat her, but seriously, ANY vet can order Lupron!

-Charlotte
 

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