Problems with Reproductive Tract - Potential causes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Right On Reds, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Right On Reds

    Right On Reds Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2009
    I've written in the past of my sick hen Stella. Well, she's still hanging in. Today is day 5 since the vet visit, and a little over a week since she began to act
    sick.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=257590


    As I wrote in a prior post, we tested for worms (negative but I had wormed her a little and vet said worms could still be there in egg stage), given her teramycin for two days before vet visit and the vet put her on a course of panacur treatment for five days (ended yesterday) along with an antiobiotic Metromizadole (sp?).

    Two days ago she felt very bloated (wondered if it was that or eggbound) so I gave her a bath and massaged her abdomen and crop, just to hit all bases. Afterwards she didn't do well, couldn't sit up straight, thought she would die, but she didn't.

    Then she sat like a penguin for 10 hours and then she was fine and better than I've seen her in days. When she was in crisis mode after the bath, all I could think of doing was wrapping her a towel to keep her upright and sitting her next to a baseboard heater. I checked her a lot to make sure I didn't cook her next to the baseboard heater.

    Thinking she hadn't eaten much and since I thought her water intake wasn't good enough I started shooting childrens liquid pedialyte down her throat. Four syringes full. Figured I'd either cure her or kill her!

    Within hours she had perked up greatly and then much to my surprise began to eat.

    She had been eating farina and then now another type of cream of wheat/oatmeal thing. Am trying to feed her as much as possible so she can gain her strength and because she is skeleton thin.

    Little by little there's improvement. Today she got up out of her crate and walked to the water and drank, then ate most of the chldren cream of wheat/oatmeal I put out. I added layer pellets to it which she also ate. Then oyster shells. Then I gave her scratch and she went at that too.

    My happiness is guarded........ I almost feel like I'm being lulled into a false sense of security. But dare I think she might be getting better?

    Which leaves me to my next thought: If she had been eggbound (vet said possible but didn't think so) could that or internal laying or sterile peritonitis be caused by malnutrition? Could being thin or having worms cause the heart problem which then led to poorly formed eggs?She did expel an egg shaped something a week ago, about an inch and a half long and colored like raw chicken meat (vet thought it was a yoke). But I didn't find anything else expelled since she sat like a penguin.

    Her poo is mostly liquid, some green at first but lately the green to white ration has been increasing. The last poo was 1/3 clear/very pale yellow 1/3 whitish and 1/3 green.

    Am I rambling? Probably....... but I just want to find out what the heck was wrong with my chicken!

    I'd also like to keep her alive. I've grown fond of her and her spirit.

    I have to say from reading this site the vet was impressed with the actions I took. Thank you guys for this wonderful wealth of free imformation!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Simply being a high production hen will make her susceptible to reproductive issues. I've lost six to internal laying and have two whose abdomens were full of fluid/infection/whatever, but for now, they are emaciated, but alive and no more fluid (penicillin injections for each for 3 days, but they still may die).
    Chickens are the only animals that have spontaneous ovarian tumors just like humans; that's why they study hens to help learn about human female cancers.
    It's nothing you've done, if you have given them proper feed and oyster shell for shell quality. It's just the nature of hens, really. If they are the broody type and take breaks during the year, they are less likely to have these issues.
    Internal laying (different from egg bound) is genetic/hormonal and has no cure, no prevention, though I believe not pushing them to lay during winter may help. Still, if she's laying, there's not much you can do to stop the process and so, not much you can do to prevent the ailment.
     
  3. Right On Reds

    Right On Reds Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2009
    I got her and her another just like her in mid Sept. Her "sister" lays every day since about 10 days after I got them, maybe even sooner.

    This sick one has never laid an egg since I've had her.

    Does that help any?

    Thank you for your response!
     
  4. Right On Reds

    Right On Reds Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2009
    Hey I was wondering if chickens ever get really sick and then eventually get better and go on like nothing happened leading full and happy chicken lives.

    Can someone tell me please?
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yes, they do sometimes look very ill, then recover, but with some of these reproductive infections, it requires antibiotics. I will never use antibiotics for respiratory, however, for things that are non-contagious, I have no problem, especially if it's do or die.
    Last year, my older BR hen, Ivy, was on death's doorstep. She was dying, with one of my RIR hens, of internal laying or a bad infection of her reproductive tract. We dosed her with penicillin, thinking we had nothing to lose and gave her more than the usual dosage. She slowly recovered and eventually began laying again and gained all her weight back. This year, I realized that her abdomen was full of something that shouldn't be there. We did the pen dosing again, along with a Buff Orp with the same symptoms, and both are still with me, though, they are very thin and will probably not make it through the winter. At least, they don't have the infection or fluid buildup in the abdomen and hopefully, are more comfortable. Much of it is really beyond your control with these egg issues.
    Could be your hen was already an internal layer, but if she is molting, she will lose weight, feel "off" and will most likely stop laying for a period of time. The molt will also make any small issue she has much worse, really taxes her body.
     
  6. Right On Reds

    Right On Reds Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2009
    I suppose anythings possible. It's just I don't know if it's a reproductive issue at all.

    I've been reading about being eggbound and she certainly never has had anything the size of a softball. I think I would plotz if I saw that!!

    No, the swelling she had was waaaaaaay smaller, and maybe wasn't even swelling at all. Maybe it was just a natural roundness that chickens have by their abdomen and completely normal. Let's put it this way....... when she eats, her crop is bigger.

    As I mentioned the vet didn't seem to think she was eggbound or had peritonitis. But in the absence of knowing what it was, he said things like "It could be, but I don't think it is".

    Of course having a vet more sure would be wonderful. As I don't have experience with chickens I have no way of evaluating if this occurs often with chicken vets where they're not really sure what they are treating, and instead apply broad general kind of treatments.

    So little by little I learn of stuff it could be and I ask questions. All I know is that she looks better today and yesterday from what she had looked like (near death) before.

    So I was just wondering if maybe it's possible to just get sick, get dibilitated and then get back to normal in chickens.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Obviously, we can only guess what might be wrong with your girl. I know the symptoms of mine when they start the egg issues, but there are other things that could be wrong, too. My friend, HenHaven (Lynn), had one hen who she felt was not long for this world, very lethargic, quit laying, just looked deathly ill. She recovered on her own and we were both surprised, so it does happen. Imagine what a hen's body goes through in producing eggs almost daily!
     

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