Prolapsed vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by xcop, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. xcop

    xcop Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2015
    Just wanted to share my experience with a prolapsed vent. A month and a half ago I had no idea what it was. I saw a red part the length of my thumb hanging from Maggie, my 1 year old Barred Rock hen…a large, healthy hen! I flew to my computer and discovered what it was. I had no idea what to do. I was upset when I read that it is an often fatal condition. After getting lots of advice, I swung into action. I tried to push the organ back with my finger several times. That was a mistake. Now I know better. The organ was swollen and this will only worsen it. But I knew nothing. Someone on Facebook suggested I take her inside the house. I was further advised that a bath would be good for her. I put her in a box and took her inside my office. I brought in a nest box with pine shavings, food and water. She was very good about it. I was surprised at how much she liked the bath in the kitchen sink which I filled with lukewarm water. I cleaned all the poop off her backside. I then took her to my vet who is not a chicken expert but told me she had two options - sutures or no sutures. She x-rayed her and saw no evidence of an egg inside. We decided to play it safe and no sutures were implanted. Right decision. She suggested I keep her in the office and in the dark as this would prevent egg laying. Wrong! She laid EVERY DAY. DESPITE THE DARKNESS. I kept her inside for almost two weeks. I used rubber gloves and gently pushed the organ inside and checked her regularly. Yes, you can use Preparation H to reduce the swelling and I did - though I don't think it made any difference. What you need is time. The swelling eventually went down. I also ordered canine Muscle Up on Amazon and added a little to her water. Did it help? Who knows? Finally I put her back with the other 4 girls and one of them bullied her, which I was advised would happen. Fortunately, I have a separate 'playpen' which is attached to the run and I put her in there and closed the sliding door leading to the run. Now she was outside and happier. Plus she was separate and could not be pecked. And chickens WILL peck in this situation…I imagine they sense weakness and have to reestablish the pecking order due to her long absence. I made sure that the other girls layer feed and treats were just on the other side of the wire so they would be forced to be close to her. She prolapsed again but the organ was smaller, not as red and easy to press back in. Since then she has prolapsed another time after laying. I kept her separate for several days and finally put her back with the flock. There was intermittent bullying but now all is back to normal.

    Moral of the story? A prolapsed vent is NOT an automatic death sentence. If a hen is eating and laying she will probably live. Ensure you have rubber gloves, set up a separate room in your home when this happens and be patient. Then gradually introduce her back into the flock as I did. Keep her separate for awhile. I am sure this will happen again. I check her every day after laying. I pick her up, plant her on a roost and check the vent. She seems to know I am trying to help and is very calm about it. So far so good. I am a first time chicken owner and have only had my girls for one year. I freaked when I first saw that red thing! Don't panic and if you have any questions about how I made it through this, don't hesitate to ask.
     
  2. Sea2Ski

    Sea2Ski Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2016
    Southeast PA
    Excellent write up and description of what happened and what you did. Thank you for taking the time.
     
  3. xcop

    xcop Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2015
    Thanks! When you are a first time chicken owner it is frightening to see such a thing! I wanted to help someone else who will experience this. I have no doubt that she laid an egg that was so large that it stretched her out. She and all the girls are not lacking calcium as I have a bowl of oyster shells in their run at all times. I suspect it takes a few weeks for them to find the muscular strength to retract the organ again. So giving them time is very important. I don't want anyone else to give up before trying everything I suggested. By the way, I spray her feet with Blue Kote which is available in feed stores in Canada and is an antiseptic spray. It dyes her feet a purplish blue colour so I know exactly which one is the patient! Just another tip I lucked onto. If anybody has any questions don't hesitate to ask…most important, remember what I said about laying. Can you imagine if my vet had closed her vent with sutures? And then she tried to lay? Now you have another life threatening problem! You will see a bulge in the vent for awhile after you have pushed her organ back in by the way. Like she is carrying a large marble. Don't panic….it's the swelling. Press gently if anything is hanging out. Thanks for your feedback.
     

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