Quail air sac's HUGE and causing severe swelling

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Squirrelletta, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Squirrelletta

    Squirrelletta Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 14, 2009
    Fort Myers
    Im assuming my 8 week old quail is having air sac issues (or rupture?) His abdomen and back of head swelled up so large and tight I honestly thought he could pop.
    I used a pit tag needle to allow some draining of whatever it may have been. It was air/gas ONLY, no fluids whatsoever. It was effective and all swelling went down immediately. He looked completely normal and was the same 5hrs later. He pooped too during my holding him, so i assume no obstruction. Behavior, eating and drinking were normal!
    This morning he is slightly swollen again w his right wing sticking out a bit again.

    My question is, if its an airsac issue/puncture/whatever, is it possible that can heal eventually or is it doomed?

    Surgery is not financially feasible for our family unfortunately.

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2015
    Well.. Can't say I've heard of this exact issue before. I have a feeling I know something about something similar in parrots, but it's just escaping my mind. Quail are remarkably resilient little things though, I wouldn't be surprised if he makes it. In general it seems that as long as they eat on their own, they are able to survive just about anything. My real worry is what caused an air sack rupture if that's what it is. Parasites? Broken bonen bones? Other sharp or hard objects internally or externally? Weak air sack walls? (assuming there is such a thing). If the swelling gets bad, I'd puncture it again and keep doing so until it stops.
    Keep him warm and happy and good luck!
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Is the bird having any difficulty breathing as well? It could be a few problems:

    Ballooning of the skin or air under the skin is called Subcutaneous Emphysema. The causes are a ruptured air sac, air gulping or fermentation of food in the crop producing gas. If its a ruptured air sac, it is most likely deadly. The procedure you did will only help for a short period of time and it will come back. I am thinking your bird does have a ruptured air sac. The lungs are located at the base of the neck where the back begins. He could have been fighting with other males? or possibly flushed up into the ceiling if he became frightened and ruptured one of the sacs or even a genetic defect and it is only now making itself apparent.

    I am not sure there is much you can do if this a puncture. It may heal on it's own. I have heard of parrots and chickens with ruptured air sacs healing over completely. Not always however. But you might separate this bird out from the group or keep him with only one other bird so he isn't so stimulated or fighting, mating, ect...as the need for more oxygen goes up stressing the rupture. No mating so no female buddies with him for now.

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