Recurring Crop Issues-Dark Liquid Discharge

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by warriorchick, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. warriorchick

    warriorchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I posted about my chicken, Butters, having some crop issues about a month ago. I treated her for about a week and she seemed better so out she went with the rest of them again! (See this post for more details on the first incident: www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=452845)

    She
    has been acting totally normal until today when I went to take care of the chickens, Butters was sitting facing the corner of the pen and obviously not doing well again.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight: Buff Orpington, 3 yrs., not sure of weight

    2) What is the behavior, exactly: Her crop was full of liquid- no hard stuff, just a dark brown/black liquid that was somewhat viscous. She was obviously uncomfortable and kept arching her neck and craning as if trying to dislodge things. When I pick her up, liquid discharge comes out of her beak. It doesn't smell and is tanish-blackish in color (see #9 for more details)

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Since this morning this go around. She had the same thing happen about a month ago. (see above link to previous thread)

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? nope

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. no

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. I don't know. There seems to be some issue with her crop or somewhere in her digestive track but I don't know of an incident that would have caused this.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. She normally eats layer crumbles, but today she was not interested in food and I have removed all food and just put water for her.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. I haven't seen any yet- just isolated her.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? After thinking a lot and reading a lot more, I decided to flush her crop by turning her almost upside down and massaging it upward. I have read the cautions against doing this on this forum, but decided to do this because all I could feel in her crop was liquid and she was clearly uncomfortable. I did not want to do the baking soda flush, since her crop was obviously full to the brim with liquid (every time I picked her up to move her, discharge came out). So I had a friend help me flush her crop. My friend held her and tilted her forward slowly while I helped hold her head pointing downward and gently massaged her crop upwards. We did this in short intervals about 8-10 times, allowing her breaks between flushing to breath. Every time we tilted her forward, a thick liquid came out- the first few times it was brown, but the more that came out, the darker it became and looked almost black. There were a few flecks of food in there but not much. She did not struggle and the more liquid we got out, the better she seemed to feel and started trying to walk around again. We stopped when nothing more came out. I have isolated her now, given her some water with electrolytes and a small bowl of yogurt, honey, apple sauce, and a few poly-vi-sol drops with no iron. She has pecked a little at the yogurt and is definitely feeling better now that all that nasty liquid is out! I plan to not give her any of her normal crumbles for at least a day, maybe more.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? I plan to treat her myself.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use. Hay/straw bedding- the link at the top has pics of their general set-up and housing

    Does anyone know what problem might cause this to happen repeatedly? Last time she just needed some nursing so my hope is that she will recover and be ok, but I also fear that if this keeps happening it is going to be a lot of stress on her. Because it doesn't smell, I am not so sure it's sour crop- and even if sour crop develops, I don't think it's the root cause of all this. I even called Peter Brown of First State Vet last time and he said something probably got lodged in her crop and blocked it up... but how likely would that be to happen again this soon? ack! such a mysterious illness.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  2. HaulnFetch

    HaulnFetch Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Strawberry Plains, TN
    I am not sure if this will help you. We have a Speckled Sussex, Thelma, that also seemed to have repeated crop problems. The first time is was clearly sour crop. The odor was unmistakable. The liquid that came out was green to very dark green and lots of it ! She was treated with an anti-fungal and recovered.

    The problem re-occured a few weeks later. This time, it was not as clear that it might be sour crop. The vet gave an anti-fungal just to be sure and also gave us Reglan Syrup (Metoclopramide). This improves motility of the digestive system. We continued to give it to her daily for a number of months and have never had another occurrence. This may not be Butters problem but, the syrup did help Thelma.
     
  3. warriorchick

    warriorchick Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Feb 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Thanks, HaulnFetch. I will look this up. I am starting to think I might try to save some of the liquid that comes up out of her to take to the vet for a test. My room-mate and I flushed out her crop again this afternoon, and there was a lot of liquid in it again, plus some food she must have eaten yesterday came up. This time there was a very strong odor. I am giving her ACV water and she ate a few pieces of bread soaked in oil to hopefully help anything in there pass through. My question is, if I already flushed out the crop this morning and she hasn't eaten or drunken much how is it that so much liquid is collecting in her crop?
     
  4. warriorchick

    warriorchick Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Feb 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    OK- I am not holding my breath but maybe someone can help here. Butters is doing ok and drinking lots of water- she ate yogurt with rolled oats that had been processed into a powder. Her crop is still very liquidy- and I definitely think she's had sour crop starting in. The thing is, every time I feel her crop it feels like something is in there, but it's kind of a squishy something. almost like the consistency of a soft grape, but a little bigger. Everything I've read about impacted crops says that the crop becomes hard when this happens- is it possible it's impacted but not that hard? My other suspicion would be that she has a tumor, which I guess there's no way of knowing short of an x-ray. I guess I will just keep taking care of her and monitoring her.
     

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