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Severe Bulge Under Chicken's Vent (Pictures) PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SarahKate, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. SarahKate

    SarahKate In the Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Rockvale, TN
    My one year old Red Star has a giant bulge on her backside, under her vent. It is a soft, squishy bulge. I gave her a warm bath and massaged it, and she made no sign that it hurt. Either she has pulled her fluff back there off herself, or it fell out because the bulge is completely missing it's feathers.

    This particular hen has always had issues laying. She only lays every other day, and when she does, the egg is enormous! And it has a ring around the middle like she held it in place for a day. She also has trouble when she poops. She is my only hen that constantly has a poopy bottom. That is how we noticed this issue. We went to do our routine cleaning on her bum and noticed the giant bulge.

    She doesn't appear to be hurting. I'm not sure if she is eating and drinking like normal because our hens are free range. It has been exceptionally hot here (110 degrees!) for the past 2 weeks, but I've got her in the house with me now, in a room with all the shades drawn so that hopefully she won't try to produce another egg until we can figure this out. She has pooped since being in the house and it is normal-looking poop.

    ANY help would be much appreciated. I've included pictures below, hoping that someone else has seen this before and can
    help. She is all wet from her bath, but that's the only time you can actually see the bulge on her because she is a big fluffy ckicken. Her vent is at the top, under her tail feathers. There is a small, bloody spot on her bulge at the bottom. I am watching her closely today to see if she will eat and drink. Please help, if you can!


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  2. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    Give her a warm soak, for at least 20 minutes - use some epsom salt (cheap kind is fine, from any pharmacy or walmart). After, tuck her like a football in your arm (vent in front, for access) and use some veg oil or olive oil on your finger, insert into vent and lube as much as possible. If you can feel the edge of the egg, lube around it as well...

    Put her in a crate in a dimly lit area, apply moist heat - a warm blanket with steaming water or a heating pad, something to make her relax.... The dim light will slow down egg production...

    Hope this helps your girl [​IMG]
     
  3. jackandmandy

    jackandmandy Hatching

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    Jul 5, 2012
    I have 2 chickens with the exact same problem! I have read dozens of blogs and forums from people with the same issue. From what Ive read it sounds like ascitis. My hens have had the problem for weeks now, with no change. They eat and drink and interact normally, but have poopy feathers below the vent and the huge, red, squishy bulge. I have considered purchasing antibiotics, and a syringe and attempting to drain the bulge but to be honest I'm a little afraid to do so. Here's a copy of what I read on here....

    It could be ascitis (filling with watery fluid). Some cases are caused by serious health issues like liver failure but I have a hen who started filling up with clear water at about a year and half old. I use a needle and syringe and drain her when she does. I used to have to drain her about every three months but then she stops for awhile and then several months may go by. All the while, she is perfectly healthy in all other respects and lays an egg daily. She's so used to getting drained that if I put some food in front of her she will eat while I drain her. I've found it's best to use a larger guage needle and as big a syringe as possible because that way you don't have to stick her as much and you can even unscrew the syringe and the needle can leak on its own.

    The first time I drained her, she was so big and so bad off I thought I was going to have to put her down. She was so huge she could no longer walk and I didn't know what to do for her. As a last resort I tried to stick a needle in the huge water balloon hanging below her vent and I got out over a cup of clear water and since I had to stick her so many times, she continued leaking for a while. I placed her on a stack of folded towels and she soaked through all of them. She got right up after that and has been fine ever since. I keep an eye on her because about every three to four months she starts to swell again and I drain her before she gets too big.

    Just insert needle into the water balloon that is hanging down. There's no vital organs there and then pull back on the syringe and see what comes out. If it's clear or mostly tinted water, she might be okay with just being drained. If it's thick and can't be drawn out or yolky or bloody, there may be other issues but my suggestion would be to give it a try. It's been two years and my hen is still alive and kicking and laying so I knew she wasn't an internal layer - which would be the other reason for the filling of fluid.
     
  4. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    Oh my goodness, I hadn't thought of that....good call. Using the "search" block should produce some results here on BYC. I don't have any personal experience with ascitis, just read about it...
     
  5. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Songster

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    My sweet old hen died of this because I couldn't find any information on what was going on. Later I found an avian vet and asked him about it, and he said it's totally fixable if you get the bird in to be drained. I would never do it myself, but people do. He said you have to drain off the fluid, and sometimes they go on anbitiocs, and he cleans them out sometimes as well. He said that eventually that fluid (if left be) will continue to grow until it presses on their air sacs (located in their abdomen) and they will suffocate to death. That is what happened with my bird. I had her at my regular vet and he had no clue. She died there while he did nothing because he didn't know what to do. That's when I got busy and found the avian vet. Sad to know I could have saved my sweet pet, but at least now I know. I would find an avian vet, or get brave enough to do it yourself. Good luck!!
     
  6. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    RaeRae2, since I started keeping chickens last year I've only had a couple of incidents that required medical intervention, but I did go online and locate a couple of avian vets in the area. Good to know, because eventually I'll need one... I'm sorry you lost your pet, that's rough.
     
  7. SarahKate

    SarahKate In the Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Rockvale, TN
    Thank you so much! This is exactly the information I was looking for! After soaking her and getting her cleaned up, we were able to tell it was not an egg in the sac below her vent. I just had no idea what to do. I must have been searching for the wrong thing on BYC because I never found something as helpful as this. I just purchased two different sized needles and syringes and we are going to attempt to drain the sac tonight or tomorrow. Frankly, I'm quite worried, too, but I know I can't afford a vet. This seems like the best option. I also purchased an antibiotic that can be put in her water. I figured that couldn't hurt either. I've never had to use medication on my hens, but in this instance, I think it's the right thing to do. Thanks so much for reading the thread and replying. you may have saved our sweet Reba!
     
  8. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    You're a brave soul! [​IMG] I should learn some of this myself....I hope Reba makes it! I'm out for the rest of the day
     
  9. SarahKate

    SarahKate In the Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Rockvale, TN
    No luck. We inserted the needle and nothing came out in the syringe except a few droplets of blood. I can't figure out why nothing more came out because it sure looks like she's completely full of liquid! Going to try again in the morning.
     
  10. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

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    It certainly looks like ascites, but it could be an abscess, soft mass or tumor, or any other number of things that you may not be able to drain. Check her breast area to see if she is underweight based on the prominence of her breast bone.
     

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