Sick Buff Orphington with Ascites or something else.

Cajunfilly

Chirping
Apr 6, 2015
11
5
52
My 3.5 year old, non-laying hen, a Buff Orphington had/has diarrhea--white, green, yellow color-- but acted fairly normal but went down hill over a three week period. Due to the very rainy weather, I figured that perhaps she had eaten a bit of moldy food or was effected by all the damp stuff in the chicken pen. I started giving her shots of Talon, plain yogurt along with some healthy vegetables. One day she would seem better walking slowly and interacting with the other chickens, and then she would be sicker the next day. Currently, the back of her comb is bluish, her tail is hanging down. Her belly to the vent are as hard as a rock. She is extremely weak. I thought she might have Ascites. I read and watched the videos. I tried to drain her , but nothing came out. She and I are sitting here wondering what can we do to help her feel better. Your advice is welcome.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
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If her abdomen is hard, then it's likely internal laying or salpingitis. Reproductive problems are not uncommon in laying hens over the age of two. The matter continues to build in the abdomen and puts pressure on internal organs, eventually either infection, blockage, or rupture will be fatal. Unfortunately once symptoms are seen it's usually pretty advanced. There is not much that can be done for her, sadly. For my hens that have had this I leave them with the flock as long as they are doing normal chicken things. When they go off feed and water, act like they obviously do not feel well, isolate themselves, etc. then I end their suffering. I have had a couple live for quite some time, and some that passed rather quickly. I'm so sorry, I'm sure not what you want to hear. :hugs
A necropsy will tell you for sure what has happened, once she's gone.
Here is some reading that may help,:
https://the-chicken-chick.com/salpingitis-lash-eggs-in-backyard/
This link has a video in the first post on reproductive disorders, at the beginning are graphic images, after that it's just info:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...e-video-graphic-photos.1201052/#post-19020612
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Reproductive disorders can be common, and they can cause fullness in the lower abdomen, tail down, not laying, poor appetite, runny poops, lethargy, possibly waddling, and a reluctance to walk. Some of those are salpingitis, internal laying, and egg yolk peritonitis. Ascites can happen due to heart or liver failure, and is frequently seen in reproductive problems as well. I would take her to a vet, or just try to make her comfortable. If she looks as though she is suffering, you might consider putting her down. Here is some reading:
http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/egg-peritonitis

http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
 

Cajunfilly

Chirping
Apr 6, 2015
11
5
52
Reproductive disorders can be common, and they can cause fullness in the lower abdomen, tail down, not laying, poor appetite, runny poops, lethargy, possibly waddling, and a reluctance to walk. Some of those are salpingitis, internal laying, and egg yolk peritonitis. Ascites can happen due to heart or liver failure, and is frequently seen in reproductive problems as well. I would take her to a vet, or just try to make her comfortable. If she looks as though she is suffering, you might consider putting her down. Here is some reading:
http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/egg-peritonitis

http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
Thanks. This has been a very bad year for my sweet chickens. I hate to lose another, but this is what I expect. The others I lost this year died quickly of different causes, but she is going down slowly.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
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Consett Co.Durham. UK
My 3.5 year old, non-laying hen, a Buff Orphington had/has diarrhea--white, green, yellow color-- but acted fairly normal but went down hill over a three week period.

A 3.5 year old hen should still be laying (or at least should have been throughout the spring and summer, obviously not during moult) so that would suggest a reproductive disorder that may have been going on for some considerable time. Do you know when she last laid an egg?
If you have been unsuccessful at draining her then I would suspect internal laying..... particularly if she has not laid an egg for several months or salpingitis (infection of the oviduct) if it has been a matter of a few weeks. Sadly both involve a build up of often infected egg material inside them which creates a mass that eventually constricts the gut and the respiratory system. Once she can no longer properly eliminate waste faeces her system will become toxic and she will die.

A photo of her both her head and comb but also her back end may help to confirm that but it might be a kindness to end her suffering as these ailments are almost always terminal and whilst extremely expensive surgery is possible if you can find a good avian vet, it is also extremely risky and a high percentage of birds do not recover from it or need further expensive hormonal therapy thereafter.

I'm sorry my opinion is not optimistic. Certainly wait for other opinions before taking drastic action or seek veterinary advice, but photos certainly can be helpful in these situations.
 

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