Sick hen - can't figure out what's wrong

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrsdelore, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. mrsdelore

    mrsdelore Out Of The Brooder

    87
    4
    41
    Apr 6, 2015
    Upstate, NY
    Hi all. I have a 1.5 year old red sex link that is ailing, but her story is a longer one. Just over two months ago, we did emergency surgery on her for an impacted crop. Pulled out a ton of long grass that was all bound into knots. Closed her up with super glue and a tegaderm bandage and hoped for the best. By some miracle, she survived the surgery and was eating small portions by the next day. By the end of a week, she was dustbathing, free ranging and doing all the things we want our chickens to do.

    Fast forward a few weeks and she went into a pretty hard molt that lasted a few weeks, but she was still out and about and I saw her eating, drinking and free ranging every day. However, she wasn't really gaining back the weight she had lost with the impacted crop. At the time, I attributed it to the molt and did my best to make sure she was getting her fair share and some treats.

    Fast forward again to earlier this week and she suddenly wasn't doing all those chicken-y things I want to see. After we saw the other chickens push her away from the feed, we decided to bring her inside thinking some time with her own food and water dish would help her. I cooked her some scrambled eggs, which she gobbled up. In fact, she ended up gorging herself and at first I worried we were back to crop issues since it took forever for it to go down - with help from some crop massage! She seemed to rally some and after 3 days, I put her back out with the flock. By the next morning - this past Saturday - she was back to listless and horrible looking after just one day and night back outside.

    Now she's back inside, eating and drinking, but obviously not well.
    Her symptoms:

    *diarrhea - ranging from clear with just a few green flecks in it to greenish-brown and comes out with an audible squirt. It also stinks really bad.

    *pale comb and wattles - but they have been fairly pale and small since her initial crop issues.

    *ruffled feathers, drooping wings and tail

    * seems weak/unsteady on her feet. She can walk but if you nudge her, she easily loses her balance.

    * closed eyes, lying down frequently

    She does NOT have any mouth, nose or eye discharge. No apparently respiratory issues. She is alert and responsive - follows a hand with food, eats when offered things. Will walk around and explore if let out of her crate.

    She IS eating and drinking. Drinking quite a bit - could be because it's warm in our house.

    At a loss for what else I can do besides keep her inside with no competition for food and water, I started her on tetracycline this afternoon.

    But I really have no clue what might be wrong and if I should be doing something more/different. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. mrsdelore

    mrsdelore Out Of The Brooder

    87
    4
    41
    Apr 6, 2015
    Upstate, NY
    [​IMG]

    Here is a photo of her tonight - you can see the small, pale comb and wattles. You can also see the loose droppings on the towel behind her.
     
  3. mrsdelore

    mrsdelore Out Of The Brooder

    87
    4
    41
    Apr 6, 2015
    Upstate, NY
    Additional info after giving her a physical exam today -

    Her breast/chest is extremely emaciated - pretty much skin and bone.

    Her abdomen, on the other hand, is pretty full and hard feeling. It is NOT squishy but very firm.

    An internal exam - didn't really feel anything when I went up along the oviduct area, but when I pressed down, I felt one or more hard masses. They don't seem to be in the intestine, but rather I can feel it through the intestine.

    Not sure if it's swollen organs or tumors, but the prognosis does not seem good at this point.

    I will keep her on the tetracycline, but at this point it looks like we are just keeping her comfortable and pampered while she's still with us.
     

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