1. mrlacewing

    mrlacewing Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2012
    I have a hen that is three or four years old at least. I got her when she was grown, so I'm not sure about her age. She seemed to be egg-bound at first, or at least I thought she was. When I decided to give her a warm bath, I noticed that she seems to be gasping for air when she breaths. She is opening her beak and stretching her neck. I separated her in a crate and gave her food with calcium and water, but she doesn't seem to be eating or drinking anything. I'm beginning to wonder if she is just old and dying. I'm also beginning to wish that I knew how to put her out of her misery if I can't make her better.
    I first noticed her symptoms a couple of days ago, she just seemed lethargic: wasn't scratching for food or jumping up on the roost.
    Any advice on what to do will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Some diseases that can cause gasping are aspergillosis from mold, and ILT from a virus causing respiratory disease. However, with her age, she may be suffering from egg yolk peritonitis or internal laying, and possibly could have ascites from liver failure. Is her lower abdomen full and round like there could be fluid inside? Is she eating or drinking at all?
     
  3. mrlacewing

    mrlacewing Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2012
    Her lower abdomen does seem full and low. That's why I thought she may be egg-bound. I tried to give her some calcium and realized that her neck seems really crooked. She's holding her head up, though. Also, her waddle on top is depressed, like it's lost moisture. Another strange thing is her eyes seem dilated
    poor thing! She is separated from them in a cage with food and drink right now, but I'm not sure how to proceed.
    The other chickens in the flock seem fine.
    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    If there is ascites from heart or kidney failure, she may benefit from draining her abdomen occasionally or treating with antibiotics. Eventually, you may need to think about euthanizing her if she becomes too uncomfortable. Your vet may be able to help you with diagnosis. Here are a few of the many good links on egg yolk peritonitis and ascites.
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/638821/ascites-swollen-squishy-abdomen-with-pics-video-page-9
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/526089/egg-yolk-peritonitis
     
  5. mrlacewing

    mrlacewing Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2012
    Thank you so much for your help. I'm going to ask around locally and see if I can find a vet for her. She's not as pet-like as some of my others, and she is not laying anymore, so I'm not as motivated to save her. I definitely don't want her to suffer, though.
    I really appreciate any advice you have so toss out anything. I'm so thankful for this forum because I don't personally know anyone in my area that I feel like can answer these questions. Thanks for taking the time to answer questions on here!
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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  7. mrlacewing

    mrlacewing Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2012
    Thanks again. My hen actually passed away the night before last. I'm glad that her suffering ended. Now I need to educate myself on how to help or either "put her out of her misery" when the next one gets sick.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    So sorry for your loss.
     

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