Sick Orpington, Dying? :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JWFE, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. JWFE

    JWFE Out Of The Brooder

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    Dear chicken-friends,

    I have an Orpington, a big girl, she weighed in at about 6lbs (3kg) a month ago and was the happiest, friendliest chicken ever. She lives with 4 other Orps, a Brahma and 2 egg-laying powerhouses (a tad smaller than her) in a big enough coop and run. She's about 9 months old. Lemme try and be short and precise;

    # A month ago Lady Cluckington seemed "off", not as quick to arrive when it was snack time. Gave the whole coop anti-worm medication, a dry powder in their food and snackmix. Checked her crop, she ate slowly and drank very little, her crop was full and felt like a small bean-bag.
    # 3 weeks ago she started losing weight, had to be handfed her snacks (wouldn't compete for snacks), she'd come down her ramp very slowly out of the coop and occasionally bumble to the floor. We started dosing apple cider in the drink supply and vitamins&minerals (dry pidgeon-complete). Put a heat-lamp in the coop (12 by 4ft, 4m by 1.2m, about 3x3ft or 1x1m is heated day and night and a stable 35CC or 95F)
    # 2 weeks ago her bumbling worsened, she only weighed 2kg (4.5lbs) and most of the time she spend on the floor, lying with 1 leg up. When you approach her she's alert and scared.
    # a week ago I went on holiday, when I came back she only weighed 1.2kg (3lbs). She still seems alert, but doesn't resist. Her crop's still full but fills pretty hard.
    # Just now her alert-ness was at an all time low and she's barely 2lbs (950gr)... she's now being handfed and held at the water so she can take in fluids. She just layes around... when you pick her up she feels cold and you don't feel flesh but mostly bones. When I put her down she pretty much collapses.

    Anyone have an idea was might be the deal with Lady Cluckington or what I can do to get her back on her feet?

    We live in a region with very little vets and they're hella expensive, so I'm trying to keep it cost efficient (having a hard time with that...). Vet checked her out 3 weeks ago and charged 55 euro's (65$) for a check up and offered her nothing more than pidgeon-vits & minerals.

    Thanks so much for any help you can offer,
    - Jay
     
  2. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you checked to see if her crop is emptying by the morning? You said her crop feels hard, so an impacted crop would be my first guess.

    Has she been laying eggs regularly? Did you ever check if she was egg bound? Does her backside feel swollen at all? If she was egg bound a month ago, it may have progressed to internal laying.

    Do you have her inside now? If not, I would set up a little chicken hospital for her, where it's warm and quiet.

    As far as vets, a lot of them can be pretty useless when it comes to birds/poultry. Not sure how it is in Europe but here, if a vet wants to treat birds, they will usually get a special avian certification. If they have that there, maybe one of the avian certified ones might be more helpful, if you do decide to take them to another vet...
     
  3. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh and WELCOME to BYC!! [​IMG]
     
  4. JWFE

    JWFE Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks loads for your reply!

    Crop is less full by morning, how empty is it supposed to be? I've tried to have her vomit, did some youtube-recommended oil shots to losen things up, massaging her crop a couple of times a week. So far to no avail, last week she's had 2 days of not eating any solids but my pops checked her and forgot to check the crop if it had fully emptied, alass. And I'm afraid if I try that again she'll just croak.

    It's been 5-10C (that's 45F-ish) so not much activity, currently she doesn't lay and her hind-parts don't feel swollen. She's been in 6x4ft quarantine last week and no eggs were laid/layn/lied(?), she's back in GenPop now.

    As for Vets over here, there's no avian-specialisation really, some do specialise with courses but nowhere near in the vicinity (up to 50km). The last one "knew how to deal with birds" and I felt deceived and the chick didn't feel any better after our last visit.

    If it's crop-related; What would you recommend I do?

    If she's egg-bound; What would you recommend I do?

    If I search for a vet or medical help; What should I look out for in a specialist?

    Gonna go back there (6PM here) and give her another cuddle and a crop-massage.
     
  5. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem!

    Her crop should be basically flat in the morning. If there is still a little bit of food in there, I don't think that is such a big deal but if there is still a good amount, that is not good at all. And that is where I would focus my efforts.

    The massages are good, and giving her oil should help but just be very careful that she doesn't aspirate it. It would be better if you could give it to her through a tube directly to her crop. I haven't had to deal with an impacted crop so I'll be honest, my experience is limited. Just what I've seen on here. I have seen a lot of people have success with treated them with an antifungal and even crop surgery but I would make sure you read up as much as you can before going that route. First I would do a search on this board to see some of your options.

    If you suspect she is egg bound (which I don't really think this is the issue), first thing you would do is, with a gloved and lubricated hand, use a finger to check inside her vent for an egg. I know it may be weird, but it's along the lines of how you would check a dog's temperature. Uncomfortable for a second but they aren't terribly bothered by it...To treat them, you would give them a warm bath and either an injection of calcium gluconate or some oral source of calcium. Olive oil around the vent also seems to help.

    Not sure really what to look for in a specialist. I haven't actually taken any of my chickens to the vet. If I need to take my parrots, I look for someone who has an Avian Certification, or like my vet now since there aren't any certified avian vets nearby, someone who owns birds themselves. You could also look for someone who specializes in farm animals.
     
  6. JWFE

    JWFE Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll do some more research through this forum, specifically on crop conditions. Egg-Bound sounds unlikely but I'll inspect her egg-canal tomorrow before work. I'll check with a small-farm-animals-club in the area to see who they recommend for avian veterinaries or if they've got some experience in-house to add to the repertoire before we do something drastic.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! She's lost 1/2 her weight, so probably very close to death. Can you get a tube and syringe to tube feed her? Also best to keep her in a room or cage that's 80-85 degrees. If you can get a tube, I can teach you.

    -Kathy
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If she were mine I would tube feed warmed fluids ASAP.

    -Kathy
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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  10. JWFE

    JWFE Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your contribution Kathy,

    I'd just come across this one; https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...portive-care-updated-12-21-2015#post_16068451, in one of your posts (how is it not stickied?! haha)

    I've got a syringe lying around (for the aquarium, I swear) and I'll make sure I'll feed her tomorrow morning and as often as I can.

    1. What do you recommend I feed her in liquid form? I've seen porridge-like food for parrots at the Local Petshop f.ex.

    2. How much and how often?

    edit 3; If you have any advice on feeding using a tube and a syringe that'd be great!!!

    Based on your "exam" she's not in a terrible state, I guess. Her skin, eyes, mouth etc are all OK, she functions but limited and is a little cold to the touch (she's in quarrantine and under a heatlamp again). But she's awfully light and her crop is full all the time, it feels sorta hard but maleable and you can feel the grit and pellets. I'll check tomorrow-morning for it's state then.

    edit; almost midnight here, she's resting currently.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015

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