Small Impacted Crop: To Perform Surgery or Not?

StPaulieGirls

Songster
13 Years
Aug 14, 2007
115
27
226
Hutchinson, MN
That's helpful, @casportpony - we'll up our fluids starting tomorrow. Thanks.
I'm reading old threads about the apparent connection between hard molts and impacted crops. I'm wondering, if we can see her through the molt with all these fluids and liquid nutrition, maybe her body will rally and pass the impaction when she has more resources available?
 

StPaulieGirls

Songster
13 Years
Aug 14, 2007
115
27
226
Hutchinson, MN
We've been doing 35 cc so as not to cause her discomfort. We could maybe do 50, but we'd also have to reload the syringe, which takes some doing, and all the while she has the tube down her gullet. The local feed store is out of larger slip syringes.

She's also eating *very* wet gruel - probably another 35 ccs with a tablespoon of poultry rations - a couple times per day.
 

StPaulieGirls

Songster
13 Years
Aug 14, 2007
115
27
226
Hutchinson, MN
Oh, my word, folks. We just did crop surgery on our impacted hen, and it was just miserably stressful on all parties. I have never intentionally inflicted pain like that on another creature in my whole life. Definitely a three-person job in this household. We were well-prepared in terms of materials and set up, and we'd all read a thousand webpages in the past 10 days, but we still weren't prepared for the reality of it. There was more blood than on any of the YouTube videos, which made it hard to see what we were doing. We offset the incision sites for skin and crop, which meant we lost the crop-hole every once in a while when we paused to wipe the hemostats or dab up the bloody fluids.

It took almost 40 minutes to slowly get all the fibrous material out - mostly grass and sprouted scratch grains. We'd given her 10 days of fluids and massage, to no avail. The stuff we pulled out of her crop was never going to pass through her system, so at least we can say with confidence that the wait-and-see route would have led to her death. She may not end up surviving this surgery, either, but we'll be able to say we did all we can do.

I'll say again that the only avian vet within a 3-hour-drive is not accepting any new patients, so we didn't have that option. No regular vets would even consider seeing her.

We irrigated her pretty well with saline, and then sutured up her crop as best we could. We sutured the skin, as well, all with absorbable sutures. It was clear that she was in pain and distress, especially then. We did topical antibiotics and oral amoxicillin (which I didn't plan to do, but after I saw the amount of tissue implicated in the procedure, I thought I'd rather go the antibiotic route - still, I'm worried about her gut flora).

She is both fiesty and weak, and she doesn't like her bandages at all. I don't know if it's because they just feel awful, or if the bandages might be causing a problem. She's in a dog crate with some towels inside for her to lean on. She can stand but she wobbles. Her comb is fairly red and her eyes decently bright, and she is clucking. BUT the whole thing took more of a toll on her than the most optimistic websites might lead a person to anticipate. I don't know what we could have done better.

If she makes it through the night, we'll wait 36 hours before offering soft foods. We'll offer water and maybe -- if y'all think it's a good idea - syringe some water and electrolytes into her beak a couple times? Say, 15 cc or so per attempt? We'll change the bandage and apply more Neosporin tomorrow morning.

** When can we take the vet wrap and nonstick gauze off the incision site?
** Should we dropper fluids into her beak?
** Should we do more amoxicillin if/as she recovers?
** What signs do you all watch for when you're discerning whether to put a bird out of its misery?

Hope you all have a more relaxing Sunday evening than we're having. I think I'm going to have a scotch.

Blessings and thanks,
Kerri in Minnesota
 

Sally PB

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
2,528
7,349
423
Belding, MI
Oh my, what an ordeal for everyone! Thank you for being so brave and for documenting everything here. I'm sorry I have no advice, but hugs for all of you and your bird too. Positive waves for her recovery. Let us know how she does.
:fl:hugs
 

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