Sour crop, yes, but is something else wrong??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by EggDropSoup, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. EggDropSoup

    EggDropSoup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all...

    So I know there are a lot of threads on sour crop, but I'm posting here because my hen doesn't seem to be responding to the usual treatments I have tried so far.

    Here's what's going on:

    My hen is a 4+ year old Easter Egger named Waynoka. She is one of the most robust gals in my flock, and at the top of the pecking order. She still lays a couple of eggs a week, despite her age.

    Three days ago, I noticed she was lethargic, puffed up, and didn't run over for treats when all of the other chickens did. This set off alarm bells and I ran out to check her. Her crop was squishy and puffy, and when I picked her up, a huge stream of nasty liquid, grass, food, etc. came out of her mouth.

    I have dealt with sour crop one other time in a hen who had eaten a bunch of lawn mower clippings, but after vomiting and spending a day drinking water/eating yogurt, she was totally fine. I figured it would be the same case with Waynoka. I got as much of that nasty puke out of her as I could and brought her in the house.

    She seemed much better after vomiting and started looking for food/water. I went ahead and gave her access to plain water and plain yogurt. She was much perkier, and she pooped a little. But by the next morning, her crop was big and squishy again, and when I picked her up, she vomited some more.

    At this point, I noticed her backside was all gummed up with really, really foul smelling diarrhea. There was very little poop in her makeshift pen. I decided to try treating with Monistat 3, and I went and bought the suppositories. I cut one into thirds and gave her three doses yesterday. I also gave her water via a syringe and did a lot of massaging of her crop. Last night, she got really agitated around bed time, so I decided to let her spend the night with her friends out in the coop. This morning, when I went to check her, she came out of the hen house but obviously still wasn't herself, so I brought her back inside. She vomited some more.

    The vomit has little white chunks in it, and she's still puking up some longer pieces of grass, despite not having been allowed access to grass for several days. I gave her another dose of the Monistat after she vomited, and I could feel it in her crop, so I massaged the crop to melt the suppository in there.

    I gave her a bath this morning to get all the crusted poo off her backside. She really seemed to enjoy the bath. She's in her little pen. I have been syringing her water and water with yogurt mixed in.

    I threw some grit in her pen, and she gobbled it up. I'm not sure if grit was a good idea or not...but she seemed to think it was.

    At this point, I'm at a loss. She doesn't seem better, but she doesn't seem worse. What I'm really worried about is that she isn't pooping. Albeit, she's eating very little, but still, she's getting liquids and little nibbles of yogurt/egg, so something SHOULD be coming out. When I massage the crop, it makes all these gurgly, gassy noises. It feels, at times, like it's filled with air.

    Is there a chance she has some sort of intestinal blockage? Her abdominal area feels fine/normal. It's not ballooned up or anything, and she's still pretty perky. I don't think this is a case of internal laying, but I do wonder if something on down the digestive tract isn't working right.

    I read where someone said I could use Dulcolax or Epsom salts to get her to poop. Is this a good idea??

    Obviously, there is still a yeast problem going on in the crop--hence the little white chunks when she vomits, and the awful smell. But I don't know if the crop itself is causing the problem, or if it's something else.

    I'm anxious to figure out my next step. Like I said, she's a big girl and very healthy up until this point, but she is losing weight because she's not getting much food in her, and the food that is in her is getting vomited back up. :( I'm only vomiting her once a day--in the morning, right before I medicate her--, but I'm wondering if I should do more.

    I do have a huge bottle of Denegard on hand, but at this point, I don't know if trying antibiotics would do more harm than good.


    Is there something I'm missing or something else I could try?? Should I keep massaging the crop? Keep giving yogurt/water? Keep giving the Monistat? Try to get her to poop??


    HELP!!!
     
  2. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't do antibiotics either. Have you tried apple cider vinegar for the yeast? A little mixed in water? I think up to three teaspoons per gallon makes it acidic. A normal PH is one teaspoon per gallon. I know there are plenty of "recipes" for sour crop and I think that is one of them. Another is copper sulfate which has to be dosed correctly or can be harmful.
    I think your girl is block down there somewhere. Could be anywhere after the crop and feeling isn't going to help you find that. A vet might be able to find where it is. You just have to monitor the poop. If it is very little getting out, it's a slow crop and that is why you see liquid, gas backing up in her. Blockages after the crop are not good news. Rarely do they resolve. Her eating grit, she knows what's going on. Blockages like that do lead to sour crop, so the remedies for that will help that, but not the blockage. Best advise I can give you is give her plenty of water, maybe with a bit of olive oil mixed in and hope you can flush it out. You may have to syringe her to get sufficient fluid in her. Empty the air out of crop before adding water. Don't overfill, but do it several times a day for a few days and see if that will move what ever it is. I would at least say a total of 8 ounces of water a day. And since she isn't eating or getting much nutrition, I would add poultry vitamins to it. I'm not a vet, but if I was unable to take mine to one, this is what I would try and what I did have to do once for a young rooster. It did help move a twisted rope of hay out of his vent just enough that I was able to pull it all out very slowly. Ended up being about 12 inches long and was the source of his blockage. Other birds, sorry to say, I didn't have much luck with.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  3. EggDropSoup

    EggDropSoup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright---So I gave her 12 ccs of an epsom salt/water solution over the past hour. She just pooped--it's really watery, but has some green chunks mixed in. If she has pooped, is this a sign that maybe she's not totally blocked up and that it could be remedied?
     
  4. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The epsom salt flush I use is 1/2 tsp to 1/8 cup water and give the entire amount. You can repeat in a few hours. I know people have used dulcolax also, but I have not.
    The info MrsBachbach gave was very good.
    I had a hen with an impacted gizzard (confirmed at necropsy as an underdeveloped gizzard) and the symptoms were the same. And she passed liquid with a bit of green. She also ate a lot of grit. I think that is what their brain tells them they need to do to try to pass something stuck.
    You can continue to try as long as you feel OK about it. Sometimes impactions will show up on xray. Depends on what it is. Some things will pass, others will not. Sometimes it is a foreign object, or grass, or sometimes it's a malfunction in the digestive tract. This is a very frustrating issue because the bird is often otherwise healthy. Unfortunately it sometimes happens. I sincerely hope your bird recovers, if not I do recommend a necropsy to find out what it was. That way if it was something she should not have gotten into you can remedy so no one else gets into whatever it is.
     
  5. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    1 person likes this.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Judging from all the grass she vomited up she probably has an impaction in her gizzard. I would get her started on plain dolculax, the stuff without the stimulant, stool softener only. (Docusate Sodium 100mg only) This stuff will help to break the impaction down but it will take a few days. Pierce open 1 cap and squeeze into food you know she will immediately eat. I usually put it in 1/2 ml of gerber baby food, load into an empty syringe and squeeze under the tongue. Dose her 2 times a day for a few days.

    It helps to vomit her once a day, first thing in the morning, but be careful she doesnt aspirate on the gunk coming up. Only hold her forward for 1 or 2 seconds at a time, standing her back up to breath in between.

    Soft foods only. No grains, seeds, foliage, free ranging, etc... You dont want to add to the load on the gizzard.

    Make sure she drinks plenty of water, so keep it fresh.

    If the impaction passes in a few days, she should be fine and recover. Always offer up probiotics during times like these to help with the yeast. You can also use Acidified Copper Sulfate to help if she has a roaring yeast infection, which it sounds like she may have.

    If you have a crop bra, it never hurts to support her sagging crop, helping the food to move through faster and prevent the crop from stretching.

    Good luck with her! :)
     
  7. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't give the epsom salts. You want her well hydrated, not dehydrated. Since she is having trouble moving solids go ahead and give her yogurt and stuff like maybe baby food to eat. You might need to use a crop tube to give her water if she isn't getting at least 8 ounces a day. I wish you luck and hope she recovers.
     
  8. EggDropSoup

    EggDropSoup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright guys--time for an update.

    I am frustrated. Really, really frustrated.

    I cleared up the sour crop with Monistat and started giving her the dulcolax, as suggested, and it really seemed to be helping. Her crop seemed to be emptying, though slowly, and she didn't have that squishy, water balloon feeling. She seemed to be feeling pretty good, too. BUT, she wouldn't drink water. At all. Wouldn't touch it. Totally not interested.

    I tried syringing water into her beak, but it was taking up hours and hours of my day to get even a little into her. I started feeding her watermelon (which she loves) to at least get some water into her body, and I let her back out with her flock, thinking maybe she would drink if she saw other chickens drinking. No dice.

    I made the mistake of not continuing with the dulcolax past when she seemed to be feeling better, and within a day, her crop was squishy again and she was vomiting.

    So, we're back to square one. She has lost a lot of weight. She was once one of my biggest, healthiest chickens. And while she still has good energy, she's just not doing well. She HATES being kept by herself on the mud porch. She can hear the other chickens, and she actually tore through the mesh on the playpen I was keeping her in and was throwing herself at the back door trying to get outside. She's feisty, and that doesn't help me feed her or get liquids into her AT ALL.

    Two days ago, I went to the vet and got Lactated Ringer's solution. I have been giving her 100 mL a day, subcutaneously. This obviously makes her feel better, but I'm pretty sure she needs to be INGESTING liquid in order to clear out whatever obstruction is in her digestive system, yes??

    Again, after a few days on the dulcolax, she WAS pooping (both solids and liquids) and seemed to be feeling better. I fear I just stopped the treatment too soon.

    I work from home, so I have the luxury of being able to keep an eye on her and try to feed her/get fluids into her throughout the day, but it's literally eating up hours of my time when I should be working. I don't want to give up on her and have her put down, but I'm at my wit's end.

    I'm terrified to try the crop tube people have mentioned on her, because I'm afraid I will choke her. She's still quite strong, and it's really hard to keep her still to even squirt baby food down her throat. It's like her stubbornness is going to be the reason she dies. :(

    Has anyone ever dealt with a prolonged digestive upset like this? I've got her back on the dulcolax, and I KNOW I need to keep her penned up so she can't access grass and other stuff from the yard, but she gets so agitated, I end up letting her back outside because I don't want her to expend all of her energy trying to escape the mud porch. It's the only place I can keep her, as I have three indoor cats who make her even more agitated if I try to bring her in the house.

    I tried to give her only clear liquids today via syringe, but after 24 CCs, she got all bloated and pukey.

    I'm assuming the Lactated Ringer's are the only reason she's still alive at this point, so I'll keep up with that, but I just don't know how much longer this can go on before I lose my mind. Any tips, ideas, etc. would be appreciated.
     
  9. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    You been to tube feed her some water @casportpony

    Her name is Kathy, try pm'ing her, she is amazing!!!! And loves to teach how to tune

    And maybe bring a friend in with her
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Not all impactions clear. Depends on what is stuck in there. One lady here on BYC dealt with a grass impaction for 2 weeks. Eventually the bird passed it, it came out like a grass woven rope.

    Can you take her to a vet for an xray?
     

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