Strange heart beat loud noise as my chicken breathes?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dook, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Dook

    Dook Out Of The Brooder

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    Our dearest chicken (literally like a child to us - we have no real kids) - Flomp - has been getting very slow and lethargic looking over the last week, took her to the vet when it started but they dont know alot about birds at that particular vet and they thought best to keep watch and see if she improves over the next few days.

    The last 2 days she does nothing but sit or hover, she is very obviously struggling to breathe normally and she is taking large breaths with her beak wide open. It's also quite loud a...how to describe... a heart beat or "ker clunk" sort of noise inside her (not at the mouth, more coming from the chest area) I was thinking perhaps she's just getting old? She does eat/drink when she wants (not ALOT though)

    She is a mix breed (and last/longest survivor by about a year) from that particular batch of eggs. She is 4yrs 2months. ALL the other girls I had in that batch went within 2 years most cases from egg peritonitis. Flomp hasnt layed an egg in over 2 years so I didnt think it was anything to do with that area. But one of them did get quite sick and was diagoned with heart failure =(

    Is this age long for a chicken? Do random mix unknown breed layers normally not last very long? I have a friend at work who has Pekin's and they're apparently 8 years old and still laying (they even hatch some chicks recently!) So that got me thinking maybe pure breeds last longer?

    Anywho, will be taking flomp to the vet shortly..as the only thing I can do/think of is to end her suffering. But my other half really wants to find out what was wrong or why it happened.. He even thought I should probably take her to the vet an hour away who know more about poultry to at least diagnose her. Any suggestions? COULD she be saved based of my description??

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Chickens can develop a clicking noise which I have heard people describe, but I recently witnessed this myself with a pullet in distress from an injury to the air sac causing difficulty breathing. Egg yolk peritonitis, internal laying, ascites or water in the belly from EYP, or heart or liver failure, all can be common in high production egg layers. It doesn't sound like she will last too much longer, and putting her out of her misery may be the right thing to do. Examine her lower abdomen to see if it looks tight, as if there is fluid in there which can cause respiratory distress. If it looks like there may be fluid or ascites, sometimes draining this fluid off occasionally can make them more comfortable. Here is a good thread on ascites: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853726/ascites-in-desperate-need-of-some-help-and-guidance
     
  3. Dook

    Dook Out Of The Brooder

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    Thankyou so much for your response! I'm going to take her to the vet right now and see if they can help at all or if its best to let her go in peace. She looks super uncomfortable, and I've read that chickens naturally try not to show any sign of weekness/sickness (to protect themselves from predators) so she could have been ill much longer as shes only showing obvious signs of something wrong in the last week. =(

    I'm trying to be brave but every time I go to the vet (and almost every time I post on BYC) its bad news and I am a wreck.. even when I prepare myself, it's so hard. >.< This time is especially hard because we've had her so long and she's very special.

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    It's nice to have a vet available for times like these. Some of us don't have a vet in our areas to help. Please let us know what you find out with the vet visit.
     
  5. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    So very sorry you are going through this, it is heartbreaking :(
     
  6. Dook

    Dook Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Wagga Wagga, AUS
    So vet visit conclusion!

    Bad news, as expected. They found she was pretty much, I quote " a big water bottle" Filled with fluids, in her everything. Front, back, her lungs. They checked her rear for signs of egg peritonitis but there nothing even in there at all (I did mentioned she hasnt laid for about 2.5 years) but they checked anyways. They also tried to do as the post by eggsesive had linked, and used a syringe to try extract the fluid. It wouldnt come into the syringe itself, but once the puncture was there and needle was out, it squirted out in tiny bits. The fluid was clear.

    They pretty much summed up that excessive fluid throughout the whole body was likely caused from heart failure as the body is not retaining the fluids where it should be.
    The vet also said it is usually a genetic thing. So I concluded that the daddy of my first batch of eggs and Flomps batch, has bad genes. As all of them went in similar fashion and/or egg peritonitis.

    My current lot have a different daddy...sooo I am hoping they wont suffer so badly and will live longer healthier lives also!

    Since Flomp was our "child" most beloved special bird, my other half got me to buy special flowers coloured like her and the type that can be cut and replanted. So then, if we move..we can always take her with us ^_^

    Thanks for the support and replies! One day I hopefully will be able to post in the forum about something other than sick chickens! =)
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss of Flomp. Even though it was bad news, I'm sure you feel relieved that she didn't suffer, and that there was nothing that you could have done differently. Thanks so much for letting us know what the vet said.
     
  8. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    So very sorry for your loss of Flomp :(
     

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