swollen abdomen? diagnosed- egg yolk peritonitis 4yr old last-update

kayri

Songster
12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
353
2
141
RI
Hi, My question is about Midnight- my 4 year old black sex-link. I noticed she was the slowest to come when I called the last couple of days and I picked her up today and realized that her abdomen, very low between her legs was distended and swollen. As I watched her walk I realized she was waddling and while she was pecking around, she was quite slow compared to the others. I worried that she was egg-bound because in the past she has laid very large (jumbo) eggs and I realized I hadn't gotten an egg from her in a couple of days. I couldn't feel anything that was hard like an egg in her abdomen but I put her in a warm bath tonight for 40 minutes and put some olive oil in her vent (with a small syringe barrel). She did not pass an egg and I can't feel one in there. I don't have a problem taking her to the vet but thought I'd try to see if there was something I could do before I plunk down $40 for the visit and $115 for the x- ray etc.

For background, my chickens have a 30X12 netted area and they also free-range for an hour or so a day when I can keep an eye on them. I feed them pellets, oatmeal and yogurt in the morning, try to give them avia charge at least one a week and kiss them even though they might have salmonella. They kiss me even though I might have salmonella as well.


Does anyone have any ideas about what to do about poor Midnight?

thanks Kay
 
Last edited:

chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
77
216
Olympia WA
Last edited:

kayri

Songster
12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
353
2
141
RI
Thanks for the informative threads chookchick, It feels pretty squishy although there may be firmer parts than others. I'll try to get a pic on today and see if I can find a rather large-gauged needle. Oh dear. Thought I was going to be able to get a normal workday in today. Will update ASAP. Thanks again. K.
 

kayri

Songster
12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
353
2
141
RI
I asked my sister to help me at noon with a large gauge sterile needle, but when we picked up Midnight her abdomen wasn't quite a s swollen as it was in the morning and it looked like she had passed some yellow stuff, it could have been the olive oil, or some yolk. I'm reluctant to stick a needle in her if she doesn't need me to. I took some pics of her, even though the 40- min warm bath didn't help one night, should I do it again? I called the vet and she is on vacation till Thurs. She is eating and drinking a little. What do you guys think? I tried to search egg bound, but I don't think the search thing is working very well as it came up with no hits and I can't believe that.

edited to add, gave her another 30 min soak in a warm bath tonight (my skin is starting to peel) and some rice soaked in olive oil. I feel bad for her, her abdomen is very red and distended. I still can't "feel" an egg.

2974_img_0977.jpg

2974_img_0979.jpg

2974_img_0972.jpg
 
Last edited:

kayri

Songster
12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
353
2
141
RI
The swelling is in her lower abdomen towards her vent. Sorry for the bad pics. It is really quite red and swollen, poor thing.

Thanks for the great threads, I am thinking that she is egg-bound now. This morning I found a small yellow mass, less than my fingertip that could be a yolk.

I will try the cool water rinse of her vent tonight. She refused the oil soaked bread I offered this morning. Do you think it is worth squirting a few cc's of olive oil into her mouth?
 

gallusdomesticus

Songster
12 Years
Nov 14, 2008
413
62
231
Lynn Haven, FL
It sounds like ascites. It's normally caused by congestive heart failure or fatty liver disease. If you give your hen lots of 'treats' that are high in carbohydrates or sugars (i.e. sweet foods like grapes or tomatos) it could cause fatty liver disease. That happened to a hen of mine. After getting 16oz of fluid removed by the vet, he put her on milk thistle extract for the liver problem and she's back to her old self.
 

kayri

Songster
12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
353
2
141
RI
I think the swelling is not as baggy as I would think ascities would be (but of course I've never seen a hen, or anything, with ascities).

At noon today I went home to see how she was doing and even though she looked a bit better, the swelling decreased a bit (I think) I took her to the vet and she x-rayed her to make sure she didn't have an egg stuck in her and also examined her vent to make sure there were no broken shells There was no egg, but she couldn't tell why her abdomen was swollen. She may have passed an egg or a broken egg during the day. I think she may be slowly getting better. I hope she was egg bound and it's not a cancer or something else. I'll continue supportive care, extra protein, yogurt, hopefully she will improve. thank you everyone for your comments and thanks again chookchick for those great threads. will update if anything changes
 

kayri

Songster
12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
353
2
141
RI
It's been two days since I last posted. Midnight's abdomen is still swollen, it appears to be worse in the morning and gets a little better as the day goes on. It is relatively firm, not fluidy like ascities, She has the appearance and carriage of an austrolop now and before she was quite a trim black- sex-link. I don't know what to do for her. I bring her into the house once a day and put her on a heating pad for about 30-40 min. She never moves off of it, just sits on it. She eats a little, but not much, I offer her yogurt and chopped boiled egg. She moves very slowly although she does scratch in the dirt. Her breast bone is becoming very prominent. She has not laid an egg in at least a week now. I don't mind taking her back to the vet, but I'm afraid that it is cancer. The vet said they could give her a hysterectomy but she also said that often when they give older chickens hysterectomies, they are full of tumors. Should I just continue supportive care? It can't be comfortable with a stomach that swollen, poor thing. . .

Any one have any ideas on how I can help Midnight?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom