Swollen Belly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hpenland, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. hpenland

    hpenland New Egg

    Dec 1, 2012
    We have eight darling chickens. One of our Red Star/ Sex Link hens has developed a very swollen belly. She has always been a healthy weighted hen. She still has her body weight but now her stomach is enlarged to the point that she is "low riding" as we call it, when she walks. Her tummy is so large it practically drags. She is eating and drinking. However, seems depressed and lethargic. At times her large comb will droop slightly and just the tips turn purpleish. But, the comb color is dull. She stopped laying eggs about 10 months ago. Her and her three sisters stopped about the same time. It was after a molt. They are two and a half years old. We never figured out why they stopped, but they have been happy and once in a while will have small bouts like this but not nearly as severe as this! We lost her sister Annie about three weeks ago to egg yolk peritonitis. We are really worried now....However, this hen DOES NOT have yellow stool. In fact her stool is absolutely normal! We are going to try warm baths and I will give her antibiotics as a precaution. Does any one have any ideas?
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Chickens don't have a stomach. Is her crop swollen? Up on her chest towards the right? If so: if it is hard it is like an impacted crop. If it is very soft and liquid then sour crop or a combination impacted/sour crop.

    If the swelling is lower on her body more towards her vent then I would see if you think she is possibly egg bound.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. fluffykitty12

    fluffykitty12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2012
    Dear Hpenland, found this exerpt on http://www.scribd.com/doc/89828278/Poultry-Health-and-Management.
    hope it helps!

    The abdomen

    In the larger birds, it may be possible to palpate the tip of the liver beyond the edge of thesternum. Should the liver be easily felt it is probably enlarged. The ease with which theabdominal contents can be palpated will obviously depend on the size of the bird. In youngerbirds it is almost impossible to carry out safely without putting too much pressure on the air sacs.However, it is possible to distinguish a fairly large, rather irregular neoplasm from a regular,smooth and rounded retained egg in the female. The female often has a history of laying severaleggs, then may suddenly stop, and is often noticeably unwell. Occasionally a solitary egg mayform and cause obstruction. In older birds, the thick-walled gizzard is easily palpated; a firm andglobular mass, with angular margins and its retained grit can be felt to grate between the fingers.Softer and more fluid enlargements of the abdomen which can become quite pendulant(swinging sac like), sometimes without apparent ill effect, may be due to either ascities orrupture of the abdominal muscles. Ascities (water belly) can be confirmed by very carefulparacentesis (withdrawal with a needle and syringe). This is carried out in the midline at themost pendulant part of the swelling. Ascities is often due to neoplasia of the liver or gonads,bacterial infections, or right ventricular hypertrophy. In females, a soft abdominal swelling maybe due to an enlarged oviduct caused by salpingitis. This may be accompanied by egg peritonitisand a noticeable illness.The cloaca should be palpated. It may contain a calculus (stone) of impacted urate crystals orshow a prolapse. Digital exploration of the cloaca in a larger bird with a well-lubricated, glovedfinger and microscopical examination of the evacuations is helpful. Matting of the feathersaround the cloaca together with excoriation (scratch) of the surrounding skin can indicate eitheran alimentary or urinary problem. If the adherent mass is mainly composed of fecal material,then the problem is probably due to diarrhea. If the secretions are white, and if accompanied byan impacted cloaca, the bird has a kidney problem. Since the urodeum is the posterior part of thecloaca in which the urates from the kidney and ureters collect, an impaction in this region due toa urate calculus will necessarily hold up the evacuation of fecal matter in the anterior part of thecloaca or corprodeum, and the bird will become constipated.The body temperature of a bird can be taken via the cloaca, but since there is such a greatinter-specific variation as well as a normal diurnal variation in individuals, this is not especiallyhelpful in clinical examination. The body temperature of most birds falls within the range40-42
    C (105-107
    1 person likes this.

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