Swollen (Firm) abdomen - labored breathing

Julie in Maine

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2019
17
10
37
Maine
Hi There,
I don't know if I am "trying" to treat water belly/ascites, egg yolk peritonitis or egg binding. I am in southern Maine. My girl a good size brahma, was roosted in corner during the day when others were free ranging, last Thursday. I brought her in and noticed her abdomen was swollen. I gave her a quiet place water and scrambled egg with the shell. I epsom salt bathed 3 times thought i felt an egg and massaged with oil (coconut). No egg passed after 3 days, in that time i tried to aspirate fluid but could not find a pocket (only got a little blood). Her color is good, she is about 3 years old so not laying every day. She’s not pooping either. View attachment 1921659 She is eating but not drinking too much.
Any advice would be appreciated. I am not sure if I was trying to draw from the right place either. lower right of vent was where i was looking for a pocket of fluid and did not want to go too far in due to organs. Thanks _Julie
 
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Eggcessive

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Welcome. I have had several large marans who had swollen abdomens for a couple of years. They were soft and squishy. A couple ended up having yellow cooked egg color droppings, and I assumed they had egg yolk peritonitis or at least internal laying. I have also done necropsies on several hens who had the amber colored fluid that is seen with ascites when the abdomen was opened. If the abdomen is tight like a drum, it is most likely ascites. There is another condition where the abdomen may have a fluid sac called persistent right oviduct. The right oviduct usually shrivels up, but if it does not, them there can be an accumulation of clear colorless fluid that can be drawn out with a needle or seen during a necropsy. Withdrawing fluid from the abdomen is an invasive procedure and is not without risk, so a vet could do that more safely. The picture below of @casportpony ’s hen shows the tight enlarged belly of ascites with a draining needle in place (note the vent opening at the right) :
upload_2019-9-30_10-57-33.jpeg
 

Julie in Maine

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2019
17
10
37
Maine
Thank you. I am leaning toward ascites as well. I had a Brahma i successfully drained and sent back to flock a year ago. This may very well be her. She is perky but laboring breath wise and not being able to find a pocket to drain (no do I want to stress her further) i put a call into the vet to see if they will see her.
 

Julie in Maine

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2019
17
10
37
Maine
Welcome! I'm sorry that your hen is ill, and if she is egg bound, your home treatment didn't fix it.
Can you take her to an avian veterinarian? There's no good reason for a swollen abdomen, sadly, but if you are looking for a diagnosis, and maybe some help, that's where to go.
From afar, it doesn't sound good.
Mary
Thank you, I agree.
 

Julie in Maine

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2019
17
10
37
Maine
Update: we are still here (she is). Another soaking, a little poo. It’s definitely a hard mass. I called the vet. They don’t really see chickens and I can’t get to another. I gave her some antibiotics, sprayed her swollen vent area with colloidal silver. Massaged w coconut oil. And am vaporizing her with oxine. If there is any chance it’s fungal or bacterial I am pretty sure I am smashing it. Giving her scrambled eggs with turmeric and garlic to fight inflammation. She seems to be doing better. Up cooing and eating. I feel it’s cysts or tumors, but she appears comfortable for now, until she turns a corner for the worse. Thing is, her color is great! I will let her free range a bit today and see how she does. I will not let her suffer, just need to prepare myself.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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Hens with internal laying can have masses inside the abdomen. They are apparent during a necropsy after death, which is very helpful to do to let us understand what was going on. How is her appetite? Is she passing more droppings? Many who try to drain fluid from their hens have to use a 16 gauge needle. An 18 gauge would be the smallest gage I would use, although I don’t drain my own hens.
 

Julie in Maine

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2019
17
10
37
Maine
Hens with internal laying can have masses inside the abdomen. They are apparent during a necropsy after death, which is very helpful to do to let us understand what was going on. How is her appetite? Is she passing more droppings? Many who try to drain fluid from their hens have to use a 16 gauge needle. An 18 gauge would be the smallest gage I would use, although I don’t drain my own hens.
Hi Eggcessive, Her appetite is not too good, ate about a table spoon of yogurt this am didn’t touch the scrambled egg. I havent been able to find a pocket of fluid again and don’t want to keep poking her. I got about a half cup a few days ago and she is still firm as a softball (very little give). She’s still moving around but lays with her tail up like she is trying to pass something. She’s very uncomfortable but still so strong. I really need to end her misery, but hard to do because she is still fighting. Thx
 

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