Swollen hen...help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sonflower, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Sonflower

    Sonflower New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Feb 17, 2011
    My favorite hen has lost all her feathers on her bum (the whole backside, actually), and it is swollen and red...I thought she might be egg bound, and have felt inside her vent, and palpated the whole area...it seems fluid filled, but although her vent seems normal, with no obstructions, something is going on. She is carrying her tail down, and seems uncomfortable...there are no parasites...I gave her a warm bath and tried to soothe her, and tried to manipulate the area gently to see if anything was there that needed to come out...I am at a loss, and don't know what else to do for her...please help!!! Thanks.
     
  2. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,664
    10
    131
    Jun 27, 2010
    Did you feel around good? I just found a soft shell in one of mine today. So the next thing is internal laying or ascites. You could try some antibiotic like baytril or penicillin or something like that. See if she improves any. I have a peritonitis hen I have drained a few times with a large needle and syringe you can get down at the farm supply (I don't know if it's 14 or 18 gauge, I always ask, but it's a pretty good size needle as far as needles go). I wrap her in a towel, clean the area with alcohol and also the needle. I insert the needle on the right side up near where the leg attaches but where the abdomen is big. I don't insert straight in obviously because I don't want to hit an organ. I'll feel the needle penetrate the skin and then the abdominal wall. (I go in almost parallel to the skin but knowing I must penetrate both skin and abdominal wall). If I can I'll draw out some fluid, gently, slowly, I don't force it. If I fill the syringe, I pull it off, leaving the needle in place (and don't let it move around in there, I hold the hen firmly if I need to), drain the syringe in something, then put it back on the needle and continue. Fortunately, at that angle, the needle doesn't tend to move around. I may tip the hen a little to the right at the end to get out all I can. I will keep her on antibiotic for several days. Make sure your hen is eating because they have the tendency to emaciate (feel her breast bone). One other note, when a hen has peritonitis, you really can't get a good feel around in there. Normally I can find the egg channel but if it's swelled up, you can't even get a finger up in there. So I'm not sure it's worth another vent checking session. If it were me, I'd probably go straight for draining. I think I'd rethink treating for internal and external parasites as well.

    So here's what I'd do in a nutshell, antibiotics for a couple days, feed extra goodies, meanwhile retreat for bugs and worms, then after a 2-3 days of no improvement, do the draining. In the meantime, you can pick up needles and syringe. If she just continues to take a turn for the worse in the next day or two, move ahead with the draining.

    That's just my opinion. [​IMG]
     
  3. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,664
    10
    131
    Jun 27, 2010
    I suppose there's always the possibility of a kidney infection. Like the peritonitis, antibiotics should help. If she has a messy bottom, maybe it's (I don't know) vent gleet. Dawg53 posted a good link today on that with the symptoms. Somebody here who was a nurse I believe recommended some type of antifungal I believe. As for this you would want to do some checking on your own or get some more input. I tend to think peritonitis but who knows? What breed is it because I think some breeds are more succeptible to ascites.
     
  4. Sonflower

    Sonflower New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Feb 17, 2011
    Thanks, all. She is an Americauna cross, not sure exactly how old, they said she was a young hen.
    I looked at another post, and the photos of a Barred Rock with what looks like the same issue, except his hen has a tear in her underside. Dorothy doesn't. The day after I posted, I kept checking her. She is still swollen, but seems a bit brighter, and I stayed around long enough to watch her poop...her poop seems normal, and she eats well. I will look at the information on the ascites and get busy with the antibiotics and the other things...I have always thought that she is "the outcast"...that the other hens ostracise her, or that she keeps away from them...so I think they pick on her, she is "different", as the others are all Barred Rock, and she is the Roos favorite...I am going to get her separated completely, and do treatment...probably will get her checked by a vet, as I can't stand to watch her not doing well.
    I so appreciate your input, as I am a newbie, but I just love my hens.
    thanks!!
    Sonflower
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by