Telling sour crop from canker - molasses vs. Nystatin?

jodievaughan

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Dec 29, 2016
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My hen Alice hasn't eaten for a few days now and has been acting lethargic, but is still drinking plenty thankfully. I checked her crop this morning, and it wasn't bursting full of water but it hadn't emptied. The symptoms all seemed to point towards early stage sour crop for me, something I've experienced with my hens before. My vet prescribed some Nystatin (actually in the form of dog ear drops, Canaural) which I gave to her this evening, but I just don't have high hopes that it will do much for her. When massaging her crop I think I could hear a little gas bubble in a certain place, but I am wondering whether this could be canker rather than sour crop. I've not had experience with canker before and I'm wondering how I can tell the difference. I've read about discolouration inside the beak but I can't see such a thing. I'm also wondering whether I should try a molasses flush with her, something I've never done before but there seem to be success stories with it here. I'd appreciate anyone's insight.
 

Wyorp Rock

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My hen Alice hasn't eaten for a few days now and has been acting lethargic, but is still drinking plenty thankfully. I checked her crop this morning, and it wasn't bursting full of water but it hadn't emptied. The symptoms all seemed to point towards early stage sour crop for me, something I've experienced with my hens before. My vet prescribed some Nystatin (actually in the form of dog ear drops, Canaural) which I gave to her this evening, but I just don't have high hopes that it will do much for her. When massaging her crop I think I could hear a little gas bubble in a certain place, but I am wondering whether this could be canker rather than sour crop. I've not had experience with canker before and I'm wondering how I can tell the difference. I've read about discolouration inside the beak but I can't see such a thing. I'm also wondering whether I should try a molasses flush with her, something I've never done before but there seem to be success stories with it here. I'd appreciate anyone's insight.
Do you see any yellow lesions inside her beak and is there a rotten odor?
See the link below for what Canker looks like in the beak.

A gassy crop sounds like Sour Crop. If you already had the vet check her out and prescribe Nystatin, then follow their directions for treatment. A molasses flush may be helpful if there's a blockage, but you may want to see if the crop starts to empty with the Nystatin if you've only just now started treatment.
Crop issues can take days to weeks to resolve.
For my birds, I follow the treatment(s) as described in this article https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/ and have had good results.

Do keep in mind that often crop issues are a symptom of something else going on. Did your vet perform a fecal float to check for worms and/or coccidiosis? Infection, reproductive disorders, worms and/or coccidiosis are a few common causes of birds developing crop symptoms.

https://bitchinchickens.com/2020/07/06/avian-trichomonosis-canker/
 

jodievaughan

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Dec 29, 2016
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Thank you @Alecia Davidshofer and @Wyorp Rock! I see no lesions in her mouth and there's no rotten smell either. The good news is that the Nystatin does seem to have helped her - to my surprise, this morning her crop had emptied and she even had a little bit of food! She's not back to normal yet but she's definitely improved. I'm going ahead with the molasses flush today and will continue with the Nystatin. The vet wouldn't actually see Alice because of avian influenza spreading here in England at the moment, but we went through her symptoms and agreed that sour crop is most likely it. She has been wormed recently so I wouldn't expect worms to be an issue, but I'll keep a close eye on her and give updates on her condition.
 

jodievaughan

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Dec 29, 2016
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I should add too, I've read some scientific publications about Candidiasis and stress can cause its onset - I speculated in another thread that this might've been caused by Storm Arwen, which was really extreme here a few days ago, might've sent her body into shock and made her ill, so perhaps that's what's caused it.
 

Kiki

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I should add too, I've read some scientific publications about Candidiasis and stress can cause its onset - I speculated in another thread that this might've been caused by Storm Arwen, which was really extreme here a few days ago, might've sent her body into shock and made her ill, so perhaps that's what's caused it.
I don't think a storm is the problem.

1. What exactly are you feeding your birds?
2. Have you ever had to treat anyone for coccidiosis in the past?
3. What exactly did you use to deworm your flock and did you deworm everyone at the same time?
 

Wyorp Rock

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I should add too, I've read some scientific publications about Candidiasis and stress can cause its onset - I speculated in another thread that this might've been caused by Storm Arwen, which was really extreme here a few days ago, might've sent her body into shock and made her ill, so perhaps that's what's caused it.
Sour Crop is a symptom. I doubt a storm would have cause it.
Usually there's an underlying condition that is causing the crop to slow enough to become sour.
What did you de-worm with? Any chance you can take some poop samples to your vet for a fecal float to see if worms are part of the problem?
 

jodievaughan

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Dec 29, 2016
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I don't think a storm is the problem.

1. What exactly are you feeding your birds?
2. Have you ever had to treat anyone for coccidiosis in the past?
3. What exactly did you use to deworm your flock and did you deworm everyone at the same time?
They're fed Allen & Page pellets, occasionally they get small amounts of corn, and they're free to find worms and such in the garden (usually, but at the moment they're kept in their pen because of bird flu). I've never experienced coccidiosis and I used Flubenvet to worm all of them simultaneously.
 

jodievaughan

Songster
Dec 29, 2016
59
54
111
Sour Crop is a symptom. I doubt a storm would have cause it.
Usually there's an underlying condition that is causing the crop to slow enough to become sour.
What did you de-worm with? Any chance you can take some poop samples to your vet for a fecal float to see if worms are part of the problem?
I used Flubenvet to worm them. I think sampling is a good idea, I've got a sampling kit handy so I'll send a sample off to the lab.
 

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