The right treatment for sour crop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SeaChickens, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chirping

    97
    9
    96
    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    My 3-year old hen, Dottie, has a big squishy crop. On Tuesday I started her on miconazole 3-day yeast treatment (cut the suppository in thirds and gave her a third 2 x a day) after seeing it recommended on BYC. That first day when I gave it to her I could see the liquid in her throat, there was so much of it. The next morning it seemed slightly better, couldn't see any liquid but her crop was still very big and squishy. She didn't seem to be eating a ton but ate some and passed some poops (looked fairly normal but small, one liquidy one that I saw under her roost). I also tried to massage her crop a little but she really doesn't like to be held so it was tough.

    Her other symptom is a head twitch, she twitches it side to side every now and then. I have not vomited her because I didn't want to aspirate her and cause more harm. I was able to get her to an avian vet on Thursday, which was the soonest they could get me in. The vet, whose expertise is in parrots and other pet birds, was instantly sure that she had sour crop but she said it was bacterial. I asked how she knew it wasn't yeast and she got a bit snippy, saying she had 24 years of experience and it's almost always bacterial. I'm kicking myself for not questioning more, because I came home and looked at tons of articles online and it seems like they all say it's usually yeast.

    The vet drained what she could out of the hen's crop with a tube and washed it out with chlorhexidine and then she gave me injectable antibiotics (Ceftiofur) to administer 2 x a day. She also said to put 8 tablespoons (!) of ACV in 1 gallon of water. That seemed like a crazy amount to me so I've done 3 tablespoons instead. I am also really worried there could be a yeast problem so I gave the miconazole again this morning though she missed a dose last night. I also ordered some bird probiotics to give her, they just arrived though so will have to start tomorrow on those.

    So... long-time chicken people - is this treatment going to help? I'm worried the antibiotics will make yeast go crazy if that is part of the problem. The vet didn't want to do a test on the fluid and seemed quite affronted that I questioned her diagnosis. I fear she may be going by what the problem is usually cause by in parrots rather than in chickens, though I know they do treat a lot of chickens at the clinic, it's just not what she got her education in if that makes sense.
     
  2. Relleoms

    Relleoms Songster

    518
    773
    191
    Jan 22, 2018
    Iowa
    I’m so sorry you had a bad experience with your vet. Only you can decide if you can look past her snippy attitude to see her again, but for whatever it’s worth, I recently brought my girl in for sour crop and my vet also prescribed an antibiotic (doxycycline) as well as an anti-fungal (fluconazole). It seemed odd to me to do both, but I did and it worked. Unfortunately, our girl passed a few weeks later from pendulous crop, so I can’t tell you if her sour crop relapsed or not :(
    I also probably shouldn’t post this (don’t tell!), but I called my doctor & asked her to prescribe me liquid fluconazole for “my” yeast infection...it was much easier to administer to my girl than the suppositories.
    I really hope your girl makes a speedy & complete recovery! Best wishes.
     
    jonalisa and SeaChickens like this.
  3. Relleoms

    Relleoms Songster

    518
    773
    191
    Jan 22, 2018
    Iowa
    One more thing-do you know what caused the sour crop to begin with? Has the root cause been properly dealt with (impaction, worms, etc.)? Other things my vet has suggested in the past were 1 tbsp ACV/gal water (8...yuck!), treating for worms and a crop bra. The crop bra definitely kept things moving once we removed the original impaction. Unfortunately, I didn’t put it on her during the coldest part of winter because I didn’t want to interfere with her ability to warm herself and it became stretched out beyond repair. But if you think it may be an ongoing issue, I’d definitely recommend making or purchasing one.
     
    SeaChickens likes this.
  4. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chirping

    97
    9
    96
    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for your replies @Relleoms ! I'm sorry to hear your hen didn't make it. I'm worried about pendulous crop too, hoping we won't have to deal with that next. Good advice on the crop bra though, will look into that. Thinking about calling the vet tomorrow to ask about an anti-fungal to see if they'd give me one. Unfortunately my gyno won't do it without an exam, good idea though! I've also seem mention that you can buy fluconazole for use in fish that would work for hens too, if I could figure out the dosage.

    I'm not sure exactly what caused the sour crop. We gave Dottie some stale bread a couple days before I noticed her crop swelling and that might have contributed, it was pretty chewy so might have slowed things down enough to cause a back up. She also free ranges in a fenced yard with lots of grass. The vet said she couldn't feel any hard lumps in her crop and I couldn't really either, just a big squishy, liquidy mass. I suppose it is possible there could be something that we can't feel because of all the liquid. If I do take her back to the vet I will probably have them run a fecal to check for worms, it has been a little while since I've done that but they've always been negative.

    Anybody else have any tips for sour crop treatments? I still have her in the coop with her buddy. Since we only have a flock of 2 right now I didn't have the heart to separate them. When I took Dottie to the vet my other chicken caused such a ruckus, she was very upset to be left alone!
     
  5. Relleoms

    Relleoms Songster

    518
    773
    191
    Jan 22, 2018
    Iowa
    Last one, sorry, my brain is fried! You can also try feeding either fermented feed or wetting their pellets/crumbles. It’s a bit easier for them to digest.
    The reason she suggested treating for worms was because there wasn’t a blockage in the crop, but she suspected there may be one further down. It was a last ditch, let’s give it a shot effort that didn’t really hurt to try.
    Please keep us posted on Dottie’s progress!
     
  6. Ponyfeather

    Ponyfeather Songster

    303
    69
    136
    Feb 26, 2014
    California
    Good quality yogurt with probiotics in it is a good thing to feed, obviously fresh. You might want to give her some coconut oil for a few days to flush anything that could be hung up deeper in her system. This is what I gave my hen Dot(Ironic they have almost the same name) about a week ago to flush her sour/impacted crop. I recommend the coconut oil as it it a more solid oil until it warms up and less likely to be aspirated also if you get it all over your hands it doesn't smell horrible! You just smell like you used something coconut scented.

    If you do take Dottie to the vet, or another vet if you have the ability to pack them both up in the same crate just do it. This is what I do with my hens when someone has to go to the vet. Less stress involved for both hens. I would call around to find a vet that might know chickens better? Unless this lady is the only one available who does birds. Having a vet who is going to get snippy over the fact of you even asking a question on how she knows it is one over the other I don't see as a good thing. A vet should be willing to educate on what is wrong with your animal and explain why it is more likely to be one over the other.
     
    biophiliac and Relleoms like this.
  7. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chirping

    97
    9
    96
    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks again for the replies @Relleoms and @Ponyfeather - lots of good tips! Unfortunately this vet is the only one in the city that treats chickens. There is another about an hour or so away that might be better, wish I had just taken the trek now. The one I went to can sometimes be great, they fixed Dottie up after a hawk attack for instance. But I think they are not always the best for chickens when it is something chicken-specific.

    I'll post an update on Dottie tomorrow, hopefully she'll make some progress...
     
    Ponyfeather and Relleoms like this.
  8. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chirping

    97
    9
    96
    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Update on Dottie: She is doing great! I guess the vet was on to something. I did end up continuing the miconazole as well so that might have helped too. And she's taking probiotics and ACV in her water. But the fluid is gone and her crop seems fairly normal. She is not enjoying her 2 x daily antibiotic shots but other than that she seems to be eating and pooping okay. Her crop is now pretty comparable to my other hens. It was briefly doughy/moldable on Friday evening (I checked her late that night), which worried me but it seems to be gone now. Hoping it will stay that way! Thanks again to everyone who posted.
     
    Relleoms likes this.
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    I wish I had seen this earlier. :( I agree with your vet, and I say that because each time mine have had a huge crop full of fluid it has *not* been a yeast infection, it has been a bacterial infection.

    Glad she is better, and hang onto this vet. ;)
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  10. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chirping

    97
    9
    96
    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for your post @casportpony - I guess I need to learn to stop questioning authority so much! :duc Just glad she is doing better. My other hen has lost so many buddies I didn't want her to lose another. A single chicken is a sad thing.
     
    Relleoms likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: