Thinking of doing surgery for an impacted crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by UxbridgeChickens, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. UxbridgeChickens

    UxbridgeChickens New Egg

    Dec 11, 2010
    Need a little encouragement, my chicken has had an impacted crop for 3-4 days now (maybe longer). I have made her vomit about 4 times over the course of two days (once AM and PM for two days) the crop is still not depleted despite just being on fluids for 24 hours. I have offered her yogurt and water but she does not want any of it. I can feel some mass in the crop now, feels like hay or bailing twine so I am thinking that surgery is my last option. What have people's experiences been like with doing this themselves- any helpful hints? Have people done this with success?? No success? I have a vet tech friend who is going to help me- she has assisted in some large animal surgeries. Feedback is appreciated...thanks : )

    I got the following instructions from another board:

    Alternatively, if she is strong enough and you think she can handle
    the surgery, you can perform "surgery" yourself on her, as long as you
    can get the proper instruments. I've done it and it's not that
    difficult (scary, but not difficult!) Here's how to do that:

    You'll need a sterile scalpel, soap, water, gauze or cotton balls,
    tweezers, crazyglue (superglue) that IS skin bonding OR a sterile
    needle and suture material, an empty cup to put goo in, a person to
    hold the bird, a towel, rubbing alcohol or betadine. Find an area on
    the crop that is relatively free of blood vessels- you'll be able to
    see them in the skin. The incision should be made about halfway down
    the crop- far enough down that you can reach the impaction but not at
    the very base of the crop. Cut or pluck some feathers from that area,
    wash the area thoroughly 3 times, rinsing in between. Dab the area
    with rubbing alcohol. Make sure bird is wrapped quietly in a towel and
    is held firmly by your helper. Generally the bird is very well behaved
    during this procedure... find the area that is more or less devoid of
    blood vessels, then, using your sterile scalpel, make an incision that
    is about 1 inch long. Use enough pressure on the scalpel to cut
    through the skin and thin muscle layer below. Once in the crop,
    quickly remove all the crud. When you are done and satisfied that the
    impaction is gone, give the bird about 10 cc of water in the crop to
    flush through any crud and give the bird a bit of water. If you have
    some, rinse the incision with saline solution. Now, without gluing
    yourself to your chicken, put a thin line of superglue on the incision
    and glue the edges of the muscle and skin together. Put the bird in an
    area where he won't be bothered, keep him quiet and warm and do NOT
    give the bird water or food. If you are worried about dehydration, you
    can give him subcutaneous fluids under his skin (on his back and where
    his wings meet his body). Inject STERILE saline, about 5 cc per side
    of the chicken, just under the skin until you form a little blister of
    fluid, The fluid will dissapate quickly. Repeat the subcutaneous
    fluids every 4-6 hours for the first 24 hours. The chicken should have
    nothing to eat or drink for 24 hours, then you can start to offer them
    fluids and pureed babyfood (squash, carrots, apples, pears etc). Check
    to make sure there is no weeping around the wound. You may choose to
    put him on antibiotics, such as baytril (10-15 mg/kg) if you suspect
    an infection (talk to your vet).

    Try the saline/fluid therapy first and put her on some probiotics or
    nystatin in the meantime. Usually the fluid and massage will break up
    the mass enough to get the crop working again... Definitely do not let
    her out to have access to grass again and keep her on a soft diet. If
    need be (and she's getting dehyrated) you can give her subcutaneous
    fluids by injecting STERILE saline or lactated ringers under her skin
    to form a "blister". Do this using a 25 gauge needle, in the area
    where the wing meets her body. If she is a standard sized hen (not a
    bantam) you can usually get about 10 cc per side. Depending on how
    dehydrated she is, you can generally repeat the procedure 4-5 times
    per day.
  2. Jane Jill Jack

    Jane Jill Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    I've heard several people treating a sick chicken with a bad crop with success numerous times. Good luck. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  3. Jane Jill Jack

    Jane Jill Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    Tell us if the chicken gets better.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  4. UxbridgeChickens

    UxbridgeChickens New Egg

    Dec 11, 2010
    Thanks- I will not be doing the "cutting" my vet tech friend will be : ) Also, not sure when you decide surgery is the only option....She's had this for a few days now and crop is still not down despite oil, vomiting the hen, and yogurt. I have been giving her water with an eye dropper three times per day to keep her hydrated.
  5. Jane Jill Jack

    Jane Jill Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    A year ago I had a red star hen that got an impacted crop. I didn't know what to do, so I just let her be to see what would come with time. I should've looked harder for answers because within a week she died. You should start as quickly as possible.
  6. earthfriendlyfarm

    earthfriendlyfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2009
    We had a hen who was eating straw and had a impacted crop. Took her to the Vet and they wanted $300 to do the surgery you are talking about. At that time the hens was running around the floor pooping and looking for food. So we took her home to discuss the whole money and weigh options. But she died that night. Sadly, I decided not to have to let this happen again, and did an autopsy as if she were alive. I had read all about doing the crop impaction surgery. So found a tennis balll size of straw and that was all. Had I been brave enough to do the surgery, I feel she would still be with us. Mind you now.....I have a sterile suregery kit and will never again hesitate to use it. Good luck in advance, cuz I know you will save her.

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