Tips for diagnosing a swollen bottom?

Kawkawkaye

Songster
Nov 23, 2017
96
95
118
Kimberley, Western Australia
Hi all. I have a hen whose bottom has been getting larger within the last month, during which period she has stopped laying (normal for this time of year anyway).
Her abdomen feels firm, but not solid. It’s squish-able but not squishy. Symmetrical and no solid characteristics or landmarks. It doesn’t droop further down than her sternum, but mostly swells outwards, pushing at her pelvis so that her legs are slightly wide. It’s not an obscene amount of swelling but it’s enough for me to now confirm that something is not right internally (I was hoping she was just getting fat after coming off lay).
I’m leaning towards ascites - but I’m aware there are probably dozens of other reasons, so is there any way I can narrow things down? I’ve been reading about diseases that cause other organs themselves to swell up, but am not sure of the characteristics of that.

Any tips or tricks of the trade for these things?

Eg. I’ve been reading that yellow fluid extracted means liver damage, and clear fluid indicates another organ acting up.

I’ve drained a hen with liver damage myself before, after receiving confirmation from a vet (they xrayed). It’s quite hard for me to get to the vet so I thought I’d try my luck here first, see what the brains trust thinks :D

Depending on how she fares this week, I may go ahead with draining her myself - is this generally risk free? If it IS ascites then I am confident to drain it, but if it is something else, like a swollen organ, or salpingitis/some other infection, is there consequence to sticking a needle in there?

Hen is isa brown, 2 years old. She’s my healthiest looking girl - brilliant huge red comb, a fresh set of feathers, healthy weight (by keel bone, not weight). Location is tropics of Australia.
 

Kawkawkaye

Songster
Nov 23, 2017
96
95
118
Kimberley, Western Australia
Do you have pictures? Have you tried to treat her like an egg bound chicken? She might have 2-3 eggs stuck (it happened to my friend).
I’ve considered, but I’ve heard that egg binding can kill within days. This has definitely been a building issue for at least a month now, and her health is fine. I’d also expect to be able to feel them.
I’m not sure if pictures will show you anything, but I’ll try for some tomorrow morning :)
 

Show Sebright

Crowing
Apr 1, 2020
1,163
2,542
256
Orlando FL
I’ve considered, but I’ve heard that egg binding can kill within days. This has definitely been a building issue for at least a month now, and her health is fine. I’d also expect to be able to feel them.
I’m not sure if pictures will show you anything, but I’ll try for some tomorrow morning :)
Ok I have had some weird experiences with egg bounds so I was offing it. Maybe a fatty tumor since you say she is in good health
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,855
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1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
If she's not having any difficulties with walking, breathing, eating/drinking, then you may want to just monitor her.
Some hens can live quite a while without any intervention.
Fluid in the abdomen is a symptom called Ascites. This fluid can be from a number or combination of things from organ failure/dysfunction to reproductive issues (EYP, Salpingitis, Cancer, etc.)

Draining can help give some short term relief if she's struggling. Some folks also give an antibiotic to help with infection or inflammation.
Some give a detox to help remove fluid without draining.

Fluid colors can vary but a few have done necropsy after the fact and found that clear to yellow is usually internal laying/reproductive, deep orange is heart related and green is liver disease.
If you lose her, then having a necropsy by your vet/lab will give you some insight or you can do your own as many us of do. Sometimes we can figure it out, sometimes we come up with more questions.



 

Kawkawkaye

Songster
Nov 23, 2017
96
95
118
Kimberley, Western Australia
I chickened out draining her myself, and took her to the vet. The vet was able to drain about half of it before the chicken got restless and we decided to call it quits. The liquid was dark green, but not opaque.
No doubt we could get more liquid out, but already there’s got to be a lot less pressure on her organs, so I’ll see how she fares for a while and monitor to see if the liquid returns.
I am currently reading up on what this colour may indicate (it seems so far to be a symptom of countless issues that I’ll be further investigating), and if there’s anything I could do to help her further. Any other input would be greatly valued!
 

NicoLee1991

In the Brooder
Dec 28, 2019
25
10
36
So there's egg yolk peritonitis-i think it's the right one.. I've done so much looking up I mix them up sometimes. It's the one where the yolk misses the tube and ends up I'm the body cavity and getting infected. That would totally account for the green fluid.
 

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