Took my hen to the vet for sour crop....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jbs, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my chickens developed sour crop, she's puffed up and lethargic, not eating. When I picked her up this morning, some really foul smelling liquid squirted out of her mouth, so I was pretty sure about sour crop. I held her at an angle to drain it out, then I did it again an hour or so later. I read everything I could on sour crop and was overwhelmed with treatment options: drain the liquid out (or not), treat with monistat, cut the crop open and superglue it back together, etc. So I took my chicken to the vet, which is a first for me. I was surprised that my regular vet wouldn't treat a chicken, as I live in a pretty rural area, but he recommended a few other vets. I had to call around quite a bit to find an avian vet who would see us. I had a pretty bad experience at the vet's office - which isn't really relevant, but in the over an hour I was there, the vet spent maybe 30 seconds talking to me and I didn't get any answers to my questions. My chicken is in rough shape and I'll be surprised if she's alive in the morning. Now I'm wondering if I should have tried treating my hen with Monistat at home.

    Anyway, what the vet did was drain out the liquid in my hen's crop with a tube. He said there was also food in the crop, but he couldn't get that out. I asked if the crop could be impacted, if the hen had eaten straw or something, and the vet said "probably not". I asked how he could tell for sure and he said that he doesn't normally see impacted crops. He gave my chicken something that's supposed to increase mobility in the GI tract, as well as an antibiotic and antifungal. What he wanted to do was hospitalize my hen and treat her overnight, which I thought was absurd, so I brought her home.

    The vet disappeared and when I asked the vet tech my questions, she had no idea how to answer me. So maybe someone here can help. Is there any way to know if a chicken has an impacted crop other than to cut open the crop? And if my hen improves, should I feed her anything special or just her regular feed? I tried scrambled eggs today but she's not interested in any food at all. And how long do people wait before they eat eggs from a chicken fed antibiotics and anti-fungal medications? The vet instructions are to not eat meat or eggs from this chicken ever again.

    My chicken is very thin, the vet said the sour crop has been going on for a while now. What he wanted to do was tube feed my chicken. I didn't get the chance to talk to him about me tube feeding at home, but I guess I'll research that on BYC. I did manage to ask the vet if I should massage the crop and try to loosen things up and he said not to bother.

    If my hen actually recovers I may feel differently, but I think my trip to the vet may have been a complete waste of time.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Sorry that you had a bad day at the vet's. Sour crop is not something I have treated, but it seems to be common along with other diseases, and difficult to treat. "Vomiting" a chicken is pretty dangerous, since they can choke to death on crop contents. Most people recommend an antifungal Nystatin or Medistatin to treat it along with probiotics and soft foods--no grains. Here is my favorite link for crop problems and a link for tube feeding:
    http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/01/crop-issues.html

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...h-my-bird-pics-for-visuals-very-detailed-post
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  3. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have dealt with sour crop. The birds can start of with impacted, which can turn sour, although she sounds as if there is impaction as well going on. She doesn't sound good. I emptied my hens crop. Once or twice a day. I felt she needed to get the sour stuff out. Its a yeast infection. If you chose to do this, don't give any oils as it can cause pneumonia if she aspirates.

    Massaging her crop is important to do. When i gave my bird her meds, i would empty the crop first thing in the morning, give her anti-fungal and message her crop. Make her wait about 20-30 minutes before feeding her. I tried to only vomit her in the morning if i could avoid the second vomit each day. At one time, i vomited it her and a gel like substance came out like a big globe. I believe it was preventing her from getting her food. I feel it was from hay and seeds that broke down that had impacted her.

    Diet:
    Keep it simple. I feed her layer crumble that I soaked in hot water, made is mushy, easy to digest. I did give her boiled egg yolk. It dissolves easy. I tried yogurt and it gave her sever diahrea. Decided not doing that again, gave her probiotic in capsules in food and water. I also put a clove of garlic in her water for about 24 hrs and feed her garlic. I feel that helped. Don't let her eat anything else, like being outside pecking around.

    Keep her inside and warm. What kind of anti-fungal did he prescribe? Casp on here has good info on tube feeding. I will look up her info and post a link. Her name is Kathy.

    It took about a month for my hen to get over this, its tiring and gets frustrating at time. I probably missed some stuff to tell you, its a start, and i will give you more info. Ask away if you have any questions.

    Edited:
    If her crop is impacted, you may feel hard stuff in there, hard mass.
    Eating the eggs after 14 days of any med treatment
    Has she been dewormed?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  4. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great link about tube feeding.
     
  6. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info, but my hen died a few hours after I brought her home last night. I wish that I trusted the vet more when he told me that he didn't think that my hen's crop was impacted. He said it "probably" wasn't that because he doesn't normally see impacted crop with sour crop, but it seems like a lot of people on BYC cut open their chickens' crops to find it full of grass or straw. I think my avian vet sees more pet birds than chickens and it's probably not very common for a parrot to get grass stuck in it's crop. I even asked him about crop surgery and he looked at me like I was nuts.

    I'm contemplating cutting my chicken's crop open so I can see what's inside it, but I'm not sure that I'm tough enough for that. I have straw in my chicken run and think I'm going to rake it out as a precaution and replace it with something else.

    I wish I could use that info on tube feeding. Oh well, at least I've got $50 worth of medications in my fridge that I'll never use. I'm going to buy some of the crop bound pills from Valley Vet that I read about in a few of the BYC posts, so I at least have something on hand in case I encounter this problem again.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Very sorry for your loss... If I were you I would do the necropsy and see if anything was impacted, but I'd also check her abdominal cavity for abnormalites like fluid, masses, internal laying, etc.

    Regarding the crop bound pills, I'm not positive, but I think they have the same active ingredient as Colace, docusate.

    -Kathy
     
  8. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am very sorry for loss. Hugs.
     
  9. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Kathy and pwand. I should have cut my bird open so I could try to learn from this, but I decided to just bury her yesterday. I need to toughen up a bit. Maybe next time. Thanks again.
     

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