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UPDATE 6/29: RIP Olivia. :-(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pawsplus, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted a bit about this towards the end of this thread (p. 2): https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=22773

    Basically
    , my hen Olivia (now age 6) has had 2 bouts of egg yolk peritonitis. The first was 2.5 years. She was treated w/ abios (amoxi) and Metacam, and I had to force feed her for 2 weeks, but she turned around and since then has done very well. I thought she was still producing eggs, but since she's been out of the coop the same number of smaller, light colored eggs have appeared, so I'm now assuming that Clarice has been making all those. So it may have been a while since Olivia has laid normally, as it turns out.

    We're now going through the whole thing again. This time she had an abdomen full of fluid and it was VERY nasty--tons of bacteria in the aspirate. She also has a very odd black "patch" (that's what it looks like--I'll try to get a pic) just below and to the side of her vent. It looks like someone put thick, matte black paint on her. Vet says he assumes it's necrotic material but was afraid to try to get it off when we first went in (almost 2 weeks ago), b/c of what might be under there and the fact that her condition at that time was poor. The ultimate goal is to spay her, since it is certain that this will continue to happen otherwise.

    So we are back on abios and Metacam, and Olivia is living in a crate in the house. The good news is that she is eating well, unlike last time (I guess I caught it sooner b/c I knew what to look for), so I'm hopeful. She's to be on the abios for a month this time b/c of the sheer number of bacteria seen on the gram stain. My plan is to put her out w/ the other 2 girls this weekend, but can only do that IF she will let me catch her once a day for meds! That may not be an easy task. We'll see! In the meantime, Olivia is happy to be getting "chicken oatmeal" every single day. That's what I usually just make for them on cold winter days--layer pellets + rolled oat + egg (shell included) + water. Mix well and nuke--cool and serve. They LOVE it!

    I spoke w/ the vet the other day and we have scheduled surgery for Olivia on June 28. The vet will first address the necrotic area. If he can just debride that and move on to the spay, he will do that. If the necrotic area turns out to be Something Bad he will call me and we will discuss things. Hoping that he can just remove the stuff and get right to the spay (which he thinks he can do via the same incision). Vet is, BTW, an experienced avian vet who works with very fancy parrots and occasionally also with endangered species. He has spayed a number of parrots and a few chickens.

    Anyway, I thought I would start this thread so I can post updates. I'll certainly let everyone know how the surgery goes!

    Olivia (R) with Clarice:

    [​IMG]

    Olivia in her prison in my guest bedroom:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  2. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If anyone has any experience w/ egg yolk peritonitis OR spaying chickens, please feel free to post any ideas or suggestions, as well. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    I definitely be watching to see how she does. Spayed hens can live a long life-may start crowing though.
     
  4. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Probably unlikely. I already have a crower--Clarice, who is TOP CHICKEN in every way. Olivia is very low down on the totem pole and it's hard to imagine her crowing! LOL!
     
  5. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wishing you good luck. I had no idea you could spay chickens! Also wanted to say that your caption "Olivia in her prison" gave me a chuckle! [​IMG]
     
  6. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, well, she's none too happy, believe me!! The first few days of pills and liquid meds weren't too hard, but she's feeling GREAT now and I have to wrap her up in a towel (chicken burrito, we call it) to get them down her. I'm sure she's bored out of her tiny chicken mind, too.
     
  7. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] Chicken burrito! I can definitely imagine it being a difficult task to medicate!
     
  8. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    So, for curiosity's sake, how much is it going to cost you to have her spayed?
     
  9. cochin gal

    cochin gal Out Of The Brooder

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    I just lost my little cochin hen at only 5yrs old. Actually she was my pet and lived in the house. I loved her dearly. But we went through, i lost count how many episodes of peritonitis for yolks.
    I used the same treatment as Olivias mom. But last month she started loosing weight and stopped processing food. Im pretty sure it was some kind of Cancer.
    The vet had mentioned doing a spay but he had no experience doing it. I hoped she had overcome it, but lost her anyway.
    I hope Olivia does OK. Putting a bird under for surgery is very risky. I will say a little prayer for her.
     
  10. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure how much it will cost. Xrays, aspirate, gram stain, etc. when she initially went in was $175. It's all comparable to a dog or a cat, and just part of committing to an animal, IMO.

    Anesthetizing birds isn't esp. risky IF the vet knows what he/she is doing. Again, my vet is an exotics and avian specialist and pretty much THE vet for the $5K parrot owners around here, so he has tons of experience. He only use isoflurane and similar inhalant anesthesiae (very safe) and monitors carefully. I'm not too worried about that--more worried about that necrotic area and what he may find when he goes in there. But she's acting 100% normal now, so that's a great sign. There is no doubt that if she's NOT spayed this will keep happening and it will eventually kill her. So it needs to be done if it can be done. [​IMG]
     

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