UPDATE - Black Around Face & Shrunken Purple Comb... Mild Ascites

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hen-thusiast, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Our 30 week old golden campine has developed three symptoms in the last week. First, her face turned blacker around her eyes and beak, then she stopped laying and now her comb has shrunk in half and turned dark purple at the base.

    She doesn't appear to have lost weight, still has appetite and normal poos. No behavioral change. Eyes bright and clear. No facial swelling, nasal discharge, sneezing or wheezing. Wattles still red and vibrant.

    Fed Layena with free choice grit and oyster shell. Started to introduce a bit of scratch. Free range occasionally. Pine shavings for bedding and a last week added light coating of a grass/alfalfa hay mix in outdoor run. Had a cold snap two weeks ago, but hasn't been below freezing since then. Temp varies between low 40's and upper 60's.

    There was a slight amount of blood yesterday on her comb. It appears the pecking order is being rearranged starting yesterday, but her symptoms started before that. The others have a complete and utter hatred of this bird. Those that sit above her look for any excuse to beat her up and for good reasoning, she's is the meanest bird we have. She would never show them ANY weakness and if they showed weakness she would try to kill them.

    Isolated her today, mostly for observation. Any ideas? I'm thinking I'm just going to have to wait and see. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
  2. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    So after some very, very helpful information from dlhunicorn (Diana), I think I have a diagnosis.... mild ascites. I thought I would post some information, in the hopes that someone finds this useful.

    She doesn't have the swelling in the belly (yet) that you would normally see. But, does have many other symptoms. The pigment around her eyes, nostrils and beak has turned black and her comb is shrunken and turned purple/blue. A bluish discolouration of the skin, comb and wattles are all common.

    We named her Wheezy due to the fact that she was extremely sensitive to dust in the brooder. She is our smallest chicken and smaller than the average campine (probably due to mild ascites in the brooder stunting her growth). We live at an elevation greater than 3000 feet, where it becomes more common. We had very cold temperatures a couple of weeks ago, followed by extreme temp swings, which most likely brought this on. Combine this with the fact that Wheezy is a complete SPAZ and doesn't know how to sit still and relax and we have a mildly ascitic chicken. Simply put, her heart beats too fast and she's having difficulty getting blood flow where it needs to go and the cold weather has aggravated it.

    It sounds like there is no treatment, only management. During periods of high stress, excessive heat, extreme temp swings or bad air quality she will have to live inside. Most likely Wheezy will one day just drop dead of no apparent cause because she's had a little chicken heart attack.

    I guess she was genetically predisposed to this disease, just like we all are to certain diseases. Who knows, she may live to be a old chicken or drop dead tomorrow. [​IMG]

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