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Update - he's dying. Help? Has anyone tube-fed? My update at end of pg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mountaintopchicken, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 3 year old bantam araucana rooster had a bout of crop-binding at the end of the summer, which I fixed over a few days with olive oil/bread and crop massage.

    He then seemed fine, although his molt was taking a long time.

    Last weekend I noticed he was not well, hunched, ruffled, closing eyes. When I picked him up I was shocked to find that he was just feathers and bones, with a puffed crop.

    I put him inside in a small dog crate. I've been giving yogurt with probiotics and some papaya enzyme (I read about this on some parrot sites - it's got enzymes that help digestion and might help with crop issues). I've also been carefully massaging the gas out at least three times a day. I've been massaging his crop so often that this morning I noticed I massaged some the feathers off of a section of his crop area. This time it's not bound up - just gassy and not moving things through quickly. But, for the last few mornings, his crop was totally empty and had no gas. The gas just built up during the day. This morning, however, his crop was gassy.

    I found a website from, Mississippi state that suggests using acidified copper sulfate for sour crop, and I do have some of that, so I am changing tactics and starting him on that today.

    There is only one vet around here who will see chickens and he is out of town and not available till next week. I didn't want to try a vet earlier this week because the bird was so thin and unwell I thought the stress of moving him would kill him. Now he is cheerful and alert, but not getting any less gassy. And so thin I don't know how he is still alive [​IMG].

    I think it's time to make a crop bra, but I don't know how to make one. Any other suggestions to help this bird? Sorry this was so long.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  2. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone? I should add that this is the favorite of all of our chickens. Even people who visit who don't like chickens at all remember his name and remember him the next time they visit. There's only one like him.
     
  3. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    O.K., even though I'm talking entirely to myself here, I'm going to update this.

    Last night I thought he was a gonner, because his crop no longer seemed to be emptying, and when I touched it, he vomited (stuff came out - chickens can't actively puke like we can). However, he had drunk a lot of the copper sulfate water. I decided to turn off the lights, keep him quiet, and let him be.

    This morning, his crop was empty except a little gas. He has been on pellets soaked in copper sulfate water plus the copper sulfate water. His crop has had very little gas in it and has felt nearly empty all day.

    He stopped eating the soaked pellets as enthusiastically, so I wondered if he was just plain sick of mush. I took a risk and gave him some pellets, which he ate. I'll have to see how those are being handled later this evening.

    I called four vets trying to find someone who would see a chicken. No go. I posted here, and I guess it was black Friday, maybe not as many people were online, maybe no one knew the answer, I don't know, but no response. I even tried changing the subject line a couple of times. It can be so hard to figure out exactly what to do for an ailing chicken!
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm sorry, I just now saw this. You should take away his pellets for a couple days and feed him plain active culture yogurt and scrambled eggs, soft things for example. Also, give him the oil soaked bread. Then let's see how he does. So far, sounds like you've done pretty well on your own.
     
  5. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much speckledhen! Yes, the hard pellets gassed him back up again. I just massaged as much of the gas back out as a could.

    The pellets soaked in acidified copper sulfate water hadn't gassed him up, only the hard pellets. I had stopped the yogurt/active cultures because I thought they would conflict with the copper sulfate treatment. I was going to start them up again after I saw if the copper sulfate worked.

    My theory is yeast infection in the crop. In my minds eye I keep seeing my jar of sourdough starter - add flour and water to the yeast culture and watch the whole thing expand with air bubbles. I think the same thing is happening in his crop.

    I thought my probiotics and yogurt would have gotten a grip on it by now, but I guess not. That's why I switched to acidified copper sulfate. I don't have access to nystatin or anything like that right now, cause no vet will see me. Up in the air as to whether or not I should order it from a poultry catalog - by the time it gets here, will it be any use?

    No solid pellets tommorow - I'm going to go with mushed well-cooked egg etc.
     
  6. Bandana

    Bandana Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've heard several folks say they have good luck with unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The pricey stuff from the health food store with the "mother" in it. Good luck with your feathered family member.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I knew I forgot something. Yes, you can put unfiltered ACV (with mother of vinegar) in his water, 1-2 TBSP to a gallon of water, but dont put anything else in the water at the same time.
     
  8. princess araucana

    princess araucana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have the probiotics which come in capsules you can open and sprinkle on his food? Your hands must be totally dry to open those, but that would be a higher dose of probiotics and you might get a more broad spectrum of good bacteria.
    I also wonder if some fine chopped fresh garlic would be ok? I'm not sure if its ok for chickens, but that is another natural remedy for controlling yeast overgrowth.

    Did you ever find anything on a crop bra/ sling? I have a roo who's crop is too stretched out (did surgery, but it won't shrink) thought some compression would help him too.

    Good luck, sounds like a lovely rooster!
     
  9. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought we were keeping him alive well enough, if not entirely defeating the problem, but I was wrong.

    This afternoon I found my bird hunched, with ruffled feathers, dull eyes, drooped wings, and he can hardly stand up or keep his balance.

    I know the logical thing to do would be to cull him, and I've culled other birds when I needed to (my husband did the deed), and we also raise meat birds, so we are able to do it, but I'm having such a hard time with the idea of culling this particular bird. He has all or the personality of any other pet, and he's a favorite. Actually, he's the absolute favorite. No other birds on the farm compare to him, even though he's just a little bantam araucana with a partial tail that you wouldn't want to breed from.

    I got some advice from First State Vet to try tube feeding him to keep him alive until the nystatin that I ordered from him arrives. The guy at First State thought it might be possible that he wasn't eating as much as I thought he was. But after I handled the bird after I got off the phone, I wasn't sure if it's the right thing to do. He is so weak that I'm really not sure if even tube feeding will bring him around.

    I am not sure how to tube feed, and I know that if you do it wrong it will go down the trachea. I really don't want to make this birds last hours an absolute nightmare if tubefeeding doesn't work.

    No vets will see him. I called around again. This makes me so mad. People think treating a chicken at a vet is ridiculous - why won't a vet even try to help an animal someone cares about?

    So, experienced chicken keepers out there, what would you do? Cull him , or try to tube feed him on the chance that will keep him alive until the nystatin gets here, hoping the nystatin will help?
     
  10. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Uh, help? Anyone? I think the choice might be tube feed or death, although he might die anyway.
     

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