Update--she's gone( tumor now bleeding on B.O. hen=self-mutilation)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DelcoChix, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wanted to update this in case anyone else ever encounters a similar situation..."Gabby," improved over the last 2 1/2 weeks, was eating and drinking fine. Kept her separated from the bullies but she was with our nicer girls for company...would notice her comb looking pale, then back to red again, and she was no longer interested in yummy earthworms, other than that she appeared to be doing fine. She ended up picking away at least half of the tumor--we'd clean her up, put powder on to stop the bleeding, spray her with blu-kote, but eventually she'd be back at it. Surprisingly the other birds didn't bother her. Anyways, yesterday morning she was in the coop with a RIR next to her, laying their eggs...the Rhodie did her job and left, I went to check on Gabby. she moved a bit, sort of flopped forward, and died as I was trying to "comfort" her/ settle her down. The tumor was reduced in size on her leg, but there was a lot of fresh blood on the perch and poopboard...and she bled from her beak/mouth. Am wondering if internal tumors would cause that...sorry to be so graphic, just makes one feel pretty helpless, and I guess at least knowledge might help a little. She was a good girl and we'll miss her.
    I was wondering if birds could still get Marek's if they had been vaccinated for it?
    Thanks for any input.
    Dawn




    With all the experienced chicken folks out there I'm hoping there's someone who may be able to share some ideas about what we can do for dear 'Gabby.' Gabby is a hatchery hen, just over a year old raised by my daughter and I from day one. She has one of those wonderful personalities that made her a favorite from early on, a special girl....she had a minor limp as a youngster but seemed to outgrow it by around the six month mark. Within the last 6-8 weeks I noticed missing feathers and a small tumor on her upper left thigh, maybe between a pea and a grape size, large enough to notice but not huge, if that makes sense. It didn't seem to bother her, she still came running when the back door opened, looking for treats. Today I came home , went out back and my buddy came running across the yard, then abruptly stopped and sort of looked at, then picked at her leg... blood was streaming down, her beak was red from her own blood and the tumor seems to have doubled in size. Immediately I picked her up to check it out, looks pretty nasty, almost the size of a pingpong ball, a hole in it draining the blood, feathers all matted and now she does have a sllight limp. I covered the area with blood stop powder and a little later my dd and I washed her off to better survey the damage (and hopefully prevent any of the other girls from picking), then sprayed blue-kote on it...let her go back in the yard and she seemed ok, but not quite 'right.' It's in a location where I can't even wrap up, feeling pretty helpless. A short time later went to check on her, found her on the perch as the sun set (usual behavior), BUT she was picking away at the tumor and had gotten the bleeding to start up again...now we're talking really gross...and we're feeling pretty awful....if she wasn't eating away at herself it would have been a lot easier to separate her from the others, but they hadn't done anything...can't keep her from herslef. We shut the coop up for the night and have a feeling that we have to make a quick decision about her fate.
    I believe that the tumor may have been there from the day she was hatched. For some reason I think it suddenly increased in size and started to either irritate her or hurt her, causing her to try to relieve the discomfort. On a dog we can put an E-collar, a horse can be tied, wrapped, blanketed, or even muzzled to prevent self-mutilation....what can one do for a chicken that's damaging herself?
    I am not in a position to take her to a vet, perform surgery, undergo chemo, but I am in a position to do what's best for my little buddy with what we have...
    Has anyone else been in our position? Any thoughts-suggestions-help-encouragement? We are just starting our second year with the chickens, really enjoying the ride, but this part of the journey is pretty painful....why couldn't this happen to one of the three that aren't our 'buddies?' Sorry to ramble, I think I know where this is heading, just hoping there's someone out there who may have some miracle cure...thanks for letting me vent and for any ideas you might have to share.
    Dawn
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  2. peaceful

    peaceful Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry for these troubles, it can be so hard when a chicken is sick. I had a rare breed hen with a tumour, probably from a small gene pool (another rooster from the same batch had a hunchback). She kept living with the tumour for quite a while, and finally she got so miserable/sick it was kinder to cull her.
    But yours is picking at itself, as if it's irritated. Could there be something in there (like maggot, worm, tick)? Doesn't sound like it though from you description.
    So sorry it had to happen with your lovely girl.
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    My only suggestion would be to keep using the blu-kote and put her in a dark hutch by herself for a couple days so she can't see to pick at it. Supposedly the blu-kote is supposed to prevent picking, but i haven't found that to be true. If you could find some type of pick stop ointment to add on the top of the blu-kote, that might help. That could be something serious like a cancerous tumor. But maybe it's like a boil that just needs the puss released? Maybe you could post a picture for the folks here with more experience with chicken illnesses/injuries.
     
  4. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for your thoughts ES Farms...the stop pick med is one I hadn't thought of, can't hurt and might help...
    I went out this morning first thing, kind of expecting to find her gone (trying to be prepared), but she was on the top perch and still picking away at herself. At this point I don't know how much it is bothering her and how much of the self picking has become habit. Was debating about a cut off sport sock pulled up and tied over, saturated with antibiotic, but don't think the location of the tumor makes it possible to cover...wonder if there's a way to make a chicken e-collar? She right away went to drink and seems to be walking OK, but the blue-kote isn't doing anything, she's just relentless, which leads me to believe that it is (or was) causing discomfort and she's determined to make it go away. I don't think it's a cyst or infected/boil (that also crossed my mind) due to the way it's been around for awhile and then suddenly increased in size, plus I have a bad habit of picking at things myself, if it had that zit-look to it, like when you see the whiteness of pus, a scab,etc., I myself would have been working on it [​IMG] I will see if I can get a pic up later today--it's pretty messy and I have to head to work, maybe my daughter can take a try since she's on her first day of summer break.
     
  5. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks peacefu,l for your kind thoughts. Interesting about your idea of the small gene pool/inbreeding causing a tumor. Wouldn't surprise me if that was the cause. I agree that my girl picking at herself leads one to believe that it's bothering her. Had a lovely little cat for almost 16 years, the last three or so she developed a tumor on her right,front knee, but didn't bother her at all. near the end it began to increase in size and eventually split open, draining blood and fluid (on our couch-yuk) and smelled horrible. I took her to the vet and her said that was not uncommon--as the tumor grew it began to cut off the blood supply, causing it to rot, for lack of a better word. Made the decision to put her to sleep as she was to the point where she was no longer comfortable, had begun to leave us already, staring off into space, stopped eating,etc. I wish it was cause by a warble/fly maggot, tick,etc. but since she was lame as a young chick, sort of outgrew it (or just compensated for the limp so we didn't notice it as much) until it was visible, big enough to push through the feathers...we'll see what today brings and say a prayer for our good bird...
     

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