URGENT: Lethargy, swelling of lower abdomen, anorexia. Chicken died. Another is showing symptoms.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JenyaZ, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. JenyaZ

    JenyaZ Hatching

    Apr 24, 2017
    Good morning, everyone.

    Here is how things progressed for this girl.

    She was one of our bigger livelier laying hens. One day we noticed loss of interest in food. It lasted a very long time (few weeks I would say) before we actually started to worry and moved her "inside". I've checked her before that, her crop would usually be pretty full so I didn't worry too much.

    When I picked her up I noticed that she had almost no body mass left :( Her legs and breast muscles were just gone. She didn't wake up the next morning.

    I did a necropsy on her. Here is what I saw:
    - her feathers were pretty healthy
    - the skin around the crop and lower abdomen were discoloured (dark grey)
    - Her organs were dark in colour (rather than white/pink). Liver was OK, but intestines were grey.
    - Her crop was full with fresh grass and corn/oyster shells. Her gizzard was full with seeds/grass/stones, etc. So that looked OK.
    - When I opened her intestines - there were NO worms that I could see (and I looked very closely). However, her intestines were full of mud like substance (greenish colour when I spread it on a paper).

    Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I have another chicken right now that's exhibiting similar symptoms. And I would love to be able to do something for her.

    Thank you very much for your support

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Did you take any pictures of the necropsy that you could post? I am not an expert on doing necropsies, having just done a few on chickens who may have had blocked gizzards, and their intestines sounded like that. Did you see any egg-like substance in her abdomen that might be common with egg yolk peritonitis or internal laying? Casportpony, speckledhen, and others have a lot of knowledge about necropsies. Sorry for your loss.
  3. JenyaZ

    JenyaZ Hatching

    Apr 24, 2017
    Thank you, @Eggcessive .

    Unfortunately, I thought of pictures half way through the process and didn't have it in me to stop and get my camera. I'll make sure if I ever have to do it again, to take pictures.

    There was definitely no yolk or egg shell pieces. I was looking for that too (in case she was egg bound or had yolk peritonitis).
    I did see in another post this morning (funny how BYC had become my morning news... evening news.... lunch news... :) that she might have had blocked crop. Her crop was full with grass and some seed. But the grass was still green and fresh looking so I didn't think anything of it, and now cannot remember if grass was long-ish or not. Her gizzard also had stuff that looked pretty "fresh". It didn't even occur to me that there might be something off with it.

    If anyone had seen intestines full of mud-like substance and could confirm the above thought or offer another suggestion, that'd be greatly appreciated.

    I'm going to go take pictures of my girl who's struggling now. Her update:
    I gave her some Epsom salt water two nights ago. She also received some warm water bath and kind of perked up after this. She ate a little mullet and actually went to the bathroom a little the next morning. Her belly is still very swollen, but she's not getting more "lethargic" which I hope is a good sign. Any suggestions on swollen belly? She too is very skinny, but her crop is close to empty to touch. I looked at the skin under her feathers - look more reddish pink than grey.

    Thank you so very much.

  4. CJS611

    CJS611 Hatching

    Aug 14, 2017
    I had a similar issue with one of my chickens. Swollen abdomen, feather loss, thin--I even got a better feed and she was eating fine. One day she was acting a little odd, waddling and then sat in the corner and acted like she was pushing so I thought she was egg bound, had given her a warm bath and tried some ky jelly to help.. felt what I thought was an egg, took her to vet and it turned out to be a tumor and fluid in her lungs. It was the beginning of very bad cancer. She quickly went from 0 to 10 in a matter of hours, the poor girl <3 Hope this might help.

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