Vet Diagnosis doesn't make sense :-( Please help my sweet hen!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RaeRae2, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 28, 2011
    Hi everyone - awhile back I posted about my hen and her issues. I was told to treat her for coccidiosis, and worms, which I did. She rebounded amazingly well and has been doing GREAT! Eating, drinking, happy, running around, flapping wings, totally normal.

    Then a few days ago she got very lethargic, droopy, eyes shut, breathing heavy, poopy feathers.

    She continued to eat, and was eating a variety of foods. Then yesterday she wouldn't get out of her hay nest at all. Heavy breathing, eyes shut. I picked her up and she has a HUGE water type bag hanging between her hind legs. She tried to walk and she fell right down on her butt with legs splayed out. Her legs seem very weak and stiff.

    She is at the vet now and he said that she is starving to death. She has no meat on her breast bone, and she can't stand up because she is so weak. He told me I need to feed her more varied foods, and a layer mash type crumble. BUT I DO! He said she's just not eating enough and she's emaciated. But she eats CONSTANTLY. I give her meal worms, and she eats tomatoes, sunflower seeds, oats, corn, safflower, spinach, she even gets a special conditioning show bird pellet, etc....

    She has always been a small, thin wiry bird with no meat on her. She is a very small Buff Orpington that probably only weighs 5 pounds at her heaviest.

    She has no fever. He said the bag between her legs was a "lipoma" or something - a normal fatty tissue deposit ??? That makes no sense because it popped up there literally over night. It is very squishy like a water balloon. I was thinking Ascities or however you spell it. I asked him about draining it and he said NO.

    He gave her a shot of B Vitamins and an Antibiotic and if she's not better by this afternoon he is going to euthanize.

    He said all he could do would be to give her a stomach tube and force her to eat. Well, I'm not going to do that to her.

    I have been putting Sav-A-Chic electrolytes in her water.

    She has ALWAYS laid eggs with no shells on them - just yolk oozes out. So I asked him of course about internal laying and he said NO. She would have a fever. He said I'm not feeding her enough calcium if she lays with no shells. She has oyster shell available but won't eat it. I just recently read about the TUMS in the water.

    Is there anything else I can do, or should I just let her go? Advice needed, please. She is a great pet - so tame - and a member of our family.

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Wow, that is really confusing. The first thing that occurred to me when I started reading was ascites, too. I suppose you could do a search here and find out how others have drained the fluid from the belly. But even if you confirm that it is fluid and you drain it, I am not sure what is to be done. I have not dealt with this problem personally. I would be tempted to get another vet's opinion, but finding a vet who treats chickens is easier said than done. I am sorry I am not much help.
  3. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    sounds like she has ascites-fluid collection in her abdomen, this can be from liver failure or an internal laying issue, both are not good. If she has been eating and losing weight I would guess liver problems, so sorry. I have had three hens put down, my vet injects them in the thorax(chest) it has been very quick and I have held them throughout it and he charges me $35.00 and no office charge. Good luck. I never knew having hens was going to be so sad for me, but they have been worth it, I have loved them all
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    It would be best if she was euthanized, it will be a continuing problem.
  5. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2010
    All I can add is that it is possible to eat constantly and still starve to death. Food in does not mean calories and nutrients are absorbed unfortunately.

    If you can't take your bird to another vet (and she may be in no condition to be moved at this point) then I'd have to agree that euthanizing might be best at this point. :( Her situation sounds complex and she may not have a curable condition.

    It's also hard to say if the vet is right or wrong with the info you've given (which I'm only adding as an aside).

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