WARNING!! GROSS!! Graphic Necropsy PICS - I need help with diagnosis

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ArizonaDesertChicks, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    We just lost our first chicken.

    At the very beginning:
    She was probably about 12 weeks old when I first noticed she napped a lot. She would eat fine - was top of the pecking order with her 6 flock buddies, but would go off and close her eyes, while the other chickens would preen, etc. Every time she heard me approach or make a different type of noise, she would act normal again - I just assumed the heat bothered her (she was my only orpington and a heavier breed).

    When she was 16 weeks I started trying to integrate her flock with the older chickens. Even thought they had all been free-ranging in the same yard every afternoon for months, the older ones were still very mean to the younger ones when it came to sharing their run - this may have stressed Splash.

    At 17 1/2 weeks of age, she started with a slight limp , which progressed to a pronounced limp. She limped for about 5 days and then lost the use of the bad leg (she would stand if I held her up). A few days later, the second leg also quite working. Her legs never did have a Marek's posture and she never lost the use of her wings, but about a week ago - she stopped eating on her own (I think she was depressed) and I had to feed her by dropper (with her fighting me every time). She died at 19 1/2 weeks of age.

    Here are the complete details:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=249471

    We had looked into sending her body out for a necropsy, but it wasn't feasible - costwise ($200 here) and we were advised by a vet that it was unnecessary since we had only lost 1 chicken. So... we decided to take a look inside (actually, 'I' decided - my DH was really not into doing this, but was a wonderful help anyway).

    She died 2 days ago, I immediately wet her down and put her into the refrigerator (wrapped in 4 plastic bags). We did the necropsy / autopsy late last night. I've never cut open a chicken before that wasn't store bought - so I don't have much experience with organs, etc, but I did have a wonderful online manuel to guide me (Thanks, ThreeHorses!). I was hoping to hear from some experts on this.

    Here are the photos -- GRAPHIC pictures of the inside of a chicken's body - some blood too



    She was very thin - had lost just over 1/2 lb since I first weighed her over 2 weeks ago.

    Right after we opened her up (liver is on top)
    [​IMG]

    After removing the liver
    [​IMG]

    Close-up after taking out the liver
    [​IMG]

    Are these the kidneys? The one on my left (that my finger is holding up) was VERY tiny and not spongy like the other side.
    [​IMG]

    Close-up of the Kidneys (now confirmed by BYC members). The kidney that I am touching is very small - that is the whole thing that you see in the picture.
    [​IMG]

    * Kidneys (see above pic) on the far left * * Heart was not all one color (didn't look right to me - part of it was quite dark * * Spleen was perfectly round and uniform in color inside & out * * Liver was very smooth, looked perfectly normal according to the pictures online - same consistency & color throughout - I sliced through it in several areas. * * Gizzard Inside the Proventriculus (attached to the gizzard, there were a few very tiny stones inside and a strange, hard, green piece of .....? in there (can't tell if its manmade or not). The strange, green piece was 1/2" long, almost 1/2" wide, & 1/8" thick - shape was almost square, but not quite.

    [​IMG]

    Closeups of the above organs:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Close-up of the heart while still in the body (different view the above pic):
    [​IMG]


    Two photos of the sciatic nerves - the 4 thin strands on the right look normal - the other side looks like it only has 3 thin strands - something happened to the 4th I compared the larger parts of the sciatic nerve (the nerves in the actual thigh and couldn't tell the difference - the yellow on the right one is just fat - I moved fat, membranes around while I was probing & examing the nerves. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I forgot to add: Both my husband and I were looking specifically for tumors and couldn't find any.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  2. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

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    Hmmmm.... the thing you're pointing to is not lungs. The lungs are pink and up against the back of the ribs. The heart looks bad- at the bottom. Is that a hole in it? Or just a dark area? the gallbladder looks really large. The missing nerve may be why she went lame. Marek's? Hard to say for sure. Lord knows what happened to that nerve. It doesn't look like she was obese or anything. Everything else looks normal I think. 'Course, I'm no vet. I was a Vet Tech for 10 years. Hope I was able to help a little. Maybe some experts can get on here & help. [​IMG]
     
  3. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    Im sorry I cant help you, but great pictures there.
     
  4. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Quote:As a vet tech, you're way more knowledgable about this than I am.

    You're right - I went back and doublechecked - I think those are the kidneys? - at least there were two of them and they were in the correct place. I edited my post.

    This is the manuel we used - page 7 shows the kidneys.
    http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/aphi/FAD/PDFs/Poultry necropsy manual 2008.pdf

    The heart looked bad to me too. Picture #3 shows a close-up of it in the body - the top left side (her right) of the heart was very dark - not the right color. I cut into it, but didn't know what to look for there. In picture #5, the heart is actually upside down and flipped over (opposite view of the view in the body). I think that hole is where the artery went.

    That very dark, forest green organ is the gallbladder, right? It is definitely a lot larger than the one in the manuel.

    She was hardly eating at all the last few days - it was an ordeal to feed her, but I hated giving up. I don't know whether or not that would affect any of the organ.

    Halo -- Thanks!
     
  5. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If this happens again I would send it for a necropsy. The heart does look enlarged, but a lab would be able to look at samples to decide what happened before death vs after death. I am sorry you lost your chicken and I commend your efforts. It is hard to give up when you've done so much.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Here is a vid. from the University of MO. (primarily necroscopy of reproductive organs, but the vet. points out other organs as well).

    http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/v...le-reproductive-tract-of-a-mature-hen-221261/

    Was it the State Vet.'s office that quoted a $200.00 charge for a necroscopy?

    Thanks for posting this and for caring enough to actually look for the source of the problem.

    We can never know enough.

    Sorry for your loss.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  7. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To me, it looks like the kidneys are not healthy. It looks like they have a sort of nodular bit on them. It's hard to tell as they always look a little more granular to me than other organs.

    The liver doesn 't (to me) look hemorrhaged or fatty, cystic, etc.

    I wonder if her sciatic nerve atrophied for some reason? I would wonder about her spinal cord, and I think in this case a pathology could have told more both about the kidneys as well as the spinal cord/sciatic nerve situation.

    The heart, as it sits in the body cavity, doesn't look absolutely abnormal to me though it looks wrong when separated into the organ samples. however that gallbladder is greatly distended with bile.

    Personally, and I'm not vet, but given the history, the symproms, etc - I would think mycotoxicosis. I'm curious to hear what others thing.
     
  8. NewHobbyForMe

    NewHobbyForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was not with my husband when he found the staples in our pet, but was just wondering if you checked her crop? I lost our other chicken just days before I discover that the other chicken came down sick. She had crop impaction from kids next door feeding her handsful of grass.
    I'm sure hoping you can find another girl with some of the beautiful feathers like Splash had.
    Best Wishes [​IMG]
     
  9. jjparke

    jjparke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just my 2 cents but gall bladder looks suspicious to me. I'm no vet or anything but I've see the insides of a lot of chickens.
     
  10. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

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    Quote:As a vet tech, you're way more knowledgable about this than I am.

    You're right - I went back and doublechecked - I think those are the kidneys? - at least there were two of them and they were in the correct place. I edited my post.

    This is the manuel we used - page 7 shows the kidneys.
    http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/aphi/FAD/PDFs/Poultry necropsy manual 2008.pdf

    The heart looked bad to me too. Picture #3 shows a close-up of it in the body - the top left side (her right) of the heart was very dark - not the right color. I cut into it, but didn't know what to look for there. In picture #5, the heart is actually upside down and flipped over (opposite view of the view in the body). I think that hole is where the artery went.

    That very dark, forest green organ is the gallbladder, right? It is definitely a lot larger than the one in the manuel.

    She was hardly eating at all the last few days - it was an ordeal to feed her, but I hated giving up. I don't know whether or not that would affect any of the organ.

    Halo -- Thanks!

    Yes, the green organ is the gallbladder, and I think it is way too big. Maybe that and her heart problem caused (or contributed to) her death?
     

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