Water belly or acitis

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Amfrolia, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Amfrolia

    Amfrolia In the Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2015
    I have a Rhode Island Red that might have acitis also known as water belly. She went through her molt and seemed fine all winter. Symptoms have been subtle and slow to progress. She had been waddling and at first I thought she was getting fat. Then I noticed she was having more trouble walking than normal, sits still more than usual and has some trouble making it up onto her roosting bar at night. No egg yet since the molt. I gave her an Epsom salt bath in case she was egg bound or constipated or something. She does not like being handled but while in the bath I could feel her better. Her belly is swollen and soft like a balloon and her keel seems pronounced like she is underweight. Otherwise she is eating, not panting, no egg yolk stuff coming out of her vent - her poop looks pretty normal. I am worried she is uncomfortable but don’t want to just cull her if she can still enjoy life as she is one of my first hens. She is three years + now.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I have had several older hens who have behaved the same way. It is hard to know whether it is internal laying or ascites usually until after they die, but either way, the outcome is bad. I try to make sure mine get some chopped egg or tuna, and I will mix some chicken feed with a lot of water and a bit of plain yogurt which they will normally take. They can live for some time, but it varies. If they appear to be suffering, I put them out of their misery. I do not try to drain my hens, but you can try to draw fluid out to relieve pressure if ascites is the problem. There are videos on YouTube to watch for that.
     
    Amfrolia likes this.
  3. Amfrolia

    Amfrolia In the Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2015
    I kinda figured it was bad and probably would not resolve itself. She still enjoys her mealworm snacks and hanging out with the flock. I’ll try some of your feeding suggestions. If she starts to look really uncomfortable then I will put her down.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I have had a couple last a couple of years, some go quicker, but when they die, you can learn a lot by doing a necropsy yourself to look at organs. I recently lost 4 old hens over a month during exteme cold weather, and 3 had amber ascites fluid that filled the belly when I opened the abdomen. Take pictures of any necropsies, and many are willing to help with anything unusual.
     

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