Way to tell if laying internally?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BeccaSmith, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a hen I thought was egg bound (that was back in January) I did the recommended soaking, lubing, and checked for a stuck egg, but nothing. I took her to the vet and he thinks she "may be laying internally." Is there a way to definitely find out? Her abdomen is swollen and has been since I noticed she wasn't feeling well back in January. We have had her on Baytril twice since thought she had an infection in her abdomen. The vet recommended I put her down since he thought she would only get worse. She seems like she feels better, she runs after me for treats and enjoys pecking and scratching around the yard. If it wasn't for her distended abdomen she would be normal. Also her comb just got it's red color back, it was pale for a long time. Also she hasn't laid an egg at least since January, I acquired her in November and her age is unknown. I was thinking of looking into having her ovaries removed, but I don't want to do that unless I can be sure that the internal laying is what is going on. She has become my pet and I am very attached to her...actually attached is an understatement!
     
  2. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I agree with the vet. She sounds like an internal layer. One of my Silver Laced Wyandottes had that problem and her symptoms and general appearance were just like what you described, and like you I thought it was egg binding or even ascites. If it's neither of those problems, your only other bet is internal laying. I don't think there's really a way to tell 100%, unless you could get an x-ray. But that's probably more $$ than it's worth. If you want to get her ovaries removed and your vet would do that (all the local vets here don't deal with any poultry) and you're willing to pay the price, I'd go ahead. You'd have to have them clean out her abdomen as well -- all those eggs from back in January...

    I didn't have the option to get surgery for my Winnie, so she was just put down.
    Wishing you luck with your girl!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  3. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know ascites is an infection, but how can you tell for sure if it is ascites and wouldn't the Baytril helped with it? We have two local vets here who deal with poultry, but I am not sure if they would remove her ovaries, just something I am thinking about. The vet said an x-ray would be useless because it would look like a white-out on a tv screen and you wouldn't be able to see anything with all the fluid.
     
  4. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I just had a hen with ascites in to our avian vet. He took an x-ray and it was very clear what was going on. We were able to see that there were no eggs, she was not egg bound nor laying internally. Her whole body was hugely swollen with fluid but she did not have an infection. She had stopped laying over the winter, her comb was often pale, sometimes a slightly darkish red. Sometimes she acted very normal other times she would just sit around. She always ate well though.

    Unfortunately my hen passed away while at the vet. She was so full of fluid she was having difficulty breathing and he didn't know how she'd made it as long as she had. He did a necropsy for free and found that she had a problem with her heart. I'm waiting for a call on Monday to know exactly what was going on. Ascites in this case was caused by a circulatory problem.

    I have another hen who is indeed a confirmed internal layer. She doesn't have the generalized swelling of almost the entire body like my Orpington had but rather just a swollen area below the vent that has lost feather's and is often red. This hen will be going in for x-ray and I may have the surgery done since this vet is a very experienced avian vet and does these all the time.

    Hope this bit of info helps, good luck with your hen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  6. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

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    Great info here. Thanks for posting.
     
  7. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Meridian, ID

    Great info, it does help! How long did you hen live with the condition she was in? Your description of her sounds excactly like my hen, an extremely swollen abdomen. She is so swollen she cannot fly up to the roots or nesting boxes. In the beginning, she did breath pretty heavy, but that seems to have gone away now. Maybe I should get a 2nd opinion from the other vet in the area that specializes in birds and chickens. And like I said, I won't do anything without positively knowing what the problem is. It's not worth putting her through it if it won't fix the problem.
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I don't know exactly when all this started other then sometime over the winter. I first noticed her acting sluggish occasionally maybe mid February. At that time I picked her off the roost one evening and checked her out, didn't notice anything out of the ordinary at that time, no body swelling that I could detect. So this continued with her only symptom being not as active and even that was off and on, oh and not laying either but neither was most of my flock at that time. Here towards the last, maybe the last two weeks I'd notice her often sitting around, sometimes I could see her breathing heavily and this is when her comb would look dark bluish red or pale. I also noticed she started walking a bit spraddle legged, with toes turned in. So I checked her out again one evening and that's when I found how swollen her entire lower body was. Here at the last she was having trouble getting up to the roost which is only about 3 feet high. She was making it but it was a struggle.

    Ascites is generally secondary to another problem, often circulatory of some sort, acccording to my vet. In my hens case there wasn't anything the vet could have done to help her since the problem was the heart. I was amazed when I saw the x-rays, she had so very little room left to breath.

    You might consider the second opinion from the other vet. X-rays will tell you if it is or isn't egg related. They can get egg yolk peritonitis if they are laying internally but I do not know if they get the generalized, all over body swelling with that.

    Good luck, hope you find some answers.
     
  10. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the detailed info, it is good to be able to compare notes too. I noticed something didn't seem right back in early January for a couple of weeks, but I am new to chickens and it took me and my husband a couple of weeks to put two and two together. When I got her in mid November she seemed fine, I honestly didn't give her a good check over and we did the no no of just adding her and the other chicken we got with her to the flock at the same time. The person I got her from didn't know her exact age so I don't know if she is just done laying or what. Anyways back on track, my husband and I noticed she was sleeping on the ground a lot at night, but it was common for us to have to go out nightly and put the two new chickens on the roosts with the others after the lights shut off so we didn't think anything of it. One time I noticed she tried flying from the nesting box area to a very close roost and couldn't make it and I found it very odd. Then one evening while my husband was picking her up to put her on the roost he noticed her abdomen felt swollen so I started looking into what would cause it and the next night we noticed she was breathing heavily so we brought her indoors. Like I said, it took us a couple of weeks to figure out something was wrong. Since she seems to be doing better with the exception of her distended abdomen we have started to put her back out in the coop with the other chickens but in a temporary pen we built for her so that the other hens won't pick on her. When I get home from work and on the weekends I make sure she get's plenty of time to roam and I try to have her around the other hens while outside if I am around to watch and make sure they don't pick on her to badly. I'm surprised she has made it this long and this far in her condition but she seems like she feels better and her color has returned to her comb and her poops are not bright green any longer and not as watery. I'll look into getting a 2nd opinion from the other vet. Oh, and I also forgot to mention that her fecal sample did test positive for worms back in February so she and the entire flock was treated for that as well.
     

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