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Week Old Chick - Prolapsed vent?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tandykins, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. tandykins

    tandykins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all - I got this little chick yesterday with five others from a local breeder. It appears to have what I think is a prolapsed vent. When I got it, it had a bit of hard poo stuck around its bum. When I removed it, its vent looked fine if a little swollen.

    Last night I discovered that the other chicks had pecked at it. I separated it immediately, cleaned its vent with warm water and clean swabs, dabbed it with betadine and then with a little blue food colouring (as I do not have blu-kote (and don't know what the alternative in Australia is)). At that time the swelling was as you see in the pictures.

    The chick (who we are referring to as Mister Poopybum or Bluebum) seems fine apart from all of this business. Perky, energetic and alert. Eating and drinking normally. However, every time I pick it up to have a look at it, there is a new glob of poop on its vent that I must clear away.

    (EDIT: His/her/its poops don't seem hard since that blockage when it arrived. Quite normal - just not clearing away from the vent.)

    Treatment I've seen seems to be: Clean. Antiseptic spray. Antibiotic ointment. Vitamins and electrolytes. Watch. Repeat. Problem is...antibiotics can't be obtained in Australia over the counter.

    I'm taking it to my vet this evening despite a friend's protestations that a single, week-old chick isn't worth spending a bunch of money on. Maybe so, but I know that prolapsed vents are fairly common and I'd rather learn how to treat it now (and have everything necessary to treat it on hand) rather than have this happen to one of my beloved hens down the road with me unprepared to deal with it.

    My questions are:

    Does that treatment sound right?

    Should I be cleaning its bum regularly the way I am? I'm a little concerned that I'm just irritating the wound further by doing so.

    To give chicks vitamins do I purchase them or is there a vitamin solution that I can make myself at home? I'm sure that my vet will have something but he likes to offer me products at huge prices that I could actually make up myself at home so I wanted to get opinions on that here before I go in.

    I've included pictures just in case I'm completely wrong about what's amiss in the first place...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Some of the chicks I had with "pasty butt" prolapsed just a little like that. I think you're doing fine, and when it gets well hydrated, the vent is likely to go back in and behave. I've never even heard of using antibiotics for pasty butt, and doubt it would do any good. Pasty butt is basically a constipation problem. The butt can be greased with vaseline or veggie oil after cleaning. I'd suggest a very gentle method of cleaning. I like holding the butt under a gentle stream of warm water til it dissolves. Takes a few minutes, but no trauma. Of course, somehow you have to make sure that they never run out of water, and that the water doesnt get full of litter, a tricky matter with new chicks. A scrap of plywood over the litter and under the waterer can help. Having more than one waterer is a good idea. You can also put just a bit of molasse or organic apple cider vinegar in the water to give it a boost.
     
  3. tandykins

    tandykins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took the chick to my vet last night (who doesn't charge me for offering simple advice) and he told me that my clean/lube/monitor method was perfect and sent me home.

    Unfortunately, last night the chick deteriorated quite rapidly and stopped drinking or eating, then stopped being able to stand. It would fall over on its side and lie there cheeping in an awkward position unable to get back up.

    I euthanized it using my CO2 chamber (I used to breed rats and used this to put down my aging rats who had developed tumors or seizures near death. I actually use bottled CO2 and a CO2 meter to ensure that the levels are sufficient to cause death but not so high as to cause pain or discomfort during death) and spent the rest of the evening cleaning, sterilizing and resetting my brooder just in case the chick was sick.

    Talking with a couple of friends, they offered the theory that the chick in question (who was significantly smaller than its brood mates despite hatching at the same time) had hatched a bit early and his bowels weren't yet mature.

    This being my first time having chicks this young (my last set were 5 weeks old), this is a learning experience for me.

    When I decided to keep chickens I knew that I eventually wanted to breed my own and decided to work backwards (first hens, then pullets, then older chicks, then younger chicks, then fertilized eggs, then actual breeding) so that I wasn't learning everything all at once. I'm starting to feel quite glad that I made that decision.

    The remaining five chicks look good. I'm keeping an eye on their vents which all look healthy and keeping them clean, well watered, warm and fed.
     
  4. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some chicks just fail to thrive. You did a great job taking care of the little one. There is a product called gentian violet which you may be able to get over there. It is said to have anti-septic, healing properties (it is also the ingredient in Blue Kote that dyes the skin blue). They sell it in pharmacies and even places like Wal-Mart here in the states as an anti-fungal, and for thrush.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  5. tandykins

    tandykins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think we can get gentian violet - I'll have a look today. I'm building up my chicken first-aid box as I go.

    I have to admit that I did feel a little ghetto using food colouring to dye the chick's skin and I felt sheepish when I mentioned it to my vet but he was like, "Yup. Good idea."

    So far we've gotten lucky with our chickens. We've had them for a while and that little chick is so far the only one we've lost. My hens are checked regularly for problems and the worst injury we've had yet in one of them is a torn claw that healed beautifully. Fingers crossed it continues like this. In the meantime I'm learning all that I can so that I'm prepared in case something els does happen.

    I grew up in the US where you could just pop down to Walgreens and pick up some Neosporin. While I understand why antibiotics are restricted here - I find myself in situations where I really wish I could do that again rather than having to go to the doctor to get a prescription for a topical antibiotic cream. :/
     
  6. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you may just have to switch to products like chlorhexadine and antiseptic herb teas (essential oils might be too strong...I don't have a lot of knowledge in that area when it comes to chickens) :)

    I work with a raptor rehabber here in the US, and when they get birds in with prolapses, they lube them up with veggie oil, and stick it back in. Most of the time, it stays put.

    Fingers crossed that your adventure continues smoothly!
     
  7. tandykins

    tandykins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is the only other "issue" we have right now. She came to me like this with what appears to be a hole in her beak. It doesn't seem to bother her and no one appears to be pecking at it but I'd thought about putting some blue on it to discourage any future pecking. Ideas? She's the smallest chick of the current batch and I have tentatively named her Ophelia (because it's hard talking to someone about a specific chick without some sort of identifier XD).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they aren't messing with her, I would leave it. These little guys are super at healing themselves. Does the hole go all the way through? I don't know much about beak healing (though I have epoxied many a turtle shell), but I imagine that feeding things that promote keratin production would help her beak regenerate. So, I would probably take some fresh fruit (I would pick ones high in vitamin C [like strawberries] because it is SO good for healing) and some plain gelatin (beef gelatin...it has the amino acids and proteins needed to help build keratin), and make chook treats. Maybe give a little once a day or something (gotta make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need from their food rations!)? I don't know. I am not a nutritionist, but I imagine that is what I would be doing if she was my chook! (I adore her name, btw)
     
  9. tandykins

    tandykins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't actually tell if it goes all the way through. I don't think so though.

    Ah-ha. Strawberries are in season here right now too so they're super cheap and the chickens go insane for them. I'll get the hubby to pick some up on the way home.

    I tend to name my chickens either with the first name that pops into my head when I look at them or a name that someone else suggests that I like - which is why our Wyandotte is named Buttface. XD
     
  10. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ha ha ha seems like an appropriate name for a Wyandotte :p If it doesn't go all the way through, I way wouldn't worry about it. She probably just scraped it doing little chicken things, and she should be fine. I have had a couple that have done that. I didn't do anything special for them, and they turned out great :)
     

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