What to feed hen with gout?

Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
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New Zealand
It was lots of white pus. I didn't touch it or examine it too closely this morning, but it was white in the center, although it didn't appear to be plugged, and black around the edges, where the dead flesh was. I'm tempted to cut it off, but I think I should wait for my vet to do it tomorrow. Thank you for the instructions!
Vet soon, let them worry about debriding the wound - they'll have cleaner tools for this and may be able to provide pain relief or put her under while they work on her.

Maybe keep it topped up with antibiotic ointment in the meantime and give another epsom soak or two today so it stays open and free-draining.
 

sarahbobo

Chirping
Nov 12, 2021
52
94
60
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Vet soon, let them worry about debriding the wound - they'll have cleaner tools for this and may be able to provide pain relief or put her under while they work on her.

Maybe keep it topped up with antibiotic ointment in the meantime and give another epsom soak or two today so it stays open and free-draining.
Well, I was going to wait for the vet...my mom ended up cutting away some of the dead flesh around the abscess, and poking holes in another one forming. We kept everything as sterile as possible and then wrapped her feet so hopefully it will be okay....we didn't manage to get antibiotics into her last night, but we did this morning, in addition to more pain medicine from our vet. Also, she has black around the base of one toe...it hasn't come off in multiple attempts, so I think it's necrotic....I'm really worried she'll need surgery on the bad abscess and that toe, and I'm not sure whether she can handle that with already being so thin, kidneys failing, having to be separated from the flock (except through a fence she can see them through). With the chances of her not surviving long anyway, I'm not sure whether we might just be putting her through more torture and making her last days or weeks more miserable....we'll see what happens I suppose.
 

sarahbobo

Chirping
Nov 12, 2021
52
94
60
Albuquerque, New Mexico
I suppose I should note that the vet sounded very sad when she told me about Fleur's uric acid results. I've never heard her sound that sad. She advised giving Fleur the anti inflammatory we have, even though it's hard on the kidneys, because she must be in so much pain. So that makes me think she thinks Fleur's chance of survival is slim, even though when I asked about that she said she didn't know.

Her feet desperately need antibiotics, but antibiotics are hard on kidneys She must be suffering quite a lot, but the most effective pain med is hard on kidneys. Her feet are bad enough that she shouldn't be outside but she gets depressed and stressed when she stays inside all day, which will make her condition worse. Essentially, helping her in one way hurts her in another way. Her situation looks very bleak to me. 😢😣
 

sarahbobo

Chirping
Nov 12, 2021
52
94
60
Albuquerque, New Mexico
I'm sorry to hear this:(

Can you get some updated photos of the feet when you change the wrappings?
I'll set an alarm to remind me to get a picture of them tonight. I forgot to this morning 😣

Long post, apologies:

Yesterday the vet had no answers for me on whether it's best to do all the treatments for Fleur or just keep her comfortable until she can't be anymore....we decided to spend a week or two doing all the treatments and see how it goes. If she continues to decline after a few days, then leave her alone except for palliative care. Vet drained Fleur's abscess a lot, which was very painful for Fleur. It was hard for me to watch. The abscess looks this morning like it needs more draining, but I simply couldn't do it. I'm not made for this work. I'm going to have my mom drain it more this evening.

Today, she isn't interested in cherries anymore, a morning treat she's been enjoying for the duration of her treatment. She's still enthusiastically eating tomatoes. As you'll see below, her treatment is extensive, and having to do it twice a day, she finds it exhausting and unpleasant (as do we, of course). When she starts to fight, we let her have a break to drink for a couple minutes. She hates having syringes and pills shoved down her throat. I try to be as gentle as possible, but of course there's no way to make it pleasant. She seems more tired today. I fear she's declining further.

I discovered something this morning. She doesn't have a tongue. It looks as though she has the back of a tongue, but it looks like she was born without the front part that helps them eat and drink. This is messing with my head a lot, both because it's disturbing and because it explains so much about her. How she's always drunk more than the others (inefficient drinking), why she got gout before the others (inefficient drinking = dehydration), why she seems to have a hard time getting treats to the back of her throat...in 7 years I never looked in her mouth to realize this. This has motivated me to do a full physical exam of the other girls, much as they'll hate it. Maybe if I'd realized Fleur's deformity I could have accommodated her more and she would have been healthier for longer.

This means she now has 3 deformities: her comb had to be amputated years ago when the other pecked it too much and it turned necrotic; her feet, from gout; and her tongue.

She now gets this treatment twice a day: two pain meds (Butorphanol every 12 hours and a very small dose of Meloxicam every 24 hours), gout medication, antibiotics, probiotics (I can't get her to eat anything with probiotics so I started giving her a med for it), and omega 3s. After those, remove her foot bandages, soak her in chlorhexidine or Epsom salts (chlorhexidine morning, Epsom salts at night), slather her scaly leg might-affected areas in oil followed by Vaseline, and wrap her feet up. Add in there draining her abscess once a day. She's exhausted by the end of this. In between these treatments, she spends the morning in my bedroom with a space heater running to help her warm up after being in an unheated room overnight, then I take her outside in the afternoon to forage and enjoy the sun. She's been eating the birdseed that falls from the bird feeder while she's out there, which I realized is probably bad for her, and yet I don't have the heart to deny her that, with how much she's suffering.

Also, I ordered that 14% maintenance feed. It should be here within 3 days.

The other 5 girls in the flock have scaly leg mites as well. They've had them for a long time, I think. I've long thought their scales looked...too scaly, but didn't know why. So I'm not sure when we're going to get to treating them for that, given how overwhelmed we are with treating Fleur. One of the 5 has mottled coloring on her legs, some dark patches over her yellow. I have no idea what would be causing that.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
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It's emotionally draining trying to nurse sick animals. They don't understand what's going on and their instinct is to struggle. I take it as a good sign when they resist being handled, it means they have some fight left in them. With my older hens who are ill, I want to respect them by not torturing them, and simply spoil them with their favorite foods and make sure they get plenty of fluids in their diet. I let them live as naturally as possible until they no longer enjoy life and stop struggling.
 

sarahbobo

Chirping
Nov 12, 2021
52
94
60
Albuquerque, New Mexico
It's emotionally draining trying to nurse sick animals. They don't understand what's going on and their instinct is to struggle. I take it as a good sign when they resist being handled, it means they have some fight left in them. With my older hens who are ill, I want to respect them by not torturing them, and simply spoil them with their favorite foods and make sure they get plenty of fluids in their diet. I let them live as naturally as possible until they no longer enjoy life and stop struggling.
I love that. With Fleur, it's hard because she is fighting, but she's also in a lot of pain and she's weary. She still enjoys going outside and foraging, but she stays around the bird feeder and sits in one place most of the day. Until evening, when she starts walking around foraging and eating, and doesn't seem to understand when it's getting dark and time to go to bed. I had to grab her to take her inside tonight. I have her in my room with the space heater running now. And we still have to do all her evening treatments, including draining her abscess which will probably be very painful.... She also doesn't care about any treats except tomatoes and birdseed. But when I think about not treating her, that means allowing her feet to become even more infected, letting her gout get worse.... I go back and forth every few minutes, basically.
 

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