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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24384
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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She has a hot swollen abdomen, watery diarhea, doesn't want

Customer Question

She has a hot swollen abdomen, watery diarhea, doesn't want to eat or drink and is listless. I have lost several chickens due to malady. I have given antibiotics for 14 days and dewormed.
JA: IÂ’m sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name?
Customer: No name, I raise laying chicken and have about 125.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?
Customer: No discharge from any nasal passages or mouth. Comb looks fine. Fecal has a slight odor that doesn't smell right. This all started with a hot streak of weather and some changes in diet.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Unfortunately, her symptoms aren't indicative of any one particular disorder. A "hot swollen abdomen" might be full of infection (infected yolk peritonitis, e.g.) or perhaps full of cancer (Marek's or lymphoid leukosis). Diarrhea can result from primary gastrointestinal infections and even respiratory infections. Bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections are common. Because you have so many laying hens, having a necropsy performed on a sacrificed severely ill bird or a newly dead bird (refrigerated, not frozen) should be part of your normal husbandry practice. Necropsy will likely be the most expedient and cost-effective manner in which to determine cause and also how you might treat the rest of your flock. Your vet can arrange for the necropsy or your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory can do this for you if you're fortunate enough to have such a laboratory in your county. I understand, however, that it's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of a bird's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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