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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 26293
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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We have an adult hen, about two years old, that has been

Customer Question

We have an adult hen, about two years old, that has been lethargic for almost 10 days now. Her vent seems to be very swollen but we cannot feel anything, egg or otherwise in her. She is still pooping but her vent and feathers in the area are a mess. We have cleaned her and given her warm water baths but nothing seems to get the swelling to go down. Do you any idea what might be going on with her? Also, any possible treatments.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian-oriented vets on the site. Ginger is difficult to evaluate from afar but I am concerned about vent gleet. Please see here: http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/12/vent-gleet-prevention-and-treatment.html This is best addressed by an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org) . Please let me know if you think vent gleet is likely.

Unfortunately, the symptoms you've mentioned can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: www.aav.org) for help in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the various etiologies.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of Ginger'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.

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