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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20607
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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I am ashamed to admit, but a couple months ago, we noticed

Customer Question

I am ashamed to admit, but a couple months ago, we noticed one of my hens tail was straight down and she was wobbling. I immediately started researching what could possibly be doing this and came what to do. I came to the conclusion that it was Peritonitis, as there was no sign of a bound egg. The odd thing was that she was eating and drinking fine and seemed ok accepting the waddling and tail down. I gave her Tylan 50 (1cc) as a last ditch effort hoping to stop any possible infection. However nothing changed. Accept now she seems a tad more swollen, she stays away from the rest of the flock and cannot get back up into the coop at night to roost and of course cannot roost. she sleeps on the floor of the coop or in a hen box. I honestly didn't expect her to last, but she has, which makes me think it is not peritonitis. I think I should just Cull her because she looks miserable. Thank you for any help. Keeah
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, Keeah. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
I am very sorry to hear about Runt's situation.
Based on your history, her chronic distension, her lack of treatment response or egg, we'd be less concerned about peritonitis or egg binding at this point. As well, with the duration of her signs, an internal bleed would also be less likely.
Therefore, with all this in mind, we can consider the other disease processes that could induce this type of distension. Specifically, we can see this with tumors (less likely at her age), enlarged organs (ie liver, etc) and with diseases that induce fluid build up within the abdomen. Common ones that could do are heart disease, liver disease, and conditions that could induce a low blood protein (ie chronic diarrhea, high worm burdens, etc)
With all this in mind, we do need to consider Runt's current state. If she is obviously struggling and miserable, this speaks volumes. As a prey species, hens often put a brave face on when unwell to avoid being a target for predation. So, for her to not try to act that all is well tells us that this is taking its toll on her. So, while we could try worming her, could have your local vet examine (+/- examine the fluid present in her abdomen) and treat her; we do need to consider what her long term prognosis will be for her and how poorly she feels.
So, do consider the above as you monitor her. If she is miserable, if she is struggling, and if you are not keen to put her through invasive treatments or testing; then I do feel it is time to consider ending her suffering and letting this poorly lass go.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Keeah,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Runt. How is everything going?

Dr. B.