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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years in general practice, including avian.
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I have 2 chicken's that are currently ill. One is lethargic

Customer Question

Hi. I have 2 chicken's that are currently ill. One is lethargic with a distended belly and a neoplasm or herniation. She is no longer laying. The other One I looked at today because her vent area seemed dirty
Her vent was gaping! the dirt I saw was black (blood?) Any ideas what may be going on?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. I'm sorry to read of your hens' conditions. How old are they and how long has it been since you noticed that they weren't doing well>
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They are 2 year's old. 1 i noticed a few days ago. One i noticed today. Both birds have watery stool and both have been isolated
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Okay, thank you. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you, but I'm presently seeing patients at my clinic and have to grab time as I can to try to help you. You've definitely done the right thing in isolating them. Have you felt the abdomen of the one with the distended abdomen, did it feel like a thick doughy mass?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. Soft and doughy. There is no foul smell from either of them
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.Have you noticed any respiratory symptoms or other changes (color of combs, etc.)?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No respiratory or other changes
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I suspect that she is retaining eggs in her abdomen. Occasionally, the reproductive malfunctions, allowing the eggs to drop down into the abdomen around the intestines. This is an always fatal condition unless the eggs are surgically removed, the abdomen flushed, and the reproductive tract removed. This is, of course, not practical for most domestic hens due to the cost and the loss of production. I must render a poor prognosis for the bird witht he distended abdomen, sorry. Have you wormed or treated your birds for coccidia?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They have not been treated in the year that I have had them. I checked the rhodey again. She does have a foul smell. And i believe maggots. I am attempting to upload photos. The black one has the distended bellt
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Okay, thank you. The pictures came through just fine. When birds have blood in their droppings, flies are attracted to the blood and lay their eggs, resulting in the condition you're seeing. I would recommend flushing the area with 3% hydrogen peroxide multiple times, both to disinfect the area and remove the maggots. Maggots are highly invasive and often quickly eat their way through the surrounding skin. Once under the skin they are nearly impossible to remove, and usually the bird is lost. If, cleaning the area up, you notice holes in the skin, that is a bad sign. If you don't find holes, and the maggots are reasonably easy to remove, treat her for coccidia (that's often the original cause of the blood in the droppings). Followup with a vitamin supplement containing vitamins A and K. Feed her warm nutritious foods like pancakes, oatmeal, cornbread and scrambled eggs. Keep her isolated and as comfortable as possible. Dress the area daily with a triple antibiotic ointment for 5 to 7 days to help combat the infection. Hopefully, you'll be able to pull her through, and if you should have any further questions, I'll be happy to answer them for you. Kind regards, *****
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Bob
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
nice to hear from you again. The Rhode Island Red seems to be improving with lavage. the black hand with a doughy stomach seems to be holding her own. very weak but still alive. I went today to the feed store and got some treatment for coccidiosis. I will be treating all of the birds for the next few days. thank you for your help.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
You're most welcome. Please let me know if I may be of any further assistance. Best regards, *****