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Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8922
Experience:  12 years of pet, wildlife, and zoo avian experience, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
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She has a distended abdomen and is barely able to walk. She

Customer Question

she has a distended abdomen and is barely able to walk. She will eat and drink when I take it to her. I've felt inside and there is no egg or broken shell. she also had a runny poo when i pulled my finger out. Ive given her two tums this morning and an ibuprofen (200 mg) at about 2:30 but no change. I am not feeling any hard substances in her abdomen. she has been like this since yesterday morning.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Her feet look fine. We've dealt with bumble foot in another hen earlier this summer but no sign of that with this little girl.
JA: What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: clementine and she could either be either 2 1/2 or 3 1/2. She is a rhode island red and we have several from two different hatches.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about clementine?
Customer: not that i can think of ....her vent looks normal and she is not spewing yellow bile or anything. her head and beak look normal, feathers look normal....just a really swollen belly, lethargic, and barely able to walk. she stays in one spot
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 6 months ago.


Thank you for your question, I'm Dr. Dan. Currently I'm reviewing your quesiton, and will be back to you in a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry your hen is having this problem. The most common cause of a distended abdomen with no egg is called egg yolk coelomitits. This is when an egg yolk actually is discharged from the ovary but does not make it to the rest of the reproductive tract. There is a small space between these two structures. It's kind of like the ovary shoots a yolk like a basketballer shoots a basket ball. Sometimes a miss happens! When the yolk is then free in the abdomen it causes the body to react. This reaction is usually fluid accumulation to dry to dilute the yolk and lessen the impact on the rest of the body structures. This can be diagnosed with an xray or an ultrasound. Otherwise we are stuck with assuming this is the problem as her age fits and the symptoms fit. There are 2 choices. 1) We have her treated, 2) we choose not to treat. Treatment requires surgery which is expensive and is not a guarantee of suceess. If we ignore it 1/3 of chickens die, 1/3 recover but never lay again and 1/3 recover and return to normal. If we choose not to treat then the key is to keep her eating and hydrated while her body attempts to take care of this problem. No medications help here, only surgery or supportive care. Also please know since you gave her ibuprofen federal law states you can never sell her eggs, nor can I recommend you eat them as there will be drug residue. I hope this helps, you understand, if not please feel free to ask more quesitons, if it did help please leave a rating. Dr. Dan

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Other sites recommend the ibuprofen to reduce swelling.....are you saying that we should NEVER eat her eggs again?
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 6 months ago.

Ibuprofen is a terrible choice it is not safe for birds and almost always leads to some form of ulcer in the proventriculus. Meloxicam is much better and has proper testing and research behind it. That being said I did not say you can't eat the eggs, I don't have that much power. The federal government under the FARAD act (Food Animal Drug Residue Avoidance and Databank) says you can't. It is my duty under law to make you aware of that law.

Dr. Dan

Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 6 months ago.

I have to head to a meeting and so I'll be off line for a while, if you have more questions, I'll be happy to answer them when I get back in a couple of hours. Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 6 months ago.

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

Dr. Dan