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I have a chicken with what I think is sour crop. The crop is…

I have a chicken with...
I have a chicken with what I think is sour crop. The crop is large and seems to be full of "air" or gas. I don't know how to help her. We raise our layers organically.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She had a pendulum crop that was impacted a month ago. She spent 3 weeks or so separated and we massaged the crop and gave her organic yogurt and water. She seemed to get better and we put her back out with the others. Today she stayed on the roost and was kind of shaking or "vibrating". We brought her back in and I noticed her crop seems distended full of air. No foul smell at the moment. I massaged the crop a little and tried to see if something bad smelling came out her mouth, to indicate sour crop. I can send pictures if helpful.
Answered in 1 hour by:
3/19/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,455
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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I'm sorry to hear of this with your hen. Yes, I would like to see pics. You can upload photos by using the paperclip or add file icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see those icons on your particular device) or you can use an external app such as dropbox.com/ Please check that the photo(s) is in focus prior to uploading it. It's important to recognize that ingluvitis (inflammation of the crop) may be present but the crop can be affected by disorders elsewhere in the body as well. Marek's disease (herpesvirus) is a good example of a general infection that can cause crop dilation.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks for your response. I'm working on getting the pics to my computer so I can send them.

You're quite welcome. I'll watch for your next post.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have 5 pics here. Hard to get a good pic of the crop with feathers.
20180319_133603.jpg2018031...jpg20180319_133707.jpg2018031...jpg20180319_133724.jpg2018031...jpg20180319_133728.jpg2018031...jpg20180319_133736.jpg2018031...jpg

Thank you. I understand. Give me a moment to take a look, please...

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The crop feels a little softer than when I brought her inside this morning (I'm on the east coast). Still like a baloon partially inflated, though. She didn't exhibit any discomfort when I massaged it again. She's a good girl and mostly very patient with me to help her.

Regretfully, these pics are difficult to assess due to focus, shadowing, and difficulty in orienting her in the frame. In ...724 I can the eyes of an ill hen but that's hardly diagnostic. In general, crop disorders will require the attention of an avian vet (www.aav.org). I'm not sure how much of the following is allowed under "organic" guidelines and so I'll post all of my synopsis and let you decide how to proceed.

Flushing a sour crop with diluted chlorhexidine solution available in your local feed store or with epsom salts is best done by tubing the irrigant into the crop. If you're not experienced in tubing it's best that an avian vet do this for you. Treating the infection - yeast is common - can be done with the chlorhexidine or copper sulfate. Please note that bacterial infections may require systemic antibiotic therapy in addition to the above but I understand that that's not an organic approach.

If impaction is present (it doesn't sound as if that's the case) please review the following link which is an excellent review of common crop disorders in chickens: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/06/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour/ and then return to our conversation with additional concerns or questions.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,455
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
Dr. Michael Salkin and 87 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for your help. I've been looking for an avian vet in my area, but have yet to find anyone that will see a chicken and knows what's going on with them. I did go to one local vet but she has only basic knowledge about chickens. I hope the website you gave me will help find one. (aav.org). I guess I'm basically still at square one.
I will come back to this conversation if I have any more questions, thanks. I'll go search for an avian vet again armed with the website you sent.I was doing some searching online and found you are famous. lol. You are quoted in an Entrepeneur Magazine article about the website, though you probably know, since you answered someone's questions. lol
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226749

I understand your logistical constraints. You're not alone in that regard. Thank you for the link!

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks again for your help. I have an appointment with a vet (Joy Lucas) from the aav.org website (She was also recommended by another vet in my area when I was searching before, but is over an hour away). It looks like I'll have to travel to get Esther care. Thanks for your interest in Esther's care. I will send an update after her appointment this Wed.

That's good to hear. I'll watch for your next post.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Dr Salkin. I've been busy with Esther, but I wanted to get back to you and let you you know what's going on. As it turns out, I brought a second hen (Cora) with me to the vet. Sadly, I had to have Cora put down. She had lost so much weight and weighed only a couple pounds. The reason, it seems, is worms. Esther had a tube down her throat and her crop cut open and cleaned out. She also had barium to show her bowels, etc moving on xrays. She is also loaded with worms. She's finishing a course of Panacur now. I'll have to get fecal smears and treat rest of the flock as well, of course. Luckily it's getting warmer here in the north east and I'll be able to move the entire run and coop soon, also. We won't be organic any more, but the girls should be ok. As luck would have it, I just found out that the FDA approved Safe-Guard AquaSol (Fenbendazole) for use in laying hens, so we won't have to treating be off label when I treat the rest of the flock. Thanks again for your help.

My condolences for your loss of Cora. Thank you for the up on SafeGuard. I wasn't aware that the FDA finally approved it for use in poultry in the USA.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
You're welcome, especially if it helps the next person with the problem. Here are two links to articles on it... I have a call in to Merck to find out what they decided on an egg withholding period also...http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/39736/merck-animal-health-receives-fda-approval-for-expanded-use-of-safeguard-aquasol-in-poultry/http://www.feedstuffs.com/new-products/fda-approves-expanded-use-label-safe-guard-aquasolThis apparently happened early this year. The Merck website still says it's not for use in laying hens, though, so there may be something additional they need to do...

In the UK, at least, there's no egg withdrawal period with the use of fenbendazole.

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