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 Post subject: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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One of my chooks was diagnosed recently (last Monday) with a hernia, so I thought I'd upload some pictures in the hope that it'd be of interest to others.

This is the chook:

Image

Over the span of a few weeks she had developed a very distended abdomen that felt soft and squashy to touch. It felt like there was something inside it, but nothing firm. The chook was otherwise her normal self - eating, dustbathing, foraging, drinking, pooping, running, perching, bossing round the others, laying perfect eggs (nearly every day) and with plenty of flesh on her. Here are a couple of pics of her rear end (her tail is down in these pics because (a) it is not the kind of tail that sticks up and (b) she was not happy about being caught and photographed).

Image
Image

Looks quite alarming... I assumed that it was ascites, or waterbelly, which is linked to heart and liver problems and, as a result, is ultimately fatal. We took her to our local avian vet, expecting a bad outcome. The vet flipped her over and felt around a bit and said that beyond doubt it was actually a hernia (although he had also thought it was ascites on first sight). For those who don't know, a hernia develops when a gap forms in the muscles that normally hold in all the intestines. The abdominal muscles are kind of like a hammock for all the guts, and when they separate a bit the guts come through. The red saggy part in the pics are where her intestines are hanging down (held in by her skin).

The vet said that a hernia is actually quite a good diagnosis to have, compared to any of the other things it could have been which are all fatal. The only risk is that, if the gap in the muscles is small, the intestines might become blocked or twisted, which would be fatal if not caught in time. If the hole is large (as it probably is in this case) the chances of this happening are much smaller.

The vet advised us that there is no need to do anything in our hen's case, as it is not bothering her at all. If it starts to bother her (e.g. if she pecks at it, or if it starts to drag on the ground) then she can have surgery (about $400) to put the intestines back and sew up the hole in the muscles. Sometimes the surgery doesn't work though, and the longer you leave it the greater the chance of it failing. We have decided to leave it for now and let her get on with her life.

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Last edited by 70%cocoa on Sun May 09, 2010 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:13 pm 
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fascinating, and good clear pictures. glad to hear she is going to be ok.

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:17 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Very interesting! Thanks for posting the pics :thumbs:

NellyG

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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Yet another thing that can happen to chooks - very interesting and thanks for sharing cocoa !
Still, I'm sorry that it happened altogether for various reasons.
What goes through my mind when looking at the pics is that
a) we probably wouldn't be so pleased either to have a picture taken this way...... :roll:
b) it looks quite red on the photo and I hope that the others won't find it attractive to have a peck on it.......

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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chiquita wrote:
b) it looks quite red on the photo and I hope that the others won't find it attractive to have a peck on it.......


Yes, it is fairly red in real life too (bit less than in the photos though). So far the others have left her alone, and it has been like that for a few weeks. She has the advantage of being the boss hen, with everyone else firmly in their place. That no doubt helps to keep the others from bothering her. We will keep a close eye on her. If it gets worse or pecked at then she will be back at the vet's for the operation.

I can tell you that she'd be even more pee'd off if she knew that her bottom was now on the internet!! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:42 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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70%cocoa wrote:
I can tell you that she'd be even more pee'd off if she knew that her bottom was now on the internet!! :wink:


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:40 pm 
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Thanks Rach. Great pictures and an interesting case. I'll link this to the index in case anyone else has a query about hernias. :thumbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:04 pm 
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As an update - this chook is still going strong one and a half years later :thumbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Great news! :thumbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I take it that she still doesn't know about her bottom being posted on the internet... or you wouldn't be alive to tell us she's still doing well. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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That's quite surprising, very good news though ! :D

Now, is her bottom still like on the picture, hanging down, quite naked without feathers, for the others to be seen? I just am so surprised that they don't peck her.
My rooster went through a bit of a moult and had a small patch of bare skin just under his tail feathers. The hens would have eaten him alive I think hadn't I noticed it within a day. I had to rescue him, he was bleeding all over, fortunately not eaten into the flesh yet. After a bath and cleaning him they started again. Only after I painted him blue with food dye they left him alone.

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:57 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Yes, it still looks almost exactly as it did in these pics - there is slighty more feather coverage but it's still very bare and pink. She rules the coop with an iron fist though and she'd have any would-be pecker for breakfast. Perhaps this has kept her rear end out of bounds.

Winglet, I can tell you that these gals ain't gettin' broadband in the coop anytime soon because if my chook logged on and saw this she'd have ME for lunch.

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:48 am 
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Unfortunately I woke up this morning to find this chook with a catastrophic prolapse- i.e. her intestines were trailing behind her. She was a terrible mess, so I immediately took her to the emergency vet (fortunately just up the road) to be put to sleep. Even though this has happened she did live a long time with the hernia with no ill effects and she had a happy life. She was a good old faithful girl and was well loved. We'll bury her in the garden today.

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:59 am 
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Clever Cockerel
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:upset: Cocoa, I'm so sorry that your very special girl has died. Hopefully she did not have to suffer too badly and/or too long. You found her early and could act quickly which is good. Yes, she has had a good life and was lucky to have you, she also has made a little piece of chookie history. And that it happened on Good Friday is rather special too. She was unique.
Rest in Peace little chookie.

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 Post subject: Re: Chook with hernia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:23 am 
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Thanks, Chiquita, I really do appreciate your very kind words (as always). She was a real trooper and I'll miss her a lot (as will her best buddy, Wills). I do hope that she was not lying there too long, she was in a terrible state :upset: The vet said that she went to sleep very quickly, so I am grateful for that.

Yes, it is kind of special that it's Good Friday. Not wanting to imply that my chicken was the Second Coming, of course....though she did have a rather benificent way about her :wink: . Plus I am glad I don't have to go to work today. I don't look fit for public consumption.

I had to have another chook put down 2 weeks ago (intestinal tumour) so it's not been the happiest on the chook front lately. I've have ordered the dog and the ducks and the remaining two chickens to stay healthy.

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