PoultryVet, LLC

1180 Nebraska Ct NE
Salem, OR 97301

(503)751-2600

www.poultryvetllc.com


PoultryVetLLC - Salem, OR - Contact Us - 05/11/2020

PoultryVetLLC - Salem, OR - Contact Us


Ascites (waterbelly) - 05/06/2020

Ascites in backyard laying hens is one of the most common things I see both in the clinic and on house calls. The most common initial concern I hear from clients is that they believe they have a hen that is egg bound. These hens will have a very distended coelomic cavity (abdomen or belly) and walk with a penguin like stance, standing more upright than normal with a bit of a waddle. They also usually tend to have difficulty breathing, which is another common concern with clients.

Ascites is not a specific disease in and of itself, but rather, something that happens in the body because of various disease processes. Heart disease, liver disease, infectious diseases, and cancers can all lead to ascites fluid build-up.

In meat type birds, ascites, also known as Pulmonary Hypertension Syndrome (PHS), is related to a combination of genetics along with environmental and management conditions.

In laying hens, the most common cause I’ve diagnosed is secondary to ovarian neoplasia. The diagnosis is by necropsy so if my client doesn’t wish to have this done, I won’t be able to tell what the cause was.

Another not uncommon cause is yolk peritonitis, which may or may not be associated with infection. This occurs when a yolk is ovulated either directly into the peritoneal space or may make it into the oviduct and then is retropulsed, or moves in the wrong direction, back into the body cavity. The yolk, or even fully formed egg at times, causes inflammation which can lead to the fluid build-up. If bacterial infection in the oviduct is what caused the egg to retropulsed in the first place, this can also enter the body cavity.

Sometimes a cyst stemming from a persistent right oviduct can be the cause. This is the best case scenario since it is not stemming from a disease condition but rather a usually benign cyst formation.

So what do you do if you suspect your bird has ascites?

Ideally, have them examined by a veterinarian experienced with chickens. X-rays and ultrasound can be very helpful in diagnosis. An electrocardiogram might be helpful if the cause is related to PHS or other cardiac issue. Removal of the fluid will give the bird temporary relief in reducing the pressure on the internal organs and on the lungs and air sac system.  This doesn’t fix the problem but does give the bird a better quality of life. If the problem is a cyst, the prognosis is much better but still must be drained on occasion.

If the bird is a meat bird, it is most humane to euthanize him earlier than anticipated to reduce suffering, though you may not know there is anything wrong until you find him deceased. If the others still have growing to do before they are processed, consider increasing ventilation and ensure a clean, ammonia free environment.

In the mean time, you can make your bird more comfortable by keeping her in a small quiet warm area with good ventilation to help her breath more easily. Make sure she has plenty of clean, fresh water and food that is easily accessible.

Other problems can mimic ascites, so don’t give up hope or automatically assume that your bird has ascites. These issues include obesity, egg binding and salpingitis. There are also treatments that can help your bird feel better including medications, therapies such as draining the abdomen, or surgical intervention.


Photo - 04/11/2017




Do you know what came first?Well, I hatched... - 04/05/2017



Do you know what came first?

Well, I hatched first!


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Rooster Calls - 04/05/2017

How can I stop my Rooster from crowing?

A common question people ask me is “Can I keep my rooster from crowing?” The bottom-line answer is - MAYBE. Most city urban areas that allow folks to keep chickens do not allow roosters. Roosters are noisy and annoy the neighbors. Most people in these settings have obtained the roosters as chicks, not realizing their gender until it is “too late” and they have become attached to them as pets. So, instead of eliminating them from the flock, they seek alternate means of fixing the issue. That is when I get the call.

De-crowing a rooster is not possible. The anatomy of the airway is not conducive to this. They do not have a “voice box” that can be removed or traumatized to reduce the sound. Instead, at the area where the trachea (wind-pipe) splits to go to each lung, there is a bit of a pinched area that helps the chicken create the well known sounds. This area is called the Syrinx. The tracheal tissue is very thin and delicate as well, and thus is very easily damaged.

Will NEUTERING my rooster stop the crowing?   The answer to this question is, maybe. If a chick is “neutered”, or in chickens, “Caponized”, early in life, this may or may not work. Caponizing can be dangerous due to the arteries that supply the testicles, and the proximity of the testicles to the aorta, in the chicken. Testicles are located within the body cavity of birds, not externally as in most mammals. They sit right in front of (cranial to) the kidneys and adrenal glands and just under (ventral to) the aorta, and they are surrounded by intestines. An adult rooster can have testicles larger than a large pecan (in its shell), some even the size of a fully formed hen egg. The surgery is not easy in these guys and, if this option is pursued, a veterinarian who specializes in avian surgery should be consulted to do the procedure. If the bird is still young, say less than 16 weeks old, the procedure is a bit safer since the testicles are still comparatively small and vessels are easier to see. It is still risky however.

What about hormone implants, like Deslorelin? Again, for some Roos, this may reduce the crowing, but may not. The other problem is that it is only approved for use in Ferrets in the United States. When a veterinarian orders it from the company, we are stating that we are going to use it for ferrets, so …   Also, it is not approved for use in poultry of any kind. This is one of the safest methods but the legality is a big issue.

Deslorelin website

Okay, so I’ve heard about “Anti-crow collars”. What about those?  Anti-crow collars can be effective, if they stay on properly. The controversy with these, other than staying on, is with the humaneness of them. Are they cruel? Are they hurting the bird or causing other distress? Is the bird able to eat and drink properly with the collar on? All good, and yet still unanswered questions! They can work in the urban setting, and are a cost-effective option. You must make sure they are not too tight or causing other harm to your bird. See the YouTube video below for an example of a rooster with a no crow type collar and judge for yourself.

       YouTube video of Rooster Collar


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Poultry Vet Health - 04/05/2017

poultryvet:

New content coming soon! In the mean time, explore the page. Click on “Ask the Poultry Vet” to submit questions or comments.

Have a wonderful day!

www.poultryvetllc.com


Need help with sick chicken! - 04/05/2017

poultryvet:

You’ve decided to jump in and get some chickens. You purchase a few chicks from the local feed store and raise them to be beautiful young hens. They are giving you an egg a day! One day, you go out to check on the girls and one is still in the coop and sitting in the corner. You call the vet you use for your dog but she says she doesn’t know anything about chickens and doesn’t fee comfortable seeing your chicken. You call a few other vets and they say the same thing. You search online but nothing specific comes up that you find helpful. What are you going to do?


Poultry Vet Health - 04/05/2017

New content coming soon! In the mean time, explore the page. Click on “Ask the Poultry Vet” to submit questions or comments.

Have a wonderful day!


Need help with sick chicken! - 09/15/2016

You’ve decided to jump in and get some chickens. You purchase a few chicks from the local feed store and raise them to be beautiful young hens. They are giving you an egg a day! One day, you go out to check on the girls and one is still in the coop and sitting in the corner. You call the vet you use for your dog but she says she doesn’t know anything about chickens and doesn’t fee comfortable seeing your chicken. You call a few other vets and they say the same thing. You search online but nothing specific comes up that you find helpful. What are you going to do?