I think Shadow is on the mend

In my last post I thought that Shadow was improving and then she went down hill again. I now think she is improving again and I am hoping that perhaps she is over the worst.

Shadow had a really mucky bottom and the poop was cream coloured. I have been cleaning her bottom towards the end of each day. The day she got better then worse her mucky bottom had a very strong sickly smell.

This smell got stronger the next day and I could smell her as soon as I opened the chicken door to check on them at bedtime. I think that if she had an egg stuck or laid internally that the smell may have been due to infection.

I have been doing research even though I have done so many times before and read that it is possible that an egg without a shell can be reabsorbed into the body but the egg is ideal for bacteria to thrive and therefore cause infection which needs antibiotic to treat it. This is why I feel the tylan is so important for Shadow.

I switched up to hand feeding and giving tylan water to her beak from once a day to twice a day from then. This seems to have boosted her. The poop around her bottom has now changed to a normal brown colour and the smell has become much weaker.

Shadow squeaked every time she tried to poop and I knew it was hurting her. When I cleaned her yesterday afternoon I saw that she had a red spot on her bottom where the poop had made her sore. After cleaning her bottom I smeared vaseline on the skin around her vent to protect the skin. I will do this every time I clean her. Talk about up close and personal!

Yesterday Shadow briefly joined the flock in a dust bath which is a good sign and at bedtime I saw her eat a few pellets for the first time since she became unwell. These things make me hopeful that the worst may be over.

I have also read that if this happens to a hen once then it can happen again but I have to take this one step at a time and cross my bridges as I get to them.

This is the first time that this has happened without a soft shell that I have in the past been able to pull out. I can only surmise that this is what has happened by my research and my instincts. Either way the important thing is to do every thing I can to get Shadow well again.

Shadow having some seeds and chopped tomato on the metal table

Shadow is still struggling with pooping which isn’t good. She isn’t out of the woods yet but I am a little more hopeful than I was a few days ago and I am still keeping everything crossed for her.

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10 Responses to I think Shadow is on the mend

  1. Jenny says:

    If you’re right in your diagnosis it is lucky you had some antibiotics because I doubt a vet would have been able to diagnose her and give them quickly enough.

    I hope she continues to improve.

    • Carol says:

      I know that it is truly lucky that I still had tylan in stock as I had already thought that a vet couldn’t help me fast enough or know any better than I do what to do in any case. However I am on to my next worry now. I had thought that Shadow was having discomfort in pooping but I am now worried that it may be a mechanical problem. She squeaks every time she tries to poop and it obviously hurts her which breaks my heart. She can’t expel it far enough which means it is causing her the mucky bottom. I am now worried that a mechanical problem could have caused the egg laying problem and if she can’t poop properly then she won’t be able to lay properly in the future and that means that she can’t be fixed. This is breaking my heart but I can’t do anything other than what I am doing and wait to see how it goes. I think things are getting better then I worry about the next thing. I would do anything I could to fix her but I am scared that this is not going to be fixed. I can only do what I can and see how it goes but I have a heavy heart right now.

  2. David says:

    Fingers crossed that she continues in the right direction.

    • Carol says:

      See my comment above. I really really want a good outcome but am now worried again that there is something wrong that can’t be fixed. I won’t give up until I have too but I am more worried now about the inability for Shadow to poop properly.

  3. Sophie says:

    Oh Carol, I’m so sorry to read this. I really hope she pulls through, I’m beginning to think seramas are just so much more delicate than other breeds. xx

    • Carol says:

      I have thought that for a while. I love seramas but it’s making me think that I shouldn’t have any more. In part that was what made me get a hamburg. I felt I needed a more robust addition to the flock. All my egg laying problems have been with the seramas except for one which was Amber (vorwerk) who had egg laying problems right from when she started. Prolapse and soft shelled eggs have been my most frequent problem with seramas. It is so heartbreaking. xx

  4. Jenny says:

    I wonder if it might be worth taking her to see a vet now. Even if you right about a mechanical problem causing her pain, it may be that it’s something short term that painkillers such as metacam could help her through. Worth exploring? I know it’s always though because having kept chickens for a while I feel that there are very few vets who have the depth of knowledge about chickens to be able to correctly diagnose and treat anything not immediately obvious.

    • Carol says:

      This is kind of changing day to day and today Shadow didn’t squeak when pooping and no mucky bottom since I cleaned her this morning with just a wipe with tissue so I am now more hopeful again. She did eat more variety too, having spinach which she refused before. I think that I need to take it day to day but I am quietly a bit more hopeful now. Not hearing that squeak has been really encouraging and I now feel that once again I need to see what tomorrow brings. I try to keep up to date and of course that means you are seeing my thoughts change from moment to moment. I think I need to see how tomorrow goes now but I have a glimmer of hope once again. I value your input so much but I am also trying to asses this day by day and will report back again over the next day or so. I agree with you about vets who I always feel have less knowledge about chickens than I do which is why I feel I have to choose when the time is right to visit the vet.

  5. marion.pharo says:

    Let us hope she carries on improving. You have done your very best for her.

    • Carol says:

      Shadow has now stopped squeaking when she poops so I am more hopeful again. I am just wiping the poop from her bottom with tissue now and the sickly smell has gone. She is eating. I am still keeping everything crossed.

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