We had Sugar put down last week.
She just wasn't improving and the vet said that the fluid inside of her was solidifying and she couldn't drain it.
Just to quickly recap, she was showing signs of respiratory distress. But the vet cultured her and it came back negative. Xrays that showed she was full of fluid that was compressing her lungs making it difficult to breath. She did drain off fluid the week before and it was milky, like egg white material.
We both agreed that she probably had a problem w/ her reproductive system and that there was nothing I did wrong and that it probably wasn't contagious. So I opted to give her a proper burial and not send her off for a necropsy.
But now I'm really kicking myself.
I let the remaining four Spice Girls out yesterday for some garden time and watched as Spice was visibly panting when the others were not. Later, when I picked her up to give her her medicine she screamed at me. A sound that I have only heard Sugar make. And when I gave Spice a bit of a squeeze in the vent area, she screamed again. And tensed up like she was in pain.
Oh boy, here we go again.
So now I'm just kicking myself for not sending Sugar off for a necropsy. Because it really appears that Spice has the exact same thing.
So here's the deal. She's a 6 1/2 month old Buff Orpington. She's got free access to layer rations and fresh water all day long. And I also have out a bowl of oyster shells. She's eating, drinking and pooping just fine. Nothing odd there. She's also laying beautiful eggs.
I give them a treat every afternoon, usually a handful of Black Oiled Sunflower Seeds.
The only thing I can think of that is different in the last 6 weeks is that I started giving them 50% pellets and 50% crumbles in the hopes of switching them over to pellets. I was assured that the pellets were the EXACT same formula as the pellets.
And three weeks ago, I bought a lead free drinking water safe hose from a camper store and started to fill their water w/ that instead of lugging it from the garage.
I posted to BYC and had a few people reply that she could have Fatty Liver Disease. Which does cause leakage into the body cavity. It kind of sounds plausible. But I have 2 1.5 year old hens who I've treated this way for the whole time I've had them. If it's Fatty Liver Disease, why wouldn't have have come down with it before it?
If anyone has ANY suggestions, ideas, ANYTHING, I'd love to hear from you. I have a note out to my vet to see what she says. I can't keep tossing these kinds of $$$'s at my hens. But I do need to get to the root of this. And I will DEFINITELY have Spice sent for a necropsy if she does parish so we can get some more factual info to work with here.