Peaches has struggled with a dirty bottom for about a year now. A very long and frustrating year.
When I first discovered her dirty bottom, I tried to treat it myself. I would give her a bath every few days to get her clean. I trimmed back her bottom feathers. But she continued to have a dirty bottom.
I did some research online and came to the conclusion that she must have Vent Gleet, which is a yeast or fungal infection in the bird.
I tried to treat her with some of the online suggestions such as yogurt and ACV and while that seemed to help, it didn't clear up her issue.
I took her to a vet (not my regular vet) and explained her symptoms. The vet looked at a dropping under a microscope and said she didn't see yeast so ruled out Vent Gleet.
Well, fast forward over a very frustrating year and this week I noticed that her bottom was now red and very irritated from the dropping sticking to the skin. I knew that would go south fast so a trip to the vet, MY VET, was in order.
I explained all her symptoms and the vet explained how you might not see yeast in the droppings but that doesn't mean she didn't have Vent Gleet. She examined some of her badly soiled feathers and indeed there was yeast.
So now Peaches has medicine to treat the yeast internally. She also has some special soap and will get a bottom bath every afternoon and after she's dry, she has some special ointment to help sooth the red rash she's sporting.
I'm angry at myself for not pushing this issue harder. I know my girls best and after 6 years of having hens and doing research, I know a few things about chickens. I knew she had Vent Gleet. I just knew it. I should have taken her to MY vet a long time ago. I just assumed that if one vet said, no yeast, that it must be something else.
I'm glad we're on the right track to getting her healthy and happy again. And just ahead of when she'll molt so hopefully, this all gets resolved, she molts out those nasty, spent feathers and sports a beautiful, fluffy bottom for the rest of her life.
My point to all this is to Trust Your Instinct.
Yes, veterinarians went to school for many more years that I did. But that doesn't mean they always know better. Most vets are generalist or avian specialists. But each bird species has it's own unique set of issues. And sometimes those issues come in many different forms, not just the worse case scenarios that were detailed in text books. Don't hesitate to ask your vet, What about this? And why not that? I'm sure they hate it when you say, well, I read online... But there are people online who are quite knowledgeable about chickens. Yes, there's a lot of misinformation out there too. But information is power. If you don't have a vet that you can have an honest discussion with and ask these questions, then find a new vet.
I adore my vet. I really do. I'm so glad I found them and have a relationship with them.
And just one day into treatment, Peaches' bottom already looks better. I'm so thankful that we finally are on the path to resolution with this issue.