Thursday, September 15, 2011


B is a small animal exclusive Veterinarian.  That is just where he decided his interest in practice was.  We see dogs and cats only, and he knew from entering veterinary school that he did not want to practice medicine with food animals.  That said, it is very ironic where our life has come. 

One of our girls, dubbed by Sid as Feathertail, had just not been right for a few weeks.  She stayed perched by herself.  She had a full crop and was frequently eating, but at the end of last week I thought she seemed too full in the crop and a little thin.  B concurred and decided to see if he could remedy what we thought was a crop impaction.  He took her into work flushed and messaged her crop and what felt like a somewhat doughy mass seemed to resolve.  Then, over the weekend it seemed to just return again.

He did a lot of research, consulted with a veterinary discussion board, and even talked to a veterinary specialist that we refer our patients to (she has a special interest in avian).  Our concern quickly became crop paralysis from Mareks disease.  He decided to take make one last effort to make sure there were no foreign objects and empty her crop, then we would see if she refilled again confirming our concern, and make decisions from there.
Full Crop

Little did our staff know that they would be intubating and performing anesthesia on a chicken Monday morning, but that is just what they did.  To our surprise, she had a crop full of straw!  I don't know why she decided THAT was a good idea, but as you can see from the before and after pictures, it was substantial.  So, our concern for Mareks disease has minimized to more a concern for a neurotic straw-eating hen.  We are keeping her seperate for a few days to monitor her and get her as much food and water as possible, but so far so good!
Empty Crop

The sign at the top that hangs in our office,  was a gift to B from my parents about 18 years ago, ironic isn't it?

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