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Urgent: Ruptured air sac not healing

Magpie

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I’ve been trying to get advice for this though my usual alleys but I’m not getting the information that I need so I’m trying a parrot forum instead. Birds are birds right?

I have a baby chicken with a ruptured air sac which I have been treating for WEEKS now and it just isn’t healing. We went to a vet first thing and she said to just drain the air a few times and it should heal within a week or so. It’s not healed.
The chick was two weeks old when we noticed she was inflating and she’s four weeks today. She hasn’t showed any signs of struggle in any way apart from her side becoming grossly inflated. She eats, she drinks, she poops, and she crawls all over her foster mom, she’s very happy and healthy apart from being a tiny balloon.
1683673599442.jpeg
This is a picture from when we first noticed it.

We’ve been trying different things to keep the inflation down. Lately she’s been wearing a little vet wrap bodysuit since I discovered that the swelling would slowly go down as she breathes as long as there’s pressure on it.
1683673629389.jpeg
Picture of her at 3.5 weeks in her first wrap. You can see some swelling on her leg starting.
1683673659387.jpeg
Picture of baby at four weeks in her wrap.
I’ve had to slowly add to the wrap as well, when I restricted the inflation around the torso it just started stretching the skin in other places like her leg and bum. I have noticed when I change her wrappings, the skin that was compressed is not as stretched out but that’s about the only improvement we’ve seen so far.

Does anyone have any idea what I can do to fix this? I’m running out of ideas and I’m seriously worried that as soon as she starts to actually decline, she might crash and we could loose her.
1683673688775.jpeg
 

Pixiebeak

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Awww cuties tho.

The only times I've seen this they were surgically repaired...long time ago. I definitely don't know all treatment options.

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will update us. Praying for good outcome.

Maybe other members have experience with this .
.

Was there trauma thst started this?
 

Magpie

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Awww cuties tho.

The only times I've seen this they were surgically repaired...long time ago. I definitely don't know all treatment options.

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will update us. Praying for good outcome.

Maybe other members have experience with this .
.

Was there trauma thst started this?
The current treatment we’re giving her is just draining the air with a needle and sometimes a syringe to really pull the last of it out. The vet wrap we started more recently when it became very clear that her side would re-inflate in under a minute every time.

There was likely some sort of trauma since that’s the most common cause of ruptured air sacs but it doesn’t need to be anything significant apparently to cause it. Mom is partially blind in one eye and probably one of the dumbest chickens I’ve ever met (no offence, she’s lovely but boy is she dense) she usually moves very slowly around baby but she could have bumped her. Baby also was getting sick of the small space we had to keep them in and tried to jump out a couple times only to smack into the wall.

The cause is one thing but at this point the tear should have closed with basic treatment. I’ve been trying to give her stuff like cayenne pepper flakes even, apparently they help improve blood flow, in hopes that she might heal the internal tear faster.
I want to avoid anything like surgery due to how young she is as well as antibiotics if possible.
 

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Have you circled back with the vet (even just calling) to see what they say about it still being an issue?
 

Magpie

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Have you circled back with the vet (even just calling) to see what they say about it still being an issue?
I thankfully have the vet’s number and have been keeping her updated but she’s not familiar with tears like this that just won’t heal. She said that we could possibly put a stent in but she’s a farm vet so a baby chick is too small for her to really operate on and she’d need to refer me to a specialist (most likely an exotic avian vet), I know where she’d likely send us and they’re excellent, I take my parakeets to them, but it would mean antibiotics and a hole in her side.
 

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I am so sorry you are going through this. And I understand what you mean about poultry forums, sometimes advice there is simply brutal and unhelpful.

I have experience with chicks and have adopted some rejected chicks (that were literally considered not worth savings). From that batch one made it to adulthood, and she is still around 5 years later.

I do not have experience with air sacs injuries. I suggest checking poultry DVM and continuing to contact your vet. PoultryDVM | Visual, Interactive Poultry Health Information

May I ask what diet your little one is on? Your little chick seems to be developing slowly. Her feathering is more similar with a 2week old chicken and not a 4 week old. Improper or delayed feather can be an indicator of something missing in her diet, or sadly a failure to thrive condition that she may not recover from. If she is missing something in her diet it may complicate her ability to heal and grow.
 

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I think poultry forums have a heaps of good info and access to some very knowledgeable people, but I fully understand how hard it is to get a hold of all that.
I am not aware of anything more you could, I would just keep draining the air in the hope that the hole heals.
 

Magpie

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I am so sorry you are going through this. And I understand what you mean about poultry forums, sometimes advice there is simply brutal and unhelpful.

I have experience with chicks and have adopted some rejected chicks (that were literally considered not worth savings). From that batch one made it to adulthood, and she is still around 5 years later.

I do not have experience with air sacs injuries. I suggest checking poultry DVM and continuing to contact your vet. PoultryDVM | Visual, Interactive Poultry Health Information

May I ask what diet your little one is on? Your little chick seems to be developing slowly. Her feathering is more similar with a 2week old chicken and not a 4 week old. Improper or delayed feather can be an indicator of something missing in her diet, or sadly a failure to thrive condition that she may not recover from. If she is missing something in her diet it may complicate her ability to heal and grow.
She’s mostly eating basic chick crumble, medicated I think. We give her and her mom lots of treats too.
I tried to mark the pictures with when they were taken, at least one was of her at two weeks old. We noticed the inflation at two weeks old and she is four weeks now. She’s also a bantam mix so I’m glad you mentioned her feathers and not her size because she is TINY.
1683764111073.jpeg Here’s a picture of her sunbathing from today. You can also see where the wrap has slipped to the side and the skin near her bum is stretched out again.
1683764290553.jpeg Another shot of her on a lawn chair. She flew up there on her own.
1683764537159.png One more of her on my lap. You can see her awkward neck feathers coming in.
 

fashionfobie

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Thank you for sharing the pictures she is beautiful.

It sounds to me like you are doing what needs to be done. I would continue working with your vet. I sincerely hope she overcomes this.
 

Magpie

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Thank you for sharing the pictures she is beautiful.

It sounds to me like you are doing what needs to be done. I would continue working with your vet. I sincerely hope she overcomes this.
So her feather development looks good for four weeks?
I feel like she’s so healthy in every other way that it’s honestly bizarre she hasn’t healed yet. I’ve dealt with perfectly healthy chicks with less energy than she has!
I’ll just keep up what I’ve been doing then and if she’s still inflated when she’s fully grown then maybe she’ll get some kind of surgery. I’m in it for the long haul, definitely not giving up on her. Thank you for the well wishes.

Just for fun here are pictures of her bio mom and dad
2992E593-CCD8-44DC-A49F-61CA0305E57D.jpeg 645ECAC4-9F2E-45CD-80E7-E5ED5408DE67.jpeg
Mom is a Mille Fleur Belgian Bearded D’uccle and Dad is a splash Cochin bantam (foster mama is black/gold laced Cochin bantam). How she turned out “blue” is anyone’s guess!
 
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AussieBird

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Mom is a Mille Fleur Belgian Bearded D’uccle and Dad is a splash Cochin bantam (foster mama is black/gold laced Cochin bantam). How she turned out “blue” is anyone’s guess!
From my very basic understanding (and I am probably going to explain this the wrong way) of chicken genetics, Splash is two copies of the blue gene. So your little baby inherited one blue gene from her dad, I don't know the genetics of Mille Fleur to know more then that about her.
 

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@Magpie I would say her feather growth is slightly delayed. But the fact some new feathers are coming in is a positive sign. Does she generally have a good appetite?
 

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Ruptured sacs usually heal on there own but sometimes a secondary infection can happen or it can get bigger and will need surgical repair or a stent. If it's not healed in another 2 weeks or so I would start thinking of other options.
 

Magpie

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Ruptured sacs usually heal on there own but sometimes a secondary infection can happen or it can get bigger and will need surgical repair or a stent. If it's not healed in another 2 weeks or so I would start thinking of other options.
THANK YOU!!! It’s unbelievable how difficult it is to find information on this. I’ll keep trying to restrict the stretching for now and if it doesn’t improve in two weeks I’ll ask her vet to refer us to someone who can treat her.
I can finally make a plan that isn’t just “wait indefinitely”!
Thank you thank you thank you!:starshower1:
 

Magpie

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@Magpie I would say her feather growth is slightly delayed. But the fact some new feathers are coming in is a positive sign. Does she generally have a good appetite?
She eats, she drinks, she poops. I’d say she has a pretty good appetite.
She struggled a little when she was first hatched because the chick crumble was too big for her so I had to grind it up into basically a powder. Once or twice a day I’d mix it with water and make a mash for her and mom to enjoy together. I think I accidentally target trained her with the thing I served it on, she goes nuts when she sees the little measuring spoon I’d mix and serve it in.
She is steadily getting more feathers every day so I think she’s good at this point but she had a little bald spot when she was little(er). Maybe her feathers had a slow start.
54018645-EEB9-4BBE-8F6E-C36F4FDE0C7C.png You can see the little pink spot on her back here. Also that is not her shell, hers was much smaller.
1683848341304.jpeg
 

Magpie

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From my very basic understanding (and I am probably going to explain this the wrong way) of chicken genetics, Splash is two copies of the blue gene. So your little baby inherited one blue gene from her dad, I don't know the genetics of Mille Fleur to know more then that about her.
8D3033CF-E86F-4244-BCB7-F27679B7CF99.jpeg
I didn’t realize that splash was two blue genes! That makes more sense. I thought if mom’s Mille Fleur gene somehow read like a blue or black gene then it would appear to make some sense but I can’t find any information on how splash mixes with spangles like Mille Fleur.
It’s a real shame none of her siblings hatched, we had four incubating initially. It would have been nice if there were more to compare her to.
 
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She’s mostly eating basic chick crumble, medicated I think. We give her and her mom lots of treats too.
I tried to mark the pictures with when they were taken, at least one was of her at two weeks old. We noticed the inflation at two weeks old and she is four weeks now. She’s also a bantam mix so I’m glad you mentioned her feathers and not her size because she is TINY.
View attachment 428914 Here’s a picture of her sunbathing from today. You can also see where the wrap has slipped to the side and the skin near her bum is stretched out again.
View attachment 428915 Another shot of her on a lawn chair. She flew up there on her own.
View attachment 428916 One more of her on my lap. You can see her awkward neck feathers coming in.
She's so precious! What an absolute darling she is :heart:
 

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View attachment 428981
I didn’t realize that splash was two blue genes! That makes more sense. I thought if mom’s Mille Fleur gene somehow read like a blue or black gene then it would appear to make some sense but I can’t find any information on how splash mixes with spangles like Mille Fleur.
It’s a real shame none of her siblings hatched, we had four incubating initially. It would have been nice if there were more to compare her to.
You sent me down a rabbit hole :rolleyes:
Unless I did it wrong I believe all babies would be blue. Without me looking into it deeper mille fleur is likely something recessive.
Screenshot_20230512-100834_Samsung Internet.jpg
Your baby is just precious, I hope you have success in getting her all better :)
 

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She eats, she drinks, she poops. I’d say she has a pretty good appetite.
She struggled a little when she was first hatched because the chick crumble was too big for her so I had to grind it up into basically a powder. Once or twice a day I’d mix it with water and make a mash for her and mom to enjoy together. I think I accidentally target trained her with the thing I served it on, she goes nuts when she sees the little measuring spoon I’d mix and serve it in.
She is steadily getting more feathers every day so I think she’s good at this point but she had a little bald spot when she was little(er). Maybe her feathers had a slow start.
View attachment 428979 You can see the little pink spot on her back here. Also that is not her shell, hers was much smaller.
View attachment 428980
So cute!

It is usual to need to add a bit of water to chick starter when they are new to the world, usually for 5 days sometimes longer so bantams. It important thing is frequently changing the feed.

Also you didn't accidentally target train her don't worry. Chicks are naturally attracted to pointing because that is how their mum shows them what to eat/drink. It is good practice to point out new feed to babies chickens so they learn where it is. :)

I adore that she has mum.
 
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