We've had our fair share of animal medical problems this year and while most are now sorted, one of our hens, Bim, has rather a persistent problem. It's a large swelling in the lower abdomen and looks pretty red and uncomfortable. It's a condition called Egg Yolk Peritonitis, a common condition in hens of all ages. You can see the angry red patch down near her legs in the photo.
Bim has already had a visit to the vet resulting in a course of anti inflamatory injections and a course of antibiotics. That helped a little, but in the following weeks, the swelling slowly returned. Sadly, treatment for Egg Yolk Peritonitis is seldom successful and often results in the hen dying.
But Bim was showing no other signs of ill-health. Her comb is red and healthy. She is eating, she keeps up with the other hens, in fact she is still number one hen. That said, she had started to be slow in leaving the hen house in the morning.
The question was what to do. There is no real treatment for this condition. Even an operation is out of the question as hens do not normally react well to anaesthetic.
Anyway, we had the vet coming over to check on one the sheep. Peaches, the oldest, is looking a little thin and we needed to check her teeth to make sure she was still able to eat. We tried, but putting our fingers near Peach's teeth proved somewhat tricky. The vet had a special gadget and Peaches is fine, thankfully.
Anyway, we asked her to give Bim a checkover. She also agreed that Bim, swelling apart, seemed very healthy. So, she's on another course of antibiotics supported by a diet and bath regime designed by Nicole. Yes, you read correctly - a bath regime. Apparently a warm salt bath can help to clear the affected passage. Bim is not entirely sure about the bath, but the blow dry afterwards goes down a treat. Bim happily stands on the floor and lifts her wing to get maximum effect from the hairdryer.
Her diet comprises garlic and other natural antibiotic / anti-inflammatory plants.
It's early days, but she is now proving hard to catch which is a good sign.