Lots of you have been asking how Peep is doing post double bumblefoot surgery. The answer is, she’s doing great. In hindsight, I think I should have done one foot at a time. I also wish I would have thought of pain meds beforehand as well. The poor girl didn’t know how to stand, and I’m sure nothing felt comfortable with two fresh holes cut in her feet.
After surgery, the cat vet who walked me through it, prescribed some Metacam to manage her pain. (I had to use the kitchen scale to get an accurate weight on Peep as they dose according to weight). That helped her tremendously. From there, I changed and re-bandaged her feet for about a week and now she’s healed up and doing well.
But it seems that issues in my flock happen in groups. So, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I let the girls out for recess last week only to find what looked like a big nasty blob of poo hanging off Charlotte’s backside. Huge blob. One I couldn’t ignore. So, I went in the house, changed into chicken and poo-wrestling clothes, armed myself with rags and rubber gloves, and caught up with Charlotte.
Once I had her backside close enough, I realized it wasn’t poo at all. It was, well, I wasn’t sure. Part of it looked like a dog poop wrapped in a cooked egg yolk, part looked like an egg membrane. And, the part I really worried about, had some liver looking (and feeling) similarities.
(For all of you with queasy stomachs, I won’t post the photos until the end, and I’ll give warning, so you can skip that part if you want. But for those of you that would like to see it, and I think it’s very educational, I will post the pictures in case something similar happens to you so you’ll know what it is.)
After I removed all the cling-ons from Charlotte’s vent, I took photos and sent them to both my cat vet and my surgical oncologist friend. I figured between the two of them, they’d have a better guess than me about what was going on.
Thankfully, my vet knows an avian vet and shot the photos over to her. This vet had an answer just by looking at the photos. She said Charlotte was suffering from what is known as a pus’olith, a rotten, hard-boiled, shell-less egg concretion. Most pus’oliths require surgical removal, as they rarely make it out on their own, so she said Charlotte was fortunate.
I learned, also, that the chicken uterus is over a foot long and can back up a large quantity of yolk product.
The avian vet suggested antibiotics for Charlotte to protect against any sort of infection. So, that’s how I ended up at Albertson’s pharmacy, picking up a prescription for my chicken. (It was cheap—no pun intended—only $10). I put Charlotte in the garage in the chicken infirmary pen, and gave her meds 2x per day. She continued to excrete what looked like raw egg product out her vent. And her improvement was iffy.
Today, however, I’ve got her back with the rest of the flock and she’s looking nearly recovered. Although, as is always the case with fragile chickens, the verdict is still out for her. But, I’m hoping her improvement continues.
You just never know what’s gonna happen with chickens. I’m on a constant learning curve. They’re hardy and fragile, simple and complex. Hopefully Charlotte will completely recover and the avian vet says she has every possibility of resuming normal egg laying.
Now, as I promised, here’s your warning for the photos of the pus’olith. Stop now if you don’t want to see them. Scroll down a ways if you do want to see them. I’m creating space between this last paragraph and the photos just so nobody gets taken by surprise.