Jump to content

Kidney and liver problems - require vet

Recommended Posts

I'm hoping for some advice, if anyone can help please.


I have a 3.5 year old Light Sussex called Parsnip, who recently showed some signs of struggling to walk. Took her to the vet immediately and the vet checked her for parasites, bumblefoot, scaly leg mite etc. Parsnip had recently been wormed with the Flubenvet which kills off most worms and was deemed by the vet to be in very good condition.


Some blood tests revealed that her calcium levels were a bit low, and that she had very early signs of kidney and liver disease. The main nerve to the legs passes through the kidneys so the vet felt that inflammation could easily cause the lameness we'd witnessed. Vet could not hear any signs of respiratory abnormalities, although when the chicken arrived, the vet noted that her nostrils looked to be dilating, which soon stopped.


So we currently have her on a lower protein diet, a diuretic and Metacam for the pain as well as including celery in her diet for its uric acid busting properties.


She seemed to be responding well and has a good quality of life but when the vet advised reducing the Metacam dose (we found out on a subsequent visit that the dose she suggested was simply too low to benefit the chook and the vet then telephoned the manufacturer and got information directly from them about dose size, efficacy and longevity), Parsnip was right back to square one. I'm a bit concerned that we might be missing something.


My boyfriend, who has much better hearing than me, has noticed Parsnip's breath whistling on occasions and thinks that it's been going on for a few weeks, possibly months. He says it's not every breath, but occasional. I'm wondering if she could have had a respiratory problem which has then gone to her kidneys. We haven't noticed it in any of the other chooks (she lives with 3 pals).


My vet has moved practices now and I'm looking for a current recommendation in Kent. I used Kate Everett at Sandhole, Snodland, but both she and Isabel and the subsequent lady, Monica, have all left.


Any ideas about (a) whether I should be doing anything different - perhaps exploring the possibility that a respiratory problem has gone into her kidneys (and if so, how would I do that and is there any treatment for something like that?) and (b) any good vets especially in the North Kent area (bearing in mind the list on here recommends Sandhole who currently don't have a chicken vet)?


Apologies for the long post and thank you to anyone who has the patience to read it and the kindness to make any recommendations!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Budgies,


It sounds like you've got most angles covered to me. I'm afraid I'm at the other end of the country to you, so have no clue about vets in your area.


I would think tracking one down would be your best bet though, to be sure of what it is you're treating, what with changing her diet etc. Pure guess here, but could the occasional wheezing also be connected to the inflammation, and be affecting her breathing?? (assuming there's no nasal discharge.)


The reduction in the Metacam, would presumably result in the inflammation not being reduced sufficiently, hence the square one, so it does sound like an inflammation problem of some sort, if the higher dose was doing some good?


I do hope someone with some knowledge comes along to help you... I just thought I'd say Hi, and not leave you in the lurch, so to speak. Good luck with your girl, and let us know if you find out more... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Budgies, sorry I couldn't be more helpful in our emails, did you try Royal Vet College? It seems I was rather optimistic about the forum assisting, but now I've read the nature of the problem I can see why.

You know I wish you all the best in finding some answers for Parsnip, she has the best chicken keepers caring for her. Xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both so much for your kind responses, they were very much appreciated.


It seems (from having spoken to quite a few vets!) that egg peritonitis could potentially be the most likely cause of the problems we're seeing. I've found someone who is going to scan her abdomen tomorrow to see whether that is what's happening.


The most likely explanation for the occasional wheeze seems to be that most chickens carry mycoplasmal infection and it can flare when the hen is under stress. Will know more after tomorrow hopefully.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...