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Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:11 pm
by Sooz
Anyone know best way to treat Ascities in Chickens? Any type of supplements added to their food?

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:25 pm
by Marigold
Hi Sooz, and welcome to the Forum.
How old is your hen, and what breed? In my experience, ascites is usually a side effect of other internal problems and occurs mainly in older birds who have been laying heavily in their first few seasons but are beginning to reach the end of their active laying life. They are likely to go down to distressing complaints such as peritonitis and the ascites may be a side effect of this. I don't think vet treatment is likely to help. Personally i would cull an affected bird, as even if she could be helped to hang on for a while, the problem will catch up with her in the end and I feel it's one of those things which drag a chicken down, where it's kindest to cull.

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:06 pm
by Sooz
Thank you Marigold for your reply but to cull is not an option for me. I actually have quails not chicken, I wrote chicken as this is a chicken forum and people are very knowledgeable on the poultry. Chicken and quails are similar health wise. My quail is only 13 months old looking for ideas on supplements recommended.

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:20 am
by MrsBiscuit
Firstly, I can't comment on illness in quail, but if this were a chicken, I would agree with Marigold about culling, and I don't think any supplement is going to give you a cure. However, you could try something containing oregano which some people think helps, something like Orego-Stim. You could maybe investigate getting a vet to drain the fluid, although that isn't a permanent fix either. Truly, my personal opinion is that you are only going to delay the inevitable, and its not pleasant watching a bird which will strain to breathe properly if/when the ascites gets worse. Unfortunately, ascites is not age-related.

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:47 am
by Sooz
Ok I will try Oregano thank you MrsBiscuit. The vet has drained her for me. She has made improvements. I don't want to cull her I will try my best with her. Some people say Milk thistle is this best in seed or liquid?

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:54 am
by Sooz
MrsBiscuit where can I buy Orego-Stim please? I read it is to use in racing pigeons is it safe for quails? :-)05

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:49 pm
by Marigold
We do have a quail section, Sooz, and having kept both chickens and quails, I think there are enormous differences between them, apart from the basic physiological similarities that all birds share. The problem with all birds being kept domestically is that their metabolism and internal structures are so different from mammals, and they are so much smaller, especially quails, that there has been little research done on how to treat any but the most common problems. Vets are often under-informed and tend to just hand out antibiotics on the off chance they might do some good, or to try remedies such as surgery which are not only risky to a bird with totally different breathing arrangements from mammals, but incredibly expensive for most of us.
People do differ on where they draw the line when a bird appears to be suffering with a serious illness, and i know many of us go to enormous lengths to help a pet bird hang on in there - and sometimes, at least in chickens, this does appear to work, for a while, depending on the nature of the problem. I do agree with Mrs B. that supplements are unlikely to help an illness such as ascites, which as I said, suggests other internal problems unrelated to inadequate diet.
Nobody will be critical whatever course of action you take with you little quail - but those of us who have been faced with similar dilemmas over the years often feel that a swift and humane end can often avoid a long and possibly painful struggle which will eventually result in death anyway, and we can only advise from our own experience. It's up to you, what you decide, and we'll be very interested to hear what happens.

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:16 pm
by Sooz
Thank you for your reply Marigold. I am worried trying certain things might do more harm than good. I have read Oregano is good for ducks with ascities but found no information on quails with it. With Orego-Stim it says for racing pigeons. If like you say there are enormous differences in birds I will not try it. The vet did advise on Avipro and Milk thistle and to worm her. She also drained the fluid. I bought Avipro, wormed her and she has make a good progress even started laying again. However she still hobble when she walks. I did not like asking the vet to many questions but I bought milk thistle which was advertised for parrots came in quite large seeds so I had to blend them. Now I was wondering whether I should have bought the liquid form but that say for cat and dogs. Such a worry as they are pets to me. To cull is so heartbreaking to end it's life as I hatched her myself in an incubator. I really don't think I can do this. xx

Re: Ascites (water belly)

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:28 am
by Marigold
If she's making some progress, then that's fine, isn't it? just make her as comfortable as you can and see how she gets on. So long as she's not obviously going downhill, or unless the fluid returns and she starts just sitting around looking inactive, then supporting her quality of life is good to do. As she's so very special, if you do come to feel it's time to help her, you could always take her back to the vet to be pts, which is painless and peaceful. i know how hard it is to do the deed on one of your own. x