waterbelly 911

JeepGirl

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I have a 3 year old Pekin duck who I believe has waterbelly.
At first I thought she was eggbound because she hadnt laid in several days, but after epsom soaks as well as manually checking ( i.e. I stuck my finger up there) I'm sure that's not it. Then she laid soft shells yesterday AND today despite her getting layer feed AND oyster shell.

Her poor belly has become huge in the last week, feels like a balloon, and she has labored breathing.

I decided to try to draw some of the fluid out, and instead of getting the clear yellow fluid I expected, I got black liquid.
Does this mean there's an infection?
Do I continue to draw that fluid out?

I used a 20g x 3/4" needle (that's all I had) and went down & to the right of the vent.

I cannot justify a vet bill, as much as I love her.
so Cephalexin is all i have as far as antibiotics.
I'm sure I could get some fishmox though.
 

Sheepshape

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I hope I'm wrong.

I had a young hen, under 2, who suddenly began to swell and to stop laying. Though her plumage looked good and she was still eating, I noticed her belly was very swollen. A 'diagnostic tap' showed some smelly black fluid. I suspected she had egg yolk peritonitis which, as you probably know, is when the developing egg, instead of going down the oviduct when released from the ovary gets loose into the body cavity and becomes infected (often with E.coli) Black fluid is usual in this condition, whereas yellowish fluid, looking like urine, is more likely with cancers of the reproductive system.

Egg yolk peritonitis really only gets better if found very early and treated aggressively with antibiotics. As poultry are prey species they hide their illnesses very well until they are severely ill so as not to be seen as the weak member of the flock by predators. Often when we notice a bird is unwell they are in the very advanced stages of a disease.

We decided to euthanise my hen....over a litre of the same black fluid and a couple of lumps of what looked like egg yolk. I was thinking 'typical egg yolk peritonitis' when I found the intestines all matted together and studded with secondary deposits from an ovarian cancer.

I'm SO sorry to hear that your duck has this free fluid in her belly. She may need to be euthanised, but, if you don't want to go down this route, then, with very strictly sterile conditions, drawing off approximately 200mls of the fluid will make her feel a lot better. (Don't draw off all of the fluid as this can cause 'shock' due to fluid volume loss.
 

JeepGirl

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sheepshape
thank you so much for the insight.
Depending on the quality of life she will have I may or may not euthanize.
I want to give her the chance and she is still eating/ drinking/ foraging etc, but I am expecting the worst case scenario.

what kind of antibiotics, I have cephalexin and that fishmox (amoxicillin...i know the fishmox can be sketchy but it's all I can do)?

or should I double up with both?
 

AmberLops

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I'm sorry! I've never had that happen so I don't know what to do...
But black liquid is never a good sign. Black is usually 'old' or digested blood, meaning that there would be some kind of internal bleeding somewhere in the body.
Is the black fluid thick? Or more liquid?
 

JeepGirl

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I'm sorry! I've never had that happen so I don't know what to do...
But black liquid is never a good sign. Black is usually 'old' or digested blood, meaning that there would be some kind of internal bleeding somewhere in the body.
Is the black fluid thick? Or more liquid?

it's thin liquid, no smell.
I had worried about a bleed but we will see.
I'll update though for the sake of someone else who might deal with this.
 

Sheepshape

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Just to say that over here we use enrofloxacin usually (Baytril) for EYP.

As Bay says, thank you for providing updates. If there's a post and someone suggests a treatment we all would like to know if it worked or what the outcome was (good or otherwise). This way we learn. Prey species don't show their illnesses until very late, so not spotting an illness in the early stages is to be expected.

Whichever management course you decide top follow....good luck.
 
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