USE A CROP TUBE TO HELP A HEN WITH ORAL CANKER Feed­ing with a crop tube is safer than us­ing a sy­ringe on its own

Country Smallholding - - Forum Vet's -

QCan you please ad­vise what help you could rec­om­mend for a poorly girl who has picked up oral canker. We have med­i­ca­tion from the vet, but it seems to be tak­ing ages to have any ef­fect. We can’t get her to eat even though the last growth has come out. She is a lovely hen, but not fans of us hav­ing to feed by sy­ringe. VIC­TO­RIA ROBERTS SAYS:

Oral canker does in­deed take a while to sort. There may be painful le­sions in your hen’s oe­soph­a­gus, hence the lack of ap­petite. I sug­gest you change from sy­ringe feed­ing to tube feed­ing as this is safer. A crop tube needs to be care­fully in­serted in to the oe­soph­a­gus since the tra­chea has no epiglot­tis, thus re­mains opens and it is all too easy for liq­uid feed to be in­haled, which can be­come fa­tal pneu­mo­nia. Keep on with the tube feed­ing and the med­i­ca­tion un­til she is will­ing to eat. Canker is caused by a par­a­site called tri­chomonas and it tends to hap­pen more of­ten dur­ing the win­ter when vi­ta­min A lev­els are low due to a lack of nu­tri­tious grass and/or a lack of dark green veg­eta­bles fed. The very hot sum­mer we had could also have con­trib­uted to this as in most of the UK the grass was brown or non-ex­is­tent.

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