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Oviduct Impaction

Obstructed Oviduct

An impacted oviduct is a serious and common reproductive condition affecting egg laying hens. Oviduct impactions occur secondary to salpingitis, tumors, torsion, or adhesions. Modern day egg laying hens are at high risk of oviduct impactions. This is because they have been selectively bred to lay an excessive amount of eggs (over 300 eggs a year). Their bodies were only meant to lay no more than 20 eggs in a given year.

Oviduct impactions can be acute or chronic. Hens with chronic oviduct impactions often have a previous history of an abrupt stop in egg laying for several months or years prior to presentation. An impacted oviduct can often be difficult to diagnose, since the clinical signs are vague and representative of several different reproductive disorders. The only sure way for your vet to know is by conducting an exploratory ceoeliotomy.

Complications of Oviduct Impactions


When a hen has an oviduct impaction, it also puts them at high risk of developing egg yolk peritonitis. This is because everytime the hen ovulates and yolk material is released, since it is unable to enter the oviduct.

Treatment requires surgery to remove the impacted oviduct along with any free-standing yolk material present in the coelomic cavity or peritonitis. Following surgery, hens are often implanted with

Clinical Signs

Persistent 'broodiness'
Erratic or no egg production
Abdominal swelling
Depression
Loss of appetite
Dyspnoea
Death

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Physical exam
  • Radiographs
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood chemistry
  • Exploratory coeliotomy

Treatment

NameSummary
SalpingohysterectomySurgical removal of the hen's oviduct.
Hormone implantsSuprelorinĀ® (deslorelin implants) to stop ovulation (egg production) in hens.

Prevention

Scientific References

Age Range

Occurs more frequently in adult hens.

Risk Factors

  • Chronic egg laying
  • Increasing age
  • Modern day egg laying breeds

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