I went in the coop today to find my smallest australorp laying on the floor and panting. It was not hot in there, but I still thought maybe the chicken was hot, so I brought it outside and dipped it in cool water, which cools them off when they are hot. It still is panting and laying down. I can't figure out why it is doing doing this, but I think it is probably a respiratory disease. I am really worried about this, anyone know what it could be?
Is she making any unusual noises? A lot of times if they have a respiratory disease you will be able to hear them cough, sneeze or wheeze. If she does have a respirator illness, tylan works really well. I'm pretty sure you can buy it at most tractor supply stores and the dosing information is available by searching for tylan dosage on this forum.
I would bring her inside in a crate or basket where I could watch her for the next 24-48 hours. Offer her some water with vitamins and electrolytes, some chopped egg, and her usual feed. Check to see if she may be egg bound by inserting a gloved finger 1 inch or so inside her vent. Check to see if she is having diarrhea. Feel of her crop to see if it is empty of full. Make sure that she can move her legs and stand. Look for any nasal or eye drainage, rattly or wheezy breathing, cough or sneezing. Feel of her breast bone for weight loss, or her lower belly for anything unusual. Look for evidence of lice and mites on her skin, esp. around the vent. Don't give her medicine until you know what she might have. Here is a good link about common diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
The states I know of that are free are California and New Hampshire, but some will do a testing free if you suspect an outbreak of something serious such as avian influenza or something that could cause an epidemic.Here is a link for contacting your state vet to ask questions: