BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › 8 mo. old Tom suddenly lethargic and has rheumy sunken eyes
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8 mo. old Tom suddenly lethargic and has rheumy sunken eyes

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have 5 turkeys, purchased as pairs, 2 bronze breasted, 2 white, and 2 silver speckled. They turned out to be 4 silvers/blue,  

one silver was lost because of an accident about 4 months ago.  The silver tom is largest and dominant, then the bronze tom.  This third odd little tom, has always been an outsider, but there was no overt fighting.  He displays no male dominance that the other 2 do. I seriously considered he might just be a buff hen, not sure what he was until I decided the last couple of months. (based on head, snood, and beard) 


I returned after Thanksgiving and found him downcast, standing with his head down at the back of the dome.  I kept watching him and he was walking around. The next day as I was watering them, I got a closer look at his eyes.  They looked shrunken and watery.  I tried to get a better look, but other than the eyes, I couldn't find anything else amiss. Over the last two days he has remained the same.  I have no clue what to do for him.  We don't have a vet, and I don't have a way to drive him the 40 miles to the vet.  I have no clue if he has fever, and shudder at the thought of discovering how that's done. I detect no breathing difficulty, and he seems to be able to walk OK.  Any suggestions?

post #2 of 10
Make sure he's warm and it's a good idea to bring him inside your garage or basement. Add electrolytes to his water give him an electrolyte drink that is safe for animals such as Gatorade. He may be getting bullied and is not able to eat or drink properly.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I considered doing this, but thought the distress of being separated from his hatchling mates might cause him more stress.  I will try this tomorrow when I can monitor him throughout the day.  Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.  

post #4 of 10
You're welcome and keep me posted!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

My RV barn is a double wide and very cold so I couldn't move Tom indoors. I did however move a pen back into the yard and covered it with a tarpaulin.  I put a lamp on a timer for just the coldest part of the night and early morning. As I picked him up (whew!) I detected some strange gurgling and when I put him down, he was shaking his head every few minutes trying to clear his sinuses I guess.  I put Gatorade in the water, but while I was out there I didn't see him drink. I mixed 2 eggs, yogurt, and some slightly sour milk in a blender and put it in with him?? I heard it cured something, and since everything is closed today, I'll have to wait for antibiotics.  He should be toasty warm tonight. His eyes look so "gone", but he can still see.  

post #6 of 10
If I were you I would try to get him to a vet ASAP. His condition seems pretty severe and if he's not getting any better he may die.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'll call my vet in the AM.  She travels here on Tuesdays to the animal shelter, but I don't have anything in which to transport him. Maybe she will have a suggestion or make a house call. Thanks. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi sarnold1,

Wanted to let you know I made an appointment with the vet for 12:00 noon, Tuesday.  She stood me up, but had her assistant call around 2:00 saying she would get back to me in a "few minutes".  I was in bed by 11:00 and she never called. I canceled a 2:45 appointment at the hospital when she didn't call or show up by 1:30, wanting to avoid missing her.  Today is Wed. and no contact.  Tom is still hanging in.  And yes, she is the only game in town! I will try to let you know the outcome, if there is one.

post #9 of 10
It could get better on its own. You never know. They can pull through a lot of things! Just keep doing what you've been doing.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

And now, the rest of the story....  Thursday I called vet again, and after much fanfare she(Dr.) said she would be here @ 1:00.  And she was, along with 4 assistants.  I guess they were having a field trip or something.  They grabbed their cells and started snapping pics of my Toms, and just delighting in their beauty, and running around looking at the geese, ducks, quail, and chickens.  OK, rest of story, Dr said he had upper respiratory infection and she would mix up a prescription and call me to pick it up later.  Never heard from her????  Got some antibiotic from the feed store that I will give him tomorrow.  Just has to be 4 days between last dose and harvesting of meat, which I won't since he's getting better in his heated pen and no one to bully him!

Thanks for your time and kind answers!

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