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How long to keep inside and on antibiotics for upper respiratory

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have been looking at all of the threads I can about upper respiratory infections and how to treat them, but I have a question about how long I need to keep her separated and on meds. A little over a week ago, I separated (aka brought inside, aka spoiled chicken) one of my hens from the flock when I heard her breathing like she was having an asthma attack, almost honking and stretching her neck to breathe. She also let me pick her up several times which is very not normal for my girls.  She just acted like she felt really bad.  We lost another hen a few weeks prior with no warning, but she may have had the same thing and we didnt catch it.  I did treat her and the rest of the flock for worms, but I wasnt convinced that was what was going on.  So I put her on Oxytetracycline (sp?) in water and the rest of the flock on Aureomycin feed supplement to try to get ahead of this in case it is going through my little flock.  No one else seems to be showing symptoms, so hopefully we have it beat with the rest.  My question is how long do I need to keep her in and on the medication?  Her breathing sounds good most of the time now, but she occasionally still sounds labored.  She is eating and drinking just fine as well.  One thing Im worried about is that she is acclimatizing too much to inside and its winter in the Midwest...  It has been unusually warm for December, but we are about to get hit with winter weather.  Any advice would be appreciated, TIA!  

post #2 of 5

If she has completed the oxytetracycline, I would place her back with the others. If she is gone too long, they will peck her, and she needs to get reaccustomed to the weather. You could put a 60 watt heat lamp in the coop for a few nights if she needs the heat. Capillaria worms can cause breathing problems. Safeguard liquid goat wormer given 1/4 ml per pound of weight orally to each chicken 5 days in a row can get those.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thankyou for your reply.  That is kind of what I was leaning toward, although I totally forgot about the pecking order problem... She really seemed to do well today, and has been on the oxytetracycline for over a week, so I think she will go back out tomorrow.  I will still keep an eye on her and everybody else, but I think we may be past the worst of it.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well unfortunately I lost another one of my girls this morning...  It wasnt the one I had inside, but I did notice this one acting kind of droopy last night.  I was going to check on her this morning and found her dead under the far side of the roost.  No signs of trauma, but her beak was wet.  I am going to take the body to the vet to be sent in to a lab...  I cant just keep letting my girls drop off gradually...  I did go ahead and start the whole flock on Oxytetracycline in their water.  I hate the thought of throwing away eggs for the next couple of weeks, but I dont know what else to do...

post #5 of 5

Sorry for your loss. Most state vets will do necropsies on chickens that have been refrigerated after death, if you ship them or take them in.  Here is the link for finding yours:

http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf

I would get some SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer and give each standard sized hen 1/4 cc or ml per pound orally for 5 straight days, in case there might be capillary worms that can cause respiratory symptoms. Those are difficult to treat, and some wormers won't get them. Let us know if you receive any necropsy results. 

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