We had a hen (Nibbles) die last night after about a week of treatment with Duramycin. She presented with foamy eyes about a week and a half ago, and after researching we decided to treat her "in case" and her eyes cleared of foam after treatment began, and besides off and on not opening her eyes, she was just mildly less active. She was improving, and still eating and drinking until yesterday afternoon, when I brought her into the house for ICU besides not been opening her eyes much for the last 24 hours before she died. She is about 2.5, and came from a friend with 2 other birds (one died a few weeks ago, no outward signs of cause; the other never came back one Summer afternoon from ranging).
We have one other hen (Poufy) that presented with foamy eyes on Monday and began Duramycin that afternoon, she is 6 months (we ordered a batch of pullets straight from the hatchery, arrived early June). The last 3 birds that have been added were in October (poultry barn at local fair, all birds are cleared by the state vet prior)
Winter has finally arrived in NH, and we are dealing with a frigid blast. The entire flock has been on laying strike for 2 months, and only just started laying again in the days leading to Christmas. Most of the eggs are definitely from the pullets added in June. (copper Marans)
We did lose our broody (Cheese) last week, though she was 3 yrs, so it may have been old age, she had no sign of being unwell. She hadn't laid in almost a year, and gave 2 eggs randomly, in the days before she died. I want to take Nibbles in for testing (necropsy is $30, plus $10 for a fecal swab that they run as routine with it, so really $40) and they want me to bring Poufy for a blood draw and to check for MG, but they will euthanize her either way. Yesterday and today, she does not have any foam in her eyes, and we are continuing with the Duramycin for the course (10 days, 1/8t daily) We are all attached to our birds, and I want to continue to treat her and watch for improvement.
So, am I right in that thinking? If this is MG, the whole flock is exposed, as they all roost in the same coop. It's only a matter of time that they show symptoms, and culling one now will not change that, right? I don't mind treating the sick ones (dosing on her food, in a hutch inside the coop, she is not segregated) but don't want to treat the whole flock as there are no other birds that are symptomatic, as that would mean still no more eggs for another month.
Before Nibbles presented, we had never seen foamy eyes before. We have kept chickens for 6.5 years, fluke passing has happened in that time, but animal attacks and a rooster cull in the fall of 2014 have been our only losses. Our birds are our pets, and they give us eggs, snuggles and smiles in return for shelter, water, food and ranging.
What should I do???