Disclaimer: The information on this website is gathered from many sources and presented by a ay individual. It may not be accurate or complete. It should not necessarily be considered expert advice. Some medicine uses below are off-label & not USDA-approved, and should only be used when authorized by your veterinarian.
Baytril is a powerful antibiotic that is effective for a large number of bacterial & mycoplasmal infections, including pasteurellosis, mycoplasmosis, coli-bacillosis, coli-septicaemia and salmonellosis. Baytril is the brand name for Enrofloxacin, which is a powerful bactericidal medicine in the Fluoroquinolone class.
Treating Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD)
CRD is a common problem that has some symptoms that make chickens seem to have a "cold." Birds that get well still become chronic carriers & may have symptoms re-appear during later times of stress. CRD is usually caused by Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG), Mycoplasma Synoviae (MS) and/or Infectious Coryza, though it may be possible for E. Coli, chronic Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT), and other conditions to be involved.
Baytril can be very useful in treating many cases of CRD / Air Sacculitis.
- In particular, in some cases of some strains of MG, Fluoroquinolone medicines, such as Baytril, have appeared to completely cure chickens, though there have been contradictingfindings.
0.25 ml or cc of 10% liquid per day for average 5-lb. chicken.
- Can split dose in half & give twice a day for more constant treatment, or give continuously in drinking water (PP does not recommend in drinking water, since birds are very reluctant to drink it).
For salmonellosis or pasteurellosis: 5-10 days
For other conditions: 3-5 days (or up to 10, if necessary)
*One set of experiments
has seemed to indicate that a 2-day treatment at 0.625 ml Baytril per day for 5-lb chicken may be possibly preferable for some conditions instead of the generally recommends 5 days at a 0.25 ml dose, but this has not been thoroughly researched.
Preventing disease transfer through eggs to chicks
Combinations to avoid
Methods of administration
Medicine can be given orally down the throat via a human syringe, which you can buy at a pharmacy for people. A 1-cc size syringe is best for accurate, small measurements. If the syringe comes with a needle, be sure it is a kind that can be removed.
- This "force-feeding" or "gavage" method can also be used to feed soft food or supplemented liquids to a sick bird that is starving or weak from not eating enough.
- You can also use a larger syringe & flexible fish aquarium tubing (Use a match to slightly melt the feeding end so it won't scrape the throat) to "tube-feed" larger quantities of food. See video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtHvRkdskwY.
*Note: Baytril Injectible can be given by mouth instead of injection.
- If the bottle has a removable lid:
- Remove the needle from the syringe & discard the needle.
- Place the medicine bottle in a stable, slightly larger container (such as an empty tin can) that will help keep it from tipping over & spilling.
- Open the medicine bottle & insert the (needle-less) syringe. Pull the plunger back to draw the appropriate amount of medicine into the syringe. Remove syringe from bottle.
- Place the bird on your lap and restrain it in your arms.
- [These suggestions on how to position your hands are approximate. Experiment with what works best for you.] Put your left hand to the side of the chicken's head, with the thumb behind its head/neck. Be careful that you don't press against the bird's eyes.
- Take your right forefinger, and push it against the side of the bird's beak until it opens its mouth. If you're right-handed, when the bird opens its mouth, push the forefinger of your left hand in across the mouth from side to side inside the beak and keep it there so your finger acts as a wedge to keep the mouth open.
- The bird will STRONGLY resist this. Patiently persist. Once you have your finger put in place, within a few seconds the bird will suddenly stop squirming & sit still.
- Birds mostly try to open their mouths to get away from your finger. They rarely bite hard while you do this, and they can't bite as hard with their beak in this wide open position.
- Tilt the bird's head back so the beak almost points skyward; then the throat passage will be straight & it will be easy to insert the syringe.
- Hold the syringe in your right hand and gently slide it past the breathing hole (that is on the floor of the mouth on the back part of the tongue area) and on down the very back of the throat (which is the passage for swallowing). Slide the syringe far in (almost halfway down the throat) to be sure no medicine ends up going down the air hole. Be gentle so you don't scrape the sides of the throat.
- This sounds intimidatingly risky, but it is actually VERY EASY to see and slide in the right area safely.
- Depress the plunger on the syringe to dispense the medicine.
- Withdraw the syringe from the bird's throat & take your finger out of the bird's beak.
- Hold the bird so its side is close against your body so it can feel secure & burrow its head into your arm. With one hand, hold your fingers flat & pat the bird's outside wing/side in a gentle thumping way to reassure & comfort it.
- You can tell the bird is feeling more relaxed when it closes its eyes, makes chewing motions, and then makes gentle exhaling noises each time it breathes out. (Note: This is different that the open-mouth breathing a bird may do when in pain, or panting it may do when overheated.)
Mixed in water: Baytril Injectible and Baytril Soluble are both suitable for mixing into drinking water. Baytril is bitter and even thirsty birds will resist drinking it. To make it more sweet & tasty, mix in something sweet. Xylitol sweetener (available in health food section or baking sweeteners section at grocery store) is ideal since it doesn't foster the growth of internal fungi. Fruit juice and/or sugar can be used if that is all that is available.
If possible, minimize negative effects that minerals cause when combined with Baytril, by using distilled water or water that has gone through reverse osmosis.
By injection: Injections of Baytril Injectible can be given in the breast muscle, but it the muscle can have some soreness & damage, and bird may not feel as well.
By giving pill: A small Baytril pill or portion of a larger pill can be pushed down the throat. For general guidelines, see above Steps 4 thru 8 and 11.
Mixing with food may not be as effective. Many foods contain minerals that cause Baytril to not be absorbed as much during digestion.
- Birds' systems may be particularly vulnerable to infections from bacteria that isn't vulnerable to Baytril, or yeast infections after being dosed with Baytril, particularly if Baytril is given for a longer time. To minimize the risk, try to maintain sanitary conditions & to give Baytril for the minimum time needed to be fully effective. You may need to follow up with antibiotic or anti-fungal medicine if problems develop afterward.
- Because it is very powerful, Baytril can kill off significant numbers of "good bacteria" that normally fight harmful organisms in birds' digestive tracts, although it is said to have less of this effect than many other of the powerful antibiotics. To minimize risk:
- Try to maintain sanitary conditions.
- Give Baytril for the minimum time needed for sufficient effectiveness.
- Give birds' probiotics, such as unflavored yogurt, buttermilk, or a probiotic supplement to re-establish good bacteria. You could try feeding probiotics halfway between Baytril dosings to try to fight the growth of bad bacteria during treatment (though the probiotics will be killed off at the next Baytril dosing), &/or give probiotics after finishing all Baytril dosings.
- You may need to follow up with a different antibiotic if new bacterial problems develop after Baytril treatments.
- If a fungal condition develops, it may be necessary to give an antifungal such as Nystatin, or you might try Oxine if timed to not conflict too much with probiotics. Raw, unfiltered cider vinegar has anti-fungal properties & may help, as well (but do NOT combine it with Oxine as the acid might hazardously activate Oxine).
- Baytril may have some negative effects on the development of young birds.
- There are conflicting reports about whether Baytril has negative side effects on a chicken's kidneys, the liver or blood.
Dangers for Eggs & Meat
- When exposed to Baytril, Campylobacter bacteria may become resistant to Cipro, a primary medicine used for treating people infected with food poisoning or urinary tract infections (UTI's). If this bacteria is in a chicken and is not killed during cooking of eggs or meat from a chicken that EVER took Baytril, a person eating the food might not be able to be treated successfully with Cipro.
- Personal experience: One person reported that a UTI lab test did not show any Cipro resistance after she had treated her chickens twice with Baytril, and done frequent handling and coop cleaning for over a year. However, she had not eaten eggs or meat.
Where to buy Baytril
Poultry: Pet supply and vet medicine stores & online retailers sell Baytril. However, it is illegal in the US to sell Baytril for "egg or meat-producing birds", because of possible risks to people, & most online sellers would require a vet's prescription to be able to sell you Baytril labeled for use in poultry. Some vets will sell Baytril directly to you if they determine it would be advisable for your bird.
Other birds: Prescriptions are not required for small pet birds. A search online for "Baytril birds" will list some retailers of supplies for small pet birds, and these sellers may not need prescriptions.
FDA information on Baytril