Hello,My name is Linda and I am baffled! My Lilybug ( Japanese bantam hen) is in need of help. It started 3 months ago when my Silkie went to her nest to lay an egg. We thought she decided to sit until we discovered the following evening while getting her out for dinner that she could not walk. I feed her through a syringe, held her up so she could get her own food and water, made her a baby walker out of a cardboard box so she would not be constantly sitting on her legs, and massaged her legs to help circulation. About a week or so later our oldest Blacktail Jap hen started gasping for air but still ate and went about her daily fun. We decided to have a mobile vet come check out all of our babies(chickens) since we now had 2 that are ill.She checked to see if maybe our Silkie( Fuzzy Fuzz) was egg bound and she wasn't. She also said that our eldest hen Mandy gasping for air was probably due to stress. We knew that wasn't the case because our babies are treated like royalty and love us! The vet gave me Baytril to give for 10 days. After the second dose Mandy passed away. Baytril didn't help Fuzzy Fuzz either. I just continued caring for Fuzzy Fuzz myself and about 1 week ago she has had a complete recovery. After Mandy passed away our Jap hen Lilybug started doing the whole gasping for air too, but only while lying down our being held.She too went about her fun filled days as if nothing was wrong. We took her to a vet anyways and the vet said she heard crackling in her chest and put her on Clavamox thinking it was pneumonia. We gave it to her as directed and still gasping for air.Took her to a 3rd vet and they took xrays. They said her bones look weak and it seemed she was lacking airsacs? But also said it could have just been the xray image making it look that way. She also thought pneumonia and put her on 10 days of Baytril again and Bene-Bac. Lilybug is still gasping for air. Finally I noticed one of my Wheaton Japs just wouldn't stop picking at one of my Buff Japs vent area, so I decided to checked it out. Here she had bugs! Not sure what kind? I checked all my other babies out and they had them too (including Lilybug) We instantly dosed them with ivermection and I also put vaseline around there vents for relief. Lilybug still gasping for air but now she isn't eating well and sometimes looks lethargic. We started to put vaseline on her vent area at night because it seemed to bring some relief for the breathing which instantly made me think that all this time bugs was the cause of the gasping. Her not eating got worse so we stopped putting vaseline on her thinking she was ingesting too much vaseline while preening. Instead we started manually putting DE Earth on her because she is too weak to fluff in it on her own with the other babies.Oh... looks like the bugs are gone now.We treated everything! We also have her on Nutri-Drench twice a day( been on it for 9 days orally instead in the water bowls),I have been syringe feeding her baby food and yogurt along with 50% water 50% gatorade for fluids to keep hydrated. All of our babies get scratch grain, layer crumbles,rolled oats, meal worms, and lettuce daily. I've also been offering hard boiled and and have been adding water to their layer crumble hoping it would help the water intake.They all have been dewormed as well. I keep her on a well padded heating pad every night and started her on The Missing Link Ultimate Poultry Formula on Feb. 27th. I was considering Nutrical for puppies and kittens because she is getting so thin, but decided against it since I do not know for sure if it would be safe. I'm thinking she may be anemic because of the bugs so the vet told me to add sugar to their drinking water. I've been doing that every other day.It all comes down to not knowing why she gasps for air only while lying down and being held and why she is now eating poorly with lethargy. No one can give an answer other then pneumonia but this has been going on for over 2 months now. Wouldn't she be sneezing or have discharge or even have died if that was the case. Any help is wonderful! I've tried everything I can think of and I am beginning to feel like I'm failing her. I love her so much! My Lilybug needs to put weight on and is in dire need of a good nights sleep! ME TOO! Thank you all!
Gasping for air only while lying down and being held!
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How old is this hen and is she able to walk now or still just sitting? Does she feel bloated at all in her lower abdomen, from between the legs on back to the vent?
Thank you for the reply Lilybug is about 3 years old and she doesn't seem bloated at all. I once had a hen that would obtain fluid and had to get it drained so I am familiar with an abnormal abdomen. At least I think. She does walk but slowly. Every once in a while she will try to run, especially if I serve egg. That seems to be what she wants to eat the most. She tries to go about her day but she just ends up standing there depressed looking. She sleeps awful because that seems be the time her gasping for air problem happens most along with being held. It's almost like any pressure put on her hurts. Could lice make this happen? Could I have been to late in discovering the bug infestation and that be the cause of her breathing. Also, would pepto bismol hurt her or benefit her? I also am not sure how much she should be eating? She is 1 pound and I have been using a 1ml syringe for feeding her Missing Link. Today she had 4 ml of Missing link. She needs to put on weight.Her crop never seems full but of course that is probably since she is not eating much....mainly picks like she wants too but can't. What would be a sufficient amount of Missing link to help her gain weight? Thank you so much for the help.
I double checked for bloating and she is not, but you can feel her bone under her. She is way to thin. I been hand feeding her but for some reason she does have the strength to try to fight me off during feeding time. Since she gasps when being held I'm afraid I am gonna hurt her or make it worse.
We used Wazine Dewormer. The last vet we took her to did a fecal analysis and said it was normal but that visit was when she acted perfectly fine besides the gasping for air. It wasn't till later that she started to not eat well and became lethargic. The first two vets were just trying to help me out they do not specialize in the chicken field. The last vet says she does but in my opinion she does not because she acted like I was crazy for being there. I have her heating pad on number 1 with 3 covers folded in half over top of it.If anything, it might not be hot enough because I'm so paranoid about it being to hot.Plus she is on the our couch with me while I stay up with her all night keeping an eye on her.Yes, I love her that much!!
Could be gape worm, or worms in general. Gape worm symptoms are gasping for air frequently. Try Ivermectin paste, about a pea size works for me per chicken (I use empty gel capsules you can find at the health food store and pry open their mouth using their comb as a hand hold and shove it down, or put some inside a piece of bread), or SafeGuard goat dewormer in their water, 3ml per gallon.
It should be okay to use Ivermectin or SafeGuard after 5 weeks. I don't like Wazine because what it does is put the worms to sleep so that the chickens can expel them, but does not kill them. Then the worms wake up without a host, but wait in the dirt or the coop for another opportunity to infect another. Spring and fall are the recommended times to deworm, but as soon as I suspect one chicken to be infected, the whole flock gets treated. My 42 chickens are free range as well as my cats, and I discovered my cats had worms. I mistakenly gave them Wazine, then I noticed they had been using the chickens dusting area as their litterbox, and before I realized I had chickens infected with worms. I learned the hard way and lost one chicken before I could figure out what was wrong, and almost lost a couple more. Safeguard cured them within a couple days. Not sure if Wazine will help with gape worm.