I just read on a reference link to give my sick pullet a molasses flush or a epsom salts flush, but then you have to give poultry electrolytes afterwards to prevent dehydration. I need something in a hurry here, so I was just wondering if I could make my own at home out of what I have on hand?
Can you make your own Electrolytes for Chickens?
OK, more importantly - why are you flushing your hen? Do you have a thread here?
If you're doing that, I would either use pedialyte or gatorade if you absolutely cannot get a poultry vitamin/electrolyte mixture. But flushing is NOT something to do unless it's life or death. Period. Can we help you with this?
Because you're doing a very very harsh and stressful procedure that really does severely dehydrate the bird, I wouldn't use anything less than a professionally balanced solution or the other two products only IF you have to treat now.
Someone else had found this formula:
Electrolyte formula:7g sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt)5g sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)3g potassium chloride (commonly called "Muriate of Potash". Salt substitutes contain mostly potassium chloride)40g glucose (a common source is corn syrup)2 liters water.
Edited by threehorses - 7/29/09 at 1:58pm
There's a recipe, but you have to have potassium chloride. See post #3 on this thread:
You could also cheat a bit and give them some Gatorade or Pedialyte. Both are electrolyte drinks.
(rehydration info links)
the original source and post (from a rehabber site>the URL has changed so unable to post the link)>>> Please make the effort to get the salt substitute (potassium chloride) :
From "Practical Wildlife Care" by Les Stocker:
"It is possible to mix your own equivalent oral rehydrating salts by using the following ingredients:
7g sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt)
5g sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
3g potassium chloride (commonly called "Muriate of Potash". Salt substitutes contain mostly potassium chloride)
40g glucose (a common source is corn syrup)
2 litres water
The solution must be mixed thoroughly and discarded after 24 hours."
Clincians Brief (excerpt)
"...a warmed, balanced electrolyte solution can be given via the oral, subcutaneous, intrvenous or intraosseous route. The estimated daily fluid requirement for most avian species patients is 40 to 60 ml/kg per day. In renal failure patients, 10% of the birds bodyweight should be given in fluids..."
"Cereal-based oral rehydration solution can be made by mixing 1/2 cup dry, precooked infant's rice cereal with 2 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. This mixture is thick but drinkable. It is just as effective as glucose-based oral solutions in preventing and treating dehydration and has the added advantage of reducing the volume and duration of diarrhea. "
Note: Human formulation info regarding above:
"Infalyte is the only one that contains rice carbohydrate instead of glucose."
read here the facts about avian botulism:
poultry-specific article from the MERCK veterinary manual
non-poultry specific >an excellent review
(notes from vet on avian Botulism CDC:
"Avian species typically show clinical signs of botulism 12-48 hours after ingestion of the toxin. They will have a limber neck, with a droopy head and appear drowsy. Infection makes these birds unable to use their wings or legs or to hold their heads up, so they drown. Death can also result from water deprivation, electrolyte imbalance, respiratory failure and predation."
"...stage 1 (minimal neurologic
effects -- ataxia, inability to fly but relatively normal stance). It
resulted in almost complete mortality in stage 2 and 3 birds (significant paralysis of wings, legs, eyelids, GI tract, etc.). We clearly demonstrated that in almost all birds in stage 1 and 2 and over 50% in stage 3, hospitalization and rehydration with balanced electrolytes orally or intraosseous, gavage feeding and strict attention to the prevention of corneal desiccation resulted in very high survival and release rates...."
I am at a loss as to why epsom is being advised for Botulism (it is however used in lead poisoning >I made a posting on another thread with a link to veterinary antidotes) > it is my understanding that by the time the bird is showing symptoms that a laxative is no longer of any use (if useful at all > I can only think that one could use before the toxin had a chance to effect the system >possibly of use to expel the infected source?) I have found no other reference to use epsom for botulism outside the laxative introduction from the solutions article. At any rate rehydration and addressing any electrolyte imbalance is crucial along with avoiding starvation and stress.
I have converted the above electrolyte "recipe" for you (is not EXACT as a gram of peanut butter weighs in differently than a gram of sugar but it should be ok... just make sure it is level and not rounded unless otherwise specified)
one and one/half teaspoon salt
one teasoon baking soda
one/half teaspoon (ROUNDED>not level) salt substitue
3 tablespoons glucose (corn syrup)
two (FULL) quarts of water
Edited by dlhunicorn - 7/29/09 at 4:11pm
I'm glad you chimed in, Diana. I went to your site looking for a home made electrolyte but I got lost there and couldn't find one.
The epsoms - that's probably from other botulism articles including those from MSU. However, I really am more of a believer in the more gentle molasses. However in light symptoms, a flush to prevent further toxin generation by the bacteria can be of use to keep it from getting worse. Or in the case of another toxin in the system that you don't want to have sit there for 12 hours but remove immediately.
Still that being said, I absolutely do not recommend a true molasses flush even unless you are just pretty certain that the bird really is going to die if you don't and if you're pretty good and certain that it was true botuslim or a toxin, not just weakness.
In the bird who couldn't lift her head or wings but could stand - that's the sort of case of limberneck where I would flush. Otherwise dehydration effects are just too harmful for me to recommend it.
If people are going to use one, no matter what, I'd at least rather them have some good information (from MSU for example) than just guessing.
Thanks for these electrolyte fixes. I'm going to book mark this.
Cranberry juice can flush them out also and you don't have to follow with anything.
I'm glad you chimed in, Diana. I went to your site looking for a home made electrolyte but I got lost there and couldn't find one..
The first link I posted in my last post is the EMERGENCIES section > is under REHYDRATION (best solid source electroyte "recipe" I have found but I do not have the conversion there as I wanted to get it as exact as possible)
The epsoms - that's probably from other botulism articles including those from MSU. However, I really am more of a believer in the more gentle molasses However in light symptoms, a flush to prevent further toxin generation by the bacteria can be of use to keep it from getting worse....
What "other" articles (I have found no other reference whatsoever to epsom or for that matter that any type of laxative would help > it can not be "flushed" out of the system once it has reached the stage where you see symptoms is my understanding.
Once I check double check to see if I can get the conversion more precies , I will post that in the hydration thread also .
I do hope your birdie perks up soon though it might be a couple days or so... you should go to your pet store and get some baby parrot/bird formula (comes in a powder that you add water to) and you can give a wee bit of that at regular intervals if the limber neck is still hampering the bird being able to eat (you must first ensure that it is able to swallow on own so only give a wee bit at a time > cup neck in hand to support head in a natural postion)
Later when the bird is able to eat on own you can add in with the feed to concentrate the nutrition.
Thank you for asking, Diana. The MSU article is the main one to which I refer as they are a well respected source of technical and practical poultry information here in the states (associated with their poultry science department). Often, text books often don't have practical applied treatments as they're designed for professional and educational use, not the back yard poultry person. None of mine say any treatment other than anti-toxins and copper sulfate as indicated for use in broiler applications.
But my personal experience, and those that I have read on line and suggestions for practical treatment, do say it's worth a shot. I saved a definite case of maggot-origin botulism in two ducks using the MSU recommendations. (I lost a third who was too far gone - in the loose-feather stage.)
Here on BYC, we've very recently had a case of a toxin (we don't know if it was botulism and I've always been reluctant to say it is) that was very effectively treated with flushes. This is common poultry man knowledge. Again you're not likely to find it in a textbook but fortunately for some cases it really works. That's why I'm reluctant to recommend it... just want to see it done right if someone is just flat going to do it. I can't stress that reluctance enough - it's so stressful to flush a bird like this. Always what I consider a "last ditch effort".
Not concerning Diana's post (but hoping for her input): However what's concerning me about all these cases coming up is putting a label, botulism, on something that we simply don't know if it IS botulism. I really am concerned about it. Really in this sort of setting, without a vet (or without the final tell-tale symptoms of loose feathers combined with the other symptoms) we simply cannot diagnose it as botuslism - EVEN when the treatment makes the bird improve. The treatment being successful only means that there was something in the bird's system that was causing them to show some of the symptoms of toxin exposure and ingestion. But the thing that most frightens me is that so many of those same symptoms are shared with many other illnesses, and even just weakness caused by a dozen different unrelated issues. Worms, heat stroke, dehydration, mycotoxins, plant ingestion, bacterial enteritis, etc etc etc. In those cases, a flush can be a drastically bad move.
Once again in agreement with Diana's text, I so absolutely agree with the parrot formula recommendation. (Don't make it hot as labeled - that's for juvenile psitticines.) Make it just cool or luke warm. There are so many nutrients in it, and there are probiotics as well. I'd highly agree with her recommendation on how to do that. Then at least a little bit of food goes a long way.
Also thank you Diana for the specification of the location of the articles. Phew! Going there specifically, bookmarking. Thanks again!
Edited by threehorses - 7/29/09 at 5:33pm
I cringe at any suggestion in a phrase using the word "diagnosing" on this forum or any other internet group... a diagnostic lab or vet can do that... we can't.
If people are going to use one, no matter what, I'd at least rather them have some good information (from MSU for example) than just guessing........The MSU article is the main one to which I refer as they are a well respected source of technical and practical poultry information here in the states (associated with their poultry science department). Often, text books often don't have practical applied treatments as they're designed for professional and educational use, not the back yard poultry person...."
The ony difference is one is a vet, or a poultry scientist > the validity of the info is the same ... who it is written for makes not one wit of difference in the information. A poultry scientist is not a veterinarian and the fact that the info is directed towards the backyard layman does not make the info more correct or less incorrect when the veterinary info says otherwise or provides further more detailed information or contr-indications. In the case of Botulism it is widely documented that simple supportive therapy (hydration electrolyte balance and nutritional support etc. ) will see birds recover (when the toxin does not kill them) within 76-92 hours on average .....
Edited by dlhunicorn - 7/29/09 at 6:32pm