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Chicken wheezing and sneezing

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

One of my girls (have 3) has been sneezing and I can hear her wheezing when she breathes. She has been looking and acting normal otherwise and the other two are not exhibiting any of these symptoms.

I would take her to a vet if I could find one that treats chickens, but I guess even country vets specialize now because all the ones in my area either only treat cats/dogs or large farm animals.

Stephen
"I will bloom where I'm planted until I can afford to be transplanted."
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Stephen
"I will bloom where I'm planted until I can afford to be transplanted."
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post #2 of 17

It could be anything - viral, bacterial, or even fungal if you've had rain in the heat we're having here in Texas.

First, I'd buy VetRx from your local feedstore or TSC and use that (diluted) to swab all their nostrils, the cleft opening in the roof of their beaks, and under their eyes.  This can help reduce inflammation, keep them breathing, break down some mucus, etc.  It will help against sneezing and irritation.

I would also give them all vitamins daily, but one specifically with a good source of vitamin A.  Polyvisol baby vitamins contain a good source of A and the other oil vitamins and are easily given 3 drops in the beak daily.  Vitamin A is a key vitamin for respiratory healing and health.  If not polyvisol (the non-iron-fortified formula - I got mine in the vitamin section of Walmart) then try cod liver oil, 3 drops in the beak three times weekly.

Also since she's sneezing, that means her sinuses are draining into her digestive tract (through that opening in the roof of the beak).  She and the others should get yogurt (and its live bacteria) daily for a week.  this will help prevent a secondary diarrhea or fungal infection as the drainage contaminates the digestive tract and kills off certain numbers of the good bacteria there.  The yogurt contains live bacteria of the same type that colonize our birds' guts and help prevent diarrhea.  iF at any time you choose to medicate, you still must give "probiotics "(living bacteria) but you can't use a high milk product like yogurt.  Then you'd use acidophilis capsules/tablets (the contents of either, one per bird daily) or Probios powder or paste daily.

You could treat with antibiotics at this point.  But if you do, be sure to use the 'mycins 14 days unless otherwise noted on the package.  Tylan is a great product, as is LS50 if you choose to medicate.  With Tylan, you can go injectable for three days (Tylan50 - which also makes a great sinus flush if you dilute in three parts water), or in the water (can't do the flush with the soluble form) and you can still use yogurt as your probiotic.

Only because of the wheezing would I consider an antibiotic this early in the game, and that's just considering one.  If it continues for more than 2 days without change, or worsens, please medicate then.

Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the delay in thanking you for all your help. I was able to identify that she had Gapeworm, but unfortunately it was too late. We finally found a vet that treats chickens and he gave her a shot of Baytril and Atrium to help reduce the swelling, but she died about 20 minutes after we got home.

We are now in the process of making sure our other two are dewormed. I'm also consuming ever bit of poultry disease and medical literature I can get my hands on so i can be sure to keep the other healthy (Organically if possible). The vet said that once they start showing symptoms, not many survive and the ones that do have weakened hearts and lungs for the rest of their lives.

Stephen
"I will bloom where I'm planted until I can afford to be transplanted."
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Stephen
"I will bloom where I'm planted until I can afford to be transplanted."
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post #4 of 17

Wow... I'm so glad I stumbled onto this post.  I had a pullet start to sneeze really frequently and had a wheeze/whistle with her normal breaths.  She acted normally otherwise... eating, drinking, running, flying, playing, free-ranging, etc.  I kept an eye on her for a couple of days and everything else seemed fine.  Then I went out of town and we had a heatwave (105-110 for 5 days) and on the second morning, my fiance found her dead.  This was about three weeks ago.

Now I am wondering if she could have had gapeworm as well.  I just looked it up in one of my chicken books, and it sure sounds like it.... and it sounds exactly like your chicken as well.

So now, the question is... do I need to deworm the entire flock even though no one else is sneezing?  If, like you said, once they show symptoms it's too late... then how do I tell now if the others have the same worm?

I am sorry for your loss and know exactly how you feel.

First time chicken owner, blogging about the experience with lots of cute pics!  Updated regularly.  Please check it out and follow our progress!

http://lisahaschickens.wordpress.com
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First time chicken owner, blogging about the experience with lots of cute pics!  Updated regularly.  Please check it out and follow our progress!

http://lisahaschickens.wordpress.com
Reply
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen_tx 

Sorry for the delay in thanking you for all your help. I was able to identify that she had Gapeworm, but unfortunately it was too late. We finally found a vet that treats chickens and he gave her a shot of Baytril and Atrium to help reduce the swelling, but she died about 20 minutes after we got home.

We are now in the process of making sure our other two are dewormed. I'm also consuming ever bit of poultry disease and medical literature I can get my hands on so i can be sure to keep the other healthy (Organically if possible). The vet said that once they start showing symptoms, not many survive and the ones that do have weakened hearts and lungs for the rest of their lives.


So it was gapeworm, then?  That's interesting, and sad really.  i was told that it's not that common but having had a couple of people  bring it up, I'm beginning to think it's more common than previously thought.

Sometimes other internal parasites can get into the respiratory system and cause what looks like respiratory illness so I suppose that keeping that in mind always is going to be the new plan.

I'm so sorry you lost her.  Yes, please do worm for gapeworm.   Fenbendazole (SafeGuard for cattle/horses/goats) takes out gapeworm and is a good safe wormer, also kills roundworm larvae.   Ivermectin 5% cattle pour on also kills gapes.

And for Lisa, yes - worm the entire flock always.  That keeps them on schedule and, particularly if you're working for gapes, that will take care of birds who might have it asymptomatically and any birds that might pick up the flung worms and be infected.

For Lisa, sneezing could be anything - wheezing was the key with Stephen's birdds.  The gapes are in the trachea of the bird, a pair (male and female) permanently joined together in a Y - sometimes many of them.  But with sneezing, it could be environment, a virus, dust, somethine bacterial they're fighting, etc etc.  Listen to her carefully - see if you can hear any respiratory noises (put your ear against her throat, her back/ribs where their lungs are, by her head, etc).

Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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post #6 of 17

yep, as I said in my first post... she wheezed also with each breath.  And then she died.

First time chicken owner, blogging about the experience with lots of cute pics!  Updated regularly.  Please check it out and follow our progress!

http://lisahaschickens.wordpress.com
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First time chicken owner, blogging about the experience with lots of cute pics!  Updated regularly.  Please check it out and follow our progress!

http://lisahaschickens.wordpress.com
Reply
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Lisa,
   The sneezing that you are seeing could actually be a cough. With my girl I thought she was sneezing, but because this was my time with chickens I didn't know the difference. They will cough to try and clear the blockage in their throat.

Here is the video I found that helped me determine she had Gapeworm, we need more videos like this for some of us newbies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjKlgbXdCSg

Yes most definitely de-worm the rest of your flock. Our vet suggested Panicure for the rest of our birds .04cc for 4 days every 4-6 weeks. I'm also looking at Verm-X as an all natural replacement long term, but I have to research it further to see if it will prevent gapeworm. I know it does round, ring and hook as well as a couple others.

Does anyone have any knowledge of this product?


Edited by stephen_tx - 8/19/09 at 7:15am
Stephen
"I will bloom where I'm planted until I can afford to be transplanted."
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Stephen
"I will bloom where I'm planted until I can afford to be transplanted."
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post #8 of 17

Hi everyone!
This is my first post here. I haven't had my chickens for only a couple of weeks and I have a lot to learn about them. I noticed that one of my girl's, Peggy, has been wheezing as well. She has been doing this since I first got her. None of the others have the symptoms, only her, so far. I found this site very useful and went to my local feed store and bought the proper treatment to help her and treat the rest of the flock. Also, everything they informed me about was the same as posted at this forum. Thanks for all the very useful info and I will check back often to read up on how to take-care of my girls, O and "Big Ed" as well (can't forget about him).

~Christy
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~Christy
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post #9 of 17

That video was awesome! To actually see the chicks, and the explanation of the treatment. Thank you!!

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen_tx 

Lisa,
   The sneezing that you are seeing could actually be a cough. With my girl I thought she was sneezing, but because this was my time with chickens I didn't know the difference. They will cough to try and clear the blockage in their throat.

Here is the video I found that helped me determine she had Gapeworm, we need more videos like this for some of us newbies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjKlgbXdCSg

Yes most definitely de-worm the rest of your flock. Our vet suggested Panicure for the rest of our birds .04cc for 4 days every 4-6 weeks. I'm also looking at Verm-X as an all natural replacement long term, but I have to research it further to see if it will prevent gapeworm. I know it does round, ring and hook as well as a couple others.

Does anyone have any knowledge of this product?


I've been in contact with the Vermx people.  There's no evidence of gapeworm prevention as gapes are in the trachea. Vermx only helps perhaps maybe repel some worms in the digestive tract.  It's more of a product like DE, cayenne, etc.  They don't yet have any evidence that it literally treats an infestation - but I'm even looking at it for a product to use inbetween wormings to make sure there are possibly less worms to get rid of twice a year.

They are herbal, so they can't prove any effectiveness because of laws.  They are doing testing (to have paperwork behind their product) in England and soon in the US but not yet.  Until they provide that paperwork, I wouldn't depend on it to treat infestations.  I would definitely consider it for in-betweens but only if you use it three consecutive days of every month.

Panacur is simply fenbendazole by the way.  SafeGuard is another brand name, the one I usually use because it's very much less expensive than the vets' cost. smile

Thanks for the video by the way, Stephen!  That's awesome.

Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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