The vet (Dr Onorati) was very very knowledgeable. He said that he treats chickens often. H even said "I have seen Seramas before, although they were larger than they are supposed to be. The small ones can be very delicate." I was shocked. No vets that I have talked to have ever treated chickens. Nobody that I didn't meet at a chicken show has ever even heard of Seramas. Dr Onorati keeps chickens also.
Since Buckeye was wearing his diaper, he took a stool sample from there and examined it under the microscope. He said that he saw a lot of bacteria.
As soon as his diaper was off, Buckeye pooped a nice, big, cecal poop right on the clean examining table.
The vet, when he was done with the other sample, took the fresh sample and examined it. He came back into the exam room with the microscope and showed me the Giardia that he had found. Giardia is a protozoa that can be picked up from drinking bad water and is spread threw the poop ( I think). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardia . I have no idea where they got it.
The vet said that it can infect without symptoms and doesn't usually cause death. It can cause seizures. Symptoms normally only appear when something else weakens the immune system. I have had an outbreak of coccidiosis, although Buckeye and the other, older hen didn't have it, so it is a mystery why they showed symptoms. I am hoping that it is not because of some other thing. Another strange thing is that Giardia normally doesn't cause seizures, but it can. All three chickens had seizures.
I am speculating that perhaps the Giardia didn't cause the syptoms, only contributed to them. Dr Onorati said that if a chicken goes for a while without having access to water ( as little as 1 hour), and then drink a large amount, they can get salt poisoning, even if they don't eat any salt. It is something to do with the electolyte balance. Buckeye had his seizure after drinking alot of water. He had roosted on his water bowl all night, and his water was dirty, so he wouldn't drink it. He drank much of the fresh water when I gave it to him.
The older hen's water bottle had run out while I was away, so when I gave them water, she drank a large amount. I had given the rooster that died fresh water 1 hour before he had his seizure and died. I can't remember if he had been out of water or not.
Maybe that is a contributing cause. I will at least remember to only give chickens a small amount of water after they had been out.
Dr Onorati explained everything we saw in the microscope and explained everything he would or had done in great detail. I learned alot.
He took a blood sample. The results should come back tomorrow.
He prescribed Metronidazole, Fluconazole, and Trimethoprim Sulfa. I have to give .1 ml of Fluconazole once this week and once next week, .1 ml of Metronidazole a day for 7 days,and .25 ml of Trimethoprom Sulfa twice a day for 10 days, all orally. Buckeye will eat the Fluconazole and the Trimethoprom Sulfa straight out of the syringe, but I have to shove the syringe down his throat to get him to eat the Metronidazole.
Dr Onorati gave me enough to treat the 3 groups of chickens who have had one of their group show sypmtoms. That is 11 chickens total. Twice a day. Uggh. They won't all be as cooperative as Buckeye. There is a large possibility that alll 100 of our chickens have it. I just can't afford to treat all of them. I will probably have to make sure the ones I sell don't have it.
Des Moines Veterinary Clinic is the cheapest bird vet(or ANY kind of vet) I could find, and they really know their stuff, but the cost still adds up to $228.42. I have to pay for it out of my pocket. Everyone is giving me a hard time because I spent that much money on a chicken.