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Chicken seizure?Update:Same happened to a different hen,contagious?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Buckeye, my most loved pet, a 9 month old Serama cockerel, had a seizure, I think. He suddenly toppled over and started rolling around on his back with his neck pulled back.  I grabbed him about 5 seconds after it started because he was with me as always. I held him upright until it stopped. He was gasping and limp but finally calmed down. Now all he wants to do is sleep and he is very unsteady.
This happened to a 3 1/2 month old Serama cockerel the day before yesterday, except to a much greater extent. He did the same, except it took a long time for him to stop. When he did, he went into a coma. Completely limp, unmoving, but breathing.Then he woke and tried to move, but his neck would only flop to one side. then hi pulse slowed to once every 3 seconds. Then his heart stopped for 10 seconds, then it resumed, again once every 3 seconds. Then his heart stopped for good.

4 months ago, a 6 month old serama cockerel died from something similar. He flopped around like Buckeye did, and died within 45 seconds of his first symptoms.

Will this happen to Buckeye again? If anything happened to him, I don't know what I would do!


Edited by Ondra's Seramas - 11/5/09 at 8:06pm

 
 

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post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

I called the veterinary extension. The vet (Dr Finch!) said that it could be because he only gets sunlight threw windows. If it is, then it is too late for him to live. I don't think it is. The other rooster that had the exact same thing had only been here for 3 weeks, because I had just gotten him from Mr. Schexnayder. None of the others are showing symptoms. Is there any way I can prevent this from happening? I am really really worried about my Buckeye.
I am trying to find a vet within 50 or 60 miles who will see him.

 
 

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post #3 of 16

I hope you can figure it out!  Unfortunatly, I have no advice... just a hug and a prayer!

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

I just called and scheduled an appointment with a bird vet 150 miles away. We will be in that area anyway. They are the only place that accepts chickens and knows about chickens. And they cost $39 for an examination instead of $65

 
 

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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

It happened again to another hen that Buckeye had a little contact with.  She had a similiar thing, and is just fine now. Now I think that it is contagious. Or their is something in their food or water. She had just had alot of water, as had Buckeye, and possibly the first serama.

HHHHHHEEEEEEEELLLLLLPPPP!!!!!

 
 

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post #6 of 16

I have no idea what could be causing this!  Sorry!  hugs  I hope you are able to find out what it is and also a cure for it!  fl

Mary
I N.O. SAINTS!!! BLACK AND GOLD WON THE SUPERBOWL!!
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Mary
I N.O. SAINTS!!! BLACK AND GOLD WON THE SUPERBOWL!!
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post #7 of 16

When is he going to the vet?  If it is not right away, I would suggest giving him and the whole flock some extra nutritional support in the form of plain, active culture yogurt (1 tsp per day per bird  (can be mixed up with mash or something if they don't like it plain) and a vitamin/electrolyte solution (Like durvet) in their water.  Or you can give each bird a few drops of the infant vitamin poly-vi-sol.  Just make sure that you get the kind without iron and don't inadvertantly infect any birds with a contaminated dropper!  If you can do this, it certainly won't hurt and it just might help.

Also, do you think there is anything yucky (pesticide, spoiled food) that they might have gotten into?

Good luck!

post #8 of 16

There are forms of encephalitis that chickens can get that will cause these symptoms.  It is spread by mosquitos (another reason to despite them!) and other biting insects.  Metacam (by prescription) or steroids will help.  Baytril (also presription) wards off secondary infection.  I have had a couple of birds with similar problems--some recovered; some did not; some recovered, but later relapsed and did not.  I tore that coop apart.

Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
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Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

Reply
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

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.

 
 

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post #10 of 16

Wow, I am so glad that you found such an awesome vet!  It sounds like money well spent to me.  (And it is not just for one chicken... whatever this is already killed one and it seems obvious to me that the flock is in danger!)

Thanks for sharing what you learned.  I hope that the treatments are effective... good luck with dosing the birds!!

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