OK BYC Gurus! HELP! I cannot seem to find anything online that has the same symptoms that my SLW has. She has been looking rather ratty for a couple months but I assumed she didn't quite molt like the rest of the flock had and was just waiting for her plumage to shape up. However, that's not the case. Here's the rundown:
She is just under 4 years old. About 10 days ago I when I let her and her flock out of their chicken house, she was walking into the fence that surrounds their outside area. I realized her eyes were closed, so she couldn't see. It was easy for me to pick her up and quarantine her inside my house. I noticed she had lost a lot of weight.
I opened her eye lids to make sure she still had eye balls (she does). Her lids seemed a little puffy. While I was looking into the lid that seemed most swollen, there was a fibrous mass (about the size of a large pea), that sort of popped out. It was white with some red. Looked like a tumor, and didn't noticeably look parasitic or anything. The other eye didn't have this 'thing', but she hold is closed anyway. Without having done any research at that point, I thought it made sense to treat her eyes with antibiotics, thinking maybe she had some sort of eye infection. The only thing I had was triple antibiotic ointment (all the stores were out of terramycin, which I do now have).
Also, I immediately wetted down some of her pellets and made a thin mash and fed her some by mouth with a syringe.
She would (and still does) just sit in her cage without moving around at all. After a day or two, I noticed she was opening her eyes for a bit longer and I saw her take a couple steps, but she still wasn't eating or drinking on her own. So I thought she was on the upswing. But that's as good as it got.
I stepped up the feeding by measuring 2 ounces of food in the morning and 2 at night. I wet this down with water (at least 1/2 cup per feeding) and this is how she has been eating.
I also figured that if she had some sort of eye thing, maybe it was connected with upper respiratory issues and it might be wise to cover my bases and give antibiotics in water for a week. We have just finished a week of Duramycin and she hasn't improved. She hasn't opened up her eyes very much at all and just sits on her perch (if I put her there) or on the floor (where poop builds up underneath her).
Having said all this, her poop looks rather normal. It might be a little watery because I have been making sure she has plenty, but there's plenty of fibrous mass (presumably from the pellets). It is not foul smelling or strange colored, etc.
I took her temp yesterday morning and it was 106.4. It seems there is conflicting opinions out there as to what normal hen temp should be. So I don't know if this temp is good or bad. She breathes normally, doesn't have any puss, foam, etc., coming from her eyes, nose or mouth, doesn't make any funny noises or movements. She sits just a bit puffed up, that's all.....all day long. The hens have been out of lay for the winter months so I don't think that a stuck egg is a problem. When I took her temp, I did notice that her vent is VERY tiny. It looks normal otherwise...but not the normal fleshy larger look of my other hens.
Now my next theory is maybe there are internal parasites. I realize that medicating a very sick chicken for worms might be harmful. However, she will die anyway if I don't figure something out. Taking her to the vet, and shelling out dollars for testings, etc, isn't something that is an option at this time.
Oh yes, she originally weighed 3 pounds 8.5 ounces when I first quarantined her and now she's 3 pounds 12 ounces. So she's gained a little.
My thumb feels about ready to fall off with the syringe feedings, but it's the quickest, cleanest way to get her fed before I go to work and after I get home. Do I need to keep going on with this until she puts on more weight before I try worming? Or if she has worms, are the worms thanking me because I'm putting more nutrition down her and should I try to get rid of them asap?
Sorry if this is hard to follow. I'm trying to remember everything I did and add my questions in the mix.
If anyone has any opinions or input on what I should do, please let me know!!! I don't want to cull my girl, and as she doesn't seem to be in any pain, I think it's reasonable to try and save her. If I don't hear anything soon, I think I'll give her some piperazine and see how that goes.
Thanks for any help!!!