2 Bantam Cochins (5 weeks old) with watery eyes and extreme lethargy - please advise! :-(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lovethejester, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. lovethejester

    lovethejester Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Norco, CA
    Hi there,

    I am a relatively new chicken owner and have been growing my flock for the last several months. Saturday I brought home 5 new Bantam Cochin chicks between 5 and 6 weeks old from a local breeder. When I got home I noticed one of the girls (no clue if she will actually be a hen or not) was keeping one eye shut and was sleeping toward the back of the pen away from the other chicks, and looked a little lethargic. When I picked her up I got her to open her left eye and saw that it was watery and looked a little cloudy or filmed over. It appears that she has some sort of vision loss in the eye as well, as it takes her a bit to register when my hand is drawing near her left side.
    I brought her inside and made a cozy box for her in my bath tub. I originally thought she had simply been pecked by one of the others (a little black Silkie had been pecking at their faces and I thought he may have got her in the eye) and just needed a little TLC and eye ointment. But then later that night I saw that one of the other Cochins also had a watery eye and was keeping it closed and was sleeping a lot and lethargic. I brought him inside as well.
    All the other chicks appear to be perfectly fine. Last night I was worried the two in my bathroom weren't going to make it through the night. I put Vetericyn eye ointment in their eyes, washed them off with warm water, made certain they had clean water and accessible food.
    They ate off and on. I finally saw one of them drink this morning, but for the most part they have been sleeping all day. I can rouse them, but it only keeps them up for a few moments.
    This morning I went and bought some tetrocycline (spelling?) and some sulfa. I put the tetrocycline powder in their water, but since they did not seem to be drinking much I gave them both a 1ml syringe of the medicated water several times today. I also put in the eye ointment. I called every Avian vet in my area and none have an actual Avian vet in until Wednesday. I'm so worried these little ones won't make it that long without the right treatment.
    From everything I have read online, I can't figure out what is going on. They still keep their "bad" eyes closed 95% of the time, but they actually seemed to look a little better from the Vetericyn. They sleep all the time. Once in a while I see them pecking their starter mash and grooming. No runny nose, no sneezing that I have heard. Just the eye issue and extreme lethargy. And loss of a big appetite. They don't seem to be having trouble breathing.
    Any advice would be wonderful. I am really worried about these little gals. (And the rest of my flock, should it be contagious! Worried I may have exposed everyone to this...though none of the others are showing any symptoms at the moment).
    Thank you so much!
     
  2. Buffygirl

    Buffygirl Out Of The Brooder

    First, just keep up on their eyes like you have been. They may be sightless on that side forever, but I've seen blind chickens before, they will be ok.

    Next, worry about the lethargy. That might just be from their eyes hurting(I bet those hurt) or something else, but first focus on the eyes.

    But I do find it odd that two of them have the same thing.
     
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    It could be a few things. One they could have coccidia and need to be treated with Corid. It makes them sleepy, weak, closed eyes and puffed up appearance, weight loss and sometimes blood in poo. It would not cause the watery eye, but in their weak state they could gotten chilled and got sick.

    The other option would be a respitory illness. This would be very bad and contagious and permanent if not fowl pox. Treat symptoms with Tylan 50 cattle injectable....but they will always be I'll or spread it.
    Personally I would return the chicks..... They pose a risk to your flock.
     
  4. lovethejester

    lovethejester Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Norco, CA
    Thanks for the info...
    With a respiratory disease would I see some signs of distress? Like trouble breathing, sneezing or runny nose? Anything like that?
    Because so far they haven't displayed any of those symptoms. Just the watery eyes and lethargy. When they are awake they eat a little, scratch around, and do their grooming routine. Eyes seem to be getting a little better.
     
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Watery eyes could also be from previous bedding if it was dusty, etc... But respitory illness can also go without distress too. I would keep them away from everyone, never handle them and your other chickens at the same time..always handle chicks last as many illnesses can spread on feather dust etc.. Keep an eye on them and see if it improves. If nothing developes and then after a few months they have been symptom free then you may be ok....
     
  6. lovethejester

    lovethejester Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Norco, CA
    OK, thanks a bunch!
    Another of the cochins who was fine yesterday (appearance wise) now has a red, watery, itchy eye. She is very full of energy, however, unlike the other two. I've also quarantined her. Everyone still seems to be breathing ok. Just the eye issue, and the lethargy in the two brown cochins. Really hoping I can help these little guys and gals out - and that my whole flock hasn't been compromised while they were together. I'm heartsick over the whole thing.
     
  7. lovethejester

    lovethejester Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Norco, CA
    An update on the chicks:
    Went to the vet and she prescribed Enrofloxacin and Mycostatin orally twice a day and Gentamicin drops for the eyes. She said it looked like a sinus infection from the swollen eyes because their sinuses run around their eyes. She honestly didn't seem too worried about it and though the antibiotic would wipe it out. Said to treat the whole little flock that came with the girls (I brought home 7 in all). Meds haven't been making much of a difference so far. Both girls still sleep most of the time, though one does seem to have a better appetite than she did. The other isn't eating much at all. They are both too thin. I gave the more lethargic of the two a syringe of boiled cool sugar water, but don't know what else to do for them. They still haven't developed any runny noses or coughing or sneezing. Every once in a while I noticed that the more energetic of the two (mostly after I have given her the oral medicine via syringe) stretched her neck out and does a small yawn like movement. I was worried that she was gasping at first, but she only does it when I give her the meds and not much after. One of the healthy chicks from the flock the two sick girls came from does the same little neck stretch/yawn. I've seen my rooster do it before, and he is healthy as a horse - but should I be worried that these little gals are doing it? They don't seem like they are in any distress or gasping for air when they do it...
    Wishing this medicine would work faster. :-(
     
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Personally I would get some Corid for coccidia....did she check for that.......
    Tylan 50 cattle injectable...$10 is one of the best for respiratory besides Baytril. Gentimyician is ok...but not my first choice. Let me look up those med and see what they do.
     
  9. lovethejester

    lovethejester Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Norco, CA
    Chickenzoo - I have su;fadimethoxine soluble powder which I had them on prior to going to the vet - that is what a local breeder suggested trying. It says it treats for coccidiosis also. Do you think it would be ok to put it back in their water? I was giving the little one who is now having such a hard time little syringes full of the treated water just to make certain she got some. I haven't noticed any blood in their poop.
    They are both already on the Baytril (Enrofloxacin). I'm worried about having conflicting medications. But the Vet did not check for cocci. I'm not certain she really knew much about chickens at all - just parrots.
     
  10. lovethejester

    lovethejester Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Norco, CA
    Most all their poops have been normal, but while I had my little guy out medicating him, this is what he deposited on the counter. Any thoughts?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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