3 1/2 week chick dead-coccidiosis? amprolium med-feed + Sulmet?

verlaj

Songster
10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
790
11
159
Micanopy, Florida
I have (now) 10 chicks, most of which hatched May 12, in a brooder in the house. They have been fed medicated chick starter - but I only recently realized the med was Bacitracin, not Amprolium.

I discovered one chick today weak, separated from the others, cold, and pale. No signs of diarrhea around her vent, no nasal discharge, although she was breathing deeply. Isolated her, put her under a heat lamp, started giving her Pedialyte by dropper and erythromycin by dropper. She didn't last long -

At the same time, I took all the other chicks out of the brooder to empty, clean, and sanitize it. Put the others on newspaper and then could see that at least one has dark brown soft - almost diarrhea - stool. Some have normal appearing droppings. The other chicks seem pretty perky and are eating.

Saved a sample of the nearly liquid brown poop and a normal one for a fecal check. Did a fecal myself - I work in a lab. The abnormal one was teeming with bacteria and I'm pretty sure there were coccidia there - my only doubt is the photo I saw of chicken coccidia showed nearly round coccidia, whereas these were slightly oval, more like the photo of turkey coccidia. The normal looking dropping also had coccidia, but very few bacteria.

Here's the question: I just today was able to purchase chick starter with amprolium and switched all my chicks to that. Should I also treat with Sulmet? Or should the amprolium in the feed take care of the problem?

What about all the bacteria in the soft brown stool? Does that indicate a need for an antibiotic?

I will change the brooder bedding again tomorrow and sanitize the waterer again. Please let me know if you think these chicks should be medicated with Sulmet or any other drug.

I feel pretty bad about losing this chick, because if it was coccidiosis that killed her I probably could have prevented it. I wasn't feeling any urgency about getting the amprolium feed - after all they are still in my house, and I would not have thought they would even be exposed to coccidia until they go outside.

I need to do what I can to protect the others - plus I have to go out of town in a couple of days and will have someone looking after them for me, but she won't be hovering over them like I would be.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
609
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South Georgia
Generally, Corid is recommended first, Sulmet if necessary. Corid is also amprolium but more concentrated. I have also read that chicks with cocci have other changes to the stool -- I'd have to do a search, I know there is usually blood if the disease is severe enough to cause death, but I think they also get foamy or yellow or green stools -- don't take my word, just trying to give you an idea.

You might find this useful:

http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0
 

verlaj

Songster
10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
790
11
159
Micanopy, Florida
Thanks. The link was helpful to the extent that I can tell you that the "abnormal" poop looked like the cecal poop in one of the photos, but without any solid masses or urates in it. There was no red blood in anybody's poop that I could see.

The surviving chicks look okay this morning. All are eating.

More questions:

So what to do now? Could it be that the one chick died from coccidiosis without me seeing any blood in her poop? And none of the others are severely affected?

Is cecal poop normally teeming with bacteria?

Do I add Corid to the water even though the chicks now have amprolium in the feed already? Is it too much amprolium? Or add Sulmet to the water, so they get amprolium (in the feed) and Sulmet ( in the water)? Or wait and see how they do now on only amprolium in the feed?

I have the dead chick in my refrigerator, and if I can find someone to do it before I leave town tomorrow, I may take it for a post-mortem in the morning to find out for sure what killed her.
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
70
229
SouthEast Texas
medicated feed does not treat an outbreak of coccidiosis. you need to go ahead and treat them in the water. the medicated feed is supposed to help prevent it, but it often does not.

if you believe they have cocci, i would immediately put them on 5 days of corid in their water - 4cc per gallon.

i hope one of the experts chimes in on this because i think that they kind of always have cocci involvement, but they develop greater resistance as they grown older. so finding cocci in their poop might not indicate that that is what killed her. treatment is only if the cocci is overwhelming them......that's my understanding.

since they haven't been outside, i don't know that i would jump to any conclusions about cocci. i would go ahead and get that necropsy done.

and no, i wouldn't get any antibiotics involved right now. most around here are very sparing with the antibiotics - and very heavy on the probiotics.

i hope someone else will confirm what i said.
 

verlaj

Songster
10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
790
11
159
Micanopy, Florida
My other chicks still look okay - although it makes me nervous when I see them sleeping!

I just came back from purchasing everything that might be needed to take care of these little gals while I am away, including Corid and Sulmet.

I had another thought - maybe because of the unfortunate situation with feeding Bacitracin-medicated chick starter unwittingly, the gut flora are messed up in these chicks.

I also bought a vitamin/probiotic to add to the water and some plain yogurt. I'm going to give these to all of the chicks - don't see how that can hurt anything - and keep a close eye on them in case they show any signs of disease before I treat with any more drugs.
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
70
229
SouthEast Texas
Quote:
probiotics are always a good idea. i like your plan. and i think that i would probably do the same thing in your situation.
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all the best
let us know how it goes.
 

threehorses

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
3,426
174
221
Houston
Ahh, I'm jealous that you're able to check these things on your own. I used to work at a vet clinic where I did fecals, but I dont have the equipment now. (I should work on that!)

Anyway, cocci are notorious for not showing up in the usual fecals and floats. If you see some, you can likely bet that you have a case of it going on if all other symptoms are the same.

The thing about coccidiosis is that there seems to be a misconception (not spoken here really, but 'around') that only if you see blood is there coccidiosis. I've found that this should also include droppings that look like chocolate pudding more than occassionally, rusty colored poop, mucousy orange colored droppings, and of course the textbook blood in the mucus poop. However, bloody droppings also can indicate intestinal irritation caused by other (even bacterial) issues.

In your case, since they weren't receiving amprolium as their coccidiocide, and were instead receiving antibiotics, I'd bet that was it. I'm sure the rest of the factors (environment, hygiene, etc) were fine with your babies.

You have two choices. You can treat with Corid if you suspect it's only cocci. You can treat with Sulmet if you suspect it's cocci combined with other harmful bacteria.

In both cases, you will definitely want to replenish their essential beneficial bacteria with a probiotic. That way whatever damage was done to their bacterial colonies can be undone. If you really want to do it up, use a combination of probiotic (the live bacteria) and PREbiotic to help nourish and encourage colonization of the beneficial bacteria in your probiotics.

Common probiotics are the same as often used for humans. Acidophilus/B. bidifum combinations are ideal. I've seen capsules for women in the health food stores for yeast infection treatment that have this combination of bacteria. Plain live-culture yogurt also can be used in moderation. Just dose them the same amount you would expect as a serving for a human that was one foot tall.
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There are also a number of products at the feedstore that are awesome and can be used even during medication (which sometimes yogurt cannot - like during ---mycin and ---cycline drug usage). Probios and Fastrack are my two favorites (horse aisle) but there are others. Probios can also be bought in a tube, very convenient.

I always say that for every day of antibiotic treatment (usually 7 days) they should have 2 days of probiotic treatment, but every other day. In other words if you use 7 days of Sulmet, use 14 days of probiotic treatment thereafter but do it every other day.

Prebiotics feed the bacteria. The easiest to buy is non-sweetened applesauce. The apple pectin within it is awesome for bacteria. Use just a little, again think of feeding a very small human and there's your dosage. Weird, but it works.

You can make a treat of their crumbles (now with amprolium), a little applesauce, a bit of yogurt, and water to the wetness they prefer. That's one way of getting everything into them except their medication. Some birds will eat applesauce and yogurt mixed without dry ingredients, but alot of them dislike the sticky texture. It depends on the bird.

Once you get your babies back on track with a coccidiocide (Corrid or Sulmet), the coccidiostat can do its job better - and let's hope it does! Giving an occassional treat of probiotic/prebiotic will help them stay thrifty as well. I do it any time I see more than the usual few loose droppings, and usually they all clear up within a day.

I hope this helps! Please let us know if we can do anything else to help, and we'd love to hear your progress!
 

verlaj

Songster
10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
790
11
159
Micanopy, Florida
Thank you for your very helpful post!

The chicks are looking okay. Chocolate pudding poop describes what I have seen from some quite well. They are eating - and I did give them crumbles mixed with plain yogurt, which they ate with relish.

I have also started them on a poultry vitamin/probiotic in their water.

Have not started Corid, but I have it. Should I add that to the vitamin/probiotic or stop the v/p and start Corid?
 

threehorses

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
3,426
174
221
Houston
I"m curious - where did you find a probiotic for water? I hadn't seen one out?

Honestly if they're all looking ok, and it's a live-bacteria probiotic (not byproducts of live bacteria - labeling is sneaky) and their poops straighten out in 2 days, I'd not worry. If they at all get worse, then I'd do the Corrid.

Just FYI, usually I personally try to avoid vitamins/probiotics in the water because they more easily degrade there. I rely on the food for vitamins adding oil-based vitamin supplements, wheat germ for example in small amounts, if a boost is needed. The vitamins that most easilly degrade in food are oil vitamins (A, D, E) and they don't do well in water packages or as well in powders. Probiotics, being living material, usually need a media in which to live on the shelf - generally dairy based. Probiotic byproducts don't and are mixed in vitamins, but they don't do the job - they just help a little in the nutrient section - not in prevention or firming up poop.

So I'd read the label carefully, or PM me the product name and let's make sure it's going to do the job you paid for it to do.

Oh another thing, vitamins in the water make the water more friendly for bad bacteria - another reason I avoid them unless I have a desperate situation. If I use anything, I use organic apple cider vinegar (1 t/1/2 gal) because it has good bacteria, a pH correcting factor, enzymes, and prebiotics. Again the ACV has a media in which the bacteria can continue to live. (You can see it and them at the bottom of a bottle of organic vinegar; it's called 'the mother' of the vinegar.)

Hope this helps!
 

verlaj

Songster
10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
790
11
159
Micanopy, Florida
Well - I can't give you the information you want right now because I am traveling. It was a product purchased at a feed store. I'll give you the info in a week.

Decided to start amprolium after reading posts above and a discussion with an expert on the phone today and I feel much better about the situation now. 5 days of amprolium in the water. Water is being changed twice a day, waterers sanitized with Oxine AH each time.

No time to get the dead chick somewhere for a post before I left.
 

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