3 dead in 2 1/2 weeks and Rooster Sick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jude2000, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. jude2000

    jude2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all,

    I'm usually a lurker and can find the help that I need in the archived posts, but I am stumped and would appreciate any advice...

    Two weeks ago I lost one of my Golden Laced Wyanndottes, didn't know why. Then this week I found a Buff Orpington hen that had just fallen off her perch at night dead. I thought she had a heart attack since she seemed perfectly healthy. This am, I go down and I have another hen dead, fallen from the coop. This one I noticed two days ago, looked fine but didn't want to come out of the coop with the 0others in the am. The only thing I noticed about her was her beak was open. She seemed lively enough, feathers looked good, wasn't poopy. This am, my beautiful, Blue Splashed Orpingtom rooster didn't want to come out of the coop and is acting listless and his beak is open most of the time. I finally got him out and he listlessly pecked at food, went over and stood by himself, looking a bit dejected. By the time I came up from feeding the goats he was drinking water but still off.

    Does this sound like gapeworm? Anything else? It took the death this morning for me to realize that it's all related. I guess because they all seemed healthy right up until I found them dead. In 16 years, I've never had any problems like this, maybe mild coccidea (sp) once or twice but that's it and I'm really worried!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi. Sorry to hear of your losses.

    The only way to know for sure what the problem is, is to send the most recent one off for necropsy or if that is not an option, then perhaps perform a DIY post mortem and see if you can figure out a cause of death. If you decide to do that, take photos of anything that looks unusual and post them here for advice.
    How old are they? At this time of year in the northern hemisphere Marek's is prevalent in young birds and can exhibit as sudden death as well as the more commonly seen paralysis.
    What makes you think it might be gapeworm? I believe you can test for gapeworm by doing a swab of the throat with a damp cotton bud (q-tip)

    Good luck with your rooster. I hope he pulls through.
     
  3. jude2000

    jude2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your reply! The only reason I was wondering if it was gapeworm was I noticed the last hen had her beak open alot and the rooster seems to be doing that as well. I wouldn't know what I was looking for as far as a post mortem goes...I will look into Mareks for now, thanks.
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could it be a respiratory problem if they were open mouth breathing?

    Could it be a particularly virulent strain of cocci?

    Marek's generally affects juvenile birds between 5 weeks and 1 year but usually the 12-25 weeks adolescent age range is most common. There is much misinformation out there about the disease so don't believe everything you read. It is an extremely common and widespread disease that is very easily contracted unfortunately.There are so many different symptoms with it that it can look like a number of other ailments or even injury.That said, it would be unusual to have so many sudden deaths to it without some lameness or paralysis occurring.

    Have you had the birds that have been affected for any length of time, or added any new birds recently?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  5. jude2000

    jude2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    i had a predator attack that wiped out three quarters of my flock in the Spring. I obtained new birds and my Roo at a highly regarded poultry swap back in early Spring and quarantined them. It seems to be hitting my older birds, not any of my juvies. BTW, I got my newer birds from three different breeders at the swap. I'm REALLY hoping that it's not Merek's, that would be devastating... :( I just got the name of a poultry vet, although 1 1/2 hours away, I'm going to give her a call.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck with the vet.
    If you are in the USA, some state veterinary facilities do free necropsies I believe. You need to refrigerate the carcass and send it in a specially prepared box. There is a thread somewhere with photos of what is required but each state may be different. Having it done through a vet may be more expensive that going direct to the university/state lab, so don't commit yourself with the vet until you have researched it a bit.
    When you have lost more than one bird like that, it really is worth finding out what the problem is, so that hopefully you can protect your other birds.

    Good luck
     
  7. clintelmore

    clintelmore New Egg

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    Hello I'm new to site and hope this is ok to post but I have one possibly two sick Roos and now a hen presenting the same symptoms runny poo , mouth open and making a gurgling sound and sometimes a sound that resembles a hiccup need help quick began treating for cocci today but not sure if this is what they have but it's contagious whatever it is HELP!
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi again

    I was just reading another post and there were similarities with the speed of death and respiratory problems. It turned out to be Aspergillus.... mould spores from damp wood chip that had been aspirated when the chickens were scratching and the mould started growing in their lungs.
    Here is the thread...https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1129854/dying-chickens

    It is the time of year for fungi to thrive, so this may be the cause of your problem.
     
  9. jude2000

    jude2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Just wanted to give an update...it's been a couple of days and now I have a hen whose eyes have swollen shut. Others eyes are starting to swell slightly and the seem listless as well. I've brought the one hen up in quarantine and am giving her water with oxytetracycline by dropper as well as bathing her eyes with warm water. Yesterday, was the second day that she's been up at the house and I couldn't get either of her eyes open, today, one eye is open, so I will continue treatment. I have put the antibiotics in the water for the rest of the flock and plan to put a heat lamp in the coop. We have been having rainy, cool weather for about 5 days now, which is making everything worse, I'm sure. I'm thinking it's some sort of respiratory infection and from my research...they are all bad news.

    The only chicken vet in the tri state area is out of town until the 10th of Oct. but she called me and suggested that I have the Dept. of Agriculture in to run a respiratory panel for free. At least then I will know...

    So for now I'm just treating symptoms as best I can. If this poor hen survives then I'll have some hope...Has anyone had some success with survival rate with anything like this?

    Thank you rebrascora for all your help, I do appreciate it!
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I just read this post too and if you've had chickens dying that quickly with respiratory symptoms, it's a good chance that they may have Infectious Larygeotracheitis. (ILT). I'm sorry to be the bearer of this bad news, but it does sound a great deal like it from what you've described. It is highly contagious, and mortality rate is very high. Symptoms are rattly breathing, open mouthed gasping, sometimes bloody discharge from the mouth, and, obviously, lethargy, and eventually death. It can also cause sudden death. There is a vaccine for it, which is easy to administer, it's an eyedrop. With the eyedrop vaccine, the ones that receive it do not become carriers. You can get it from www.firststatevetsupply and Peter Brown's advice would be very helpful to you. We had to deal with ILT in 2006, and it was horrible. In many states, it is a mandatory cull if you have it. In our State, it is not, but we were under quarantine by the State and received excellent advice from them while we worked through it. We lost several birds but not all; vaccinated the remainder, and we did eventually get over it. One of the birds that we vaccinated during that epidemic went on to live for another 9 years, she just died last year of other causes. It is carried by migrating birds. Some chickens can be carriers without necessarily showing symptoms, and that may be what happened in your case. It can only be definitely diagnosed by necropsy.

    CRD (Chronic Respiratory Disease) is a common illness among chickens, and symptoms are similar, but usually not as severe, and CRD is not usually fatal.

    Aspergillosis is usually pretty rare in chickens, from what I've learned. We had a rooster that had it, but he had an injury for which he was on antibiotics prescribed by the vet for weeks, and the antibiotics over that long period apparently contributed to his developing aspergillosis.

    I hope you are doing ok. Please let us know if we can help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016

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