7 of my 9 Mountain quail died in the past 5 days of Ulcerative Enteritis, how can I save the last 2?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by vhc771, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. vhc771

    vhc771 New Egg

    Sep 29, 2012
    I originally made a thread here on the Emergencies/Diseases board when I noticed the first Mountain quail looking sick, 5 days ago...that quail died later that day and 6 of my others have died since then. I didn't know what the cause was when I made that thread but after taking 3 of the dead birds to a veterinary lab for a necropsy I learned last night that they died from Ulcerative Enteritis. I care a lot about these birds and put a huge amount of time, money and effort into finding them, breeding them, and keeping them healthy so to watch them all die at once like this after 2+ years of raising them is frustrating to say the least. I'm hoping I can get some help here with what to do to save the two I have left.

    Some more details...first off, I also have Bobwhites that are right next to the Mountain quail and a week and a half ago I found one dead inside the pen. I haven't had any deaths in over a year and hadn't seen any of the birds acting differently, so it was a surprise. I took it to a vet who did a necropsy and said the bird died of kidney failure/visceral gout...I still don't know how that happened or if it's in any way related to the Mountain quail deaths. I was away for most of the following week and had a relative looking after the quail so I didn't have a chance to keep watch on them, but I was told that the quail all seemed fine and normal until a few hours before I came back when I was called up and told that one of the Mountain quail wasn't moving around very much. The bird was standing still with its eyes closed or with its head beneath its wing and had droopy wings and seemed more puffed up than the others. I brought it inside the house in a rabbit hutch where it died a few hours later.

    In the 5 days since then, 6 more of my Mountain quail have died...I detailed what happened with the other 6 in this post. In terms of medicine, I had been giving them Baytril as per the vet's recommendation and last night after the necropsy showed it was Ulcerative Enteritis that killed the others the vet said to give the remaining Mountain quail Amoxicillin to treat the enteritis and to give my flock of bobwhites Bacitracin in their water as a preventative measure. On Monday the 1st I brought all of the Mountain quail inside, 3 of which seemed healthy. Those 3 still seemed healthy until this morning, then about an hour and a half later one of them had its eyes closed and was laying down...I went to the vet to pick up the Amoxicillin and brought the sick quail with me and they gave him an injection of Amoxicillin but he died just before leaving the vet's office...so now I'm down to just two birds left.

    My questions for all of you...

    Treatment: Is there anything else I can or should be doing to treat this in the two remaining Mountain quail? For anyone else who has gone through this with their quail, what has worked? The vet gave me Amoxicillin but I haven't found much online saying it's a good cure for UE...this vet manual page and this journal article both say Streptomycin is the best treatment, but I can't find anywhere to get it...I called every place I knew of that might have it but the most anybody has is Duramycin. I looked online but found nothing. My vet can't even find it to special order. Does anyone know where I could get it, or if there's a more effective alternative to Amoxicillin available for treating Ulcerative Enteritis? I ordered BMD Bacitracin powder and Neomycin powder online just now with overnight shipping since I read those two work well together for enteritis, but it seems they're only for preventing it rather than treating birds that have already come down with it. Still, I think I'll get the Duramycin today and start treating the water of both the Bobwhites and the two Mountain quail with that and then add in the Bacitracin and Neomycin to all their water when they arrive on Saturday and hopefully that will do something to help. If combining all three like that (plus the Amoxicillin for the Mountain quail) is a bad idea please let me know.

    Bobwhites: My flock of Bobwhites is right next to where the Mountain quail were, and though there was no apparent sign of enteritis in the Bobwhite that died a week and a half ago, I'm still concerned it may be related and that the Bobwhites will be next to start dying off one by one...they all look fine now but the Mountain quail that have died so far all looked fine just days or even hours before dying so I'm afraid it's only a matter of time. If the Bobwhites *do* already have it (but aren't showing symptoms yet) would Bacitracin, Neomycin, Duramycin or a combination of the three do any good or would it only work if it was used before they were exposed to the enteritis?

    The cause: The birds are on ground in a large outdoor pen...what would the cause of the ulcerative enteritis likely be here? No new birds have been introduced and as far as I know nothing else has changed either. They've been in there for over 2 years without issue, so what would have to happen to make them all sick like this now?

    What to do about the pen: Although I can take the Mountain quail inside, I can't do the same with the Bobwhites as there are way too many of them and I don't have anywhere else to put them outdoors either. If the source of the enteritis is something in the outdoor pen as I suspect, what should I do about it? I already bleached the waterers, feeders and all other wooden surfaces but I don't know what to do about the ground itself. The vet recommended putting down lime and then covering it in either sand, gravel or both. This isn't ideal since I imagine the Bobwhites will dig everything up and get down to the lime pretty quickly and either burn their feet by stepping on it or ingest it, but I don't have any better ideas at the moment. Any suggestions?

    Sorry this was so long...hoping someone more knowledgeable than I takes the time to read through it and help out, since I could really use some advice here. Thanks so much.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  2. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2012
    Sorry for your losses. I'd be devastated if I lost that many mq. I would use Streptomycin too if I was able to get my hands on any. Whenever my birds start getting sick, I use Sulmet (12.5%) drinking water solution at the first signs of sickness (usually within the same day). I know there are better medication but this was the only thing that's available. I've read that using too much may be bad for the birds (kidney problems?) and so I limit the use. So far, it's been useful and has saved my birds. Being able to identify the first signs of sickness is important. Feel free to house your birds where ever you like, but if I was in your situation, I would house my mq away from bobwhites. I also find that they are healthier in a coop that has enough aeration and doesn't have a strong smell. I am no expert in medication for sick birds but I'm just giving you my experience. I don't know what is the current health condition for your 2 remaining birds, but good luck.

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