8 m/o pullet stopped laying, not eating, lost weight (Update - hen died)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hobomom, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. hobomom

    hobomom Out Of The Brooder

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    (Feathyr here - I forgot my password and ended up having to use mom's account.)

    Two days ago, my eight (8) month-old Welsumer pullet began showing signs of illness. Her tail droops, she's lost quite a bit of weight and she eats litle. Yet, she continues to drink, forage, talks to me, and is highly alert - an otherwise healthy bird. She quit laying about a week ago, which isn't unusual as most of my girls are the middle of molts.

    I've twice inspected her for tumors, bound eggs, mites, Mareks, worms, with no results. She sometimes has difficulty breathing, so I've given her a little over an eyedropper-full of Duramycin-10 to help with that. I'm currently trying to force some yogurt into her, and she shows interest but doesn't eat.

    I'm stumped; never seen anything like this. Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.
    - Feathyr

    EDIT - Forgot to mention that she seems to be in some pain when she walks, so the rooster may be responsible for that. No other chickens are acting this way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you describe the difficulty breathing? Does she gasp or silently gasp, breathe rapidly or with great effort, have any chest rattles or gurgles? Do she drink a lot of water? Have you checked her footpads for redness, swelling, or a black spot which could be bumblefoot? Any swelling of her feet or joints in the legs?
     
  3. Feathyr

    Feathyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    (Found my password!)

    There was no gurgling, rattling, or clicks; just a constant heavy breathing as though she had been running for a long time. I did check for bumblefoot, and there was no joint swelling. We kept her in the house for about three hours, during which she finally ate and drank on her own. She did drink quite a bit; poop was watery, white and filled with small green bits. (Starvation or infection?)

    I kept her in the house overnight, and put her out in the coop once the sun started warming it. Despite eating and drinking, she acts slightly cold, as though she has a fever. We do have mushrooms popping up in near the house, maybe she ate one of those?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Except for the gasping, several of those signs sound like coccidia.....
     
  5. hobomom

    hobomom Out Of The Brooder

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    Since my daughter started this thread we've treated her with Safeguard about 8 days ago and, so far, really no change. It appears that she has plateaued. She still is not drinking on her own and doesn't really eat a whole lot but she does like to eat yogurt, crumbles and cracked (more like pulverized) corn. We've been following another thread on hen(s) losing weight and will follow the advice from there since it seems like a similar situation.

    Going to dose her for 5 days with Safeguard but since she has lost a good deal of weight should I adjust her dosage to a small hen? Or keep at 2ml? Her current weight is 3.2 lbs - she is a Welsumer pullet and I don't know what their ideal weight should be for her age. It has been that for a few days now.

    She had a somewhat normal looking poop yesterday afternoon but today has reverted back to the runny, white droppings with green lumps in it. Her eyes are bright, she is chatty and will roost on the side of her box in the laundry room at times. And she does not have any breathing difficulties at this time so whatever my daughter had seen has not re-appeared.

    Not quite sure where to go from here other than to continue on with what we are doing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  7. hobomom

    hobomom Out Of The Brooder

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    We have had experience with egg yolk peritonitis in the past with a few hens and she does not have the same symptoms. I believe that the difficulty walking that my daughter reported on was from dehydration. I did not see it happen the day the pullet appeared ill but later on I noticed that she would get tippy and drop a wing down for balance. She still won't drink on her own but she has been eating. As of this writing I have been informed that her crop is the size of a golf ball. May be making some progress. Just wish she would start to drink on her own.

    Could it be coccidiosis that we are dealing with? And should we also be treating with an antibiotic? The only one on hand is Duramycin.
     
  8. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow....this is crazy. My Welsummer is doing the same thing! She is 9 months old I think. No breathing or walking problems, but mine won't eat. She has ate a little, but not to much, so I tube feed her everything. I have treated her for coccidiosis- no improvement, wormed her- no improvement, treated with baytril- no improvement and now I am treating her with metronidazole. I have no idea what's wrong her. She is only 3.6 lbs, but I have actually put weight on her...she started at 3.4lbs. I plan on treating with metronidazole for 2 weeks and I am only on day 4 of treatment. I suspect some type of enteritis/peritonitis. Good luck with your hen! If mine pulls through I will let you know what it was I gave her that helped her.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  9. hobomom

    hobomom Out Of The Brooder

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    That is rather odd. Maple seems to be a bit better today since she drank a little on her own. And I'm beginning to wonder if she doesn't have enteritis, too .... I ran across this thread (not even sure how I even ran across it - every thing is blurring together): https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/834129/ulcerative-enteritis

    I think I will start her on duramycin tomorrow. She doesn't have any blood in her stool (at least none that I have seen), just the white runny poop with green blobs in it. And like your hen, the worming doesn't seem to have made any improvement in her condition.

    I'm a tad bit lost as to why she won't drink but will eat some.... picky as to what it is but at least she is eating something. Her favorites appear to be hard boiled egg, yogurt and the game bird ration. She again has a golf ball sized crop tonight which is an improvement. Her weight has stagnated at 3.4 lbs and she is still in her box in the mud room due to the cold weather but hopefully she will recover soon and be able to return with the rest of the flock. Hope your hen gets better soon, too. Thanks for keeping us posted since her symptoms are similar to Maple's (the Welsumer). Maybe we will figure this out yet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  10. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The runny poop with blobs in it just means that's there's not a lot passing through the digestive track. My other hen had that. Thank you for that link. I read in that link about baytril....well I have tried that with no improvement. Please let me know how Maple does on duramycin. That's good that her crop is filled, that's good. If the metronidazole works for Myrtle I will let you know.
     

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