9 week old pullet gape breathing??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Messica, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Messica

    Messica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We left for the three day weekend and had someone check our flock of 12 daily. Came home Monday afternoon to our SLW pullet struggling to stay upright and reaching her neck out to breathe. We immediately brought her in the house and checked her over. No obvious injury, no sneezing or wheezing, no mites, vent is clear, color remains great, crop feels fine, poo is normal. She wouldn't eat or drink on her own so I used a dropper to offer her some water and left her in the tub on a fleece "nest" not thinking she'd survive the night. When she did I called the vet who said to cull her. Sick chickens can't be helped and if she's suffering it's cruel to leave her as is. Instead I hit a farm supply store and picked up VetRx and electrolyte solution. I used a dropper to offer her some more infused water and softened her feed crumbles. I had to put it into her mouth for her but she happily swallowed and will perk up for a short time afterward. I applied the VetRx and have otherwise just let her rest. She survived last night and I did the same routine several times today also offering some scrambled egg. I expected her to either take a turn for the worse or show signs of improvement but her condition has stayed exactly the same. Gaped breathing with every breath, still won't eat or drink on her own, still incredibly unsteady on her feet.

    She's still very young at 9 weeks old. None of the others in the flock show any signs of illness and I'm struggling to sort out where she could have picked anything up. She lived the first 6-7 weeks inside in the brooder, the last 2 almost 3 outside in the coop not having spent anytime in the grass yet as I was waiting for them to get older.

    I'm completely new to having chickens and don't know what else to do for her. I tried the throat swab to check for gape worms but nothing. I also tried the controversial water/oil fill and empty of her crop and that produced no answers or relief either. I've researched online relentlessly and can't figure this out. Not only is she incredibly sweet and fighting hard, but she was the one my son attached to right out the shoots. I want to give her every chance possible to get well.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    My guess would be a respiratory infection, but beyond that diagnosing a viral or bacterial cause it more involved...

    For me personally I would roll the dice and start giving antibiotic shots (Tylan - dosages can be found on forum) and see if the condition improves... Of course this is a shot in the dark type of remedy and some would argue against giving the antibiotics without proper diagnosis...
     
  3. Messica

    Messica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's so frustrating having an unhelpful vet. The next closest clinic is 45 minutes away and I'm afraid the stress of that drive would make her worse.

    I did just watch a video on YouTube of a hen with gape worms. She's acting exactly the same way. Do URI and gape infestation mimic each other? This is the video. Literally identical.


    Would it hurt to try to treat for both or would that be too harsh on her system? How long can a chicken survive with gape worms? Is it something that if I ordered on Amazon she could likely make another two days or do I need to desperately search for local sources?
     
  4. Messica

    Messica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2016
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  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Yes, the outward symptoms of 'gaping' or 'gasping' for air are identical, but gape worm is very rare, thus likely not the cause...
     
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  6. Messica

    Messica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to call my local Pro Ag store in the morning and ask if they carry a broad spectrum antibiotic. I sure appreciate your insight. I almost can't bear to watch her continuing to suffer but good gravy is she a fighter. I really feel she deserves a chance
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Yes, bacteria and viruses travel by air, or possibly on another host or even inanimate object like a piece of junk being blown around...

    Gapeworms, are transmitted from bird to bird by feces, or from an intermediate host like a slug or worm that ingest the eggs in a feces and then is eaten by another bird , but that still requires an infected bird to be in close proximity and as I said gapeworm is rare to start with...
     
  8. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Verify it's safe for birds, not all are... Tylan is not approved for poultry but it's safe for them and is broad spectrum, and most farm stores will carry it as it's commonly used in other livestock... Many other antibiotics are hard to find or purchase without a script, unless you order overseas or gray market in advance... Another one you might find is Oxytetracycline...
     
  9. Messica

    Messica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will start by asking for those first. We live in a rural farming community so there just has to be something available.

    I very much appreciate your help!
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    You might also pick up some SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer or the Equine paste to go ahead and treat for all worms incuding gapes. Give 1/4 ml orally for 5 days in a row. Tylan or oxytetracycline can be used in the water, or you can buy Tylan 50 injectable, and give 1/4 ml twice a day ORALLY for 5 days to treat for a possible respiratory infection. Does he sneeze? Mold and aspergillosis can be a problem if there are wet conditions, but mycoplasma or infectious bronchitis are 2 common diseases.
     

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