Advice for weak underweight 5 y/o chicken possibly with worms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by springbok7, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. springbok7

    springbok7 In the Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2015
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    Hi, I am looking for some advice on our wyningdotte hen. But first some history. We had 6 hens, 3 orpingtons and 3 wyningdotte, all 5 years old. We lost Pinky (orpington) in February to beak/throat cancer. We lost Blondie (orpington) early July to what we think was a heart attack and then her sister Baby-girl two weeks later. She was blind in one eye and was off her food, and we found her dead in the coop. The three wyningdottes seemed unsettled for most of August and I noticed one of the laces, Princess, had dun colouring on her feathers. We thought she was just overenthusiastic on the dustbaths but now I'm not so sure. I checked them on the 19th and the second lace, Lacy, appears to be fine, but Blackie is underweight and I can feel her breastbone. This came about because Princess appeared very weak on 18th and then I found her lying on the ground panting on the 19th, too weak to stand. I thought she was going to die right there but she didn't. I thought the others might be bullying her so I separated her and gave her food/water and she ate like crazy. She has no meat on her breast.

    Did some research and thought that it might be worm infestation. Hubby used to worm yearly but ran out and with one thing or another (we care for his 94-year-old mother), we never got more and it's been over a year. The only thing they carry locally is wazine/piperazine so we grabbed some and gave it to the girls. I only made a quart's worth and divided it up since only three hens. Removed the water 24 hours later and replaced with clean water. I have kept Princess separated and she has her own food/water and she seemed to perk up a bit, but she is still spending the majority of her time sleeping and only once in the several days has she even stepped out of the dog crate I have her in. She is mostly sitting back on her "heels" with her head tucked under her wing. Her wattles etc seem a bit paler so more I thought it was worms. But her poop looks normal, no weird or stinky wet ones. I've ordered valbazen and fenbendazole and ivermectin but only one has arrived so far. Should I give her the wazine orally with a syringe? Or one of the others? Or wait until the 10 days is up and then treat with wazine again or something else? She was drinking the wazine-treated water though.

    We live in Hawaii, and contrary to popular believe it ain't all sunshine and sandy beaches. We live in one of the wettest areas of the world (our storage room flooded, again, on Sunday) so based on what I was reading here we probably need to worm every 2-3 months, since it's so damp. The girls have a dirt run attached to a raised coop, but we let them out to free range around our yard during the day. However while deworming them they are kept locked up since our dog has a bad habit of "sampling" their poop. None of them have any sign of trauma or injury and the dog keeps out any cats or other chickens or other dogs from the property. She takes her chicken-herding/caring duties very seriously

    Anyway, I just wanted to know if I could/should be more aggressive treating Princess for worms, or if it is something else. If it is, what could it be and what should I do? Or I can't do anything and I should make arrangements with the vet for a peaceful passing? It's been a very rough year for us so I'd like to minimize all our pain-and-suffering if possible.

    If I've missed any of the things to include that are pertinent please let me know.
     

  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    @springbok7 , Welcome to BYC! Might be a good idea to have a vet check her poop for worm eggs, coccidia, bacteria and yeast.

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  3. springbok7

    springbok7 In the Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2015
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    Thanks Kathy. We have durvet safeguard goat dewormer (fenbendazole) and ivermectin paste dewormer on order from amazon and valbazen on order from jefferspets. The merial zimecterin gold dewormer paste from amazon arrived yesterday.

    I took some photos at hubby's suggestion. Hopefully they can help. One is the poop from the crate and the other is Princess. I put her out in a baby run to get some fresh air. She was able to walk out into the sun on her own from where I put her in the shade. And at least today is sunny. It's been nothing but rain since saturday.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll see if the vet can do a culture. I'm not sure how they do that, but I'm guessing they do, since we are pretty rural here (loads of folks have horses, cows, sheep, etc, and everyone has chickens even in town like us)
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    The vet doesn't need to do a culture, they just need to do a fecal float and a gram stain, and that's something all vets should be able to do in house. Total cost for the two tests should be about $50. Her poop looks pretty dry... has she been drinking?

    -Kathy
     
  5. springbok7

    springbok7 In the Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2015
    Big Island, HI
    Ok I called our vet and for a miracle those tests are cheaper than you suggested (which almost never happens for us), and the total cost is only $35. I"m going to take some over today. Do you know how long the tests take? Is it something they can tell me if I wait a little while there?

    She appears to be drinking ok. I refill the water each day to half full and it's always much lower when I go to change it. Also, I took a photo of a fresh poop and it looks damp, to me at least, but I've no idea how damp is "enough" (the other photo the poop is on newspaper and based on the water ring a couple inches out from the poop I'm guessing there's a fair amount of water in there). Also got a close up of her head since she came over to investigate the camera.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    They should be able to do the tests while you wait. Some vets sent fecal floats out to a lab, but all vets can do in house gram stains. Should be two tests - 1) fecal float, might also be called fecal egg count and 2) Fecal gram stain. Take freshest poo from her. Heck, maybe take her in the car with you and submit the poop she passes in the car. [​IMG]

    -Kathy

    -Kathy
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    But don't take her if it might stress her out... sometimes a car ride is enough to kill them.

    -Kathy
     

  8. springbok7

    springbok7 In the Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2015
    Big Island, HI
    Thanks for the note about the freshest poop. I won't be taking her with me because it's very hot today. Even the dog will have to stay home :)
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    While you're at the vet, see if they'll sell you a size 18 french catheter and 60ml catheter tip syringe in case you decide you want to tube feed her. Tubing is quite easy and much safe than syringe feeding, and I'm available by phone or here to teach you. This is what the tube looks like:
    [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     
  10. springbok7

    springbok7 In the Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2015
    Big Island, HI
    OH! I didn't know they sold things like that! We've always just used aquarium airline since we have stacks of it left over (easy to sterilise too, and we can round the edges easily with the gas stove). I have been thinking about tube feeding, but since she seems to be eating on her own I have been holding off on it. We have some Exact hand-feeding formula that we used when attempting to save Pinky (before we knew it was cancer she had) that is high protein etc, would that be acceptable or should we be making a mash with the pellets and warm water? We ran into clogging problems with pellet-mash last time, but perhaps the 20cc syringe opening is just too narrow, and the 60cc with the catheter tip might be better.

    These are the syringes and tubes that we have at the moment:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Also, thank you very much for all your help and your offer of more. You are most kind!
     

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