Advice please for one of my old girls that isn't too well

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ovinju, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. ovinju

    ovinju Hatching

    Mar 19, 2013
    Milton, NSW Australia
    Hi -
    I'm seeking some advice please on what might be wrong with one of my girls. I have 3 Isa browns, one of who I recently rescued from a neighbour intent on killing her because she lays soft and rough or no shell eggs. Initially I thought they "neighbours" chook had a calcium absorption problem but now I starting to think it is a little more sinister than that, as over the last 5 days my oldest girl had become sick. So now I am thinking I might have introduced some thing to my little flock by taking in that bird.

    I've done a fair bit of reading about soft shells and discovered that it can be caused by a influenza virus type illness. My old girl has been "off" for about 5 days now. To begin with she was just sluggish in her day to day activity and stopped laying eggs. Then she seemed to develop a lameness in one leg, with no indication of trauma, or injury to the leg, and has completely stop her daily free ranging which she used to love. About 3 days ago I notice a white lump on her left cheek (I've attached a photo to try and show this) which seems hardish to the touch. She isn't sneezing, no mucus and no difficulty breathing as yet....but I can tell she is getting worse not better. She is still eating and drinking but not with her usual vigor. I have a sneaking suspicion she has some kind of Gram negative infection but I'm not sure and this is were I would like some other options/thoughts on what the problem might be please? And what I might do to fix it?

    The neighbours chook seems fine other than the soft or no shell issue, and my younger girl is still full of beans and the only one laying at present.

    Appreciate any advise.

    Cheers from a
    Worried Mother of 3.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I see that Infectious bronchitis can indeed cause both soft shelled eggs and sandpapery eggs, but your bird doesn't have the mucus, the watery eyes or nose. I always think of internal laying when birds have trouble laying, or stop, especially hatchery birds, as they seem to be prone to this -- but at this point at least, she doesn't seem to have those symptoms, either. Ovarian cancer also occurs, and is a possibility. I'll add a couple of links, though you've probably already seen them.

    I'd probably put Neosporin on the white lump, just because it can't hurt and might help. I think in many cases these are an abscess type of thing, similar to a stye or pimple -- especially if you can detect any warmth, redness or swelling in the area.

    Even the lameness could have multiple causes. They do get things like a joint infection, but it could also be pressure from an internal organ causing the problem, or even a mechanical defect in the hip joint that doesn't involve an infection. An avian vet might or might not have a definitive answer, and of course can be quite costly.

    Lots of guesses and no real help, I know, and I'm sorry. I hate to say this, but frankly, it may be the only way you will know for sure is a necropsy. The one thing I would do is prepare for this. Contact your state AG dept. or state vet to learn about availability, the condition they want the bird in, and cost. Usually it is free (as in California) or at a reduced cost. If I'm being premature and she recovers, wonderful! and, you will have the information if you should need it in the future.

    I would put her on an aspirin regimen, just for her comfort. The dose is in an Emergencies sticky: 25 mg per pound, so one baby aspirin is good for a 3 lb. chicken, and half of a "regular" (325 mg) aspirin is good for a 6 or 7 lb. bird.
  3. ovinju

    ovinju Hatching

    Mar 19, 2013
    Milton, NSW Australia
    Thanks so much for all the information Judy, that way really kind of you to go to such effort to help

    Reading through your post I forgot to mention that she does have a watery more and more it is pointing to Infectious bronchitis. What I don't understand is why the adopted chook from next door isn't showing signs of being that sick...other than the soft shell thing of course.
    I'm in Australia on the NSW South Coast, what would I my girl to try and help make her better? Or is it pointless is she has Infectious bronchitis ?

    Cheers & Thanks
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    The "New" bird you brought in may not show signs because she may be immune, or may have already had an illness and recovered... and is now shedding it, if it's viral.

    I am sorry I don't have much else to offer you; I hope someone else recognizes those symptoms and can chime in to help.
  5. ovinju

    ovinju Hatching

    Mar 19, 2013
    Milton, NSW Australia
    I've started my old girls on a course of anti-biotics (doxycycline 20mg) and she seems to be picking up a little bit. I'm still at a loss as to what she has done to her leg though...maybe that is just a time thing.
    All 3 of them have totally stopped laying but the 2 that aren't showing any signs of infection are as robust as any thing.
    I'm wondering though if I should be giving all 3 of the a course of anti-biotics though to get rid of any infection once and for all?

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