BCM pullet gasping for air

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cadeau, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Cadeau

    Cadeau Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    My beautiful 3 mth BCM boss hen is gasping for air!

    I brought her inside and put her in an isolation cage, gave water with vitamins and electrolytes, as well as feed.

    In the coop, her only symptoms were half closed eyes and an occasional gasp for air (pump handle)
    She was moving about normally and leading her flock as usual.

    Inside, in isolation, she is tired and listless, eyes half closed, gasps for air maybe every 5th breath.
    Poop looks normal (green and white firm poops, brownish cecal poops)
    Drinking quite a bit - I mixed her a electrolyte, plus vit/min warm water
    eating somewhat, but not the usual moving about, pecking, eating, chatting
    on the thin side, but was worse when I got her 2 months ago
    no nasal discharge
    no eye goop/discharge/bubbles, etc.
    no sneezing
    no bad smell
    no lesions on the body that I can see, but she has black, feathered legs...
    her little comb appears to be normal, but is grey-black, so hard to tell if it is pale or not...
    no other problems with her body or legs

    She lives in a very well ventilated coop with 7 other youngsters her age (3mths)
    pine shavings for bedding, roosts, nest boxes

    All the others seem fine
    They are fed pellets free choice, yogurt, treats,
    watered with chicken nipples, so clean, fresh water each day
    It has been bitter, damp, and cold here, they've been sitting under the light at night
    She is fully feathered

    Any ideas would be VERY welcomed...scaring myself trying to research!!
  2. Cadeau

    Cadeau Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011

    After 12hrs in the house (62degrees) she seems brighter and less depressed, not so sleepy.
    Interested in the goings on, talking, and eating/drinking really well.

    Her eyes are still half shut, but her gasping seems less pronounced in quality (a "smaller" gasp of air, if that makes sense?) just opening her mouth every 5 or so breaths, rather than the "pump handle" action. Still not normal, though.

    Poop remains good - lots of good quality solids with a few cecal poops
    She is able to walk around normally, but is on a wire floor, which isn't conducive to scratching to browse
  3. chickengrl

    chickengrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    very good that you isolated her. It sort-of sounds like a respiratory infection, but some of the usual symptoms like sneezing and running beak (nose), watery/mucous eyes don't seem to be present. If you hold her up close, even put your ear to her chest...do you hear wheezing or gurgling? It could possibly also be gape worm. I am not very familiar with it, so can only tell you to put it in the search box and see what you get. Try looking down her throat for the presence of worms. they are supposed to cause that open mouth breathing.

    If you think it is more respiratory or she shows more symptoms try to get baytril prescription from a vet, they may not be willing to do it for a chicken and won't see her anyway. It is the best option if you can get it. Your next option is tylan 50 from your local farm store. Also get a couple syringes and small needles. You will want to give 0.5 cc just under the skin at the back of the neck. Pull up the skin and insert just under. The chicken won't mind it that much. 0.25 cc for bantam or small chicken. Continue for once a day for 7 days. With that being said do some research on these illnesses. Unfortunately, chickens don't get colds like we do and they may recover but end up being carriers forever.

    Did you recently add new chickens or take them to a show or something? These are the most common ways to bring an infection to your flock. Hopefully some other folks will have other ideas since it is not clearly a respiratory infection. Good luck!
  4. Cadeau

    Cadeau Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    Did the Tylan last night (we have a mean old "cow vet" and he "doesn't like Baytril".... - that's another story for another day...)
    But we do have cows, pigs, horses, etc., so have meds in the cabinet.

    This morning, she's eating and drinking well, still half closed eyes and still gasping a bit, but much less markedly (not stressed?)
    Still depressed, but up and interested and talking when I enter the room.

    Still no nasal or ocular discharge, no chest rattles or wheezes, no skin pitichia...so that's GOOD (right?)
    Need help to look down her throat, so will have to wait for DH to come back with 4H piglets.

    We had a clutch of weak chicks come in. They're not showing any illness, but lost 3 in the first 2 days.
    They're looking okay these days.
    They came in 2 weeks ago, but are in the brooder room and are handled LAST.

    No one in there is showing any signs of illness, including another set of chicks in another bin on the other side of the room.

    We had new cows come in from out west (Piedmontese), but they're on our other farm...DH could have brought something on his boots or clothes? He doesn't go in the coop, though.

    Everyone else seems fine (fingers crossed, jingles, whatever is needed!) including her house mates.
    They're bright and cheerful.
    In fact, 2 of the boys just started trying to crow this morning!

    I looked up all the illnesses, which is just plain scary...Yikes!

    Could she have a weak heart?? And, if so, how could I tell?

    Should I cull, if I don't see any improvement after the 5-7 days of Tylan??
    What else can I do for her?
  5. chickengrl

    chickengrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    You are unfortunately needing help on a weekend which is typically rather slow. I was hoping that someone else would chime in, but no such luck. I think it is a good sign that she hasn't developed anymore symptoms. You may have caught it early, so I would keep her isolated. The other thing I thought of is perhaps she needs wormed. A heavy parasite load could be having her anemic which if bad enough would have her working harder to breathe. I just wouldn't really expect that in such a young hen. I suppose if she was from a place that was not too clean. I guess if she were mine I would just continue what you are doing, check her for gape worm when Dh can help, and then just watch her for more symptoms, keep her warm, fed, and all those supportive things. I think this is a watch and wait sort of thing. I hope it ends up being pretty much nothing. Are you in Virginia? You mentioned Piedmont. Keep posting how she is doing. Should be some more help come along in case I am missing something.
  6. Cadeau

    Cadeau Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    Hmmm - I thought about deworming b/c everyone was on the thin side and dirty when I got them, but was waiting until they had more weight and bloom on them. (they all came from the same farm)

    Think her system could handle Tylan AND deworming? That's a lot for one body.....I'd never do it to a horse (tons more experience there)

    Maybe I'll do the 5-7 days of Tylan and then, if she still doesn't look better, try deworming.
    I haven't seen anything in their manure, though gapeworm is in the throat, does it, eventually, come out in the poop?
    Have to go research

    Good idea - thanks!
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I would check her for gapeworm.......swan the back of her throat and look for little blood spots. If she is a more fickle hen you could do it by yourself. Good luck, I hope your girl gets better.
  8. Cadeau

    Cadeau Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    Thanks for the input!

    My fingers don't work very well due to rheumatoid arthritis...
    Would be easier on both of us to wait!
  9. melloladies

    melloladies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    Merritt Island
  10. Cadeau

    Cadeau Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    Thanks for the info!

    I got a neighbor to help me look down her throat - all clean and pale pink in there.
    Swabbed down further and didn't get anything.
    Think I should deworm anyhow?
    and deworm all her flock mates?

    Think I should put the rest of her flock on an antibiotic? or ALL my birds? (what about my pet cockatiel?)

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