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Beautiful Australorp Cockerel is listless, won't stand, drooping head. Lots of info. HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kevalmiller, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Kevalmiller

    Kevalmiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2012
    PA
    Here's the information I have on his condition/behavior:

    1) Approximately 8 month old. Extremely nice Australorp Cockerel. :-(....
    2) Sunday he seemed fine. He was in beautiful condition.
    3) Monday he was sitting on the roosting bar in his pen...not standing...head up most of the time. Not responsive to treats or scratch, which is very unusual.
    4) We moved him to a pen to isolate him.
    5) He sat most of the day yesterday, but he did move a couple of times and drank about 6 oz. water which contained electrolytes and vitamins.
    6) He didn't eat at all that we could tell, but we gave him two doses of Nutridrench.
    7) Poop is runny, but we don't see any blood or worms at this point.
    8) Last night we gave a dose of Liqumycin, mainly because we couldn't think of anything else to do.
    9) This morning he is even more listless...completely drooped...not twisted in any way...just sagging straight down more or less. Laying on the ground.
    10) He didn't drink through the night, so we gave him some water mixed with nutridrench by mouth this morning. It was approximately 10 or 15cc.
    11) We noticed that his mouth had some mucous in it this morning.
    12) His breathing has been labored since Monday night, and sounds a bit like mucous is rattling around in his windpipe.
    13) Eyes are a bit watery, but clear. He's keeping them closed most of the time but opens them when held.
    14) Comb and wattles are still bright red as usual.
    15) Not sure, but I think he might have shuddered a bit while I was holding him this morning.


    We wondered if it might be botulism? Any thoughts would be welcomed! He's such a beautiful bird and we'd be very sad to lose him. Thanks!
     
  2. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    I'm no expert but those are some of the botulism symptoms. This link had an interesting recommendation for Epsom salts, thought you might find it useful:
    http://www.poultryhelp.com/botulism.html.

    I hope someone else will come along with some ideas. I have some Black Australorp hens and they are some of my favorites.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    A good indicator of botulism is if his feathers are pulling out very easily. The paralysis not only affects the limbs, but involuntary muscles as well.
     
  4. Kevalmiller

    Kevalmiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2012
    PA
    He unfortunately died. :( The only good thing is that he expired prior to taking him to a vet. We suspect botulism as a possibility, but took him to the state avian biologist for an autopsy to confirm. We're very sad to have lost this bird. He was a fantastic and beautiful bird that my daughter was excited to take to some shows.
     
  5. JustDawn

    JustDawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Alpharetta Ga
    I am so sorry for your loss.
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    I am so sorry. Good roosters are not easy to find. Hopefully, you will have some answers soon.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Kevalmiller

    Kevalmiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2012
    PA
    Well....this was NOT expected. The avian pathologist from the Pennsylvania State Veterinary clinic did an autopsy, and the diagnosis was renal failure. Apparently the cockerel had one kidney that was too small. The other kidney was working overtime to compensate, but basically got overworked and stopped. Therefore the toxins and urine built up in his body and mimicked the effects of botulism. Sad, but at least we know it's not contagious. Now I guess we need to find a new roo!
     
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    So sorry
     
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Interesting. I am sorry for your loss, but I am glad you don't have to worry about your flock's health.
     
  10. Kevalmiller

    Kevalmiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2012
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    I don't know if anyone will find this interesting, but here is part of the pathology report:

    Avian Pathology
    Specimen Test Name
    Black Australorp Cockerel - Avian - Galliform / poultry - Chicken - Black Australorp - Male - 8 Months
    Whole -
    Animal - 1
    Back yard or non-commercial poultry (Necropsy - ByPou)

    (3-20-12) One dead mature black australorp cockerel is presented for necropsy. He is
    in excellent body condition and also in excellent plumage. His comb and wattles are
    cyanotic. He is dehydrated: tightly adherent skin over the breast muscle; prominent
    urate filled ureters; urate crystals on fecal direct wet mount.
    His thymus is regressed to about half normal size; bursa is small (4 mm).
    His trachea is slightly mucoid.
    He has prominent subcutaneous vasculature and reddened subcutaneous connective
    tissue. He has multifocal coalescing white chalky subcutaneous deposits (2-6 mm)
    over his head and breast.
    His hip and shoulder joints have white paste in the joint spaces.
    He has disseminated white chalky material covering all the serosal surfaces in the
    coelomic cavity, as well as the air sac membranes, mesentery and pericardial sac.
    He is sexually mature and in breeding condition: both testicles are enlarged (4 cm
    long; 2 cm diameter); both spermatic cords prominent.
    His left kidney is slightly swollen and white/red mottled.
    His right kidney is significantly smaller (8 cm long) than normal and filled with
    coalescing white urate nodules (2 – 4 mm); the only normal right kidney tissue is a
    small amount at the back end of the caudal lobe. His right ureter is enlarged (12 mm)
    and contains hard urate casts.
    His crop contains only water; gizzard contents are normal: plant fibers and grit.
    No other gross lesions noted; brain and cord not examined.

    General Results
    (3-20-12) The white chalky material in joints, subcutis and covering all the internal organs is
    obviously urate precipitate (=gout). The right kidney is almost completely atrophied, and the
    right ureter is obviously blocked with precipitated urate. The left kidney is obviously filled
    with urate, as indicate by the white mottling. All of this inability to remove urate from the
    bird’s system indicates that this bird is in severe renal failure.
    The cause of this is probably genetic; many strains of show birds are inbred.
     

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