BJ roo unwell - wondering about redosing w/Ivomec Eprinex..

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jjthink, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Some weeks ago I gave BJ roo one dose of Ivomec Eprinex pour on (for those new to this, it's a wormer+ and is dosed topically between shoulder blades. Usually a one dose deal.). I didn't see any worms or other parasites whatsoever but he was seeming thinner and he was going into a molt and I wanted to catch anything brewing before the molt weakened him.

    Today I weighed him and he has indeed lost weight. In his hey day he was maybe 6 pounds, now on a regular scale he appears to weigh less than 5 pounds, could even be 4 pounds [​IMG]. Because he was molting and very uncomfortable being touched while molting, I didn't weigh him till just now. I weighed him because he's clearly under the weather, hiding indoors for days and looking discheveled, like almost a greasy look to some feathers:/). I hoped it was 'just' the molt because that can make them act exactly like this, but his molt appears very mild - barely a few feathers scattered about and some coming in but nothing compared to the past. So I'm not sure I can attribute how he's feeling entirely to the molt. He is not a spring chicken - maybe going on 10, but certainly 9 years of age.

    The one bit of good news is that he's still eating and drinking - but does seem to need some coaxing at times. I have been giving him extra protein because of the molt - he was loving a very high end dry cat food for about one week (just as a supplement while molting - not the mainstay) - now he won't touch it. He is gobbling down mealworms from my little worm farm and he'll eat a little scrambled egg. (my birds also have game bird maintenance available 24/7 and Avia Charge 2000 nutritional supplement in their water daily). He likes sunflower seeds and other stuff from bird seed mixture treats. He still loves his fruit - he and Ellie get a little variety of cut up fruit daily - usually berries and grapes though I just gave him some bits of cut up apple and he was so excited about it that he jumped up in the air in anticipation - thankfully he is not yet so compromised that he can't do that (I watch him like a hawk for signs of anything off kilter). Our weather is no longer impossibly hot but in any case, BJ is very heat tolerant - temps are good around here for chickens right now.

    BJ's lady companion Ellie looks and feels fine. She stopped laying eggs a few days back so I predict her molt will begin within the week.

    So here's the deal. No known parasites but there is the weight loss and his behavior. I am debating whether to reapply the normally one dose EI - something I'd rather not do to a compromised bird if they don't have a parasite problem but if they do have the problem it's crucial to treat of course. Could do the stool sample thing - would need to get the sample 45 minutes away to vet and they are never open after work which is another half hour further away and he has told me that the sample doesn't always catch things anyway. I am trying to look at BJ's skin closely to see if I see anything there or on his feathers and I don't - I don't know whether there is something too small for my eyes to pick up. Not sure what else could be going on with him - anything else would probably be more nefarious, unfortunately. He has no discharges, seems to breathe beautifully.......

    I haven't had to do one of these worried posts in quite awhile - it's good to have kindred spirits here [​IMG] JJ
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Judy, he's a very old rooster. He may just be feeling his age with the molt going on. I'd hesitate to worm him if you recently did it due to his system being depleted from the molt. It's a hard call. My birds lose weight when they molt and are decidedly uncomfortable. My Lt. Brahma hen, who is almost 5 years old, is extremely thin, I noticed. I think the older they are, the harder the molt is for them.

    If you think he has external parasites, you may want to get some lice/mite spray from the pet store and spray him or dust with poultry dust or Sevin dust, something that doesn't go into his system and deals with them from the outside. I don't know of many chickens who have better care than your BJ and his lady!
     
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Many thanks Cyn. I'll hold off on the IE....... Hopefully he starts coming around. He did snarf up with some gusto a bunch of sunflower and other seed before bed. I don't know why some of his feathers are not their glistening selves but are really rather yukky right now...I don't remember that happening in that past.....

    During this time, BJ has been very uncharacteristically intolerant of Ellie's complete lack of manners - scolds her a bit when she barges in on food he's about to eat (usally he would starve if it would make her happy), so we know he really needs the nourishment. Hens are so funny - I can offer them each a hand with identical content and she always wants his. BJ has even bopped her on the head a few times when she's especially rude, which she utterly ignores! Still, the two are inseparable and adorable. While it's always been BJ sacrificing himself for his lady love, I noticed that while he was hiding in a corner the other day [​IMG], Ellie stood guard in front of him and wouldn't leave his side, just as he has never left her side when she was nesting or otherwise felt like she needed him.

    JJ
     
  4. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So was there an improvement when you wormed him last time? Usually with wormings you need to do a follow up in 7-10 days to kill the new hatchlings. I would redose lickety split if I saw an improvement before.
     
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Hi. I didn't notice any notable change last time and as I understand IE, unlike many other wormers it's usually a one dose thing........ But..... the thing about topical wormers like IE is that I ended up wondering how much made it onto the skin vs. on the feathers!. JJ
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    When in molt, they are stressed. I have never wormed mine during molt. The additional stress of worming would compound the problem and weaken him further possibly opening the door for other problems. I'd hold off reworming til he gets his strength back, probiotics would be best in this situation, add buttermilk to the eggs making a mash for him. His age is a factor as well.
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi Jim - Thanks for your note. Yeah, I have really been reluctant to add another stressor unless I was sure he needed it in which case it would be well worth it compared to parasites chomping away at him....

    He's lost so few feathers but acts like he's in a terrible molt - that's what has had me woried that something else is going on, like parasites or other. All muddled by the fact that since this sweet guy is (at least somewhat) elder (understatement perhaps!) everything is tougher now (I had to provide very comfy winter conditions for him last year, for example, as he gets less and less cold tolerant with time).

    I'll add some more probiotics and see if I can get him to take some buttermilk.....

    I think BJ and Ellie are just not as happy as they once were either, because irresponsible neighbors who let their dogs run loose time and again have forced me to confine my feathered friends most of the time, so their usual zest for exploring (that joy can overcome so many things and it's good exercise) has been squashed and life is same ol' same ol' [​IMG] (I try to vary their days with different healthy treats and such but there's just nothing like exploring...though right now BJ wants nothing to do with anything except his treats)...

    JJ
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    I should probably post this question separately - Do we know of any external parasites of chickens that cannot be seen with the naked eye? I have never once in 15 years seen lice or mites on my birds and have always understood them to be visible. Very small, but visible. Lately I swear I leave their building feeling like itty bitty little things are moving in a few places on my arms or elsewhere but I cannot see a blessed (or cursed) thing, not even with a magnifying glass, so I may well be hallucinating because of wondering what's bugging BJ! (in any case, I will check with the feed store tomorrow when they open back up to see what they may have in the way of external parasite treatment).

    BJ looked bad and was hiding all day today. Virtually the entire day was spent trying to bolster him. He ate a bit of scrambled egg with buttermilk with his favorite cut up tomatoes mixed in to entice him but all in all was very far from thrilled, a bit of cut up organic grapes and blueberries (want to keep him hydrated) with probiotics sprinkled in, a bit of very good grain bread with olive oil (in case crop needs a little tune up), a bit of sunflower seed/birdseed mix (as he has every day for umpteen years), a bit of game bird maintenance that has a bit of food grade DE in it just for good measure (he had very little interest), a couple dozen mealworms,....He did not show any interest whatsoever in going outside. His poop looks okay.

    For good measure, I bagbalmed his legs before bed just in case any mites are foraging there.

    I see very few feathers coming in on BJ's body - literally just a few here and there....he is essentially fully feathered. [​IMG]

    Tomorrow is Monday and I'll be stuck at work and so he'll eat very little if he's just hiding in a corner. [​IMG]

    Ellie is now throwing feathers as of today so she'll be wacked out soon.

    Sorry these posts are long [​IMG]

    JJ
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Judy, he may just be feeling his age. He's lived a good long life for a rooster, even one as pampered as he's been with you all these years.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:When my chickens had the mites I FELT them but didn't see them until I took my socks off and found blood spots and a little black speck next to the spot (dead mite where I had stepped on it). This occurred when I picked my chickens up EVERY DAY and inspected them for mites/lice (one chicken per day).

    It felt like creepy crawlies all over my back, arms, and legs!!!! And I started to get bites on my back and sides!!!

    Then I found one in the bathroom on the floor and in the bedroom. It was the Northern Fowl Mite.

    Needless to say, my whole house got dusted with borax - everything washed and I now routinely require all chicken keeping clothes to be kept bagged in the garage. I dust my chickens with poultry dust or sevin every 4 months and repeat in about 10 days.

    I require everyone to take a shower after handling chickens in my house. I will never go through that again. I almost got rid of my chickens. This was last year this month (September). They got them again in Dec. which is why I figure I need it every 4 months.

    Now I feel nothing- no itchy feeling- everything normal and wonderful when I hold my beloved pets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

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