Can chickens have every disease at once? Need some ideas

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by babsbag, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    I have sick chickens. HELP!! How does a backyard flock owner figure out what disease they have without a necropsy? It seems that the more I read the more their symptoms match everything out there. They can't really have all the illnesses, can they?

    The chickens are 1-3 years old, large fowl and bantams and mixed.
    They free range all day with goats. Sleep in a very well ventilated coop at night, some sleep outside the coop with the goats.
    They have been sick for about 3 weeks. 4 have died.
    No new chickens in over a year, and no visits to or from any poultry farms.
    Chickens have not been wormed. My goats are tested for worms, and are clear, hoping the chooks are too.

    The first thing I noticed was a bubbly eye on 3 chickens so I immediately though CRD. I treated with Tylan and kept the eye clean,2 of them cleared up in a day or two. No respiratory distress, no odor. Eye was swollen shut but with TLC they are back in the flock. (Yes, may have been CRD, and may now be carriers)

    The third chicken with a bubbly eye ended up with dry fowl pox. The scabs formed over the eye, but we got through that one. After closer inspection of my flock I found a few others that had eye issues and scabs in various places, I am sure that was/is fowl pox.

    2 other chickens died, no apparent reason. One found dead in coop, one laying in coop on side, I thought she was dead. She lasted for about 2 days and then passed, but she had no sign of pox or respiratory, I am not sure what was wrong.
    2 other chickens had what looked like wet pox, yellow growths in mouth, trouble breathing. One had bad breath, but I can't imagine that those growths can smell good. I started them on Tylan, but they didn't make it through the day. I tried cleaning out their mouths with listerene, but I don't think it did much good.

    Now I have a chicken that is sneezing, or maybe it is snick or a cough, hard to tell. Either way there is nothing coming out when she makes this noise. Her eyes are clear, no sign of dry pox, she has been on Tylan50 for about 4 days. She eats and drinks a little, but is clearly depressed.

    A second chicken has one eye with a dry scab over it and the eye is swollen to about the size of a grape, I am not kidding. It is the most horrid looking thing. I thought at first the eye was infected, and tried to soak the scab off to clear out the puss, but after looking at it more closely I think that she has wet pox in her eye. I am sure she will be blind if she lives. She is also on Tylan. She eats and drinks, but again, is not very active. Believe it or not I think the eye bothers me more than her. She is inside just so no one picks on her and I can baby her.

    My final currently sick chicken is a 1 year old RIR. She has labored breathing, not eating or drinking, a few scabs on her comb (may be pox?). No sign of wet pox in her mouth no bad breath. She has been on Tylan for 5 days and it is getting worse. Last night I gave oxceytet as well, no change. I have been getting some water down her and some cooked eggs and baby food, but I am sure it is not enough. She extends her neck out whenever she breathes. I honestly expect her to be dead when I get home tonight.

    So I have researched all the diseases out there. When the chickens first got sick I thought coryza or mycoplsma, then I found the pox. So I just thought it was all related. I realize that wet pox can kill them, but since I don't see it can it be that deep in their windpipe?

    I don't think it is ILT since it is a closed flock and I haven't seen any blood being sneezed or coughed out.

    I am looking for ideas or experiences. Anybody have birds die from wet pox? Am I missing something obvious? There are just so many symptoms of the various dieseases it seems impossible to narrow it down. Is there anything I can give them to shrink the inflamation in their trachea? Any non-traditional treatments.

    I have ordered the fowl pox vaccine for the ones that aren't sick, and also for some babies that in a brooder. I have vitamins in the water, I feed a quality layer feed, various brands. They have plenty of fresh air and our weather has been pretty mild for No. CA. They are vaccianted for Mareks, at least these ones are, I usually don't vaccinate the chicks that are hatched under a broody. (wish they sold it in a smaller quanity)

    Thank you for all ideas.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Yellow growths in mouth...almost sounds like canker and it's contageous. If it's canker, you'll need to purchase metronidazole 250mg tablets. It can be purchased online as "fishzole." Dosage is 1 tablet a day for 5 days to each infected bird. I recommend that you also purchase copper sulfate and add it to their water for 3 days once a month. It is also used to treat blackhead in poultry. Follow the dosing directions in the link:
    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/acidified_copper_sulfate.html
     
  3. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    Now there is one I never thought of, Thank you.

    The chickens that died with the sores in the mouth had these yellow cheesy looking patches. One was so bad that its tongue was more or less glued to its mouth. Could they get it in thier throats where I can't see it?

    We do have wild turkeys and doves in our area, the turkeys are usually not in our pasture, but the doves are. They can spread it, right? Not sure about treating with the copper as the goats and dogs drink the same water.

    I know I have dry pox so I guess it is possible that I have pox and canker, never hurts to treat for it. Hopefully I can find it at an aquarium shop locally.
     
  4. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    I found the metronidazole at the pet store and will start her on it tonight if she is stll alive. It could get very expensive to treat every bird with this stuff. I have a lot of chickens.

    From the pictures I have seen the wet pox and canker look very similar. Perhaps response to treatment will be the best indicator of what she has. Canker might be easier to treat, but the pox would be cheaper. Maybe I will do the copper, the goats get copper supplements anyways, but I am a little worried about the dogs.

    Do recovered birds remain a carrier? Should I stop the antibiotics, are the counter productive for canker treatment? Would canker smell like rotting flesh, how about wet pox? Is there ever an odor with that?

    Thank you for all the help.
     
  5. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4
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    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    My hen was still alive when I got home. I was able to give her some water and the meds but shortly after that she choked and passed on to chickie heaven...

    She did have yellow growths in her mouth, a few of them came off when she shook her head while I was feeding her...gross. I am assuming that they were blocking her breathing, even though I couldn't see any that far down. I am not really sure about chicken anatomy either.

    How would I tell the difference between canker and wet pox? Should I suspect pox since I have the dry form in my flock right now? I also noticed after careful inspection of her entire body after she passed that she had scabs on feathered parts of her body also. Another hen that died had the same thing. I read somewhere that there is pox that can affect feathered areas as well.

    I did find a few lice on one of my chickens, but I had been treating with poultry dust and was checking the house chickens every night and there were no more creepy crawlies. It is so frustrating to throw everything in the book at these gals and they pass on anyways. That make 4 this week. :(
     

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