Canker metronidazole/ronidazole?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nestleaver1, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. nestleaver1

    nestleaver1 Songster

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    Hi All! I'm hoping someone can offer canker expertise/experience.

    My 3 year old Black Rock chicken (Marilyn) has been shaking her head and making strange gurgles in her throat for months now. The problem has come and gone several times as I have tried various things. I treated for canker (first copper sulphate and then metronidazole in the communal water) and when it seemed to return even worse I decided she must have something like a seed physically stuck so took her to the vet 6th July. Vet said she could see canker and recommended more met for longer. I had to buy it online as she said she's not allowed to prescribe it. It has been a struggle to get her to take it on her food as she usually goes off her favourite as soon as I have added medication (50 mg a day for 3 weeks served in yoghurt or on sweetcorn) and there has been no improvement.

    I decided to try Ronidazole instead (pigeon medication Easicanker). So she has been on that (100mg/day served on cucumber/sweetcorn/cooked egg white) for a week now. Her gurgle seems worse and is constant now and head shaking is becoming more frequent and violent. So my question is: does this mean she is getting worse or that the canker is dying and becoming loose so she can actually dislodge it? Or does this sound like it's not canker at all!? Advice greatly appreciated. BTW, she looks perfectly healthy and is still laying and is VERY difficult to catch/examine - I caught her today and managed to get a glimpse: definitely not full of canker but looked a bit greyish in throat.

    Also (may or may not be relevant) she was not digesting food very well as visible bits of seed and vegetation coming through. This seems to have improved. Would canker block gizzard potentially impairing processing?

    I have more Metronidazole on order.

    Any insight please??
    Thanks
     
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  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Birds with canker remain carriers for life and will contaminate waterers and feeders with the infective protozoa spreading it to other birds when they eat or drink.
    Canker can internally spread to other parts of their system particularly the liver, but not the gizzard. With canker, there is a foul odor in the mouth, take a whiff.
    Acidified copper sulfate and metronidazole should've cleared it up long ago. When giving medications to birds: I rarely recommend mixing the medication with other products, human food stuffs, in order for the bird to consume the medication easier. The reason is that the properties of the medication could change making it weaker or ineffective.

    If your vet did not take a sample of the infection from the mouth or esophagus and have it analyzed, then it could be guesswork. It could possibly be mistaken as wet fowl pox in which the drugs you administered would be ineffective. Another possibility is that you've given her too much metronidazole over a longer period of time and the protozoa has become resistant to the product.
    I recommend that you cull her to protect the rest of your flock unless you want to take her back to the vet and have the vet analyze a sample of the infection to determine if in fact it's canker or something else.
    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/trichomonosis/overview-of-trichomonosis
     
  3. nestleaver1

    nestleaver1 Songster

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    You're right - I should've asked for the microscopy to be done. I was just so relieved to get a confirmation that it was something 'treatable' and she seemed very confident...

    I had read about the smelliness and had a good sniff a few times but she didn't smell of anything. My sense of smell is pretty good so that makes me suspicious it's actually something else. Fowl pox. That diphtheritic membrane mentioned in description is exactly what it sounds like. I didn't think we'd get it here in Scotland but there are reports from Midlands which is near enough. Any idea what the timescale is on recovery/death with fowl pox??

    This has been happening on and off for MONTHS. Six months at least since I first noticed her shaking her head particularly hard. My other 4 chickens are fighting fit BUT a friend of mine had 2 black rocks from the same batch/supplier as mine and his have both recently died/been euthanized because of similar problems. His vet just offered antibiotics with no solid diagnosis, but they did not help.

    Thank you!
     
  4. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Read more

    :frow Are you sure about the dose you have been giving of the metronidazole?
    50mg per day doesn't sound right/sounds like a very small dose. Unless she is a tiny bird.
    I believe the correct dose is right at 25 mg per pound, but they can safely get close to 50 mg per pound.

    @casportpony What is the proper dose for metronidazole?
     
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  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    The most metronidazole my vet has prescribed was 23 mg per pound twice a day.

    Some crazy pigeon people give pigeons 100 mg a day, but I did that once and almost killed the pigeon, so the number I feel safe is the 23 mg per pound amount once or twice a day.

    Whatever the drug, it needs to be given orally, not in the water. Other things can look like canker are wet fowl pox, bacterial infections, and cancer.
     
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  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Also, ILT infection, another respiratory virus can appear as yellow plaques in the throat. So viruses, protozoan infection, bacteria and fungus can all cause yellow gunk in the airway which can spread to airsacs. If you should decide to cull her, I would get a necropsy by your state vet to get an accurate diagnosis. Here is a link with state vets:
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Wet pox causes death by starvation. Lesions form in the mouth, esophagus, trachea, larynx and other areas. Swallowing feed and breathing problems would be seen early on especially since you've been dealing with this for months, pretty much the same like canker.
    I dont believe it's ILT (Infectious Laryngotracheitis) because at this stage you would be seeing bloody mucus slung everywhere and it is contagious to other birds.
    Again, it would be best to have a sample analyzed to find out what you're dealing with.
    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/fowlpox/fowlpox-in-chickens-and-turkeys
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

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  9. nestleaver1

    nestleaver1 Songster

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    Thank you all so much for all your helpful advice and suggestions. Many apologies for not responding sooner: guests in the house meant I couldn't get online. Gah!

    The vet's suggested dose was about what you said casportpony; 50 mg/kg. There is definitely no bloody mucus; no mucus at all. I haven't seen any yellow deposits either and the vet's description of what she could see down her throat was 'fluffy'. Which, again, I should have questioned at the time.

    Actually, I am now holding my breath as she stopped eating any of her usual treats so in desperation I tried giving her pomegranate. She consumed a whole pomegranate in a day and yesterday, there was a huge reduction in head shaking and gurgly throat noises. She seemed so much better. Coincidentally, I went to a scientific presentation a few weeks ago on the health benefits of berries (James Hutton Inst here breeds new raspberries, blackcurrants and blueberries}. They showed data from a study comparing berry extracts with metronidazole (!) for protozoan killing ability that showed raspberries and strawberries worked just as well. The guy giving the talk mentioned pomegranate as having similar properties. So I have bought more pomegranates.

    You seem to have such fantastic facilities in the States: these 'extensions' which I think are outreach from the universities? sound amazing. We do not have these in the UK. I guess there must be an equivalent of the State Vet (DEFRA) but unless I tell them I suspect my chicken died of bird flu they will not be doing a necropsy! Maybe I should try that... But she's not dead yet and may even be getting better. Stranger things have happened.

    I'm going to see if we have a Zoologix equivalent here tho.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  10. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Read more

    How much does your girl weigh?
     

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