Chicken "asked" me to get her better!! Please advise...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by m00res, May 10, 2009.

  1. m00res

    m00res Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2008
    San Diego
    Please help me with this sweet girl. She was smart enough to make her way into my house and into the bathroom tub where I typically treat the chickens when they are sick. I just found her sitting in the tub waiting for me to make her better!! I really don't think I would have even noticed she was sick if I didn't find her in the TUB!! Really bizarre and AMAZING, but she definitely has my attention.

    She has a purple/blueish comb, strained breathing, pink streaked legs and watery poop. The comb feels cool/cold. It is NOT cold here at all - 70s or so. She wont stop drinking and sometimes the water seems to spill back out like maybe her crop is full. She will eat, but mostly she is thirsty. Her energy is good so far and her feathers do not look dull at all. She may be a little thin but it is really hard to tell since she is a good sized bird. I do think she is pretty sick, however.

    I do have access to an Avian vet, but I am a city chick and they are really more accustomed to treating city birds like parakeets and parrots. In fact, BYC has figured out problems with my birds that the Vet could realistically, you guys are my best alternative. Unless you recommend specific testing, I'm really better off reaching out to you all for diagnosis.

    What I've done:
    She is isolated (in the "chicken" tub). I gave her vet rx in each nostril and under her wings and electrolytes in her water. I wet down her food so it is soft and easy to digest and added a little protein/vitamin supplement (brewers yeast).

    She is probably about a 2 year old rescued factory RIR/leghorn who was wormed with Valbazan 2 months ago. (We had/have a tapeworm problem in our flock but she is not showing any eggs in the poop. Trust me, I have become a tapeworm egg expert - ick!). She could have eaten a tomato plant about two days ago, but would that cause respiratory problems? The tomato plant has been removed from the yard. DE is in the coop and in the feed + visual inspection indicates that she doesn't have mites. She free ranges during the day on about 1/4 acre.

    I will be out of town for a couple of weeks and wanted to try to get her as well as possible before she is being cared for by someone else. Should I put her on antibiotics? I don't want to obviously if it just sounds viral. Please advise!

    Thank you, BYC!
  2. NotTheMomma

    NotTheMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is she laying? Could she be eggbound? The blue comb, as you are aware is NOT good. She seems to be a very smart chick, and realized she is dehydrated. Perhaps a bit of poly vi sol drops would be good for her if she isn't interested in eating. Have you tried boiled egg, or scrambled egg for her?

    I would be concerned that she has a worm infestation. That runny poop worries me. Not only dehydrating, but could very well be what is taking all her nutrients, and leaving her with the blue comb.

    The strained breathing could be from lack of red blood cells that carry oxygen. Again leading me to wonder about worms and/or lice.

    Does she feel hotter than normal? Like perhaps she has a fever? Would a luke warm bath make her feel better?

    I'm routing for this gal!!! She has brains!!

    Hoping more knowledge comes your way in terms of helping her!
  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    I would suggest keeping her separated with no stress and ensure she does not get cold (cold will exascerbate things ) ... offer her some free choice live culture yogurt and if you have it aviacharge 2000 (a complete/balanced general supplement)
    Don't go overboard on the protein (it is very necessary but the older a bird is the less they will need) ... The situation may be excaserbated if there is indeed a tapeworm problem (altho it cannot be claimed that cestode infestation in and of itself will cause heart insufficiency, if there is a great load then it may very well be the underlying factor)...when you wormed her did you do it just once (or did you repeat after xxx number of days?) and are you positive on the correct therapeutic amount given? .... if not then it may be the worms again (since you seem so sure of the problem) ?. Here is the merckvetmanual page on that:
    "...Cestodes (tapeworms) also vary in size. Raillietina spp may be >12 in. (30 cm), while Davainea proglottina often is <0.16 in. (4 mm). The proglottids of individual tapeworms are hermaphroditic. Tapeworms have been recovered in the thousands from individual chickens and turkeys. ...Cestodes require an intermediate host (eg, insects, crustaceans, earthworms, or snails). Floor layers, breeders, and broilers are infected with Raillietina cesticillus by ingestion of the intermediate host, small beetles that breed in contaminated litter. Cage layers in unscreened houses may become infected with Choanotaenia infundibulum by eating its intermediate host, the house fly.
    Over 3,000 of the microscopic tapeworm D proglottina have been recovered from a single bird. Several species of slugs and snails serve as intermediate hosts, and >1,500 infective parasites have been recovered from a single slug .....
    ....Poultry producers wanting to treat for tapeworms should be aware that expulsion of the parasite will be a short-term remedy if the scolex is not removed or if the intermediate host is not eliminated as a source of reinfection. Butynorate in combination with piperazine and phenothiazine as a feed additive or individual tablets has shown some efficacy. Other promising experimental drugs include chlorophene and niclosamide. None is approved in the USA. ..."
    another extremely informative article:

    I would consult the avian vet if you are unsure on the effectiveness of the treatment or the dosage (explain that your bird is a pet and not used for egg or meat purposes. ) however it is my understanding that in the case of tapeworms that medicament is insufficient > Please note the advise in the MERCK manual on eliminated the intermediate host.
  4. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    I had a rooster with breathing problems, and the blue comb about two months ago. I injected him with Tylan 50 twice a day for three days, then once a day for 4 days, and he came through fine. I gave him yogurt and eletrolytes in his water too. Check her throat for gape worm also, because they can make it hard for the chicken to breath. Do a search on gape worm to see what to look for. But from what I understand if she is already having trouble breathing then you will be able to see the gape worm in her throat.
    I hope she gets better soon![​IMG]
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I have no idea what is wrong with her, but i am rooting for her! Your story about her showing up in the chicken tub almost made me cry. [​IMG] She's amazing. All the best to you and her. I'm glad she has you. [​IMG]

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