Chicken eating nothing but dirt, dribbling from the mouth.... very worried!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by drewid, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. drewid

    drewid New Egg

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    Feb 2, 2013
    Ethel, my Silver Laced Wyandotte, seems to have been eating mud or dirt, and getting her beak all clogged up. It has been happening for at least a two days, possibly longer.

    She keeps getting a whole lot of mud all caked in the point of her beak, both the upper and lower parts. It looks like it's stopping her from being able to eat properly, because she keeps pecking at food but doesn't seem to be able to swallow it - possibly because the mud is blocking her tongue.

    A couple of times now I have dug the mud out, but then an hour or so later her beak is all full of mud again.

    I think she's losing weight, and she's acting unwell (standing around away from the others, closing her eyes and puffing up her feathers). I'm not sure if she's unwell because she can't eat properly, or if her being sick is what's causing her to eat the mud.

    Any ideas about what it might be and what I should do about it? I'm getting quite concerned about her.

    As an aside, she also scratched her eye a few days ago. Not sure if there's any relationship between the two events (wondering if she is eating mud by accident because her depth perception is messed up and she keeps missing her food).
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  2. drewid

    drewid New Egg

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    Feb 2, 2013
    .... and to update the situation, i got her to eat a little bit this evening just before her bed time - I got all the dirt out of her beak and she started eating some pellets and some scratch.... but after each little bit she stretched her neck out and opened her mouth wide and made a sound like she was coughing or choking a little bit.

    Any advice?
     
  3. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    deleted. sorry I posted this before I read the 2nd post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  4. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Salem Oregon
    That sounds awful. Could she have gapeworms? They are spread by earthworms and slugs live in the
    trachea
    and would make her choke after she eats.
     
  5. drewid

    drewid New Egg

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    Thanks for the advice. Vet is not convinced that it is gapeworm; although she has been stretching her neck out and gaping and gasping a bit, it seems to be something to do with her digestive system maybe? She sounds like she is in pain when you feel around her stomach, and when the vet did a some kind of procedure to try and make her vomit up what she had in her crop, it made the gaping and the choking noise a lot worse.

    On the dirt eating.... she pretty much hasn't eaten any food all day, but I put in a plant for her to see if she'd try that, and she went straight for the dirt again.
     
  6. drewid

    drewid New Egg

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    Feb 2, 2013
    Two days after being treated for gapeworm and no sign of improvement. The gaping and hoarse noise coming from her throat seems to only happen just after she eats something. She has tried to eat a little bit this morning and I have noticed that she doesn't seem to be gaping as much after she eats, but when she dips her head down to peck something a little bit of fluid dribbles out of her mouth. And she seems to be trying to clear her throat fairly regularly.

    Any suggestions of what the cause, or the best course of action, might be? I am starting to think I should have her put down as it must be really horrible wanting to eat but not really being able to, and it does seem like she's getting worse not better. But I don't want to do that if there is still hope of recovery.... if she's producing lots of saliva or fluid in her crop could it some kind of defense mechanism to dilute something poisonous she's eaten, in which case should I leave her to see if it helps?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated!
     

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