chickens straining to make bowel movement, whistling sound while straining, vent gleet?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dotm8rix, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. dotm8rix

    dotm8rix Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    58
    101
    May 28, 2015
    I have a silkie pullet (around 7 mo old) who began looking droopy 1 month ago. She also felt thin. I brought her indoors (Jan 10), and began treatment with Corid. Her energy picked up with treatment. Toward the end of treatment I noticed her begin straining to have bowel movements, but what did come out looked loose. I examined her vent and noticed a build-up of material, so I gave her a good bath and it seemed like that solved the problem. She was also beginning to shed what appeared to be some down feathers and I was concerned she'd lose her cold hardiness so I went ahead and moved her back out to the coop. It wasn't too long when it became apparent she was still ill. I noticed her straining again and her rear in general became messy in appearance rather quickly.

    Around the same time a 9 mo old serama (in a separate, adjoined coop, who never had contact with the silkie) had taken ill. His symptoms were droopy appearance, straining to make a bowel movement, and whistling sound as he strained. A white discharge was leaking a bit from his vent. And he also felt thin (he's always been a bit on the thin side, and was housed with two female companions who are total butterballs & show no symptoms to this day).

    I brought both birds indoors and caged them separately.

    I researched and began to suspect the silkie had vent gleet, based on symptoms and odd odor to her vent area. At this time the cockerel didn't have the same odor to his vent (but that did develop within a few days, although he's not had buildup of material at vent, just on feathers below). Based on my reading, vent gleet appears to be a symptom of a variety of ailments, either parasitic, bacterial or fungal.

    I wasn't sure at this time whether I was seeing the same illness in both birds. Though the serama seemed to take ill later, his energy appeared lower than the silkie. I bathed the serama, wormed him with Valbazen and started him on Corid. In the meantime I ordered Nystatin anti-fungal (Medistatin powder). Once that arrived, the cockerel had been on Corid for 5-6 days with no improvement in symptoms, and in the meantime I noticed the smell at his vent now matched the silkie's.

    I started both on the Nystatin on Feb 2 with a dosage based on weight of each bird, twice daily. The powder is mixed into water and then dispersed onto a small amount of food. The serama eats it readily and completely. The silkie does not, so she has not received a consistent and regular dose of Nystatin. Nevertheless, 8 days in, neither bird has improved in appearance. I'm inclined to stop the Nystatin at this point.

    On Feb 3 I started them on Amoxicillin powder mixed into the water per instructions. I figured this way, the serama has been wormed, and then I'd treat for bacterial and fungal simultaneously and that would target all 3 potential causes in at least the serama.

    Both birds seem to wane and wax as they get stuck with bowel movements they can't pass, and then are able to pass them. When the serama began treatment, his bowel movements were small dots and thin threads of fecal material. As treatment progressed the movements became looser, then quite watery where it looked as if he was mostly passing water (per the paper towels I have under his wire bottom cage). And then progressed to droppings that are more solid again. The silkie has had rather consistently loose diarrhea looking movements, not watery, just loose blobs of material.

    I've taken great care to isolate these birds and wash my hands between dealing with them and dealing with my other animals. Nevertheless, I now have a new serama cockerel down with symptoms, one who has only been indoors (separate room) and only with his hatch mates. I also have another one out in the coop making the whistle noise, though I've yet to identify which one.

    I am taking one of the seramas in to the vet on Monday. In the meantime I wanted to post here as I'm hoping someone else has experienced these symptoms before and may have some insight on what this could be or what I might be missing (particularly whether this could be a viral illness). I'm not trying to avoid the vet trip, I just want to pull in as many resources as possible. The vets we see at our local animal hospital do have some avian experience but of course the chicken-specific experience, and especially with these bantam breeds, is usually a bit lacking.

    I am also wondering whether I should give the serama the second dose of Valbazen. It's been 13 days since I gave him the first dose, so I need to decide whether it's worth worming him the second time in his weakened state since it didn't seem to affect symptoms the first time.

    One final note, I weighed both birds yesterday. The serama has gained 1 oz, the silkie has gained 4 oz. Since last week. Whether that is good weight gain or weight of fecal material that isn't exiting, I can't say.

    Thank you in advance for any insight you may have as to what we're dealing with, whether to give second dose of Valbazen, etc. Hopefully I'll know more after vet can test the fecal material but in the meantime I want to be sure there isn't more I can do, or something I should stop doing, or even if you want to suggest questions I should ask the vet or tests to make sure they run. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,911
    1,101
    243
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    My concern would be Marek's. I appreciate that they are not showing the "classic symptoms" but silkies and seramas are particularly prone to it and they are the right age to get it. There are so many and varied symptoms with Marek's that it's easy to mentally rule it out and convince yourself that it can't be it, but since you have pretty much thrown the kitchen sink at these birds as regards medication and they are not getting better, then a virus is the most likely conclusion and Marek's is probably the commonest in young chickens. Hope I'm wrong

    Good luck at the vets

    Barbara
     
  3. dotm8rix

    dotm8rix Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    58
    101
    May 28, 2015
    Do you know whether they can test for Marek's at the vet?
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,911
    1,101
    243
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I think (not certain though) it may be possible via blood testing but would need to be sent on to a lab rather than your vet testing it directly.
    Were they vaccinated for Marek's? That doesn't always prevent them from getting the virus but lessens the chance of it developing into the tumours that often prove fatal. The reason I'm asking is that the vaccine might give a false reading on blood tests if you got them done.
     
  5. dotm8rix

    dotm8rix Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    58
    101
    May 28, 2015
    No, none vaccinated.
     
  6. dotm8rix

    dotm8rix Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    58
    101
    May 28, 2015
    Anyone else have a guess as to what we're dealing with? Of course I have all sorts of horror scenarios running through my mind like AI, Marek's, Salmonella, etc.
     
  7. dotm8rix

    dotm8rix Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    58
    101
    May 28, 2015
    Took this bird to the vet. They did a fecal, he had some bacterial overgrowth and even though we'd wormed him, he showed up with a couple types of parasites, most notably giardia, which has a very short lifecycle and so won't be taken out by a traditional worming schedule of once and then again in 10-14 days.

    We were also prescribed Baytril (Enrofloxacin) for the bacteria, for a duration of 14 days.

    He showed improvement on the Baytril and resolution of symptoms after worming him with Fenbendazole at a dose of 25mg/kg for 5 days. We used SafeGuard liquid 100mg/ml, which amounted to a dose of .1ml for our 13 ounce serama.

    Apparently they can pick up giardia in soil, feces, puddles, even in waterers if there's a biofilm. Sounds like one of those things that normally chicken may have in a small amount but if immune system gets taxed by something else, the giardia isn't kept in check and then can flare up and make them really sick.
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,911
    1,101
    243
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Thanks for updating and sharing that information. Good to know that he is responding to the medication. Hope he makes a full recovery.
     
  9. marismimi

    marismimi Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    26
    Jul 5, 2016
    i have a 3 month old polish male doing exactly the same thing
     
  10. dotm8rix

    dotm8rix Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    58
    101
    May 28, 2015
    I wish I could give you better news. My bird recovered, then got sick again a week later. I continued treating with courses of wormer, each time he would improve (but not as good as after the first treatment) and then slump once he was off it for a bit. Ultimately he didn't make it.

    I regret not putting him down sooner. I prolonged his suffering and put our whole flock at risk by continuing to treat him.

    In fact, we did have a cockerel housed in proximity to this one who started to show same signs, I immediately put him on Amoxicillin for 1 wk and he fully recovered. Which makes me think that in our original bird's case, it was something bacterial to begin with and the parasite issues were secondary ailments once his immune system was taxed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by