cocci in year-old hen?

SeaChickens

Songster
9 Years
Jul 20, 2012
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Seattle, WA
On Saturday, my Barred Rock hen, Pepper, was very lethargic and did a lot of dozing off while standing up. She also had mucus in her poop and didn't have much appetite. I took her to an avian vet and they did a stool test and found cocci. Gave her a prescription of 1 TMS (Trimethorprim / Sulfadizaine) tablet per day (1/2 morning, 1/2 evening). She had 1/2 the first day and a full dose yesterday and now 1/2 this morning.

My question is, should she be getting better by now? She is not as lethargic but still very quiet and not eating much. Her poops are still very liquid / mucus filled and some blood. Has anyone else treated cocci with this drug? I am wondering if side effects of the drug are making her feel lousy too. The vet said something like she wasn't 100% sure that cocci was what was causing all of her problems, so maybe she has something else going on as well?

I have 2 other hens but they seem fine, normal poops and energy. They are not being treated but the vet gave me some sulfamethoxine powder to put in their water, but not until Pepper is done with her pills.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
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Many chickens carry cocci in their systems but have developed a resistance to the organism. During times of stress the cocci population will increase. It is quite possible that she is dealing with some other problem and the coccidiosis is of a secondary nature.
 

SeaChickens

Songster
9 Years
Jul 20, 2012
126
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Seattle, WA
She seemed great until Saturday, but I know chickens are good at masking their health issues. We've just separated her (the vet said we didn't have to but it seemed like a good idea) and now she is in a small pen with a heat lamp. She had a better looking poo just now, more solid looking, so hopefully that means the medicine is kicking in. If not, I guess it will be off to the vet again tomorrow. She laid an egg yesterday but nothing so far today. Anyone have any ideas of foods to try to tempt her with? I've heard you're not supposed to give much protein with cocci.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
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She can have protein, it's thiamin that the cocci need to thrive. I'm not familiar with the meds your vet gave but when we use Amprolium it blocks thiamin uptake and basically starves the cocci. So you just don't want to do any vitamin supplementing until she's done with cocci treatment.

Just as a side comment....any time a vet does a fecal sample on a chicken they are going to say "Ah ha, cocci!" When in fact, as sourland said, many adult chickens will show a few cocci in their stool as a normal occurrence. They simply develop immunity to whatever strains are in their environment.

So your bird may indeed possibly have some other underlying issue that has lowered her immunity and caused her to have an outbreak. Short of doing a lot of expensive testing all you can do is finish the treatment and see how she does. She also may not lay an egg for a few days or so while she's feeling crummy.
 

casportpony

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I would be suspicious of a bacterial infection that's resistant to the SMZ-TMP.

-Kathy

Edited to add:
Not saying I don't think it's coccidiosis, just that there could be something else going on. Or, maybe Corid would work better for the strain of coccidiosis? Just thinking out loud.


Edited again to add:
It's only Monday, that's just barely enough time for the antibiotics to start working.
 
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SeaChickens

Songster
9 Years
Jul 20, 2012
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Seattle, WA
Update on Pepper - she seems to be doing better (knock on wood). We kept her in the garage yesterday and last night, to better monitor her poops and food/water intake. Poops are getting to look fairly normal, though still small and with a small amount of mucus. Did not see any blood in the latest few. Unfortunately though she took it upon herself to start eating the wood shavings in her hospital crate, so now I am concerned about her crop. It is small but pretty firm. Put her back with her girls this morning and she seems happy. She had been crying out for them yesterday evening and probably was eating shavings out of boredom since she has more energy now. I think she only ate small pieces of shavings so hopefully it will pass. What a problem child! She is eating some food though not with the gusto she normally eats with. Will try a little scrambled egg today. Wondering if maybe I should mix some olive oil or something with it to help her pass the shavings?

By the way, I googled her medication and it is a combo anti-biotic and cocci drug so hoping that it will take care of any secondary infection that might have sprung up.
 

casportpony

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Update on Pepper - she seems to be doing better (knock on wood). We kept her in the garage yesterday and last night, to better monitor her poops and food/water intake. Poops are getting to look fairly normal, though still small and with a small amount of mucus. Did not see any blood in the latest few. Unfortunately though she took it upon herself to start eating the wood shavings in her hospital crate, so now I am concerned about her crop. It is small but pretty firm. Put her back with her girls this morning and she seems happy. She had been crying out for them yesterday evening and probably was eating shavings out of boredom since she has more energy now. I think she only ate small pieces of shavings so hopefully it will pass. What a problem child! She is eating some food though not with the gusto she normally eats with. Will try a little scrambled egg today. Wondering if maybe I should mix some olive oil or something with it to help her pass the shavings?

By the way, I googled her medication and it is a combo anti-biotic and cocci drug so hoping that it will take care of any secondary infection that might have sprung up.
It's a very good one, too.

-Kathy
 

SeaChickens

Songster
9 Years
Jul 20, 2012
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Seattle, WA
The latest for reference
smile.png
, plus crop massaging!

Pepper is doing well, acting quite normal but still having some unhealthy looking poops (mucus with whitish yellow mixed in) on occasion. Still taking her cocci/anti-biotic medication twice a day.

I had checked her crop first thing yesterday morning before she ate and it was a little large which worried me, didn't seem like it had emptied out properly. After reading lots of good advice here, I decided to try massaging her yesterday evening as well as feeding her some scrambled eggs with canola oil mixed in. Gave her a good crop massage from her crop down towards her belly which she seemed not too mind too much. Luckily her crop seemed to have more give to it than it had in the morning, maybe the addition of some layer pellets and water helped to improve the mix of things in there. I was very happy to find a large poop this morning under her spot on the perch! Pretty normal looking too which is a big step forward for her, it had been rather meager looking and mostly liquid. Her crop seemed almost back to normal size wise so I think whatever was clogging her up is hopefully passing.

Never thought I would write so much about chicken poop! Anyway, I just wanted to share that crop massaging really does seem to work to help them pass too much fiber (in her case probably wood shavings). Might not work on more serious cases but worth a try since it didn't seem to hurt her at all. Now just hoping that the medication will clear up the cocci but it does seem to be getting better every day.
 

SeaChickens

Songster
9 Years
Jul 20, 2012
126
78
166
Seattle, WA
Anyone know if I can I give amprolium and probiotics at the same time? Pepper is doing better but lost some weight, so the vet gave me some probiotic powder to sprinkle on treats. She said to give it once a day. I am also putting amprolium in their water to treat my other two hens to prevent them from getting coccidiosis, so all three girls are getting both things. Just wondering if the two would interfere with each other?
 

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