Cocci/sulnet/vaccine - academic question - urgent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Brahmadarma, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Brahmadarma

    Brahmadarma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2008
    I am now totally confused and concerned that I may not be doing the right thing for my new babies. I won't bore everyone with details, I have tried and gotten nowhere.
    Essentially my problem is with the fact that baby chicks need to build an immunity to coccidiosis.
    Some of my chicks have it. One was vaccinated against it, so she has it too (right?). I am giving Sulmet because I can't stand for them to suffer, or to lose any, so the vaccinated one now presumably has no immunity (right?). I am treating them all so, presumably, none of them are building immunity....
    At what stage do you decide to let them go through it on their own? I don't understand. The information is so conflicting.
    Can anyone help and tell me what to do? One looks very sick, the others look fine. But what am I doing to the natural cycle here? Can they build an immunity to cocci if we treat the disease at the first signs? Why bother to vaccinate against it when it seems that most chicks are at risk of getting it, even when they have had no contact with the soil, as is the case with mine, and they need to get it in order to build immunity?
    This no longer makes any sense to me.
    Can anyone help? I am really having a hard time here.
    Please.
     
  2. 1Speckled Hen w/Chicks

    1Speckled Hen w/Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not an expert by no means--many can help=you here though...

    Early in the hot summer this year we had 1 episode with this...I found "bloody poo."

    I immediately went to the feed store co-op and talked with the manager; He then called the main Extension Fowl specialist of the county for me to talk to---

    He suggested getting the meds-and treat immediately---he said whether or not they were all together, or in adjoining pens-they all need to be treated.

    I got the meds and mixed in all the water(follow label instructions) containers every day for 10 days--then stopped using it for one week--as advised, and retreated for 5 days again.(just in case any was lingering in their little systems.)

    I had not used medicated feed before but, he suggested changing to this after all the treatments were finished.

    If you have a wet area in the house or runs find something suitable to put down to absorb wetness and any humid conditions....scrape out the current bedding or floor-(We have dirt floors so I used a shovel and scraped the top layer of dirt out.)

    If your chickens are housed in enclosed pens-Cleanse all surface areas with diluted bleach solution to get this terrible stuff out. Dry before returning your birds.

    I hope some of this can help you---

    They also suggested feeding probotic yogurt during this sensitive time..natural flavor in small doses to help internally.(mine loved it)

    I followed all instructions given and luckily didnt lose a one---

    Since they are all healthy now (thankfully)--I now add cider vinegar to their water periodically for their health too( as suggested)

    Best wishes for you and your flock!

    *REVISION)---I Have not had the vaccines given to our flock----as they said they can still get this even afer vaccinations--
    So, I guess preventions @ Home in the coop is what I am sticking with--
    (ps-do not feed earthworms- to them--they can also carry this to them)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  3. jasminty

    jasminty Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2008
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    Ok I am super new to this so hopefully someone can give you better info, than me.

    But here is my understanding:
    The vaccine was probably for Marek's Disease. I haven't heard of a cocci vaccine?? Anyone know about this? **looks like I have some more reading to do tonight!**

    My understanding is that chicks are very vulnerable to coccidiosis, until a later age (I have no idea how old though) at which point it they can still get sick under the "wrong" circumstances. I *think* Sulmet is appropriate for treating that, but I'd have to look it up for sure.

    Generally speaking I dont think you would want to treat any chick without symptoms. **now i am curious about this, I am still earning***

    Since you've started antibiotics I think you would need to finish the the whole course for all of them regardless. Again I dont know much on this subject esp. with fragile peeps. But I do know its not great to do on again off again with antibiotics. **edited to add: of course if you are told to do two full rounds with a week in between then its best to follow directions**

    Marek's is another story, if that is what they have, I don't know enough to be of help or how to treat that. I've read once they've had it (and if they make it) they can stay carriers? I really dont know though.

    Either way you would probably want to quarantine the sick one(s).

    As far as how vaccines work:

    Vaccines are a genetically altered version (not the whole strand) or the dead disease. Because the disease is either dead or incomplete they dont contract it. (I believe Marek's is the dead disease).
    When the vaccine is introduced into the system it triggers the immune system to create the antibodies to attack the (harmless) disease and from that point on (as long as the body has created enough of the antibody) the vaccinated subject should then be immune. Giving antibiotics with not remove the bodies ability to create that antibody, but it will kill the good bacteria too...


    I hope that makes sense and is helpful. I'm no doctor, but this is my understanding....
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  4. jasminty

    jasminty Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2008
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    Quote:Really??
    My birds are free range and I imagine they eat them all the time? esp when they come up after watering, we also have fed them the ones the dried up on the side walk... hmmm
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Step one: Relax. Panic won't do you any good and you risk doing more than you need and doing more harm than good.

    This is what I would do if I had a mixed batch of chicks with and without vaccination for cocci all put together.

    1) Confirm cocci. If one is confirmed to have cocci though bloody poo and lethargic nature, or ideally a fecal float test from the vet, assume they all have some cocci and are at risk, regardless if they have enough to make them sick. They will always have some in their bodies if exposed, but it is only a problem IF numbers become higher than they can stand.



    2) Assuming all have it and need to be treated, go ahead and give the sulmet as directed on the bottle. No more, no less. More will damage their internals as cocci is a protozoa, not a bacteria, and the general mode of action of these drugs is to inhibit the uptake of a particular nutrient essential for growth of the organism, or in this case, the oocysts of the cocci in the gut of the bird. Amprolium/corrid works as a thaimine blocker. Basically, too much of the drug will not only kill the target, but also affect the host. If you don't dose enough, or dose indiscriminately, you do have a chance of increasing the probability of resistant cocci strains that cannot be fought with the drugs. So Basically, follow bottle directions of the formulation you bought and are holding in your hand, as not all formulations are the same in dosage or concentration. Treat fully and completely what is reccomended on the bottle YOU have.


    3) Scrape out all the bedding in the coop and replace it with fresh stuff for them to play in. And just finish treatment of the drug. Extra vitamins in the water AFTER treatment is complete would be good, along with yoghurt and possibly smashed up egg yolk. Clean brooder and give nutritious food AFTER treatment.


    4) Done. If you do lose some it does happen. Don't sweat it. Often cocci will affect and kill individuals who have other problems going on which makes them more easily succumb to the parasite. Kind of like how a frost bit finger more easily get's frost bit again in the future.




    Now... Take a DEEP breath.

    On immunity.

    You say they have no contact to the soil... well, somewhere they got contact to cocci so don't worry about the soil thing right now. They'll get it at some point in time. Don't worry about that...


    So, if presented with a pathogen, they contain things called antigens which your body reacts to. Regardless if the pathogen is dead or alive, they still have these antigens that the body can recognize. Since this is the case, even if you are trying to kill the pathogen, you will still build an immunity since it is present. If I remember right, the cocci "vaccine" is in simple terms, a dead version of the most common form of cocci. Some say that the vaccine doesn't really work that well so it's not worth stressing the chicks over as it was developed for the "organic" market which doesn't allow medication in feed.

    Meds for cocci often work by inhibiting the replication of the protozoa. In other words, it just keeps the cocci consumed by the bird from reproducing in the gut. If you stop the protoza (cocci) from reproducing, they can no longer do harm to the bird because of their small numbers. In this process, the birds themselves are still gaining an immunity.

    In short, immunized, med feed, treatments and so on, they are always building an immunity.





    I am now totally confused and concerned that I may not be doing the right thing for my new babies. I won't bore everyone with details, I have tried and gotten nowhere.

    You start somewhere. Don't worry.


    Essentially my problem is with the fact that baby chicks need to build an immunity to coccidiosis.

    They will do that regardless of what you do unless you grow them in a sterile room.

    Some of my chicks have it. One was vaccinated against it, so she has it too (right?).

    All your chicks have it if they live together, it is the concentration of paracite that determines if there are any symptoms. If they have an immunity, load A won't affect them as badily as load A would affect a chick without immunity. If load A is small, no bird will be sick, if it is large, all birds will have it. It's like a sliding scale.

    I am giving Sulmet because I can't stand for them to suffer, or to lose any, so the vaccinated one now presumably has no immunity (right?). I am treating them all so, presumably, none of them are building immunity....

    Nope, they are building immunity regardless, just not as fast if there is not as much or as large of a variation of parasite present. Immunity relies on presented antigens, not what else is being pumped into the system.

    At what stage do you decide to let them go through it on their own? I don't understand. The information is so conflicting.
    Can anyone help and tell me what to do? One looks very sick, the others look fine. But what am I doing to the natural cycle here? Can they build an immunity to cocci if we treat the disease at the first signs? Why bother to vaccinate against it when it seems that most chicks are at risk of getting it, even when they have had no contact with the soil, as is the case with mine, and they need to get it in order to build immunity?
    This no longer makes any sense to me.
    Can anyone help? I am really having a hard time here.

    I personally just don't worry that much. I don't get vaccines for the birds, and just feed them medicated feed from the get go. Medicated feed is not a vaccine and only inhibits the growth of the cocci so it doesn't overwhelm the system.

    Buy chicks, feed them , give them a pan of clean dry dirt to play in, and don't worry so much. I have only treated chicks for cocci once in 10+ years. And I only treated after I saw the blood and the birds losing weight. If the chicks are under a week old, the "sick" chick might just have failure to thrive if you didn't see consistent bloody poo's or have a fecal float test done.

    Good luck.​
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:I'm no expert too so don't go writing papers on what I say. It's all just stuff to the best of my knowledge.
     
  7. jasminty

    jasminty Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2008
    CA
    Quote:LOL. No, no papers from me, well I suppose I almost did write one already! HA

    Thanks for the info. I did know that cocci is protozoa, so I was wondering how antibiotics work with that...

    I have a basic understanding of many things, but not necessarily the proper terminology. lol
    But what you said makes sense to me!!
    Thanks Again!!
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    No problem.

    The coccidiostat works by inhibiting the uptake of thamine that prevents the protozoa from replicating. Antibiotics work the same way by blocking some essential pathway in bacteria. If we or anything else shares the pathway affected by the drug, they too will be inhibited, but the dose not enough to kill. I believe that medicated feeds containing the coccidiostat amprol contain extra thamine so the birds do not become deficient.

    I hope the OP can relax a bit now.
     
  9. Brahmadarma

    Brahmadarma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2008
    Silkiechicken - Thank you so much for that very clear, concise and knowledgeable reply to my panic attack, you are a very reassuring "voice" and I hope more newbies read this thread with your information in it.
    Fortunately I have been doing exactly as you suggest for two days now. I have isolated the sick one but all are going to get the full course.
    I will report on their progress when anything changes.
    Thank you for taking the time to help, it is greatly appreciated.
    Annie
    (Much more relaxed now!)
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Great synopsis, silkiechicken! One thing you(everyone, not Diana) may not know. Bleach will not kill cocci, ammonia will. When you clean out the coop/brooder, use household ammonia.
    I've always used medicated feed, always. This year for some reason, every group of youngsters I put on the ground is getting cocci, in spite of all the cleaning and medicated feed. Something is fishy here, IMO, because I'm hearing this over and over again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008

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