Coughing with neck swelling

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HH.Wench, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. HH.Wench

    HH.Wench Chirping

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    One of my hens has been coughing and appears to have a swelling on the -back- center of her neck. A 2nd hen also seems to have developed a swelling on the center back of her neck also but has no cough. Any idea what this combination of symptoms could be?

    They free range and are very flighty, so I cant get near them. They haven't been wormed in a year and its been wet, warm and humid.

    Ive never had a sick bird before; should I just start out trying Safeguard? The puffed section of feather on the center back of neck has me stumped. Tractor supply is my closet store with poultry meds.
     
  2. If the swelling is significant enough, I'd guess the cough is an indicator it's affecting her breathing or swallowing. It also could indicate a parasite called gapeworm, though I have little personal knowledge of it or know what to trerat it with specifically. My go-to for parasites is the pour-on Ivermectin from the cattle section of the feed store. I don't know how well Safeguard does for gapeworm, IF that's what this is. It certainly couldn't HURT, if the issue is actually a parasite. I'd quickly follow it up with Ivermectin, though - in a week or so. Then, since you need to dose twice with whatever you use, you might wwant to redose with Safeguard, then with Ivermectin, once again, to catch any eggs that have hatched. Of course, if it's an infection or reaction from a bite or sting, or if it's a cyst or tumor, neither of those will help. So, we need a closer look at what's going on!

    You need to figure out how to handle them, though, especially to treat with Ivermectin, as it's given as a few drops on bare skin behind the neck. Perhaps get them at night, after they've settled in to bed. As you get them, you should also check them over very closely for other external parasites, or anything else they might be hiding, especially if they're flighty - that's the best time to look them over.

    Chickens are very good at instinctively hiding any issues, whether sickness or injury, until they can't hide them any more, as they're prey animals, and predators go after the weakest-looking in a flock, herd, pack, or whatever species group they're hunting. That means they will do whatever they can to hide any problems they may have, so they don't look like the weakest. Which also means that, if you have flighty birds, you have to work extra hard to get that chance to handle them.

    When you DO get the ones with the bumps, examine them extra-closely. Open their mouths (they'll LOVE that :rolleyes:) and look down their throats with a flashlights, to see if you can see anything in the throat. Closely examine the bumps, to see if they might be from bites or bot fly larvae or stings, etc., and try to get pictures of the bumps. Pictures help us try to figure out what the problem might be so we can offer the best advice. Even if it means bringing them inside, and teaming up, with the camera or phone in one pair orf hands, and the bird in the other pair. A towel wrapped around them snugly (but make sure they can still breathe) can help hold them still long enough for treatment, or examination, or pictures.

    [Edited a typo]
     
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  3. HH.Wench

    HH.Wench Chirping

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    Thank you nightowl. The location of the "lump" on the back of the neck is what has me stumped. I need to buy some Ivomec anyways for my dogs, so I will pick up both wormers while I'm there then rotate them.

    Does TSC sell anything I should be adding to their water?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Can you post a couple of pictures, possibly after the chickens have gone to roost for the night when you can pick her up? The back of the neck is where roosters may grap onto during attempts to mate. Or another hen could be pecking at them. Chickens have air sacs all over the body, and it is possible that her cervical air sac is leaking under the skin. It also could be swelling from a peck injury or a feather cyst. Does it feel hard or like air under the skin?

    Coughing can be a sign of a respiratory disease or infection. Are there any other signs, such as watery eyes, eye bubbles or pus, or nasla drainage?
     
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  5. HH.Wench

    HH.Wench Chirping

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    I will try to get a pic and better look later today if I can lure them in.

     
    Sequel likes this.
  6. Were you able to get any pictures of what's going on? It would be really, really helpful.

    As for what TSC sells, I think they sell the Durvet vitamin and electrolyte water soluble powder I use any time I get for new chicks, or an injury, or new birds in quarantine, etc., any time the extra vitamins would be helpful to give them a boost. They do sell some antibiotics, but personally, I keep better ones on hand by buying them from one of the fish supply outlets. As large a flock as I have, of so many different types of birds, I am almsot constantly finding one with an injury of some kind, whether from a rooster's spur, or from a thorn from the wooded area right next to my property, where some of them like to forage, or who knows what. If they aren't caught and treated when it happens, and birds are SO good at hiding injuries, they can get infected, and then I have the proper antibiotic at hand to treat the infection with.
     
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  7. HH.Wench

    HH.Wench Chirping

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    I was able to lure them and get some pics with a zoom lense. The coughing one is acting super flighty and staying in the back, so I cant tell if she is stretching her neck because of a gapeworm since she kept stretching up to look over them and watch me. Can gapeworm even swell in the back? chickens1.jpg chicken2.jpg chickens1.jpg chicken2.jpg chicken3.jpg chicken4.jpg chicken3.jpg chicken2.jpg chickens1.jpg chickens1.jpg chicken2.jpg chicken3.jpg chicken4.jpg A few more hens seems to have a swollen back of neck too, but are not coughing. Maybe im seeing something that isnt really there? Thoughts?
     
  8. HH.Wench

    HH.Wench Chirping

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    No idea why it posted the images multiple times...
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Gapeworm and respiratory diseases can look a bit alike. Gapeworm is more rare. If you want to medicate them for gapeworm, give fenbendazole (SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer) 1/4 ml per pound for 5 consecutive days. For a respiratory disease I would try to get Tylan Soluble Powder from a vet. Dosage is 1 tsp per gallon of water for 5 days. If you cannot get that, you can get Tylan 50 injectable plus syringes and needles and give it orally 3 times a day for 5 days. Dosage is 1/4 ml per pound. If it is a virus casuing the coughing, it would need to run it’s course, and antibiotics would not treat.
     
  10. HH.Wench

    HH.Wench Chirping

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    Any ideas on the back of neck swelling in the pics I posted?????????
     

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