Could this be eye worm??? Gapeworm??! Resp infection??! Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by smooch177, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. smooch177

    smooch177 Out Of The Brooder

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    Corrales, New Mexico
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    Any help or advice would be much appreciated....

    I posted about a week ago regarding my 6 month old hen that is having vision problems. She's definitely not fully blind but it's fairly significant. No cloudiness, no discharge, her eyes are dark but her pupil seems normal and reactive.

    I've had her isolated in the house just over a week now and she's been eating/drinking well and seems to have a peppy spirit overall.

    The only other symptom I noticed upon bringing her in was occasional "gaping," maybe 1-2 times in a span of an hour. No other resp symptoms. After a quick search, I was off to the feed store to look for a dewormer for possible gapeworm. Unfortunately they didn't have the right one. The clerk asked about her symptoms and questioned whether or not she actually had a resp infection and recommended terramycin ophth oint and vetrx. After a day or two, I actually thought maybe she was seeing a little better and I also thought I the area around her eye looked a little different and was worried about fowl pox for a day or two but after nothing else appeared that seemed less likely.
    Over the last few days, it seems like her gaping has become more prominent and I honestly became much more concerned about starting a dewormer and put the ophth oint and vetrx on the back burner.
    I was finally able to start fenbendazole 3 days ago, although I think yesterday was the first time she got down the full dose. She's still gaping but no other signs of resp distress, no wheezing, I might have heard I tiny sneeze this morning after I took her outside to dust bathe.
    In addition to treating her, I'm deworming the rest of my crew. I've actually noticed one or two others gaping in the last few days as well. I've also heard a few different chickens sneezing a lot more than usual but it's been raining quite a bit here. The only thing that concerns me is one of the chickens that has been sneezing is now ?coughing. She had a high pitched almost seal like bark last night???

    I haven't noticed anyone else with the mild eye irritation around the eyes or scratching. And I think everyone seems to be seeing ok.

    Again, if anyone has ANYTHING that might be helpful, PLEASE share your thoughts-----thanks!!
     
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Magnolia, Texas
    Why do you feel like your chicken is almost blind?

    If it were gapeworm (which is NOT all that common), she'd be hunched and puffed, gasping for air constantly, and "gaping" way more than once or twice in an hour. If you really want to be sure, you can swab down her throat. You will see tiny, red worms if she's got gapes.

    Chickens will stretch their necks and open their mouths to adjust food in their crops, too.

    You are wise to go ahead and worm your flock. That's good flock management!

    As for the sneezing, chickens do sneeze from dusty feed, dirt, and many of the same reasons humans do. :) If the sneezing is accompanied by drippy beaks, bubbly eyes, lethargy, or going off food and water, THAT'S the time to take action. The occasional sneeze is perfectly acceptable.

    I hope that helps!

    MrsB

    PS - Unless your feed store has a "chicken person," I'd avoid seeking advice from the employees there. Your mileage may vary. :)

    PPS - Here is a very sad video of a chicken with gapeworm. Note the hunching and constant head shaking and gaping.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  3. smooch177

    smooch177 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2016
    Corrales, New Mexico
    Thanks so much for the reply, I really do appreciate it, I feel like I'm about to go bananas trying to figure out how to help her out.

    First off, I totally agree about taking advice from someone at the feed store, I'm a new chicken momma and funny you should say, this person actually called herself a "chicken person," although I don't think she holds an official title, but either way, lesson definitely learned :)

    In regards to her vision right now, for an example I can be 5-6 feet away, calling her and tapping a food bucket which would typically cause her to come running, instead she stands and looks in every direction, including right at me but does seem to actually see me until I finally get to within 1-2 feet from her. She has been able to make her way around the house since I've brought her in but seems to be very dependent on ample lighting even in the middle of the day. Even if it's a short distance to the ground, it seems like she's having a harder time when she lands from a jump, often she stumbles or seems off balance. The one thing I've noticed she still seems to be doing well with, as long as there is enough light, is picking up small things like seeds.

    I regard to gapeworms, I agree again, definitely feel better too just treating anyway, another lesson learned, never knew I needed to worm every 6 months anyway! So, at first I noticed the gaping maybe 1-2 times an hour, it definitely increased, thus, increasing my concern....just even this morning, I counted 10 times in about 5 min. That video is just heartbreaking, she definitely looks nothing like that that goodness. I just don't how to put this all together? I tried the look down the throat trick to look for gapeworms without any luck. But yesterday she had a poop with something different, about 5 or 6 dark pink/salmon colored, ?eel-shaped, kind of rubbery texture, ?faint black line in center, about the size of pinky fingernail. Definitely not blood or intestinal lining, can't think of anything she ate or could've ingested that would've looked like that. I could almost convince myself after looking at tons of pictures of gapeworms that maybe it could be but haven't seen any since or nothing like it in the other chickens.

    Forgot to mention in my last post that the one thing I ran across that seemed to make a little sense was the link between worm/parasite infections and resultant malabsorption of certain vitamins including vitamin A which might explain the vision loss. I haven't appreciated any blood in her poop in the last week or so since she's been inside but otherwise her poop has been all over the place. I think I'm a little less concerned about some respiratory/bacterial infection requiring antibiotics but now I'm halfway wondering if I should just treat her and everyone else for coccidiosis? Uggh, I just want my healthy, happy chickies back again.....
     
  4. BarbiD

    BarbiD Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm a new chicken owner too and I am also struggling with some new pullets I bought with what I think are respiratory issues. AND I didn't know you needed to worm every 6 months either. Hang in there! I will be thinking of you and sending good, healing vibes your way. We will get our girls back to healthy!! Obviously, I can only offer support; not advice. But I hope that helps and let us know how she's doing.
     
  5. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    If she passes more of... whatever that was, do you think you could snap a pic?

    Chickens go into a trance in dim lighting. :)

    It certainly couldn't hurt to worm them and treat for Cocci (though once birds reach adulthood, they typically have a good resistance built up).

    I recommend worming with Valbazen liquid goat wormer and treating Cocci with Corid (amprolium).

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    Both can be found at your feed store. It's a little $$$ up front, but it lasts FOREVER.

    Dosage:

    Valbazen - 1/2cc for standard adult birds, 1/4cc for bantams and younger or smaller birds. Repeat in 5 days.

    Corid - 1.5 teaspoons (NO LESS) of 20% powder OR 2 teaspoons of 9.6% liquid per gallon of water. Make fresh at least once daily, treat for 5-7 days. Ensure it's the *ONLY* water they can access during the treatment.

    Valbazen gets every worm a chicken can get, and Corid treats all nine strains of Cocci.

    I hope that helps! ^_^

    MsrB
     

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