Diarrhea and weakness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SouthPoleLu, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. SouthPoleLu

    SouthPoleLu Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2015
    Hi There, I'm a new member - and already asking for advice!
    Yesterday, I found one of my laying hens just lying on the ground, too weak to stand or open her eyes. I kept her in the house overnight and gave a rehydration fluid mix by mouth every few hours. She doesn't seem to have any visible injuries. She survived the night, and has pecked at a few pellets this morning and drank water by herself. However, she has diarrhea which has a foul and rather sour smell. She keeps her eyes open and 'talks' to me now and then, a soft cooing sound. She is still very weak, lying on her feet rather than standing.
    I checked all my other hens, and see no signs of illness amongst them, nor of diarrhea.
    These hens are spoiled rotten, good food, fresh air, tender care, clean coop, etc.

    Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be, and what to do about it?
    Your help will be much appreciated!
    thanks!
    SouthPoleLu
     
  2. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    156
    171
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Icky question I know, but can you describe the diarrhea - clear, brown, sticky, liquid, with bits in etc? Even better, can you post a picture?

    To get an idea of different types of poo, what's normal and what's not, have a look at the famous 'poo page':

    http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=17568.0%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3Ei

    It might give you some ideas of what she has, or at least help you to describe what your girl is producing.

    I also have a few more questions to add a bit of information to what you have told us already:
    Have there been any changes at all to their conditions (however minor it may seem to you) - new birds in the flock, change of bedding, moving their run or changing the area they access to free range etc?
    Has she had access to anything different to eat - a new plant that has grown in the area where they roam, new treats etc, or could she have found some mouldy food hidden in a corner somewhere?
    Do you give them kitchen scraps, and does that include meat (raw or cooked)?
     
  3. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    156
    171
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Oh, and by the way,

    [​IMG]
     
  4. SouthPoleLu

    SouthPoleLu Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2015
    Hi KayTee
    thanks for the speedy response... for your questions: no changes in diet or coop conditions, just that they spend more time outside in the fenced-off chicken run, now that the days are warmer and longer. We live in central Illinois. They get greens daily,at midday, as they have been getting for months on end. I give them lettuce, bits of broccoli, apple, zucchini, etc. not really cabbage, whatever the local green grocer discards when he prepares his veggies for his shop. But no mouldy food is given, no table scraps, NO meat, just bread crusts now and then.
    It is possible that she found an old scrap of vegetables lying outside and ate that. Overall, my hens' egg production has gone down over the past 10 days, but the other 8 hens show no signs of illness.

    The poop has a blob of white, then some dark bits, some looks a bit grainy. Then there is a puddle of a brownish but clear liquid, like amber. The smell is unpleasant. I can't really photograph it, as it was soaked up by the newspaper.
    thanks again for your help, it is much appreciated!
    Kind regards
    SouthPoleLu
     
  5. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    156
    171
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Does it look a bit like this:

    [​IMG]

    The reason I ask is that this is from a chicken suffering from clostridium perfringens, which is often caused by eating mouldy food, or a blockage in the intestine causing already eaten food to rot inside the intestines rather than being passed out. It is also called 'gas gangrene' due to the fact that the chicken often has a lot of gas build up, so the poop is expelled quite violently. It also has a sweet, horrible, almost-but-not-quite stomach turning smell - is that what you are smelling?

    If this rings bells with you, then have a look at these threads:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/613918/undigested-food-in-droppings-update-on-page-3/40

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...r-posts-on-byc-a-public-thank-you-to-nambroth
     
  6. SouthPoleLu

    SouthPoleLu Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2015
    hi KayTee, thanks again for the speedy response. Yes, it looks rather like your photo, and it does have that smelll you describe. What is the remedy? i willl look at the threads you listed, did not find those in my earlier search...
    thanks again!
    SouthPoleLu
     
  7. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    156
    171
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    A broad spectrum antibiotic works well - something like amoxicillin. I had a 10% amoxicillin powder prescribed by the vet (100g of powder made up of 10g amoxicillin and 90g of bulking powder) which needs to be dosed at 1g of powder per day for 10kg of chicken weight. (That equals 0.1g of pure amoxicillin, so you can see why they add the bulking powder!)

    An average chicken weighs 2 - 3 kg, so I always mix up enough for two or three days dosing (any less is too difficult to measure), and put it on food she will eat (egg, bread, cooked rice etc.) If she isn't eating, use a syringe to put one drop at a time on her beak and let her swallow it.

    If you let me know what antibiotics you have (or can get), and what strength they are, I will calculate the dosage for you.
     
  8. SouthPoleLu

    SouthPoleLu Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2015
    hi KayTee
    thanks again for the response. I looked at the other threads you posted. Then called the nearest state animal disease laboratory, got referred to a local vet and then went there. I got this:
    Sulfadimethoxine (trade name Di-Methox, Albon) is a sulfonamide antibiotic. It is used to treat many infections including treatment of respiratory, urinary tract, enteric, and soft tissue infections.[5] It is most frequently used in veterinary medicine.
    Looks like it's also broad spectrum, like the amoxil that you mentioned.
    I hate using antibiotics, especially as they wipe out most of the immune system in the gut, but sometimes you just can't avoid it. This stuff goes into her drinking water. The vet said a chicken with severe symptoms is usually the tip of the iceberg and that the other chickens probably have what she has, it just hasn't started showing yet. Thus, ideally, they should also be treated. However, as i have her in isolation i will treat her for a few days and see how she goes, while keeping an eye on the other hens, before starting to treat them as well.
    Here's hoping it works!
    thanks again and regardx
    SouthPoleLu
     
  9. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    156
    171
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Fingers crossed that it works for your girl. Keep us updated.

    I agree with you that giving antibiotics is a last resort, but sometimes you have no choice. I gave my girl probiotic yogurts after she finished the antibiotics. She loved it (as did the rest of the flock!)
     
  10. SouthPoleLu

    SouthPoleLu Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2015
    hi KayTee, sadly, Little Hen has gone to feather-heaven....yesterday afternoon. I expected it as i noticed she was no longer drinking by herself and just weaker overall. Either the antibiotics didn't help, or it was just too late for them anyway. I will find out this morning if the ground has softened enough for me to dig a grave for her.

    I'm having a hard time deciding if I should place the rest of the flock on antibiotics as a precaution, or not. I examined each one very carefully yesterday. Only two had a bit of faecal matter on the feathers at the vent, the others had none. They seem in good spirits too. The thing that worries me is that the sick hen had such a quick decline.
    Thanks for your help in the process!
    kind regards
    SouthPoleLu
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by