1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

distressed hen, trouble breathing with somethin in her mouth

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by goshawk066, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. goshawk066

    goshawk066 Hatching

    Nov 22, 2009
    Middleburg, FL

    I have a hen that I just noticed is having some trouble breathing. She wheezes a bit and sneeze/coughs every now and then. Upon closer inspection I found what I though was some food or something stuck in her mouth. But it seems to be a growth / rotting flesh? Her breath smells bad as well. I have some pictures and a short video, looking for some help diagnosing what this is and possible treatment.

    Thanks much!


    video - http://www.myfamilyplace.net/alanmeagan/chickens/sickchickenvideo.MOV

  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Gape worm??
  3. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Check if its down the throat also. Looks like canker. Separate her immediately and clean all food and water bowls with bleach. Canker is very contagious and can kill within 8-10 days. First State Vet Supply carries a med for it. Metronidazole or Flagyl is the treatment. Do a search on this and see if you agree.
  4. muell112

    muell112 Songster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
  5. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    That is not gapeworm. After viewing the video, I am quite sure it is canker. she is breathing hard which means it is down her throat already. This is a quick moving illness. Do not pick out the yellow gook unless you think she may just have a cut in her mouth. If it is just a cut, you need to get that yellow stuff out, if it is canker and you remove it, it will bleed alot. Call first state vet and get the above listed med. You can also look into wet pox, it is similar to canker but has no treatment as it is viral. Either way, using the metronidazole will keep it at a manageable level.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  6. goshawk066

    goshawk066 Hatching

    Nov 22, 2009
    Middleburg, FL
    Ok, the sick girl is isolated and their food dishes are soaking in bleach and water dish cleaned out. What is the dosage for metronidazole? I'll check the feed store here tomorrow and see if they have any. Thanks for the help!
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I dont think you will find that med at a feed store, I had alot of trouble finding it when i needed it. It usually comes in a 250mg tablet. This is perfect for a dose for a standard size bird of about 8lbs. Crush the tablet and sprinkle on a small amount of scrambled eggs to make sure she gets it all. Give treatment for at least 15 days. After 2-3 days on the med, the yellow gook will fall off. Best of luck. Keep us updated on her progress whatever treatment you decide so we can all use this as a learning experience.

  8. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    We have a bird being treated for wet pox right now. He had a secondary infection in his throat that gave off a bad smell; two days of Clavomox knocked it down and now the smell is gone and he's eating, drinking and crowing again. Still has pox, but the bacterial infection was making things worse. Oh, we're continuing the course of antibiotics, still, for the full 10 days.
  9. NewHobbyForMe

    NewHobbyForMe Songster

    Oct 10, 2009
    I just wanted to let you know that someone else is dealing with the same thing. However, her pictures are not on her post anymore they looked just like your pics. Here is the title to her post.
    » 2 serama hens - POX or CANKER? WARNING-graphic pics
    Her chickens are doing better with the meds she has them on.
    Good luck with this it looks painful! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  10. Barrett Farm

    Barrett Farm In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2009
    Silicon Valley
    I lost 5 or 6 hens to this sickness just this last summer. Then I culled 5 more because I thought they were carriers.

    Do your birds have access to water dishes or bird baths used by wild birds? That is how the illness was introduced to my flock. All the doves that were using my yard to drink and feed slowly disappeared and every 3 or 4 weeks another bird was wasting away from starvation.

    So sorry you had to catch this horrible illness. Search this forum for input from Glenda Heywood. She was very informed about this subject.

    If the bird does pass away, keep it in the refrigerator and quickly send to your university or state lab for an official diagnosis. I am waiting for one of mine to pass away again so I can send it in.

    Bleach your dishes, look in all their mouths to determine if others have it and separate the sick hens. They can also spread the illness from picking up food, dropping it and another bird picks it up.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by