EMERGENCY: Chicken has trouble breathing!

Feb 9, 2019
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Dear all,

Our Sussex now ~2 years of age, was having trouble walking 3 days ago (when we noticed). Her right leg hurts a lot, and she would rather stand on her other leg. We went to the vet yesterday and it didn't seem as bumblefoot, as there are apparent lumps in her leg (she is also shaking sometimes). Additionally, she is having trouble breathing, which we noticed around yesterday. It seems like she has a fever as her temperature is pretty high, and she is raising her wings a little constantly. She sometimes lets out some cries and you can clearly hear a kind of raspy tone. She is constantly opening her beak and just like a dog gasping for air (she makes the same sound as a dog breathing continuously). She has not lost any appetite (she still eats with a lot of pleasure) and is drinking well. She is sometimes shaking her head, so I was wondering if it had anything to do with gapeworms, although we couldn't see any? Furthermore, she seems rather happy as she is lively and cleaning her feathers. However, the vet said that the situation is critical and that there is a chance she might pass away any time soon. She didn't know whether it was viral, bacterial or fungi related. We keep her inside, apart from the other chickens in case it could be transmitted. The vet gave us sulfatrim (for bacterial infections) 2x a day for a 5 day period. I was just wondering if these are signs of gapeworms or anything else? I don't know though how her fever, leg and respiratory issues all correlate. Any tips are appreciated!!
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
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Welcome to BYC. Where are you located? The head shaking gasping, and raspy voice sounds like signs of a respiratory disease. The sulfatrim might treat it, depending on if it is a bacteria sensitive to sulfa, but may not if it is a virus. Are you seeing any watery eyes or nasal drainage? Can you post any pictures of her or the lumps on the legs? Is she limping on the leg, or holding it up? It is swollen? The wing flapping can be her trying to balance on one leg to get around. Have you ever seen Mareks disease in your flock? I would make sure that she drinks plenty while on the antibiotic and keep her nostrils fee of mucus.
 

Wyorp Rock

nope
Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
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2 years of age, was having trouble walking 3 days ago
right leg hurts a lot, and she would rather stand on her other leg
We went to the vet yesterday and it didn't seem as bumblefoot, as there are apparent lumps in her leg (she is also shaking sometimes). Additionally, she is having trouble breathing,
It seems like she has a fever as her temperature is pretty high
She is constantly opening her beak and just like a dog gasping for air
She has not lost any appetite (she still eats with a lot of pleasure) and is drinking well. She is sometimes shaking her head,
she seems rather happy as she is lively and cleaning her feathers.
vet said that the situation is critical and that there is a chance she might pass away any time soon. She didn't know whether it was viral, bacterial or fungi related.
Hi @The Three Musketeers :frow Welcome To BYC!

Can you upload a video of her to youtube and provide us a link?
Photos of your hen and her poop may be helpful too.

I'm a bit confused with your symptoms that you have posted, can you clarify a little?
She is constantly panting, gasping for air, having difficulty walking, her leg hurts a lot and it has lumps on it.
The vet says her situation is critical and she may pass soon, but she is eating a lot with pleasure, drinking well, seems happy, is lively and cleaning her feathers.

Did they vet give you a diagnosis or more information about her condition - what she may be suffering from?
 

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