Emergency: Need help with respiratory problem - chicken is getting worse

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sparklewina, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Sparklewina

    Sparklewina Out Of The Brooder

    79
    2
    43
    May 8, 2012
    Red Bluff, Ca
    I have an adult hen, at least 3 years old, who has been having increasingly worse respiratory distress for several days.

    - I noticed her mouth gaping open when she breathed but she was otherwise behaving normally. No visible evidence of gapeworm so I treated with Duramycin-10 which she has been on for 3 days (dissolved in her water which she is drinking ample amounts of).
    - She seemed to get better and started vocalizing again, but her voice was hoarse. I came home today and she was gaping again so I bathed her and examined her.
    - No sign of external mites in her or any of my other chickens but I noticed that after her bath and being handled her breathing was much worse.
    - Her tail is bobbing, her breathing is audible.
    - She has no nasal crust, swelling or discharge
    - She has no eye symptoms
    - She is not coughing or sneezing
    - I cannot see anything in her mouth/throat.
    - Her appetite is good and her poop is normal.

    I am leaning toward the diagosis of air sac mites. I have injectible ivermectin on hand and am not sure if that is appropriate treatment or if it is how to administer it. Please advise.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,966
    4,220
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Do you mean air sacculitis? That is a complication of a respiratory disease with a secondary infection. Aspergillosis might also be a possibility, and is caused by mold in the environment. Symptoms are silent gasping, and increased thirst. Bathing a sick chicken is very stressful, and I wouldn't recommend it. If the Duramycin doesn't help, Tylan 50 injectable given as a shot or given orally mayy help. Testing her may help tell what you are seeing. I've never heard of air sac mites.
     
  3. Sparklewina

    Sparklewina Out Of The Brooder

    79
    2
    43
    May 8, 2012
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Here's a brief description of air sac mites. They effect domestic birds like parrots and finches more commonly than chickens. I'm aware of them because I have a parrot (though have never had any problems with air sac mites before and my chicken is not directly exposed to my parrot): http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/air_sac_mite/overview_of_air_sac_mite_in_poultry.html

    This chicken loves baths. She was feral when I found her and she had scaly leg mites so I debrided and washed her feet often early on when she came into my care. Since then she seems to enjoy them. She wasn't flapping around or moving much, just hanging out in the warm water. I have read that even calm, brief handling can exacerbate air sac mite symptoms which is one reason I was favoring that diagnosis.

    I just got back from the store to get some Tylan and she is gaping much less.

    Can you tell me about testing? Planning on calling my vet in the morning but I don't think they handle chickens.

    What dose would you suggest and what route? She's a RIR, probably about 7 or 8 lbs.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,966
    4,220
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by