Fenbendazole for 12 week pullet with gapeworm, UPDATE. Help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rachel, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. rachel

    rachel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wanted some opinions on my chosen course of action here from people with more experience in this dept.

    I have eight 12 week birds in a small pen inside my main chicken pen. This morning I noticed one of them was fluffed up, tail down, kept closing her eyes, mouth breathing and a little "coughing" every once in awhile. This sounded like classic gapeworm symptoms to me. I looked down her throat as best I could, didn't see anything abnormal but decide to treat for gape anyway. I have her in a separate hospital cage, gave her a half-bb sized bit of fenbendazole 10% paste (I estimate her weight is at about 1.5 lbs).

    In the small grow out pen she came from none of the other 7 birds are exhibiting any symptoms. I very liberally covered the ground with DE in hopes of preventing any further transmission.

    I try very hard to raise my birds as organically as possible, but recognize that sometimes you have to go with meds. I felt like treating the other birds was overkill since there were no symptoms and because they're still young (small) and fenbendazole is pretty strong stuff. Do you think this was an appropriate response?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Follow thru with the treatment... if symptoms continue it might be a reproductive issue ....
    Giving a general supplement like aviacharge 2000 to ensure against deficiencies might also be a good idea.
     
  3. rachel

    rachel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you dlhunicorn, what kind of reproductive issues would could cause these symptoms?

    Update: she seems perkier, though the "gaping" and coughing seem about the same as yesterday. She is eating and drinking.
    Assuming it is gapeworm, how long will it be before I can expect her to breathe normal again? According to another post I'm supposed to give her this .5 bb- full bb sized chunk of paste for 4 days in a row. Do I have that right?
     
  4. rachel

    rachel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update:
    Have given her the Fenbendazole 4 days in a row. She seems normal except her coughing and gaping have not gone away. She doesn't show any other symptoms (poop is normal, no nasal discharge, eyes look good etc) except a persistant dry cough/sneeze sound, head shaking and gaping. Can anyone think of anything else this could be aside from gapeworm?
     
  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    What kind of bedding material do you use? Some birds have more sensitive air sacs than others. This could be causing her issue. The head shaking is also a sign of mites/lice or perhaps intestinal parasites, as well as ear infection. You could have her stools checked by a vet for worms/cocci, etc just to be safe. If she comes back with something, you will want to treat them all, as they have all been exposed. Mite/lice inspections should be done in the dark and look at the vent area and under wings with a flashlight. You will typically catch them running if she has any.
     
  6. rachel

    rachel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm using straw. I will switch her bedding and see what that does. I'm kinda feeling now like it might be some kind of allergy-type thing since she doesn't have any other symptoms and none of the other birds she was with show any symptoms.
    I have a good microscope and am doing a fecal this afternoon according to the instructions in Chicken Health by Damerow. There was nothing out of the ordinary when I did a regular fecal check under the microscope, so I'm prepping the fecal float test now, hopefully that will tell me something.
    I'll check for mites and lice after dark.

    Thanks for your input! I'll update with what I find.
     
  7. rachel

    rachel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is now breathing normally (with her mouth closed) but she is still coughing every once in awhile. She is on grass in a tiny tractor set up for her while she's segregated. I didn't see anything remarkable in the fecal float. There was one tiny parasite thing and a really interesting piece of what I think was pollen. I didn't see any eggs, or infestation of anything. I suppose this could say as much about my sample preparing abilities as it says about my chicken.

    Any ideas about what to do next? I wormed her with the fenbendazole for 4 days, I believe that's all I'm supposed to do for no... If/when she stops coughing can I reintegrate her with the flock? Maybe I should give her an antibiotic in case it's something else? I don't want to medicate unnecessarily but I don't want her to cough forever either. Recommendations are appreciated.
     

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