First gaping (gapeworm?) then yellow nasal discharge now spluttering & wheezing & 1 now not eating-p

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chelsea876, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Chelsea876

    Chelsea876 New Egg

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    Hi everyone, I just joined & jumped straight to asking a question as I am kind of panicking about 1 of my little chooks...appreciate advice asap pls!!

    I have 2 Sussex, 1 bantam & 1 Frizzle, all about 16-17 weeks old. All but the Frizzle I bought from a rural produce store as approx. 8 wk old chicks. I highly doubt they were ever vaccinated. Frizzle came from another rural produce store/from a exotic chicken breeder. Possibly vaccinated as she is the only 1 who isn't sick.

    Problem/medical issue: The 3 Sussex/bantams started gaping first on a regular basis, about 2-3 weeks ago. I looked up what it meant and I read gapeworm so I wormed them with Avitrol as per directions on bottle which is 12 drops in 20 ml water. As obviously 20 ml isn't enf for 4 chooks (hot weather too) I repeated that measurement until sufficient supply was made up...I assume that wasn't overdosing?! I don't know how much any of them drank. I read some birds avoid drinking if wtr tastes off so just in case I syringed a small amnt down each of their throats. This was 3 days ago. No sign of worms til today-1 in poo, white, abt 2-3in long...gape or tapeworm? Some people online say to fast them for 24 hrs first (why?? as the but the bottle doesn't say that), the store clerk thought I should follow btl directions & I wntd to just get it done asap so I did per bottle instructions. I cnange bedding regularly & clean up poop daily. They have had 2 acres of land to freerange on til today, perhaps with so many bugs & worms they got infected?

    All chooks but sickest one (Henny Penny, will get to her symptoms shortly) have stopped gaping I think.

    Then they all (3) got yellow nasal discharge which blocked their nostrils and made them wheez, otherwise bright alert running around eating & drinking.
    Then Henny Penny's discharge turned clear yesterday but she is gargling sneezing, shaking her head wheezing...and this morning after 15 hrs with no food isn't eating. She is isolated as of last night, I am an idiot for not isolating her sooner.

    Antibiotics aren't available to buy from a vet or rural produce store here (Townsville N Qld Australia), the only option I found is to try one off ebay, at $100+. My vet said there isn't anything u can do.


    HP is one of my favorites, I will be very upset if she were to die. Please advise !!
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Welcome to BYC.
    Avitrol contains levamisol and praziquantel. Praziquantel kills tapeworms and levamisole takes care of other types of worms. By your description, it sounds like your bird excreted a large roundworm, not gapeworm nor tapeworm. Gapeworm are rare in chickens. They are red in color, "Y" shaped and 1cm to 2cm long. Tapeworms are flat and segmented but can be stringy like jellyfish tentacles. You will also see tapeworm rice like segments in feces. The reason that it's recommended to withhold feed for 24 hours prior to worming is that it starves worms of nutrients causing weakness. Then when a wormer is introduced, it makes the wormer more effective and deadly against the worms.
    In hot temperatures birds are more likely to drink treated water than in coooler or colder temperatures. The problem is that you dont know if your birds drank enough of the treated water to be effective. Also, sick birds wont drink or dont drink enough anyway. This is why it's always best to administer wormers or medications orally, that way you know they got properly dosed with no guesswork about it.
    Worms weaken the birds immune system making them vunerable to respiratory diseases and fungal issues. I suspect that's what possibly happened in your case or you unknowingly introduced a carrier bird into your existing flock. Your vet is correct. He or she knows that antibiotics will eventually cause bacterial resistance to that particular antibiotic requiring another more powerful antibiotic to treat whatever respiratory disease is involved in your birds. There would be no end to treatment. antibiotics may relieve symptoms for a short period of time, but stress will cause relapse. Also, most antibiotics require an egg withdrawal period and slaughter withdrawal period; meaning that you would have to toss eggs in the garbage until the withdrawal period expires. Surviving birds remain carriers for life and will spread the disease throughout your flock. Some diseases are passed through eggs and virtually all types of respiratory diseases can be transmitted via clothing, shoes, your hands, feeders/waterers, etc etc etc....Your other option is to cull sick birds, disinfect everything, repopulate in about 6 months. Also practice biosecurity.
     
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Welcome to BYC! @Fancychooklady lives in AU and might have some antibiotic suggestions for you.

    -Kathy
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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  5. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    Hi there. Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time. This is the website I use for poultry meds. They are punctual and helpful. If you have any doxycycline in your medicine cabinet they will help with upper respiratory symptoms but as Dawg 53 has said, symptoms will usually reoccur.
    I feel that you may be under dosing with the avitrol but @casportpony is great with measures and doses so perhaps she can help you there.
    Do come and introduce yourself on the Aussie thread. :)

    [​IMG]


    http://www.littlevalleypoultry.com/poultry-medications/oxymav
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  6. Chelsea876

    Chelsea876 New Egg

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    Hi, thank you very much to everyone who replied. I am relieved to report Henny Penny is much better today, she is no longer gurgling or wheezing, her nostrils aren't blocked, and she is eating and drinking. But she is still occasionally gaping and sneezing. I managed to find some Sulpha 3 (so for now not worried about getting them some more meds) which I began administering to them all last night, in their water. I syringed 1-2 ml down HP's throat, last night and again this morning. I doubt it made a difference to her that fast but I'm just glad she looks better. I did see what looked like tiny white worm segments in her or another chooks (forget now) poop too.

    With Avitrol wormer, FancyChookLady you say I may have UNDERdosed them, do you know would it OVERdose them to give them it again (this time orally) only a 4 days later when the bottle says to repeat in 2 weeks? Also they all are now getting Sulph 3 in their water for the next 7 days so is it not good to give them 2 types of drugs at the same time? I was thinking to worm them again in a week as soon as the Sulph 3 is done which would be 9-11 days from the first worm dose...but still less than 14 days.

    One of the cockerals today has a blocked nose again and I saw him sit back on his hocks with his feet forward and the toes curled...that cant be good! I think I read that could be coryza.or was it coxydiosis? With all their symptoms it seems it could mean any number of diseases. Or can it also be a stress response?, he is isloated as of this morning in a guinea pig hutch on the floor of the big shed and he's not happy. The other cockerel looks fine, as does my Frizzle. Today they are all individually separated, which as a pain in the backside/time consuming as it is, I am considering doing for awhile but is it even worth it as they all lived together til recently..?? My Frizzle Ruby and my Sussex Henny Penny (the 2 hens) are the most important ones to me to stay healthy.

    In a nutshell, it is obvious they have some disease, as you said Dawg53 they are now carriers and can and will transmit it to other chickens...so this means that although my Frizzle looks healthy she has whatever the rest have? So there is no point in separating them now?, as they have all lived together in the same coop (well a divided coop, just wire dividing each half, separated nesting box on each side) and they shared a large pen and free ranged together up to a day or two ago. Maybe I'm in denial re Ruby (Frizzle) having whatever the others have...[​IMG]

    I cannot bring myself to cull them (or ask anyone else to), even the roosters, (unless any of them deteriated/looked like they were suffering), these chooks were bought to be pets/are tame, handled daily etc. I was going to try to rehome one or both of the cockerals but now I know they have some disease that wouldn't be the right thing to do...I am rather exasperated! Really didn't want roosters, should not have bought such young chicks, I just couldn't resist, they were so cute...but lesson learned!

    Also I want to get some more hens in a month or two, to rescue from a local battery farm...they will be vaccinated I assume being from a commercial flock, will they still catch a disease from my chooks? Although by the time they are considered "disposable" [​IMG] at just 1 year of age THEIR health has deteriated immensely (which is why they lay less/are no longer considered "productive"). Also as battery hens are quickly in terrible condition with assumably weakened immune systems I suppose they would likely catch whatever my chooks have? Or have diseases already of their own. I could house them in a separate coop and pen, far apart if that is the safest option, we will be on 7 acres in a month's time. (They do recover nicely given time and tlc (tender loving care) though).

    Re disinfecting coops- Does anyone here use Virkon to disinfect coops? (Not sure if it's called that in the U.S., it's a powerful germ killer typically used in dog kennel environments to kill Parvo virus). If I sprayed the coops and pen sides (wire, steel posts and wooden posts)? and ground inside the pen??? would that kill any disease in those areas? Or would spraying the ground poison the chooks?/bugs that the chooks would later eat realistic possibility. How long would I need to leave the chooks out of the coops/pens after applying Virkon/similar?

    Also as we are moving soon to a new bigger acreage property where there was chooks and is a chook house and pen, should I disinfect that area automatically or is there no point as my chooks are already diseased? What about if I use that coop and pen for the battery hens (or ducks/geese? -another thought).

    What are your thoughts on using vinegar instead of Virkon / a chemical? I know vinegar has great antiseptic and germ killing properties, and someone at one of the rural produce stores I shop at said I could scrub the coop down with vinegar to kill the chook diseases. I would way rather avoid chemicals if I can. But is it really possible to get rid of viruses in wood? The coop floors are wooden.

    Last question -(probably best to FancyChookLady as you are here in Australia)...do you know what the little sand colored bugs are that have infested both bags of chook food and recently their bag of rice hull bedding as well...they are very small, roundish body, they dont jump just crawl, only vinegar kills them immediately. Also one of the bags has what has been identified as lemon mites all over the outside of the bag. I wish I knew what the bugs in the feed were (grain mites maybe?, don't think they are all lemon mites as the lemon mites are like a thick powdery surface not crawling around). Main concern is they will get all over the chooks I assume and are they bad for them to ingest? I have lice treated the chooks and liberally coated the coops with lice pwdr every few weeks. Townsville is very hot and humid in the summer (now), the feed and bedding was stored in a room separate from the house, concrete floor/brick walls, 1 small window. Didn't think it got humid in there, but man at feed store said lemon mites come with humidity. Not sure where to store the feed and bedding now where the humidity wont get into it, cant find a sealed bin to store it in. Anybody here that lives in Townsville/North Qld by any chance?

    Thank you again everyone for your thoughts, I will go to the Introductions section soon and introduce myself officially. [​IMG] ( I don't know what "cd" means with this chook icon, but had to pick it cuz it's so cute!)
     
  7. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    That's very responsible of you to realize that your chooks should stay put. It's known as a ' closed flock ' technically it means ' no birds in , no birds out .' I would personally pass on the rescue hens, but I guess that's a decision for you.
    I use Virkon , just leave it long enough to dry before you let the birds back in the coop. Virkon is used in hospitals.it is said to be the only product effective against marecks. I spray all of the coops and all my pet carrier cages with it as you can never be too careful.
    As for the weevils or what ever it is on the feed bags, as long as it isn't northern red fowl mite, it should just add a little protein to the feed.
    Dusting your coop too often can leave your birds more susceptible to upper respiratory problems. Even poor ventilation mixed with excess ammonia rising from droppings can lead to the same problems. I no longer use pestine as it contains rotenone , it has been linked to Parkinson's disease. There are several pyrethrum poultry products on the market. I have just started using spinosad, ( marketed here as Success ) as a premise spray. Happy with the results so far.
    Another good poultry site here in Aus is ' Planet poultry ' . The little valley link I gave you does sell Virkon also.
    You can only do your best and nobody begrudges you loving your pets. :)

    http://www.neogen.com/animalsafety/pdf/ProdInfo/Tech_Bulletins/VirkonS.pdf

    http://www.mapress.com/zoosymposia/content/2011/v6/f/v006p282-287.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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  9. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    Yep that's the one available here. There own vet recommends 4ml per kilo of bird or the entire bottle in 1 litre of drinking water and I suspect that the 12 drops given wouldn't equate to 4 ml. I guess it depends on the size of dropper. That's where you come in. ;)
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Off the top of my head I remember seeing that the praziquantel dose for chickens is 7-10mg/kg. Still have to look up the other one and do a little math. But I agree, 12 drops aren't gonna be close to 4ml. :D

    -Kathy
     

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