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Head Twitch, Vertigo, Green Diarrhea (Videos Included)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JessieLynn, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. JessieLynn

    JessieLynn New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2014
    Hey guys.
    So our hen is starting to show some worrying signs. She's always been a little odd since we got her as a chick but it has escalated recently. She is a one year old Welsummer who shares a coop with three other hens. For the record, she has "duck foot" meaning her hind toe kind of folds against the side of her foot. This makes her clumsy/walks like a duck and probably led to some developmental issues growing up, but it has never worried us. She also has never laid an egg.

    What does worry us:

    - Head twitch and vertigo. This has happened recently (within the past few weeks). In the videos you can see the head twitch. We haven't caught the full extent of her vertigo on camera yet, but basically she spins in a few tight circles (kind of fast) and then loses her balance. This happens almost every day, typically in the morning. We've noticed that it usually happens when she is stressed. It hasn't gotten any worse yet as far as we can tell. The head twitch is more common than the spinning.

    - Green Diarrhea. At first it wasn't too bad and we thought it would pass. But it has gotten worse. It is a muddy green color now and very liquid and mushy.

    She has a clear nose and eyes. She's still perky and her feathers have never looked better. She's drinking and eating and is still her usual dorky and active self.
    In the first video you might see some wild turkeys in the background, which caused her to begin to twitch. Her head never gets stuck in one direction, though, and she never falls onto her side or back. (At the end of the first video it may look like her neck is stuck, but she's just watching a turkey). The second video, although bad quality, also shows the head twitch and a little vertigo.

    We are thinking of giving her a little plain yogurt every day and maybe try out an epson salt bath to cure the diarrhea. Otherwise we're clueless as to how to progress with the head twitch :(

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  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Epsom salt baths will not clear up diarrhea. Have you wormed your hens lately? When you pick her ip does her breast feel boney? Is her crop emptying over night? Is she still drinking?
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    These are my thoughts- please keep in mind I am only guessing and don't know what the cause is of your chicken's problem:

    Vitamin Deficiency due to a secondary problem such as worms?
    Infection?
    Worms?

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
    diagnosis charts at bottom

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou..._poultry/vitamin_deficiencies_in_poultry.html

    Some vets will do a fecal test (just bring the poo) for worms/cocci/bacteria for a fee (call ahead) and false negatives are possible for the worm test. Anytime chickens have constant diarrhea it could be a bacterial infection needing antibiotics as well I believe.

    It is always best to check a poo sample with a vet if you can, so you don't have to guess. Giving antibiotics is a recipe for creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria if we give it when it isn't needed, so caution is good. Hence the importance of testing the poo if you can afford it.

    So if it were me I'd start by ruling out worms and offering vitamin support such as scrambled eggs or vits added to diet, and then moving on to possibly antibiotics??

    There is Mareks listed in the second diagnosis chart in the link I gave you - but I have no experience with that.

    I hope she gets well soon!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  4. JessieLynn

    JessieLynn New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2014
    Thank you for your feedback!

    Her breast does not feel boney when I hold her, but I don’t think it may be as full as the other hens. Her crop doesn’t look full in the mornings, but I’ll make sure to check and actually feel if her crop has emptied or not. She is still drinking and eating. She may be drinking a little too much?

    We have not wormed our hens, so I will check in with the avian vet or general animal vets in our area and see if they’d be able to check a fecal sample. If it is a bacterial infection, would they be able to tell from the test as well?

    We give them scrambled eggs a few times a week, and they are all given a variety of healthy foods as well including sunflower seeds, mixed wild bird feed, and mealworms. They also have access to oyster shells. All of this is in addition to their laying formula. If it is a vitamin deficiency, is the only way to really know through blood work?

    I’ll keep looking through the links you provided! None of our other chickens are showing any signs of sickness, it’s just this hen.
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    If you are willing to worm her you could try finding Safeguard in your local feed store, probably in the sheep or cattle medicines section. After worming, her stools become normal if worms are the problem.
     
  6. JessieLynn

    JessieLynn New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2014
    If they don't have worms, would this harm them in anyway? And do you have a link to how to administer it for chickens, doses, waiting period before eating eggs, etc?
     

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