Help please! Pullet wheezing

allebasi4

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2020
50
45
43
Northern California
I have a 12 week pullet who I noticed is wheezing today, so I think she's only been like this for a day or so. It has been very cold and wet for our area the past week or so. I just put down straw a couple days ago that was super dusty so I'm hoping that didn't cause this. Her breathing is awfully noisy on in and out breaths... sort of like a honking noise and when she gets worked up she makes sort of a high pitched "heehaww". I also noticed her sneezing and she's breathing with her beak slightly open. Her eyes and nostrils look clear. I went and bought some VetRX today and just administered it, but I'm wondering if I should just go ahead and give her antibiotics, and if so where do I find them and what kind? I'm super new to chicken illnesses. Do you also suggest I bring her inside? I don't want to stress her out too much cause it seems like she struggles when she's stressed.
I'm super worried as I don't want the others potentially catching what she has, and I just had an older hen suddenly die the other day, from what I thought was a heart attack. I didn't notice the hen that passed away having any respiratory issues like this pullet is having.

I have a video of her/the noise here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ajyui2n7x5kjrr/IMG_3962.MOV?dl=0

Any advice is welcome & needed. thank you!
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
22,653
90,692
1,101
Iowa
Looking at the video, I would say it's possible your bird inhaled something into her trachea. Also, know as "Stridor", this often happens when the bird inhales feed dust, treats, or often birds seeds, once it gets into the glottis, it can get stuck midway through the trachea, or move down to the syrinx which can cause a quick onset in some very funk sounding noises, and increased dyspnea.

Sometimes you may have swelling in the trachea due to trauma, or fungal spores that can colonize the trachea/ thus partially blocking it, restricting air flow. Both of which can cause honky/squeaks, and increased respiration.

With the cases I've dealt with, it's resolved by itself, but there are plenty of occasions where the seed is wedged enough in the trachea, that the only resolution is surgery done by a vet. Sadly, at home, there is little you can do for tracheal obstruction.

If you can see a vet, that might be good, if the problem doesn't resolve, but in the meantime ensure she is eating/drinking well. Don't feed her anything she may get stuck in her throat easily, like millet seed. Ensure her coop, and run area is free of dust, and there is no chance of mold/fungus growing in the coop.

Misuse of antibiotics in cases like this where there not actually needed can further worsen the problem, and lead to fungal infection.
 

allebasi4

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2020
50
45
43
Northern California
Looking at the video, I would say it's possible your bird inhaled something into her trachea. Also, know as "Stridor", this often happens when the bird inhales feed dust, treats, or often birds seeds, once it gets into the glottis, it can get stuck midway through the trachea, or move down to the syrinx which can cause a quick onset in some very funk sounding noises, and increased dyspnea.

Sometimes you may have swelling in the trachea due to trauma, or fungal spores that can colonize the trachea/ thus partially blocking it, restricting air flow. Both of which can cause honky/squeaks, and increased respiration.

With the cases I've dealt with, it's resolved by itself, but there are plenty of occasions where the seed is wedged enough in the trachea, that the only resolution is surgery done by a vet. Sadly, at home, there is little you can do for tracheal obstruction.

If you can see a vet, that might be good, if the problem doesn't resolve, but in the meantime ensure she is eating/drinking well. Don't feed her anything she may get stuck in her throat easily, like millet seed. Ensure her coop, and run area is free of dust, and there is no chance of mold/fungus growing in the coop.

Misuse of antibiotics in cases like this where there not actually needed can further worsen the problem, and lead to fungal infection.
Thanks so much for the reply. I just went down and checked on her and as of this morning she isn’t making those crazy sounds anymore, so hopefully she just had something stuck that she was able to pass. It did sound like she was breathing through a pen cap or train whistle or something aha.
But they can grow fungus in their trachea? Yikes. It has been wet here and I noticed poop and dropped feed was molding over, so that’s definitely a possibility but I hope not.. I’m going to do a double run over the coop/run to get rid of any moldy poops today
We’ll see what happens when I let them out and she gets excited.
thanks again
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
22,653
90,692
1,101
Iowa
I'm glad to hear she's not making the sound anymore. Since she did recover so fast, it's likely she had some sort of object in her trachea. Usually, with immunocompromised birds, but, yes, if they inhale fungal spores, the spores can actually start to cultivate inside the lungs and trachea.
 

allebasi4

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2020
50
45
43
Northern California
I'm glad to hear she's not making the sound anymore. Since she did recover so fast, it's likely she had some sort of object in her trachea. Usually, with immunocompromised birds, but, yes, if they inhale fungal spores, the spores can actually start to cultivate inside the lungs and trachea.
Well, I went down and hung out with them for about an hour.. as I suspected the sound came back occasionally when she was outside running around, mostly when she was dust bathing. Good news is is that she’s making the sound much less, and when she does it’s quieter, and she’s not mouth breathing or sneezing much that I’ve noticed but the meh news is that I can still hear her breathing when I get close.. it sort of sounds like a light snore or whistle. I gave her another round of VetRX and I’m going to keep my eye on her & maybe bring her in tonight... I’m not really sure what else I can do.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
22,653
90,692
1,101
Iowa
If there is something lodged in her trachea, there is little you can do at home. Sometimes it can take a while for the wheezing to subside, hopefully, in a day or two you'll see full improvement, but it's good it's subsiding.

You'll likely notice the noise more when she's expending more energy into things, where her respiration rate is higher such as running or dust bathing.
 

allebasi4

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2020
50
45
43
Northern California
It’s almost been a week since I first noticed and while she seems better than she was the day of the first video, she’s definitely still quietly wheezing and sneezing (coughing? I can’t tell). When she’s relaxed she’s quieter but she’ll occasionally run around then have “fits” of stretched neck breathing & sneezing. She’s also still slight open mouth breathing when she’s relaxed & I can tell that it’s harder for her to breathe cause I can see her throat expanding & her butt fluff moving a lot more than normal. She’s still eating/drinking well & I’ve continued to give her VetRX and I’ve been putting NutriDrench in their water. The rest of the flock doesn’t seem to be showing symptoms, yet, other than the normal occasional sneeze. I do have some antibiotics on hand (Amoxietx) so I’m wondering if I should go ahead and just try that or wait and see a bit longer... I’m stumped :/
 
Last edited:

allebasi4

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2020
50
45
43
Northern California
If there is something lodged in her trachea, there is little you can do at home. Sometimes it can take a while for the wheezing to subside, hopefully, in a day or two you'll see full improvement, but it's good it's subsiding.

You'll likely notice the noise more when she's expending more energy into things, where her respiration rate is higher such as running or dust bathing.
Here she is today... still labored breathing and some sneezing
https://www.dropbox.com/s/izi4hby1gmrrkmq/IMG_3988.MOV?dl=0

I put my ear to her back/chest and tried to listen to her lungs, but I couldn't hear anything remarkable until I got up towards her neck
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
22,653
90,692
1,101
Iowa
Others may suggest differently but in most cases, conjectured use of antibiotics in cases of only dyspnea, and no other symptoms like nasal/oculur discharge are contradicted due to the subsequent susceptible environment of the respiratory system which may allow the growth of fungi like Aspergillus to flourish, and make the problem severely worse. Before antibiotic use, a culture taken from the trachea to identify if bacteria is a concern would be a safer route to take.

1606522824981.png


The abnormal sounds your hen is making is suggestive that there is something blocking, and interfering with her breathing, and her syrinx from producing sounds. Whether that be inflammation in the trachea, fungal spores growing inside, or a piece of material in the trachea it's impossible to tell without diagnostic procedures. If I were to guess, I would have to go with the material in her trachea, as it's likely her condition would be worsening with a bacterial, or fungal problem not getting better.

There is not much anyone can suggest over the internet, so if she continues to do the sounds, a vet would be your best bet.

https://www.metzerfarms.com/Veterinarians.cfm?CustID=27535705
 

allebasi4

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2020
50
45
43
Northern California
Others may suggest differently but in most cases, conjectured use of antibiotics in cases of only dyspnea, and no other symptoms like nasal/oculur discharge are contradicted due to the subsequent susceptible environment of the respiratory system which may allow the growth of fungi like Aspergillus to flourish, and make the problem severely worse. Before antibiotic use, a culture taken from the trachea to identify if bacteria is a concern would be a safer route to take.

View attachment 2427716

The abnormal sounds your hen is making is suggestive that there is something blocking, and interfering with her breathing, and her syrinx from producing sounds. Whether that be inflammation in the trachea, fungal spores growing inside, or a piece of material in the trachea it's impossible to tell without diagnostic procedures. If I were to guess, I would have to go with the material in her trachea, as it's likely her condition would be worsening with a bacterial, or fungal problem not getting better.

There is not much anyone can suggest over the internet, so if she continues to do the sounds, a vet would be your best bet.

https://www.metzerfarms.com/Veterinarians.cfm?CustID=27535705
Ok thank you so much, and that’s exactly what I was wondering. I’ll hold off on the antibiotics in that case.
I appreciate the list as well.. I wasn’t really sure where to start with looking for a chicken vet but sure enough there’s one fairly close.
cheers
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom