Hen gasping for air


In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2016
My almost 3yr old RIR has beeb gasping for air since yesterday. She was fine in the morning and shows no other signs of respiratory problems. I’m not sure if there’s something stuck in her wind pipe or if she has a respiratory infection. She free ranges during the day with other chickens. No one else is showing any healthy problems.
She’s at an emergency vet now getting oxygen. He’s testing her poop for gape worms but he’s advocating either doing a tracheotomy or putting her down. There’s got to be other options though! Will try to post video in comments
Sorry about your chicken. Where are you located? Is there any nasal drainage, or bubbles in either eye? Gasping can be a sign of several things, such as a respiratory disease, ascites or water belly, something in the airway, or more rarely gapeworms. Is she making any noise such as stridor, an wheezy sound when breathing in and out? Is she struggling to breathe or wearing out? Has she been sneezing or rattling? Any head shaking?
Thanks for your reply. I’m having trouble uploading a video. She has no other symptoms. No drainage issues. She sounds like she’s wheezing when she breathes. The vet thought it’s when she breathes in more than out. No sneezing, rattling, or shaking her head
Hopefully, the vet is looking inside her beak and throat for a foreign body, mucus, or canker infection. Are you close to southern California where Newcastles disease outbreak has been? Has there been any past respiratory disease in your flock. A lot would depend on how bad she is in determining treatment. Many chickens will improve from infections with antibiotics or a wormer if gapeworm is a problem.
Can you look at the video in post 1 here? https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/silkie-w-possible-stridor.1218528/

Tell us if this is what you hear? That is stridor, when mucus, swelling, or something else is partially blocking the airway. Many times it will clear by itself in a few hour, just when they cough or disloge the item. If they don’t get better in a few hours, or over night, then it is probably a respiratory infection.
I’m in Florida. My chickens have never had respiratory issues before. Last week it rained A LOT. I don’t know if that had anything to do with her current condition. She doesn’t sound like that silkie. It’s more of a gasping sound like asthma. It’s constant. And she’s been gasping since I found her around 2 yesterday.

I have a video from my iPhone but when I try to upload it an error message says the video does not have “an allowed extension”
You have to upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo, then post a link here for us to see it. Some respiratory diseases are from bacteria which will respond to some antibiotics. Some are viruses which will not. Your vet may be able to give her something like Tylan or oxytetracycline that might help if she has MG. I would also worm her with fenbendazole (Safeguard Liquid Goat Wormer) 0.25 ml per pound for 5 straight days in case of gapeworm. You can find that at most feed stores or TSC.

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