Hen ill, holding eyes closed, must hand-feed....need guru help! (Long post)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kerrichka, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Kerrichka

    Kerrichka Out Of The Brooder

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    OK BYC Gurus! HELP! I cannot seem to find anything online that has the same symptoms that my SLW has. She has been looking rather ratty for a couple months but I assumed she didn't quite molt like the rest of the flock had and was just waiting for her plumage to shape up. However, that's not the case. Here's the rundown:

    She is just under 4 years old. About 10 days ago I when I let her and her flock out of their chicken house, she was walking into the fence that surrounds their outside area. I realized her eyes were closed, so she couldn't see. It was easy for me to pick her up and quarantine her inside my house. I noticed she had lost a lot of weight.

    I opened her eye lids to make sure she still had eye balls (she does). Her lids seemed a little puffy. While I was looking into the lid that seemed most swollen, there was a fibrous mass (about the size of a large pea), that sort of popped out. It was white with some red. Looked like a tumor, and didn't noticeably look parasitic or anything. The other eye didn't have this 'thing', but she hold is closed anyway. Without having done any research at that point, I thought it made sense to treat her eyes with antibiotics, thinking maybe she had some sort of eye infection. The only thing I had was triple antibiotic ointment (all the stores were out of terramycin, which I do now have).

    Also, I immediately wetted down some of her pellets and made a thin mash and fed her some by mouth with a syringe.

    She would (and still does) just sit in her cage without moving around at all. After a day or two, I noticed she was opening her eyes for a bit longer and I saw her take a couple steps, but she still wasn't eating or drinking on her own. So I thought she was on the upswing. But that's as good as it got.

    I stepped up the feeding by measuring 2 ounces of food in the morning and 2 at night. I wet this down with water (at least 1/2 cup per feeding) and this is how she has been eating.

    I also figured that if she had some sort of eye thing, maybe it was connected with upper respiratory issues and it might be wise to cover my bases and give antibiotics in water for a week. We have just finished a week of Duramycin and she hasn't improved. She hasn't opened up her eyes very much at all and just sits on her perch (if I put her there) or on the floor (where poop builds up underneath her).

    Having said all this, her poop looks rather normal. It might be a little watery because I have been making sure she has plenty, but there's plenty of fibrous mass (presumably from the pellets). It is not foul smelling or strange colored, etc.

    I took her temp yesterday morning and it was 106.4. It seems there is conflicting opinions out there as to what normal hen temp should be. So I don't know if this temp is good or bad. She breathes normally, doesn't have any puss, foam, etc., coming from her eyes, nose or mouth, doesn't make any funny noises or movements. She sits just a bit puffed up, that's all.....all day long. The hens have been out of lay for the winter months so I don't think that a stuck egg is a problem. When I took her temp, I did notice that her vent is VERY tiny. It looks normal otherwise...but not the normal fleshy larger look of my other hens.

    Now my next theory is maybe there are internal parasites. I realize that medicating a very sick chicken for worms might be harmful. However, she will die anyway if I don't figure something out. Taking her to the vet, and shelling out dollars for testings, etc, isn't something that is an option at this time.

    Oh yes, she originally weighed 3 pounds 8.5 ounces when I first quarantined her and now she's 3 pounds 12 ounces. So she's gained a little.

    My thumb feels about ready to fall off with the syringe feedings, but it's the quickest, cleanest way to get her fed before I go to work and after I get home. Do I need to keep going on with this until she puts on more weight before I try worming? Or if she has worms, are the worms thanking me because I'm putting more nutrition down her and should I try to get rid of them asap?

    Sorry if this is hard to follow. I'm trying to remember everything I did and add my questions in the mix.

    If anyone has any opinions or input on what I should do, please let me know!!! I don't want to cull my girl, and as she doesn't seem to be in any pain, I think it's reasonable to try and save her. If I don't hear anything soon, I think I'll give her some piperazine and see how that goes.

    Thanks for any help!!!
     
  2. Kerrichka

    Kerrichka Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Here are two pics of my girl.
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    I hope someone has an idea. Maybe try some antibiotics?
     
  4. JakRat

    JakRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Dover
    That is odd!

    I am not sure what to think about the eyes. I hope that someone can chime in!!!

    I did find this link.

    Did you save that pea sized thing to take a picture of?


    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps031

    Its a scary link, but it might just be an eye infection.
     
  5. charsbird

    charsbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She does look awful. Looks like her ear is swollen also?(underneath the little ear feathers)
     
  6. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    I've recently seen on here that you should NOT use antibiotic ointment on the eyes and that it my cause a secondary infection. I would use the following on the eyes and personally - I'd be giving a 3-4 day round of penicillin IM injections.

    From dawg53: If you suspect something is in her eye, liberally flush with saline solution. It is recommended to use terramycin eye ointment for bacterial infections of the eye.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kerrichka

    Kerrichka Out Of The Brooder

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    I neglected to say that we have flushed her eyes with saline a couple times. She continues to gain weight, which is good. Last night she weighed in at 3 lbs 13 ounces. That's a gain of 4.5 ounces in the past week. I can only assume that is good. We now have Terramycin, but I decided to hold off, thinking maybe the previous antibiotic was causing irritation (?). I wormed her a couple days ago, with Piperazine (Wazine), and she seems to be acting exactly the same as before.

    Someone mentioned penicillin injections? I wonder if that would cure a variety of illnesses, and also wonder if it would cause a system overload? However, if she doesn't improve, she will end up dying, so that might eventually be an option. It's encouraging that she's not getting any worse. I thought it made sense to start with the worming first, to see if that might be the source of her problem. I don't know how long to wait for improvement before moving on to the next step.

    By the way, she has never been scratching her eyes or acting like they bother her. She just holds them closed. I like to say that she 'looks like how I feel when I have the flu'......just no energy, would rather just sleep all day and not move. I know this isn't normal and am unsure how long to let her be this way before making a big move, like penicillin injections.

    Thanks for your postings and maybe someone else will chime in here also.

    :)
     
  8. Kerrichka

    Kerrichka Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, nobody really seems to be able to help me out with info, but in case anyone finds this thread and is interested in what's going on, here's my progress:

    It has been 2 days shy of three weeks since I quarantined my chicken. I've been feeding her twice a day, 2 ounces of pellets which have been wetted down with quite a bit of water and yogurt...thing enough to get into a syringe.

    After the above mentioned treatments, I gave her a 4 day run of penicillin injections into her breast area. I have left her eyes alone for the moment, in case this can be taken care of systemically. She has gained just over 6 ounces. She seems a bit more feisty (in that if she doesn't want to be moved, or is DONE eating, she is more able to thrash her head away, etc.) I take this as a good thing.

    She still just sits all day with her eyes closed, for the most part. If she hears noise or when I'm talking to her she will open her eyes for a few seconds, cluck quietly, then close them again. She doesn't seem to be uncomfortable, in pain, she not having any breathing issues,etc., so I guess I'll just keep on feeding her as long as I can until something happens.

    I have tried to look into her eyes several times to see if there's something in there. They are a tiny bit watery, and look pretty droopy, but there is certainly nothing obvious.

    I have started to put electrolytes in her mashed food (pedialyte) to see if we can get some energy going.

    After a couple more days, when she's had a rest from the penicillin, I may start some tobramycin in her eyes...but this is a two person job so I'll need to recruit the help of someone else around here to help me in my quest to get this chicken well again.

    That's about it for now. I figure if she's not getting worse, then that's a good thing.
     
  9. Jessie66

    Jessie66 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    Prince George, BC
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/629803/day-9-of-hen-mystery-illness

    My hen had what sounds alot like your hen, minus the eye mass. My link is above. I tried everything and lastly gave her 0.25 ml of fenbendazole (Safeguard or Panacur). Within 4 - 6 hours she perked up and started eating on her own. Fenbendazole is a dewormer (used mainly on goats and dogs) I gave her 0.25 ml orally because mine is a tiny banty, you can give up to 1.0 ml for a standard size chicken. Maybe give this a try? Hope things turn around for her.
     
  10. charsbird

    charsbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you looked in her ears? In the 2nd pic it looks yellowish around the ear tufts.
     

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