Hen shaking head excessive thirst UPDATE - IT WAS CANKER NOT WORMS

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 2greenboyz, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.) Black sex link, 3 yo, feels lighter than others, heavy at tail end, keel is getting sharper
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. Drinking constantly, shaking head, gaping, watery loose stools, closing eyes, seems like it is hard to swallow, drools into feeder
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Ever since I got her 2 1/2 years ago - just the drinking part (but off and on with that)
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. no
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Nothing, except she came from what I now know to be a disreptuble store that allowed wild birds to comingle and share food. She and rest of flock developed coryza (?) respiratory and I finally successfully treated them - all four. I returned two to store at that time.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Water, water water. Laying crumbles, egg (cooked) yogurt, ACV in water,
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Loose, watery. Did see one of hers that was well formed because I have a pen with a lid, she is the only one to jump up there and left her calling card which looked normal. Had to trim some feathers from vent due to soiling.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Wormed all with Wazine in January
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? I'm trying to get her over this, can't afford vet. I have several worming meds (Iver, Safeguard, Valbazen, Wazine), hesitant to just go hog wild without knowing what to treat for.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. She really appears normal when she thinks I'm watching her, except for head shaking and trying to swallow.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use Converted old storage shed (metal), has shelving with ramp to top. Bedding is pine shavings cleaned of poop daily, so no ammonia build up at all.


    She had been a great layer up til just maybe two weeks ago, laying every day often for two weeks straight no break! Then suddenly she got sporadic, then stopped. Right now I think she is brooding the fake eggs. She seems to have become an internal layer, as her rear end feels spongy and slightly swollen, but not warm. Last egg was March 26. I have one other chicken (1 yo) and 3 chicks (separated) but this all started before I got the chicks. I had an older hen who I put down early Feb, she was 12 yo - a rescue. She came up lame one morning and it seemed to get worse until she quit eating / drinking. But this problem with the black sex link has me stumped. There does not seem to be any exudates from nostrils or mouth, no foaming orally, or eyes, or poop. She does gurgle a little sometimes, but not all the time. It seems like a chronic disease but has suddenly gotten worse. She does eat some, but not enough. She loves the meal worms, but won't eat the scratch I offer as a treat. Any ideas on what could be going on would sure be appreciated at this point b/c once she goes into huddle mode and stops eating/drinking, I hate to think - but she's not quite there yet. Everyone always says "worms", but after using Wazine, oh, the run is dirt they don't free range b/c of the trees drop too much debris then they get mites - plus they'll destroy my garden. Anyway, they do get greens, lettuce, cabbage almost daily. Sorry its a little disjointed - trying to think of everything here. Tried to look down throat - don't see anything unusual and no smell to her breath. Anything I didn't think of? Any ideas anyone? This is Southern California, if that makes a diff. I offerered her some chick starter, medicated, and she seemed to enjoy that and her poop firmed up (that was the one I found on top of the pen), but don't know if that really helped her as far as what is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  2. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's finished incubating the dummy eggs now, out walking around seems fine - for now. Does anybody think I should give her Valbazen? Really need an answer before she continues her slide down. I want to start her on something. Is Valbazen hard on them? I read Ivermectin is real touchy to get the right amount so I'm hesitant to use that. Does it even sound like worms?
     
  3. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I'll update anyway. Didn't want to wait another day, she is getting scrawny but still has energy, I just dosed her with Valbazen, we'll see in a few hours or days one way or t'other. I heard black sex links don't live very long anyway. I hope she improves. The most loving chicken I ever had, she loves cuddles. and mealworms.
     
  4. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    I'm sorry there hasn't been any more specific guidance given, I will do the best I can to help w. my limited chicken knowledge- at the very least, you'll know someone is reading your post and pulling for your little hen!

    It's normal for her to stop laying if she's setting eggs, fake or not. Broody hens also lose a lot of weight but it sounds like your girl was thin before she started brooding.

    I'm wondering if she's eating mostly treats, like lettuce, and ignoring the layer food which should be the staple of her diet... when you say "drools into the feeder" do you mean spit coming out of her mouth or could it be draining from her nostrils when she bends over?
     
  5. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much - actually I had given up on anyone caring, you give me encouragement.

    She's not the broody type - she will go in and set for a while but if she hears me outside she's gotta supervise! I was observing and she would go over and look and the food and act like she was eating, but not actually eat it. She did eat some of the medicated chick starter (I just got three 8 wk old chicks - they are in another pen).

    She does love treats - I give them chopped up cucumber, lettuce (romaine), sometimes melon in season, a tiny bit of bread with greek yogurt (no sugar added) and ground flax, calcium diphosphate, small amt of vitamins, and lately with egg cooked up - the left over eggs from when I used Wazine. They get that about every other day. They don't get scratch until the very end of the day and then very little, but she has been ignoring it. However, she cleaned up the meal worms lol. Silly girl.

    On the drooling, I cleaned the feeder and found wet spots so I know to watch for that. When I picked her up the other day she did drool, out of her mouth (crop). (No, didn't push on her crop) I felt her crop and it was squishy, like just water in it and sandy/gritty feeling. So I know she wasn't eating, I have felt them at the end of the day and I know what a well-fed bird feels like. She would also shake her head violently so hard that her whole body shook, like a dog shaking off water after a bath. She seemed to be scratching with her foot underneath her chin, and she seemed to be having trouble swallowing, nodding the head some as if to work it down. Been like this for some time but lately gotten much worse.

    She is still with us. As I said I dosed her yesterday and at the end of the day she was actually eating scratch - good sign. This morn, she was hesitant to come down and finally slowly did, stood at the bottom for a while, shook her head, did the scratch thing on her chin, and went over later to the pellets and she was eating. But I haven't had a chance to really observe a lot yet. Not getting my hopes up just yet but.....I am seeing signs of improvement. She has had watery droppings that look a little better than the ones I've seen. Guess I'm looking for glimmers of hope, gotta give the medicine time to work I know.

    I'm just wonderin if worms cause all these kinds of symptoms. The first thing they do when you go to a vet is do a fecal sample for worms - even on indoor birds which I do have. So, maybe that's the problem? I dunno. Someone told me worming them is hard on them - again I dunno. Wish I had all the answers :) Thanks again for your reply and help. I'll keep you updated on her progress and if she's improved in 10 days she gets another dose!
     
  6. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Hmm, it's really not sounding like worms to me. Do you think she might have a sour crop or a fungal infection in there?
     
  7. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried to smell her breath - don't detect anything. She did eat some this morning and her poop is not normal - it's watery all one color - army green sort of. Not bright green, dull green. Splat! Her crop feels a little more solid than yesterday. When I looked into her mouth, didn't see anything unusual. What are symptoms of fungal? The excessive drinking has been going on for a long, long time and I have looked and looked. No one mentions that. Confusing.
     
  8. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Hmm... it's not a ringer for anything specific yet, but I'll keep thinking. Here's a page on the fungal stuff I was thinking-http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/disfungi.htm
    I've got some coryza survivors in my flock and they seem a little more sensitive to conditions than my
     
  9. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I read the page you sent, thanks. I have so few birds it is pretty easy to keep things cleaned up and their food is never moldy. I clean their roost daily as there is no perch so they just sit in the pine shavings. Oh, one thing, she is the only one I've ever had who eats pine shavings. When I clean it out from the night before she has to come up and supervise me, and begins eating the shavings. I've read that other birds do this too. Right now I have one other adult bird she is one yo, she lays almost daily, doesn't seem to be affected. The black sex link had coryza I think along with the rest of them 3 years ago (didn't have the other bird at that time), and she had exudate, sneezing, coughing. But she does not sneeze or cough and no exudates now. I'm also wonderin about liver disease. Hmmm.
     
  10. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    in many species, excessive thirst is a sign of diabetes. I know birds can get it, I had a cockatiel years ago that was diabetic. that might also explain weight loss, no appetite, etc.

    for birds, the easiest way to control it IMO was to feed a diet as free from sugars as possible. for chickens that's not always possible, since there's a lot of sugars & starches in grains. but you might try giving her some baked chicken, scrambled egg (i add milk & cheese), and even slices of raw beef or chicken heart & liver. also beans are a good source of protein too. my oegb practically attacks me when i have mexican rice & beans for lunch (michelina's nukable) LOL but she'll only take the black beans i give her. she leaves the rice and corn for the others.

    also make sure you have free choice oyster shell available for her. if she's not eating layer pellets, she'll need supplemental calcium if she feels the urge to lay.

    as for the drooling, if she's drunk enough water all at once, sometimes they might just spit some back up if they're stressed (being picked up?) my coturnix quail do that to me. bleh. then again if i'm going to process them they don't get food or water for a few hours before hand, to prevent that kind of thing.

    short of the vet, if you've got a diabetic friend you might see if they're willing to help out, and you might test a normal chicken then your sick girl... see how she compares. you can snip a toenail a tad short. not too short, just the tip of it until you get a drop, it'll stop bleeding usually in a few minutes. if she tests the same as the other hen, then chances are it's not that. if the blood glucose is higher then increase her protein. you might google horse diets for insulin resistance, the diet would be similar i think. but chickens will eat a much more varied diet than horses will, like the meat, eggs, etc.
     

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