Hen wheezing, sneeze/cough, strained inhale.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CluckNDoodle, May 19, 2019.

  1. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Songster

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    I heard a bizarre noise outside this morning. I honestly didn't think it was a chicken. I found my favorite Splash Orpington going about her free ranging as usual but every few minutes she does like a honk/sneeze/cough sound. As far as I know this just started today and I spend a lot of time with my chickens and hadn't noticed anything before...

    The symptoms and chicken info:
    - When she coughs it's more like a honk follow by stretching her neck out for a wheezing inhale. There is also a quiet wheezing sound with regular breathing and mouth is open, though it was in the mid 90s here today so most were panting on and off.
    - No swelling on face, no discharge, nothing to lead me to believe it's respiratory infection yet.
    - I have a very healthy flock that free ranges daily and none of the other chickens are showing any symptoms.
    - She's fat, the fatest chicken I have even compared to the other English Orpingtons and has always been that way.
    - She's only about a year and half old.

    What I have done to treat her:
    I gave her a warm Epsom salt bath and rubbed her crop for a while, assuming something was possibly stuck. I didn't see anything when looking down her throat and I also swabbed her throat with VetRX on a q-tip, no sign of worms or cankers. I also mixed some vitamins into olive oil and gave her a bit in a syringe to hopeful help her pass something that could be stuck?
    I also started adding Ropapoultry to all of their water again just to be safe.

    I have read a ton about common chicken ailments since owning them and I have a little first aid cabinet for them just in case but I'm finding myself completely perplexed I really hope someone can tell me what's wrong with her. I realize because she's so fat that it could be almost a meat chicken type situation for her but thought it was worth asking the professionals.

    Picture of her today in her Epsom salt "bath"... thank you in advance for any help that can be offered.
    IMG_20190519_105613481.jpg
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    When was the last time she laid an egg?
    You gave oil and massaged the crop - was the crop full, soft, empty, etc.? I would check the crop first thing in the morning before she has had anything to eat or drink, it should be empty.

    Was she coughing/sneezing even when you were giving her a soak?
    I would feel her abdomen for any bloat/swelling or fluid.

    Get us a photo of her poop, let us know if there's swelling of the abdomen and if the crop is empty in the morning.

    She may be having difficulties with a reproductive disorder, but it would be a good idea to get a fecal float to check for worms.
    If you have a video of her breathing, that may also help - upload to youtube and provide a link.
     
  3. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Songster

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    Thank you for your quick response!

    She doesn't lay as often as my other hens. About 3-4 eggs a week and I did see her lay an egg at least 3 days ago but I have other Orpingtons so I may have missed it if she layed more recently, I wouldn't know which Orpington laid it unless I was watching.

    The crop wasn't ballooned, I have dealt with sour crop once and it didn't feel like that but there was some fluid and a lump that I can't deny felt like a literal frog in her throat but it moved freely along with a bit of chicken crumble, nothing was hard.

    She only coughed maybe once while I had her inside.

    I didn't noticed any swelling or fluid in her abdomen but she's a very fat and heavy hen so she's always been a little more squishy. I've never dealt with water belly but I am familiar with it and I was looking for it.

    Her poop looked normal, maybe a little watery but they're all drinking more because it's very hot here already.

    I'll be sure to check her crop first thing in the morning and record the cough. Thank you again!
     
  4. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Songster

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    Hope she gets better soon. What a cutie.
     
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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Her being fat and hot weather coming, it will be hard on her.
    It sounds like you know what to monitor, the crop, abdomen, etc.
    Some hens seem more prone to having that heavy bottom, so she may end up with something like Fatty Liver Disease or reproductive problems.
     
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  6. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Songster

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    Thank you! :fl
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  7. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Songster

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    I'm fairly certain you're right. I'm likely going to lose her younger than I would like due to her obesity but she wanders the yard and forages like all the other chickens and is just extra plump I guess.
    I checked her crop first thing this morning and it was mostly empty but that frog sized lump is still in there...She wasn't coughing at all when I first picked her up but started sneezing the moment I started fiddling with the crop again. Just sneezing, not the wheezing cough like yesterday so I'm thinking it has something to do with this lump. I'm going to repeat what I did for her yesterday and hope for the best. Thank you so much for all your help!

    It just occurred to me that her last egg did look different too. It had odd color variations, like rings of different shades and the shell was thinner.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    O.k. so it sounds crop related then. Crop problems can cause some coughing/wheezing - the worry is the contents are bubbling back up and they are aspirating which can lead to something like aspiration pneumonia.
    You have dealt with sour crop before with your flock, but this may be partially impacted, which "could" turn sour if not cleared.
    I would probably start with a teaspoon of coconut oil, gently massage downward, but is she shows distress, stop. Hopefully what's in there can be broken up. If the coconut oil does nothing and the lump is still there tomorrow, you can try stimulant free stool softener (docusate sodium). That may break it up. Mine love coconut oil, I just put it in the fridge/freezer, harden it, then break into bite size pieces, they gobble it down LOL

    I know you've been through this, but if you need it - the article is a good quick snapshot of different crop conditions and easy treatment options. I've used it myself with good results.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/

    Shell color can vary at times, she may have had the egg in the shell gland for a while...the egg factory is an amazing thing, but it can have glitches now and again. If it's consistent, then you may want to investigate that further.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/common-egg-quality-problems.65923/
     
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  9. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Songster

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    Thank you sooooo very much! :bow You're a wealth of knowledge! I really appreciate you taking the time to help me!
     
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  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    I hope she gets better, keep us posted.
     
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