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hen with difficulty breathing, no other symptoms, looking for ideas/treatment suggestions

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by qayaqgirl, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. qayaqgirl

    qayaqgirl Hatching

    Dec 19, 2012
    Yesterday we noticed one of our RI Red hens was looking sick. She is standing, keeps her head and beak up, with her beak mostly open. No noticeable noises, but seems to be having quiet gasping of air. There is no runny discharge, no cough or rattle. She is lethargic and has had very minimal food and water intake. Her wt seems unchanged and she did not lay any eggs in the last 36 hrs. Her droppings seem fine with no visible blood/worms, though maybe a little bit more white material than normal. Her comb and eyes look good. It has been cold/rainy lately but the chickens have a protected coop and large free range area during the day. We have isolated her from the flock on the porch, and so far all other chickens seem healthy (touch wood!) and we moved them to another coop to be on the safe side. We have had no recent additions to the flock of 19.
    I've tried to research through the different postings and links, but none of the symptoms seems to quite match up. We would spend money on medications, though likely not take her to the vet unless other chickens in the flock get sick. We don't want her to suffer if this isn't an illness that she would likely recover from.
    If anyone has any ideas of what the illness could be, or inexpensive treatments recommended, that would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    How old is she?
    Is she laying? Still?
    I would start treating her with Antibiotics while I continued to research.. she is clearly very ill, or injured... maybe she ate something bad or harmful?
    You can buy Baytril or Tylan injectable at the feed store.. along with needles and syringes with which to inject it. Baytril has not withdrawal period and is a better antibiotic (from my understanding), though a bit expensive.

    How is her crop and breath?

    Best of luck.. sometimes we never learn why they get sick .. we just have to make our best guess or treat blindly to try to save them.
  3. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Songster

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    This one sorta snuck past my view somehow, but chicken_pauper's response pushed it back to the top. It's been four days and eight hours, and it's nearly 03:00 hours, so I might be too late ... this coulda been somethin' "stuck in her crawl" but I figure you're dealin' w/ internal parasites.

    Gapeworm, or tracheal worms, is what I suspect you're dealin' w/ here. You'll wanna treat the entire flock soon, but this one needs help immediately. I'll suggest two choices for you to quickly consider, both of which can be obtained at just about any open farm supply you can find. Both are marketed by different names, but you're lookin' for either fenbendazole or albendazole as the active ingredient. Either one of these two will eliminate the gapeworms, along w/ everything else, except fenbendazole does not kill tapeworms (evidence of which can be easily seen w/in the poop, if they're actually infected w/ 'em, which they most probably are not).

    The dosage amount I suggest for either one is 20 milligram per kilogram of body weight, with albendazole to be given once, but the fenbendazole to be given for three consecutive days at this level.

    1. Tramisol[​IMG] (Active ingredient: Levamisole hydrochloride) - Schering Plough.
    Soluble Drench Powder approved in sheep, cattle, and pigs. Withdrawal for cattle is 48 hrs
    pre-slaughter, 72 hrs pre-slaughter for sheep and 72 hrs for pigs. Levamisole will not settle out in
    medication lines. Chicken and turkey dose is 16 mg active levamisole per pound of body weight
    delivered by proportioner over 3-4 hours as a bolus for capillaria and cecal worms in pullets and
    hens. There is no effect on hatch, egg production, feed conversion, or body weight when used at 8
    and 16 mg/pound of body weight dose. However, in the chicken, at 36 mg/pound, water intake is
    reduced, at 288 mg/pound, diarrhea occurs, and at 900 mg/pound, 20% mortality occurred. Egg
    residue clearance time is not known. For roundworms in broilers/pullets, the dose is 8 mg of active
    levamisole per pound of body weight. This is given as a bolus over 3-4 hours. Tissue withdrawal
    times and egg withdrawal times must be extrapolated and extended for safety based on data from
    approved food animal clearances (3,4,5,6,7,8).
    2. Valbazen[​IMG] Oral Suspension (Active ingredient: Albendazole) - Pfizer Animal Health
    Albendazole has been reported to be effective in the treatment of capillaria, ascaridia, heterakis, and
    tape worms in chickens. It has been labeled only for cattle and sheep. There is no poultry data
    available. Settling in drinker lines has not been reported as has been seen with other anthelmentics in
    this class. Cattle require a 7 day withdrawal and sheep require a 7 day withdrawal pre-slaughter.
    There is no available data on tissue or egg clearance time in poultry. There have been no reported
    negative effects on the performance of broilers, pullets and hens. Valbazen is supplied in 500 ml,
    1 liter, and 5 liter bottles of an 11.36% suspension. In chickens, the reported dose is 10 mg/kg of body
    weight (personal communication).
    The cattle dose is 1 liter of Valbazen 11.36% Suspension per 500 lb as an oral bolus via dosing gun
    or dose syringe. (4.54 mg albendazole/lb, 10 mg/kg). Sheep dose is 1 liter of Valbazen 11.36%
    Suspension per 664 animals weighing 50 lbs each (3.4 albendazole/lb, 7.5 mg/kg).
    3. Synanthic[​IMG] Bovine Dewormer Suspension, (Active ingredient, 22.5%: Oxfendazole) -
    Fort Dodge Animal Health
    Synanthic is reported to be effective for capillaria, ascarids, and heterakis. Synanthic does have
    activity against cattle tape worms, however, there is no data whether it will work against poultry
    There is 225 mg oxfendazole per ml and it is supplied in a 500 ml bottle for cattle. The
    withdrawal time is 7 days for cattle. There is no tissue-clearance data available for poultry, nor any
    data available on side-effects in poultry. The cattle dose is 2.05 mg/pound of body weight
    (4.5 mg/kg B.W.). There is also a 9.06% suspension available in a 1 liter bottle (90.6 mg/ml of
    oxfendazole). Settling out in water lines without agitation can be a problem (personal
    Page 3 of 8
    4. Safe-guard (Active ingredient: 10% suspension, Fenbendazole) - Beef and dairy cattle,
    oral parasiticide - Hoechst-Roussel
    Effective against capillaria, round, and cecal worms in chickens (not approved in chickens). It is
    approved for turkeys as a feed additive, 20% premix type A and B, 16ppm (14.6 gm/ton complete
    feed for 6 consecutive days) for control of adult and larvae round worms and cecal worms.
    The cattle dose is 2.3 mg/pound BW (5 mg/kg BW) as an oral bolus. Beef cattle withdrawal is
    8 days following the last treatment. For dairy cattle, there is no milk withdrawal time. Safe-guard
    is supplied in 1 liter and 1 gallon bottles. There may be a problem with settling out in drinker lines
    without agitation (personal experience).
    5. Ivermectin (1% injectable for cattle)
    Since Ivermectin went off-patent, there are several manufacturers producing it. Ivermectin has been
    used orally via extra-label scripts to treat Northern Fowl Mite and capillaria infestations. Only mites
    that are on the birds are killed. The 1% injectable cattle formulation has been used as follows
    (personal communication):
    • 1 ml of 1% Ivermectin injectible + 1 ml. propylene glycol + 2 gal H2O, proportion at 1
    oz./gal D.W.
    • Administer 2 times, 10-14 days apart. There is a 30 day withdrawal (destroy commercial
    eggs for 30 days post-therapy.)

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