Hen with strange breathing - not contagious - VIDEO - please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tamtam84, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri

    for the long post, but want to be very descriptive! Here's the back story. I have been in the process of selling my house and moving since March. I took my 7 hens to a relative's house to stay while moving (she has 25 hens and 1 rooster). I know it's best to quarantine new hens for 30+ days when introducing to a new flock, but I had no choice but to put them all in together. No fighting or anything and they all were doing perfectly for about 2 months. When I visited last about 3 weeks ago, I noticed my Dominique (Aster) was VERY lethargic, empty crop, strange breathing noises and seemed to have very labored breathing. I had to leave her there for 3 more weeks until we moved into our new house, and I moved all 7 of my hens to my new house 1 week ago.

    Aster has been better as far as increased appetite and more energy, but she still occasionally makes honking/wheezing noises when breathing. Please watch my video to listen to what it sounds like (turn the volume up high). I noticed she isn't panting, but breathing like this with her mouth shut. It was very hot when I took the video (about 95 degrees) so she normally would be panting like all my other hens, but she was not. She has not panted at all and it has been this hot for over a week now. So that seems strange to me as well. None of my hens have the same condition, and none of the other 26 chickens she lived with for a few months have the same condition either. So it doesn't seem to be contagious, unless the symptoms take more than 3 months to show up in other chickens.

    Here's more info on her condition. Please help if you have dealt with a similar situation!!!

    1) What type of bird , age and weight. - Dominique hen, 22 months, has lost weight
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. - Honking/wheezing when breathing (not panting even though it's 95 degrees outside and all my other hens pant)
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? - first noticed 3 weeks ago
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? - NO, doesn't seem to be contagious at all unless it takes weeks to show up in other hens
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. - she does have a notch chipped out of the top part of her beak (not huge, though), not sure what happened
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. - Not sure
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. - appetite has been decreased and has lost weight, her crop is always empty
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. - normal poop
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? - Nothing yet, fresh air and lots of hugs
    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'd like to treat myself as there are no avian vets in my area
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. - please see you tube link for video of what it sounds like (turn the volume way up)
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use - wooden coop just purchased, use deep litter method with pine shavings. at my aunt's house they didn't use this method and there was a VERY bad smell from all the poop. i wonder if that has something to do with her breathing??

    Thanks for any input/ideas you have! I just want her to be back to her old self again.
  2. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    Anyone have any ideas?? She hasn't laid for a long time and is still wheezing sometimes when she breathes. Not sure what to do to help her! Please watch the video and give me any suggestions you have! Thanks!!!
  3. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    I can't find anything that matches her symptoms after searching on the forum, but I did find a threat about VetRx. I know it won't cure what she has, but I was thinking of trying it to see if it will help her breathe better. Any thoughts on using VetRx for her breathing problem??

    I don't know if this is CRD, but none of the other birds are showing any symptoms whatsoever and it has been weeks since Aster first showed symptoms. But I know it can surface if the bird is stressed or it is very hot outside. We did just move her to our new house and it has been 95 degrees every day for over a week so maybe it is CRD??
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I would put her on a respiratory antibiotic right away. Tylan or something. Sounds like a respiratory infection or pneumonia.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  5. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    Sadly, my baby girl Aster has died. I took her to the vet yesterday and they weighed her (just over 3 lbs) and took her temp (103 degrees). After they took her temp, she went totally limp and I thought she was dead. The vet said she was just really stressed, so they gave her oxygen and she pepped back up a little. The vet said she had a lot of scar tissue in her air sacs and gave me medicine to give her 1 dropper full 2xs a day. The vet told me her prognosis was poor and I should know within 2 or 3 days if she would make it or not.

    I brought her home and she had her appetite back, eating her favorite - yogurt and bread - and walking around a little bit. I put her back in her coop to sleep w/her sisters because I didn't want to stress her out more by leaving her in the garage, and she jumped up on the roost, so I thought things were going to be ok. This morning when I went to let them out, she was lying dead on the floor.

    I feel horrible and I miss her terribly. This is my 2nd hen to pass away and it's absolutely heart wrenching. After we buried her, and I had a long sob session, I went back into the run and all my other girls came up to sit on my lap and let me cuddle w/them. I think they knew what was going on.

    I just wanted to tell anyone else with a hen with similar issues to take them to the vet right away if possible. At the first sign of problems. I waited too long. I know not everyone has access to a vet or money to spend on a vet visit though. Aster really seemed like she would pull through, but she was too weak in the end. The only thing bringing me comfort now is knowing that she's not hurting anymore and she is reunited up in Heaven with her sister, Raven, and they are eating all the grass and bugs they want!

    RIP Aster B. I will love you always.
  6. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
    So sorry for your loss tamtam. It is tough when you lose a animal of any kind. You have a compassionate heart no doubt. [​IMG] Did your vet happen to say what he thought the illness was? I hope your day gets better.
  7. tamtam84

    tamtam84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010
    SE Missouri
    Thank you so much for the kind words. My vet says it was basically pneumonia. Honestly I don't remember much because I was pretty stressed out after Aster went limp and I thought she was dying on me. But I think the vet said she must have contracted some infection that she couldn't fight off, so it just hit her hard and her immune system wasn't strong enough. She was pretty weak and didn't have much fight left in her. She did hang on for a while, though, and even up to the end was acting like her normal chicken self.
  8. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    I'm so sorry you lost your Aster. [​IMG]
  9. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry. I know it is very sad to lose a sweet chicken like Aster.
  10. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    I just lost my Cookoo Marans rooster with the same symptoms. I noticed in the video she was only making sounds when she exhaled. Same as my rooster. He made it through 10 days of antibiotics (twice a day) and perked up for a couple of days - even to the point where he was mounting the hens - but I came home last Thursday and found him dead in the pen.

    What ever it is - it's awful.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    edited to add that none of my other chickens have been affected.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

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