How to treat Coughing Chickens with New No-Antibiotic law

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lelilamom, May 21, 2017.

  1. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two chickens that are coughing consistently with three more coughing occasionally. As of Jan 1, NYS won't allow antibiotics sold to consumers. I can only get a prescription from a vet. Problem is, the closest farm vet is 4 hours away. How do I treat this issue that I don't even know what the real diagnosis is yet?

    I started them on garlic and oregano yesterday, but knowing how serious it can be, I'm worried I'm risking the whole flock. Anyone have any insights at all? All the research I've done on this poorly redesigned site (sorry, but I hate the new design and the search if terrible) has yielded absolutely nothing.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Do they have any other symptoms besides the coughing? (sneezing, mucous, watery eyes, etc.)

    It's hard to know what the cause would be, respiratory illness, dust, mold/fungus or poor ventilation in the coop are all to be considered.

    Antibiotics will not cure respiratory illness, but can help with any secondary infections that accompany them. If the coughing is due to dust/ventilation problems, molds/fungus or ammonia buildup, then generally antibiotics will not be effective unless there is infection.

    You can try something like VetRx to see if that helps give them some relief.

    If you see no improvement you could try injectable Tylan50. This can be given orally or by injection. Most feed stores still carry injectables or you can purchase them online. Water soluble antibiotics were changed to prescription at the beginning of the year.

    Let us know how they are doing.
     
  3. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They have no other symptoms. Everyone is acting normal; eating, drinking and laying. They gobble treats, dust bathe, scratch and peck and run around the yard after bugs. They have a very large outdoor yard (about 1/4 acre since we opened up the summer pasture) they are out in from sun up to sun down. The coughing started after three weeks of cold and rain. The coop is well ventilated and is cleaned regularly. The run was pretty muddy for a long time due to rain and they spent a good amount of time in it the last three weeks because its covered. Then after awful cold and damp days we hit record high temps this past week - literally 60 degree difference in a 24 hour period. That's when the coughing started.
     
  4. Glenda Heywoodo

    Glenda Heywoodo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My WET MASH PROBIOTIC RECIPE withVit E and Vit B Complex and Selenium added to the wet mash

    is very good for all chickens especially sick chickens.

    For this problem I recommend my wet mash probiotic with yoguart be given.

    I prefer to use the wet mash probiotic that includes chicken feed, yoguart and milk with applesauce

    because chickens will eat the yoguart completely in the wet mash where as some chickens will not just eat yoguart ans it gets on their beaks, of which then they throw it away when cleaning the beaks

    as you will notice if staanding too close to them eating the yoguart

    So read on down where I give the recipe

    some advice for helping the chicken get over the lathargice

    I would suggest and advanced case of E.coli.

    due to the illness the chicken has.

    With all that is noted here is some good help that I have found to work for the health of the chicken

    So here is what I would do at this time to help the chicken get to feeling better

    This is for single bird and I would isolate the bird so you know what she is eating

    if you do not have a rabbit cage you can put her in the garage in a dog carrier till she is better

    I would start with the Vit E and Vit B complex and selenium with wet mash

    A)

    chickens do get some upset in the gut with E.coli and then it goes to a nervous disorder

    natural probiotic wet mash with Vit E and Vit B complex nd selenium added immediately

    basically the chicken has some nerve damage from the E.coli do this immediately

    need neurolodigal vit E and Vit B complex and Selenium for E.coli and the nervous disorder Also the apple cider vineager in water

    (1) 2 tbsp acv per gallon of water till chickens are well and then 2 times a week for life

    for one chicken use 1 tbsp of ACV

    1 pint of water IF DOCTORING WITH MEDICATION DO NoT USE ACV IN WATER

    until the chicken is off medication

    (2 immediately give the chicken 1000 mg capsule of liquid Vit E by cutting the end of the capsule and taking the vit E liquid and mix in wet mash probiotic

    (2-B) total amt of capsules equals the total amt of chickens fed vit's multiply amt of recipe times amt of chickens fed it and the amt of vit's times amt of chickens given them

    (3 also need to crush a vit B complex pill in tabsp and add tsp of water to it

    put it in the chickens wet mash after it is dissolved.

    D the same with the Selenium tablet and add to wet mash

    (3-C) then give this to the chicken twice a week for two weeks should see much improvement

    after the chicken has eaten the wet mash probiotic clean wet feeder and restock dry crumble feed.

    (4 Do three Vit's twice today then for 7 days till you see some improvement in the chicken

    (5 today I would see if the chicken will eat a wet mash with the Vitamins E and B complex and Selenium

    (-B) THIS IS FOR ONE CHICKEN

    natural probiotic wet mash

    2 tbp of dry crumbles

    1 tbsp flax seed meal (the kind people take)

    3 tbp of milk sweet, sour or buttermilk

    1 tbsp of non flavored yogurt

    2 tbsp of apple sauce

    put it on top so the chicken can smell and see it

    mix good and put the

    vit E liquid as directed in the wet mash

    and crumble the Vit B complex tablet in a tabsp and add to the wet mash

    do same with Selenium tablet and add to wet mash.

    **BESURE AND MIX VIT'S VERY GOOD IN WET MASH***

    (6 Do this twice a day for 7 days to see if the chicken is better

    then do this once a day for another week then once a week for a while

    this should give the nervous system some stability and cure the bad E.coli in the gut

    (6-A) they should clean it up in 20-30 minutes

    this will help them get good gut flora

    also put 2 tbsp of ACV in gallon of water and keep giving them this water for a week straight

    then give it 3-5 times a week for life

    Glenda Heywood Cassville Missouri
     
  5. Glenda Heywoodo

    Glenda Heywoodo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally agree with you as to navigating this new BYC format
    here is an article on respiratory disease that may help you out.
    https://poultrykeeper.com/respiratory-problems/respiratory-disease-in-chickens/
    Respiratory Disease in Chickens
    Richard Jackson BVMs (Hons) MRCVS 16th February 2011 Respiratory Problems

    One of the most common veterinary complaints of backyard chickens is snicking, sneezing and coughing. Respiratory disease often presents itself with one or more birds sneezing / snicking. These birds can have a runny nose and foamy running eyes. In severe cases these birds can have swollen sinuses (presents as swelling around the eyes), stop eating and in extreme cases die.

    [​IMG]

    There a number predisposing factors for respiratory disease in chickens: as with any animal stress can cause an underlying disease to show itself. This stress could be extremes of temperature and humidity, high stocking density, being transported, being taken to a poultry show and new animals being introduced to an existing/established flock.

    If your bird does develop any of these signs it is worth consulting your vet as antibiotic treatment is usually advised. In general your vet will often advise that the entire group of birds should be treated. Usually medication is given in their water but in severely ill birds injections may be the best option.

    Birds suffering with respiratory disease should always be isolated from the other healthy hens, given lots of TLC and be given veterinary attention where necessary.
    Enrofloxacin (Baytril) is an antibiotic that many bird owners are familiar with, your chicken may have been given some by a vet and it is widely talked about on different chicken forums and information sites. This antibiotic may not always be the drug of choice in all respiratory conditions and we would certainly advise you seek proper veterinary advice before your chickens are given any type of prescription medication.

    There are a number of possible pathogens involved in respiratory disease in chickens. A simple blood test can determine which one(s) are the cause. It is often the case that more than one pathogen is involved, the most common ones are Mycoplasma Gallisepticum, Infectious Bronchitis, ART (AvianRhinoTracheitis virus) and ILT (Infectious LaryngoTracheitis virus).

    Mycoplasma Gallisepticum.
    Mycoplasma Gallisepticum: Is a type of bacteria which can cause respiratory disease in chickens and other poultry. It is often associated with swollen sinuses, sneezing and foamy watery eyes. In certain cases it can cause swollen joints and subsequently lameness. It can infect the oviduct thus altering egg shell colour and quality and thus it can be transferred via the egg to chicks.

    Once infected a chicken is infected for life although clinical signs will regress with time and treatment but they are always liable to come back.

    [​IMG]AvianRhinoTracheitis (ART)
    ART is a pneumovirus which causes swollen heads (see the photo, right), swollen sinuses, sneezing and in severe cases nervous signs.

    Infectious Bronchitis (IB)
    Infectious Bronchitis (IB) is a coronavirus which causes sneezing, foamy eyes and swollen sinuses usually in young birds. However like Mycoplasma it can infect the oviduct again altering egg shell colour and quality but unlike Mycoplasma it doesn’t infect chicks via the egg. Severe IB infection in young female birds can permanently damage the oviduct causing it to permanently not carry the egg from the ovary to the vent so the eggs are laid internally. These eggs inside the bird are slowly absorbed but they provide an excellent food for bacteria so internal layers are vulnerable to get egg peritonitis. The eggs are often absorbed much more slowly than they are internally laid so they build up in the bird’s abdomen causing them to adopt a penguin like stance.

    Infectious LaryngoTracheitis (ILT)
    [​IMG]
    ‘Penguin Stance’ of Egg Peritonitis
    ILT is a herpes virus and causes similar respiratory signs. ILT often leads to a plug of blood and mucus which can block the birds trachea (windpipe) leading to the bird choking to death. This virus like Myoplasma never goes away and can come back during times of stress. Like other herpes viruses it is for life.

    As many of you will notice the pathogens above are mostly viruses which will not respond to antibiotics. However these viruses often damage the respiratory system sufficiently to allow secondary bacteria such as E. coli and Pasteurella to cause infection and in severe cases blood poisoning.

    Furthermore chickens have a unique respiratory system compared to us mammals. They have air sacs which are very thin and when viruses such as IB damage the protective cells of the trachea (windpipe) the birds can easily breath in bacteria which can then cross the air sacs into the abdomen to cause peritonitis.

    The best way of preventing infection of your birds is to minimise stress, ensure the stocking density and ventilation are correct and that you buy in disease free birds from a reputable supplier which have been quarantined for at least 3 weeks (try not to buy from local markets).
    If your birds are being stressed by bad weather or moulting etc you may want to consider giving them a course of multivitamins such as Amino Plus or a product such as Beryl’s Friendly Bacteria – a sort of “yakult” for birds. Both these products will give your birds a boost which will be invaluable to helping them towards a full recovery.

    If you breed your own birds and you have any ongoing disease issues you can consider vaccination of your flock. The staff at Chicken Vet offer advice on a mini flock vaccination programme, for more information on any of these matters we have discussed please contact us.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Since you see no other symptoms, then antibiotics would be your last resort, imho. Try something like VetRx first to see if there is improvement.

    Provide them a boost with some poultry vitamins a couple of days a week and see how it goes.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  7. Glenda Heywoodo

    Glenda Heywoodo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recommend using the Vetrex also
    It is a herbalistic medication, was original called "Save the Baby" and used in vaporizers. for humans and still is used that way.
    You can buy it from amazon reasonably.
    Take and give each chicken a tsp full down the throat, twice a day.
    also rub the Vetrex on the nostrils and head area.
    Also under the wing at night as that helps the chickens get to be able to take a breath.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  8. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last night I peeked into the coop to check on everyone and the one hen who was coughing the most was still at it and I noticed stretchy mucus in her mouth. No foamy eye or any other symptom. This morning she has a gurgle in her throat but is eating and drinking and clucking at me for treats, which she got (garlic) and gobbled. Everyone else that was coughing is still coughing. The cough sounds faintly mucus-y. I did clean the coop yesterday and dusted it with DE which I do every time. I noticed a few of the non-coughers shaking their heads and scratching and dust was kicking up when I checked on them last night.

    Today it is cold and rainy. I feel like the weather is my biggest enemy here.
     
  9. hmlamberson

    hmlamberson Out Of The Brooder

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    Have you had any improvements? I'm kinda in the same situation with my flock and have no idea what to do! I feel I've tried it all!
     
  10. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The original two hens who started it all had stopped coughing as of last weekend. Several others have started and stopped while others are still going. One of my original hens that started and stopped is now at it again as of today but very infrequently. I should note that she is a RIR, and has always had trouble with eating/drinking ever since we found her with string wrapped around her tongue and had a really tough time getting that string off. That was over three years ago and she's always choked and wheezed, sneezed, hiccuped and generally made alot of noise especially when she ate.

    I treated them all with VetRX for a solid week. It's been almost a week since I stopped and I'm going to start again tonight. The rain and cold I feel is my worst enemy here. No sooner do they all seem to be over it that we get 45 degree weather and days of rain and they all start back again.

    No break in eating, drinking or laying. I do have one girl who sounds "gurgly" when she breaths and she seems reluctant to run after treats but otherwise she isn't snickering sneezing or showing other issues.
     

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