I am out of ideas; I think I am going to lose my little silkie, and she has just fallen in love!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DarkWater1929, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She was sick when we got her. I have a neighbor who wrestles with MG in her flock, and from time to time she gives me the victims. She cannot bear to treat them, and I cannot bear not to. I keep them separate, and to date, none of my healthy birds have contracted this horrid illness. Indeed, the only illness on the place, at present, is among the birds that come from my neighbor.

    So, this bird. She is little, and does not have a silkie's black skin, though she has every other attribute of the breed. She is as typically sweet and darling as any of her breed. She has lived in my bathroom for a few months now, as we have battled this thing. She has had, over the course of that time, three doses of LA300, via injection, a 7-10 (I lost track) day course of water-soluble oxytetracycline, one injection of penicillin, given when she was not taking the other antibiotics, so as not to cancel them out, a recent 7-day course of Corid, because others showed some bloody poop, and two wormings, because I saw worms in her poo. She has also had several transient roomies, as other birds have needed nursing. She remained aloof from them all.

    Her eye, originally marble-sized and full of the fibrous puss that is typical of this disease, has been collapsing and the skin over her sinus turning black and drying out, for about two weeks. I decided to feel optimistic about this, because I hoped that, although the eye and sinus were clearly not going to survive the disease, the drying-up of the infected tissues, even if they died and became nothing but scar tissue, was preferable to the active, inflamed infection. [​IMG]

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    Her appetite was good. Her only other alarming symptom has been that her poop flows out of her on a tide of nearly-clear fluid. The poop is more-or-less cohesive, but suspended in a watery medium. I have not discovered the cause or implication of this.

    Then, perhaps two weeks ago, I had to deposit my big, Polish-Frizzle Roo in her environment briefly. He is not ill, but I needed a safe place to stuff him for a short while. I had just finished my morning disinfection of the room. When I returned, I was stunned to see my little hen cuddled up to that crazy-looking giant, cooing and chortling, and rubbing up against his chest. He, in turn, had his neck draped over her, and had ceased his usual twitchy, lunatic behavior. I was dumbstruck. I have never seen ANY of my birds behave this way to one another! I could not seem to catch the wooing, but here they are, at any rate. (Seemed weird to post photos of the bathroom, so I have darkened the background.)
    [​IMG]

    Since that day, she had been livelier and more alert than ever previously. Until today, that is. This morning she seemed lethargic, and when I picked her up to look more closely, she smelled of infection. The other eye, I see, is involved now. (BLAST!) The first eye no longer looks dry, but is postulant again. I have injected LA300, and begun Polymyxin B Sulfate and Trimethoprim Opthalmic drops in both eyes. She is shivering slightly, and does not take food.
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    Please, if you can, tell me something I can do or try? I very much want her long-suffering to pay off, especially now that she has found true love!

    Thank You!
    Patience
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The following may sound harsh to you but the reality of good animal husbandry is that reality is harsh.
    Many diseases that affect chickens have no cure.
    Others will have better treatment advice but this is your clue to NEVER bring in known diseased birds and NEVER bring in ANY birds without the obligatory quarantine.
    With serious illness, they need to be separated from the rest of the flock immediately and you may save more birds.
    Putting your rooster in with a known diseased bird is, for lack of a better term, irresponsible.
    Otherwise other birds will suffer and you may end up culling many if not all in the end.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
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  3. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I fear that irresponsible is a fair description. So, now - kill her, and quarantine him? I guess that is best? I know, of myself, that I cannot lop her head off. I just can't do that, even if it is right, and irresponsible not to. So, is there an "easier" way to dispatch these pets? What do YOU do?

    Thank you.
    Patience
     
  4. Coffee 1st

    Coffee 1st Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry about your bird it sounds like you have tried very hard. but sometimes enough is enough.. but it is easier said then done.. I cant clomp their heads off either. look at some you tube videos on using a killing cone.. some people make their own out of a milk jug... AND you should be very careful in taking your neighbors sick birds your will eventually catch something.. you might have something on your clothing or hands or hair going from 1 bird to the next even if they are seperated... there is a reason the neighbor is getting ride of them..
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    And that is irresponsible of the neighbor for spreading her diseased birds.

    For proper quarantine, one needs to start with birds that appear to be healthy. Then house the birds as far as possible from their own flock. For most diseases, about 40 feet is adequate. The quarantine period should be as long as possible but at least 2 weeks. Each day, feed and care for your birds before working with the quarantine birds. It is preferable to use different shoes and clothing for the quarantine area.
    Upon arrival and periodically during the quarantine period, inspect the birds for lice, mites, etc.. Have a fecal sample read for worms, coccidia and other parasites.
    If any are found, treat accordingly and reread samples till there are 2 clear samples before introducing the birds to the main flock.
    Thoroughly disinfect the quarantine area after use.

    Using antibiotics is not a substitute for proper management.

    There's more complete information in the following links.
    http://www.desu.edu/sites/default/files/u538/QandI_2 pager.pdf
    http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agric...ry/quarantine-advice-for-small-poultry-flocks

    Since you've tried lots of things and the bird looks like it's miserable, it needs to be put out of its misery.
    There are other techniques so you may want to take the bird to the vet for euthanasia.

    I've never had to euthanize a sick bird. However, I have had to do so with chicks that weren't going to make it for one reason or another. For that I lop the head off.
    Quick but painful for me.
    I hatch a lot and I end up eating about 8 of every 10 cockerels that hatch. For that I use a home made killing cone. Carry the bird to the cone, pull the head through and with a razor sharp knife, slit the jugular. It doesn't inflict much pain. The bird bleeds out and goes unconscious from blood loss.
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Euthanasia is always an option, but so is aggressive treatment with supportive care (heat and tube feeding) and a very good antibiotic like Baytril or Cipro. Let me know if you want to learn how to tube feed.

    -Kathy
     
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  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Another thing you would have to do is get all of the pus out of her sinuses or the infection will never go away.

    -Kathy
     
  9. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your Polish rooster should now be considered ill, as he has been exposed to a sick bird.

    If your neighbour didn't have someone to treat her chickens, what would happen to them?
     
  10. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, all of you, for your replies. I am humbled, as always, by the time and consideration you are willing to give to the questions of those of us who are just trying to learn to do the best job we can for these fascinating little creatures. I am more grateful than I can say.

    Thankfully (I insist upon concluding) I do not have to make the decision to destroy my little silkie. She died last night, following a sudden (alarming, really) down-turn. The infection finally got the upper-hand, and boy-howdie, did it ravage her in a matter of hours. Her rooster has attacked me several times since. I assume that he blames me for her passing. He will have to endure his mourning alone for an appropriate quarantine period. Very sad, and avoidable in the future, now that I have so much new information from you all. Thank you.

    Kathy - I am interested in learning what you would have suggested that I do, had she survived, to get the puss out of her head. I have read articles on this site, and others, that recommend that a small slit be made, and the accumulated mass eased out through this. I tried this technique on a bird with the same horrid condition some time ago. I read everything I could find, and watched every video I came across. Then I gloved-up, and forged gently ahead. It was NOTHING like I had been lead to believe. It was not just one big wad of stuff, but many, in numerous passages. The rooster did not survive long after I was finished. I conclude that shock killed him.

    Any advice you, or anyone, can offer would be greatly appreciated! I have now tried it both ways: surgically and non-surgically. The result was the same, only the surgery saved the roo perhaps a few months of misery. I know that, faced with disease in my, or my neighbors', flock, I cannot simply shrug, and whip out my hatchet, or chicken-sized guillotine. My husband is that strong; I am not. Yet, I would not wish to make such "irresponsible" care decisions again, out of pure stupidity or lack of knowledge. They are God's creatures who, like me, are entitled to ONE life. I would not like to lose even a moment of mine! I cannot easily take life from another, even a chicken.

    I am wide-open to receive guidance from those of you with experience, and a willingness to be ... a bit gentle in your tone. I find that the typewritten word can sting, as no inflection is available to assist with interpreting the author's intent. I try not to let such (no-doubt unintentional) slaps get to me, but I confess that I am, perhaps, more sensitive than some.

    At any rate, thank you again, ALL of you, for sharing your knowledge with me! Universities charge vast sums for the very data you kind people offer to me, and one another, free of charge. I am well aware of the value of the gift. God Bless you all!
     
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