Infectious Bronchitis in just one chicken? Will she recover? Will she remain contagious?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nonny, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brisbane, Australia
    One of our girls seems to have infectious bronchitis or something similar. I separated her from the flock as soon as I noticed she wasn't well and the others have so far shown no symptoms at all, but everything I've read suggests that it's VERY infectious and they will all get it.

    She's in a very small separate coop/run in our side yard (the main coop with the other girls is in the back yard) and we're keeping her warm, quiet and relatively stress free and although she's not getting any better she's also not getting any worse. It's been four or five days now.

    Her tail is down, she's crowing/coughing regularly throughout the day, doing "pump handle" breathing and it's obviously hard work for her as her body heaves with each breath and she has her beak open a lot, there's a definite rattle when she breathes and she's stopped laying eggs. Her last few eggs had calcium deposits and rough shells. On the bright side, She has no watery discharge from eyes or nose, she's still up and about a bit during the day, walking slowly and pecking at the ground from time to time.

    She has fresh water and feed in the coop (which is sitting on a nice lush patch of lawn so she has greens as well) and I've been offering her scrambled eggs and cooked oats as well. She has a peck at any new food that comes in but doesn't really eat it. I haven't seen her eating or drinking much at at all. Her poop is very watery and seems to be just undigested grass.

    I assumed she would quickly get worse until she died (especially considering she's not eating or drinking), but she's still hanging in there after four or five days. If she recovers, will she still be a carrier and have to stay away from the rest of the flock (assuming they don't get ill)?

    If she's not going to die from it, can anyone give me some idea of how long she might take to recover? If she was really suffering with no hope of recovery or was always going to be contagious to the rest of the flock then I'd euthanase her, but since I don't know what she actually has and she is still moving about then I'm reluctant to make that decision.

    Can anyone offer some advice/experience of this?
     
  2. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another day has passed and she seems to be rallying. Her tail seems not so droopy today and I've seen her actively drinking today. She is still coughing/crowing a lot though and not eating much at all.

    I'm still hoping someone will be able to tell me the likelihood of her remaining infectious or a carrier after she gets better, and whether I'll ever be able to put her back in with the other girls.
     
  3. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Nonny,

    it's definitely too early to tell if it's IB; in fact it doesn't sound a lot like it is. Usually IB goes through a flock so quickly there's no point separating the sick; they've all already been exposed. Other diseases like MG (the chronic respiratory germ) are much slower to spread and so you're more likely to see individual birds succumb (and have time to isolate and treat). Various other respiratory diseases can cause eggshell problems as well, though most resolve quickly (except with IB, where you get those scrunched-paper eggs with watery whites).

    If I was my bird, I'd do a lot of reading, apply plenty of TLC, watch for any other sick ones (isolating any like her that seem ill), note the symptoms, rate of spread etc just for future diagnostic reference, wash hands/shoes between pen visits, and if she's a beloved pet, consider a vet trip for diagnosis or antibiotics (if it's bacterial). Try to keep pen stressors down (e.g. don't suddenly change feeds; don't let barking dogs rush the pens; don't move birds around unless you really have to). Even introducing a new bird to a nearby cage can cause enough stress to upset a flock and bring out chronic respiratory disease. In my case a goshawk's daily attacks on the net-roofed pen were enough to make the birds show up their underlying condition.

    Terribly sorry you're experiencing this. I know what it's like.

    Erica

    Edit:
    Oops: just wanted to add, without knowing the disease agent it's not really possible to say if she'll be a carrier or not. It's well worth making a list of likely candidates based on symptoms/severity/rate of onset. Then you'd be in a better spot to look at likely outcomes, and whether or not there's any reason to change something.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  4. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is an interesting situation. Here is my experience. 3 years ago, I had some sort of respiratory illness in my flock. None acted sick. All continued to eat and act energetically. However, much coughing in several of my birds. Took one to the vet who gave me very little hope. However, I went to my local hatchery and they told me not to worry and to give my flock a round of Durymycin. I did not want to use antibiotics but I did not want to lose my flock either, so I did give the antibiotic. All survived and were better in a day. I continued the treatment for 5 days. Two golden laced wyandotte hens continued to occassionally make coughing noises intermittently. Now, these two same birds are coughing when they eat. Still looking great, acting well, but coughing. I am watching my other birds, waiting to see if any others start coughing. If others begin, I will treat my flock. I wonder if anyone else has had this experience? Can birds get colds, allergies or have chronic cough from a previous infection? The vet did not find Marek's or any of the big bad chicken infections when she treated my bird, so I do not think I have some type of horrible infection in the flock but I would be interested in hearing opinions.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    I have a similar situation going on in my flock. I'm not sure if it's IB, but it sounds ike that up to the part where "It is extremely contagious" Everyday, two more sneeze/cough, but most of them are still acting completely healthy. I have the worst ones isolated, because if I isolated all the sick ones, the sick bay would be overflowing with chickens.
    What i need to know is if a bird gets IB and survives, is it a carrier of the disease? If 25% (of 44 chickens) don't get sick, does it mean that they just built up an immunity to the disease , or did they get it and become carriers?

    I'm really desperate. Mom says if I can't prove that the healthy ones don't carry, then we'll have to depopulate the whole flock. I've had almost sixty chickens total, and can still remember all the deceased ones names. Please, someone reply!
     
  6. chickory

    chickory Out Of The Brooder

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    blue ridge , georgia
    Add me to the list of a mysterious infection. I had three chickens. One died - she was gaping and I took her to vet. though we didn't see worms we still treated with wormer and she ended up dying. I cut her open and the trachea was clean. Now I think back she had some issues with lameness - very mild and it seemed to go away. Never had any symptoms of respiratory infection other than the gaping. No wet nostrils, no runny eyes, no coughing but an occasional sneeze. Now my Buff Orp is laying eggs with half being like paper, and a sneeze now and then. She appears to be fine otherwise, my Wyandotte seems fine. Now and then I see them both do that neck stretch and open mouth move, but no classic symptoms of infection. I did treat both for 4 days with Tylan 50 after my Lily died and it seems to have had zero effect. Very concerned that they will eventually die as Lily did, but if so, this time I will send to UGA vet program for autopsy to make sure I can properly disinfect my coop and run areas. Ive had chicks for over 10 years, these are the first to get a disease (if that is in fact what has happened here). Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  7. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    That sounds almost exactly like my girl that died! she was the only one to die of disease, but the others started to get nasty coughs/sneezes. We culled all the sick ones just to be safe, but since you have a smaller flock, I'd just watch them very closely.
    Hope they don't get super sick! [​IMG]
     
  8. chickory

    chickory Out Of The Brooder

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    blue ridge , georgia
    thank you! I still have my hen that is laying paper shelled eggs, with an occasional sneeze. the Wyandotte just keeps on laying perfect eggs day in and out no sneezing. I will not buy new chicks this spring. I suspect this bad laying will eventually kill my Buff Orp.
     
  9. savannah4fun

    savannah4fun Just Hatched

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    This does sound like ABV The streching of the neck with gasping and abnormal eggs with paper thin shells or abnormal shapes. You can test for it with swabs and blood. There is a vaccine too. Antibiotics like bayril, Tylan and Dexy will help only so they don't get a secondary bacterial infection while fighting the virus.
     

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