Labored Breathing - Darkened Red Crest & Face

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by UrbanChick35456, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. UrbanChick35456

    UrbanChick35456 Just Hatched

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    Mar 30, 2017
    We have an older Maran hen who is having difficulty breathing. She is still eating and drinking. She occasionally makes a wheezing sound. I see her puffed up in a corner sometimes like a sick chicken, but if I throw treats or it's feeding time, she always comes running. What's odd is how intensely red her face and crest are - like not healthy bright red, but super dark red and not her normal color. I have been giving her some olive oil at night in case something is stuck, but no change yet (I've been doing this for about 4 days). About a month ago, I noticed her make some sneezing noises while she ate that sounded different than normal chicken-sneeze noises while feeding on mash, but I don't recall her being so red, so this is surely getting worse. No other chickens are exhibiting these symptoms. Advice?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Does she have a tight full lower belly which could be a sign of ascites or fluid in her belly? Heart or liver failure, and egg yolk peritonitis may be causes for that. Ascites is only one possible cause of labored breathing. The dark comb is usually a sign of not enough oxygen circulating from her heart or from a respiratory problem. Intense color can be a sign of fever. Temperatures in chickens can range from 102-109F, so not a good way to gauge fever. Can you post any pictures of her? Has she been laying eggs recently? I would stop the olive oil. How does her crop feel--empty, full, soft, or firm, or puff? It should be empty normally at daylight before she has a chance to eat.I would continue to give her a watery mash, plus a tsp of plain probiotic yogurt every 2-3 days, and add some vitamins and electrolytes to her water. For a treat, she could eat some chopped egg daily. Has she been up walking around, or does she sit around mostly?
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1156299/ascites-or-internal-laying-should-i-atempt-draining
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853726/ascites-in-desperate-need-of-some-help-and-guidance
     
  3. UrbanChick35456

    UrbanChick35456 Just Hatched

    6
    3
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    Mar 30, 2017
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    Thank you for the welcome and the quick response! To answer your questions, I don't know about the "tight, full belly" - she feels normal...I don't think she is laying...Her crop feels soft - like there is definitely some stuff in there, but not as much as my other hens; not real full, not hard and not puff at all...I never see her sit; she is always standing and runs for food (and away from me lol).... It does look like lack of oxygen - like when a person's face turns red. I have two pictures. One of her and then on of her and another Maran (her daughter) to show the difference in color - She is on the left. I know it looks subtle, but I feel the pictures don't do it much justice.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    With chickens being sick, it can kind of be guesswork as to what is wrong, and how to treat it. If it is her heart, there is not much that you can do except try to make her comfortable. You could try worming her with SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer or the Panacur or SG Equine Paste 1/4 ml per pound of weight for 5 straight days in case of capillary or gapeworm. Since she is a big girl, it would be good to get a weight on her by holding her to weigh youself and subtracting your weight. Or use a postal or kitche scale. Tylan 50 injectable, an antibiotic, can be given orally or by injection twice a day for 5 days (dosage 1 ml per every 5 pounds.) That could treat a respiratory infection caused by bacteria. Whether you want to treat with antibiotics or wormer is up to you, just suggestions. A vet might be helpful. Or you could just watch her and keep her comfortable. If she has a laying problem such as internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis, that can also cause labored breathing. Let us know how she gets along.
     

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