Lethargic hen not responding to Ivermectin - suggestions?

cloudmir

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 20, 2012
6
0
7
Hi all,

First, thank you all so much for all the fantastic info - these forums have been an invaluable resource for me as I've started raising my first two chickens.

Unfortunately, one of my ~9 month old Red Star hens is quite ill, and I'd love any suggestions. She stopped laying a couple weeks ago, and seemed a little lethargic at the time, but I thought she might just be broody. However, in the last few days she's stopped eating or drinking voluntarily, can barely stand up, and has her eyes closed most of the time.

I gave her some Ivermectin 1.8% paste last night, and have been force-feeding her crumble mashed up with water, mealworms, and a little diatomaceous earth. I don't see any sign of mites on her, and what little stool she passes is basically white water. I haven't seen any sign of worms in the stool, but the progressing lethargy seems symptomatic of worms (based on what little I know).

The only other hen in the 'flock' has no symptoms at all, and is still laying (though I'll do egg withdrawal for 2 weeks per the excellent advice on this forum). I gave her some Ivermectin too as a precaution.

Any suggestions would be welcome. I live in an urban area so there aren't really many vets with avian experience in my area.

Thanks so much!
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
712
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Could she have coccidiosis instead of worms?

lethargy
diarrhea
won't eat or drink
eyes closed
weak

An older hen can still get coccidiosis if immunocompromised or placed on different soil with different cocci there.

I agree it was wise to consider worms with the cessation of laying. Another thing to consider is could she have an infection somewhere- unfortunately I don't have the expertise to tell you the diagnosis.

If you have some Corid on hand if it were me I'd definitely give her some and see if she improves.

This is the dose I use if you are interested:
9.5 ml (of Corid 9.6%) per gallon of water for 5 days, mixing new batch each day to keep it fresh.

Corid 9.6% liquid available in the cattle section of the feed store.

Frankly Corid is much gentler on them than wormers and thus wouldn't be terribly risky considering that she sounds VERY near death now.

Another option is that some vets will do a fecal test for worms and cocci for a small fee. False negatives are possible for the fecal float for worms, but will tell you if you are dealing with coccidiosis.

Again let me say that I don't know what is wrong with your hen...I am just telling you what I personally would do if it were me, not knowing what to do for my hen. I'd try the Corid to see if it saved her. I don't want to get a big vet bill myself, and I do have Corid on hand so it wouldn't be hard for me to try it.

Don't feed vitamins with Corid as it is a thiamine blocker.
 
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cloudmir

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 20, 2012
6
0
7
Thank you so much for the reply. I don't have any Corid on hand, but I'll see if I can find some locally or order online. My hen seems a bit more energetic this evening and was voluntarily eating greens for about half an hour, and groomed herself a little, so perhaps the Ivermectin is slowly starting to have an effect.

I happen to have some Metronidazole leftover from when my cat was sick a few weeks ago, and the vet thought Giardia might be the cause. I may try giving a small dose to my hen just in case it has any effect, because as you mentioned, she does seem very near death.

Thank you again for the reply!
 
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delisha

Crowing
7 Years
Oct 13, 2012
8,176
533
298
Racine, WI -
My Coop
My Coop
Why drug your bird? She is weak already. She really did not need the ivomec either. How about pumpkin seeds? No reason to treat for worms this time of year with so many pumpkins around. Is she free range? A pet? Does she lay eggs regular? Hows her weight?
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
712
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Thank you so much for the reply. I don't have any Corid on hand, but I'll see if I can find some locally or order online. My hen seems a bit more energetic this evening and was voluntarily eating greens for about half an hour, and groomed herself a little, so perhaps the Ivermectin is slowly starting to have an effect.

I happen to have some Metronidazole leftover from when my cat was sick a few weeks ago, and the vet thought GIardia might be the cause. I may try giving a small dose to my hen just in case it has any effect, because as you mentioned, she does seem very near death.

Thank you again for the reply!

Sulmet also treats coccidiosis, but only a couple of strains of it and it is harder on the hens from what I have read.
 

cloudmir

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 20, 2012
6
0
7
Why drug your bird? She is weak already. She really did not need the ivomec either. How about pumpkin seeds? No reason to treat for worms this time of year with so many pumpkins around. Is she free range? A pet? Does she lay eggs regular? Hows her weight?
She is free range in my back yard, and is mostly a pet although we do use her eggs. She laid an egg every day until she suddenly stopped laying entirely about 2 weeks ago, and has been getting more and more lethargic since then. I gave her the Ivermectin because she seemed very near death and I gathered that worms could be the cause of her weakness. I'm in Northern California, so the weather here is still very warm, and she's never been wormed before (she's about 9 months old).

I don't have a scale sensitive enough to detect changes in the chickens' weights - they're both about 2 pounds. Her feathers look good and there are no signs of mites, so worms seemed to be the most likely culprit.
 
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dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Nov 27, 2008
29,014
18,944
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Glen St Mary, Florida
Thank you so much for the reply. I don't have any Corid on hand, but I'll see if I can find some locally or order online. My hen seems a bit more energetic this evening and was voluntarily eating greens for about half an hour, and groomed herself a little, so perhaps the Ivermectin is slowly starting to have an effect.

I happen to have some Metronidazole leftover from when my cat was sick a few weeks ago, and the vet thought GIardia might be the cause. I may try giving a small dose to my hen just in case it has any effect, because as you mentioned, she does seem very near death.

Thank you again for the reply!

If Giardia is the culprit, you'll need to dose her for 5 days in a row for the metronidazole to be effective. Since she's only about 2 pounds, and if it's a 250mg tablet, it might be best to give her half a tablet (half strength) once a day for 5 days.
 

casportpony

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BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Jun 24, 2012
123,345
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Quote: I just had to worm a bunch of mine with fenbendazole. I don't think I would trust seeds to get cecal worms.
 
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