Liquid in Lungs - Sad Story


8 Years
Dec 10, 2011
I had a 6 year old bantam rooster that was not doing very well (very lethargic and not able to stand). I took him to the vet and they diagnosed him with bumblefoot, dehydration, and they suspected an infection in his gut (he was not doing well). They gave me some antibiotics and high caloric food to give him in addition to wrapping up his feet.

The next day he was doing ok and was still feeling crummy. I gave him the food and antibiotics as instructed and also gave him a small amount of Pedialyte with a syringe orally to help with the dehydration. When I arrived home from work, he could not lift his head off the ground and looked very sick.

I rushed him to the vet and they could hear liquid in his lungs. They put him on oxygen overnight and tried to remove some of the liquid from his lungs with a nebulizer in the morning, but he had a seizure and passed away.

I am very sad and feel that I may have contributed to his demise by trying to give him some water. Has anyone else had this problem when trying to assist in giving water?


12 Years
Jul 9, 2009
I have never had the same experience BUT I wanted to say that I am so very sorry that you lost your Bantam Rooster despite your wonderful efforts to help him!

You are in my thoughts



9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
Sullivan, IL
If given too quickly with a syringe you can cause a chicken to aspirate liquid into the lungs. So I am sorry to say that we can't assure you that you did not contribute in that way. However, given the age of your rooster and his symptoms it's also possible that the fluid on his lungs had nothing to do with your treatments at all. It doesn't sound like they did a lot in the way of diagnostics beyond a physical exam, so it is possible that he had more than just dehydration and bumble foot going on. That suspected infection in his gut could have been heart disease or kidney failure instead and it just happened to progress to the point of pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs) over the next 24 hours. If that's what happened, then you syringing him water didn't make a difference one way or the other.

I understand that you feel sad and feel like you may have had something to do with his death. Anyone who has pets has felt the exact same way when an animal of theirs becomes gravely ill or dies. But you have to remember that sometimes we just can't make them better, and the most important thing is that you did what you did with his best interest in mind. In the end, that's all you can do.


6 Years
May 6, 2013
What is the best way to give liquid to a chick or rooster, in order to make sure it doesn't go in too fast and in into their lungs?


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6 Years
Jul 31, 2015
Houston, TX
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What is the best way to give liquid to a chick or rooster, in order to make sure it doesn't go in too fast and in into their lungs?
Look at the pictures in this post :#51 read it too..don't pay attention to the medicine..just the way it is administered.

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