Losing weight and not laying for 1 month

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by eggfire, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. eggfire

    eggfire Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Southwestern, IN
    Hello all. I am desperately looking for some advice for my Americauna hen that has been ill for almost an entire month. I'm to the point where I'm afraid she will just starve to death she is so thin and unhappy. She is just so inconsistent with her behavior. One day she seems to improve by eating a little and scratching around with the other chickens; however, the next day she will just stay puffed with her head down and won't come out from under the boxwoods. I have copied the questions that address illnesses and will include other information at the end, as I think of it. I am hopeful some of you knowledgeable chicken folk will be able to help me save her. I think she may be damaged too badly to ever be a good layer again, but I just have to do everything in my power to try and get her feeling better and hopefully "survive."

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Americauna approximately 1 year old. Not exactly sure what her weight is, but her keel is sharp and she probably weighs less than 1/2 of her sister Americauna. Pathetic.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Tail down, head down, lethargic, not interested in eating most of the time (not much when she does eat), watery diarrhea (sometimes completely clear but then sometimes green runny) - Poo pictures on the website clearly indicate that she is malnourished and dehydrated, but also looks like the worm pictures at times. Her poo keeps changing, but never normal.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    About a month now. We knew she was getting thin, but now it's awful.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    Not at all, though we treated them all for Cocci. The healthy sister Americauna stopped laying after the Corid treatment though I did give them all the mash mix after treatment (actually....I stand corrected...we think she laid a really thin shelled egg a couple days ago and today she did again...this egg is sorta odd shaped and "grainy shelled" though.)

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    No signs of trauma.

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Not a clue. Got a little heavy on scratch grains toward the end of the layer pellets, but nothing too crazy. Certainly not aware of any 'oddities" in the diet.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    A little bit of layer pellets mixed with buttermilk, yogurt and applesauce. Got her to eat some waffle bits two days ago. She appears to be finding some bits and bugs out in the yard when she is out of the coop with her sisters.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Runny almost slime like to the occasional green glob. Sometimes green bits in a gooish white pool - leading me to believe it may be worms

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Initally flushed with Epsom treatments not having any idea if someone threw something into our yard or she got into something toxic that her sisters did not.
    Treated ALL with Corid, believing they may have Cocci (only saw a little pink in the stool a few times...never the blood red stool like on the poo pics)
    Also treated with only her Wazine, believing that she could have roundworms, and the fact that she has never been wormed before with a broad spectrum wormer.
    I have also massaged her crop; however, I haven't felt anything that I understand to be abnormal. I did find that she had a fuller crop in the mornings than I would have expected. Given just a little bit of Olive Oil by oral syringe two times. All the chickens have ACV in their water now, too. Bought some DE, but haven't done anything with that yet.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I have a phone call into my regular dog/cat vet; however, she doesn't treat chickens. She is doing some calling around and planning on getting back with me. I would be willing to take her to a vet if I can find one. My regular vet did however run a fecal for Cocci a little over two weeks ago, and she did find eggs...though my understanding is that they normally do pass a few cocci eggs.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    Not sure if a picture would help, as she is just standing around like a stereotypical sick chicken. Not doing any weird walking or anything.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    Small house with pine shavings and gated coop area with pine needle straw. Let out into the yard regularly to scrach and peck.

    Having said all that, I did notice that when she is eating that she shakes her head a lot. Seems like she has to work at swallowing sometimes. I know the poor thing is so thirsty, too. I have some pedialyte and gatorade that I am giving and she drinks it from my oral syringe, but doesn't express much interest drinking on her own. I can't watch this bird starve to death. I will probably end up putting her down; however, my last thoughts after reading sooooo many conversations on the forums are these: try an antibiotic/antifungal believing it could be sour crop of thrush, try ivomec in 10 days for possible gapeworm or other worm, or just some sort of strange virus and intestinal issue that is untreatable. We have only been chicken parents for about 11 months, and these are our first three girls. I hate that we may lose one. I have tried and tried and everytime I think she is feeling better and acting stronger, the next day she proves me wrong. I cannot think of what would take a month to slowly kill her......perhaps she didn't get enough of the Corid since she's hesitant to drink on her own?
     
  2. jaimslee4u

    jaimslee4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you have done anything a good chicken parent would do so far! I am not sure if I can help you but hopefully someone will be able too.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    have you looked her over real good for lice/mites? they will bring a chicken down pretty quick, cause anemia and starvation..
     
  4. eggfire

    eggfire Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Southwestern, IN
    Yes, we have checked her over for lice/mites. Haven't seen any evidence of such an infestation, but we went ahead and checked again (just now) to make sure. Today was definitely one of the bad days. She didn't want to eat AT ALL. I managed to probably get only 1 tablespoon of mash down her. Gave her some electrolytes, but she certainly didn't enjoy it. Her crop is about the only meaty part left on her whole body. It feels soft and squishy. Thought I felt a small rock or something, but it's easily manipulated. She didn't want to take the olive oil I was giving her, so I tried to put it in the mash. Not nearly enough....I'm sure. Last night when I was feeding her, it seemed like everytime I would massage her crop, she would take a few more bites. My last ditch effort will probably be to treat for crop yuckies..depending on a potential vet intervention. After that, I have exhausted everything I have read and also feel comfortable trying. We will have to put her down.
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I recommend you stop giving her all the things that can cause diarrhea...olive oil, yogurt, buttermilk, applesauce. Gatorade contains too much salt, probably why she is drinking so much water. You've wormed her and given her corid. I wouldnt give her anymore wormers nor meds because she is in a weakened state and adding anything else will stress her system to the point of no return. Mix a scrambled egg in with her layer feed, add warm water to it to make a mash and feed that to her. I wouldnt feed her anything else but the mash from here on out, hopefully she'll get better. Good luck.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    First, check to be sure her crop isn't impacted with fiber; they can starve to death this way. Also, check threads on "internal laying". Though she is a bit younger than most who malfunction that way, it's still a possibility. I've lost 9 to this and the weight loss and other symptoms can be related to that, among other things.
     
  7. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Go to your local pharmacy and purchase some cranassure GEL caps - tuck one down her crop every morning- also, a clove of raw garlic and a few walnuts. Keep at this for five days or so. Remove all pellets and crumbles and get her on some soaked dog kibble.
     
  8. eggfire

    eggfire Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Southwestern, IN
    Thanks so much for everyone's input. I will keep the questions coming...for I have several. 1) If she is an internal layer, will her abdomen be swollen? I have no idea, but it sounds like their abdomens swell like the consistency of water balloons. Hers is not swollen at all, but still unsure if it has to be for this condition. Thoughts??? And my understanding is that this is an incurable condition. 2) I will definitely make the changes to her diet as suggested starting in the am. I am calling the vet first thing in the morning, too. She called and left a message. Hopefully, she will have some pointers, as well. 3 )If she is not laying internally, does everyone think it is a crop issue? I'm not familiar with the cranassure gel caps, but will definitely be finding out about those. I HAVE to get some meat on her bones. It breaks my heart how thin she is... 4) Lastly, is a medication such as an antibiotic or antifungal completely out of the picture because of her emaciated state?

    Thanks so much for any input. You all have been so helpful already. It's amazing how I feel like I'm not experiencing this alone because of the BYC site!!!!
     
  9. eggfire

    eggfire Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Southwestern, IN
    This morning she won't eat at all. I have soaked dog kibble and a scrambled up egg; both of which she won't touch. She doesn't even seem interested in water. Ugh! This chicken is driving me crazy! Her crop was small this morning, and sounds squishy when I massage the only left over bit in the bottom. I can't believe she would have ANYTHING in there, considering that she barely consumed any food yesterday. Thought I smelled bad breath, but I may be imagining things.... I've tried everything I can think of. My dog/cat vet is supposed to call this am. Maybe I can try a little protein powder with water........she feels like a skeleton.
     
  10. eggfire

    eggfire Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Southwestern, IN
    Ugh! This bird is going to be the death of me. I put her outside and she immediately began grazing and scratching around. Not sure how much she is getting to eat, but she looks like she is enjoying herself. Her tail is at about half mast, but she is certainly getting the scratching done. What is her deal???????????
     

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