Milky diarrhea day after deworming- normal?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by deacons, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wormed my 8 hens (2-3 years old) for the first time ever yesterday. They've never been wormed before because I've never felt they needed it- I've had fecals run by an avian vet over the years, and they've always come back with negligible parasite loads.

    However, it's been a long, hard winter here, and I had a couple of girls that seemed a little unthrifty and maybe a little thinner than I'd like. I know I had a mouse problem this winter (all creatures were looking for relief from the cold this year!), and I saw a few mice eating incidents in the past month or so...

    All that led me to just go ahead and try a deworming cycle. I did a simple deworming with Wazine in their water yesterday, and was planning on following that up with Valbazen in 10 days.

    However, today I saw a good amount of milky white diarrhea, not coincidentally coming from the two that I have specifically been keeping my eye on for a little weight loss. I did not see any actual worms, just this unpleasant poop:
    [​IMG]


    Is this normal after deworming, or a sign something is wrong? Based on egg shell color, I know both of them laid eggs today, so I do not think the milky white stuff is coming from stuck/broken eggs. I have an avian vet in town and would not hesitate to take them in if this is a big red flag after giving Wazine.

    Also, now I'm questioning whether it was the right decision to deworm at all. Should I take in some fecal samples before following up with another dewormer in 10 days?

    It's been such a hard winter, I'd hate to think that I've done anything to hurt any of these girls after they've been troopers all winter long.
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    So long as you followed label instructions, that isn't likely the Piperazine causing that problem. In moist environments where chickens peck around in mud, they can pick up bacterial enteritis. It is always a good idea to add a good quality probiotic dispersible powder to drinkers 1-2 times a week. Probios dispersible powder is what I use. Try that for a day or two and see if it makes a difference. Check their vents to make sure they are not fouled or dirty. Check their weight and feel if the breast bone is sticking out.

    Whenever finishing a round of medication with chickens, it is a good practice to give poultry vitamins-electrolytes for 2-3 days, and with probiotics on the first day. Piperazine, the ingredient in Wazine, will only remove roundworms, and not efficiently since it has been used in poultry for many years. Albendazole will remove all worms. Capillary worms and caecal worms are often the ones nobody ever notices. It is good to deworm before the onset of moult and before the breeding season each year. Some folks need to deworm more often based upon environmental/climatic conditions.
     
  3. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mud in New England in March?!? Yep, we've got that oozing out of every corner! Even though I significantly improved the drainage around my run heading into this winter, there is just no way to keep animals that spend any time at all outside off of mud entirely. They are certainly walking through it, pecking at it, and, much to my chagrin, drinking from the sludgy puddles instead of their always fresh waterer.

    I already do use the Probios powder with them, but can get them some extra electrolytes for their water too. I will do some research into enteritis, that is one chicken affliction I have not yet encountered.
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Just so you know, Trimethoprim-sulfa is better than neomycin for bacterial enteritis. Stagnant puddles cannot be allowed in the run. Drainage is important as you know. Adding sand to runs helps keep the top layer drier, and gets amended into soil over time as the birds pick and scratch. Digging ditches in strategic locations/adding drainage pipe can help direct water too.
     
  5. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Michael. The standing puddles are not in the run as much as they are everywhere outside as we cycle through quick freezes and gradual melting that suddenly make big puddles appear where they weren't just hours before. These girls are not free-ranging much right now, but they usually get about an hour or so outside as I work through morning and evening chores. And I do catch them sipping out of the puddles and pecking in muddy spots.

    Just did a quick scan of a couple of enteritis studies that popped up in a Google search, and the behavior symptoms don't seem to match- I am not seeing depression, hunched up or ruffled looking. The poop is concerning, obviously, and one has a more prominent breastbone than I would like suggesting weight loss (she is also lowest in the pecking order and is looking raggedy from being picked on more in the closer quarters of winter). Based on my quick read, I'm seeing there's not really a way a vet can diagnose this in a live bird, correct? Trying to determine if it is worthwhile to take them in to see him.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome. When birds get ruffled and hunched, that is when the health is really compromised. Chickens are quite stoic and often do not reveal symptoms until it becomes too much to bear. When a watery intestinal content and wet litter are observed, Clostridium bacteria already has proliferated. Chickens are in contact with it always, just as they are with Coccidia. It is when populations increase and are ingested by the bird that it becomes life threatening. Moist and humid environments perpetuate the problem.

    Here's some very good information dealing with bacterial enteritis:
    http://en.engormix.com/MA-poultry-i...les/flushing-poult-enteritis-t2693/141-p0.htm

    Protozoa like Coccidia, in addition to intestinal worms, can cause enteritis too. Enteritis is an infection developing in the intestinal lining. Blood in stool is not always the symptom. I have a rule whereby I treat with Probiotic regiments for 2-3 days since I don't question my supplied diet. If that doesn't tighten up droppings, I move to treating with Amprolium. If I see no results within a couple days, I move to methods recommended in the previous link I posted. As for medications treating bacterial problems in the gut, Trimethoprim-Sulfa, Furaltadone are both quite effective compared to others often used. Both can be found at pigeon supply joints like Foy's or Jedd's.
    Here is some info on Coccidiosis control/treatment too:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/1138/coccidiosis-control/
     
  7. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Morning update, the poop I cleaned out of the coop this morning looked nice and healthy- tight little balls with white caps. I followed the girls around a little as they ate their breakfast to watch and see if anyone looked off after eating a little. I saw all but the one I am most worried about poop, and everyone looked normal. However, I went into the house for a minute to get something, and when I came back, of course that's when I found two splashes of very watery, loose poop. It was not white and milky like yesterday though, all brown, just watery. It also seemed to have a lot of sand in it. Not sure what that's about, but there is sand in the run so it's probably just that they were eating it yesterday since the ground was soft.

    I did find some electrolyte packs in my vet kit, so mixed that and Probios into their water. I also realized I've been really underdosing them with the Probios all this time- not really sure why, I just fundamentally misread the label when I first started using it. So, I gave them the correct amount, we'll see if that is helpful.

    It's going to be below freezing the next two days, which I am actually sort of happy about, as it will give us some relief from the mud. The ground is frozen back up tight and solid, so no worries about that today. Maybe it will be good timing and give them a chance to get back in balance.
     

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