More bloody discharge in the coop today!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bawkbawkbawk, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    This has been going on for two months now. Main presenting symptom has been finding blood-tinged liquid soaking through paper towels and newspapers in the coop. All birds are 15 months old. Hatchery stock that I purchased through our feed store at one day old.

    Buff Orpington and Light Brahma were examined by vet, who put the BO on Baytril.

    Two weeks later, still finding the discharge in the coop; same two hens were taken into vet, this time she said it might be caecal worms and all three hens were treated for that and then re-treated two weeks later. The Light Brahma was also given antibiotics.

    A few days after the last worming treatment my Light Brahma became reluctant to walk. Took her in again and the vet did an xray, said she had hip degeneration and prescribed rest and anti-inflammatories. She died three days later (Sunday).[​IMG]

    This morning I was horrified to find more blood-tinged liquid in the coop. I don't know whether it's coming from the BO or from my EE, who is the only one who has not been treated with antibiotics.

    I know the vet did a faecal float so am assuming cocci has been ruled out. The other diseases that seem to be characterized by the bloody discharge symptom are Lymphoid Leukosis and something I found called Newcastle Disease. Would the faecal float have ruled out these?

    I keep the coop meticulously clean so there are no issues around that - all droppings in the coop are disposed of each morning and soiled bedding is replaced. The chickens free-range in our yard several hours a day.

    The two remaining birds are acting healthy.

    I cannot face losing another one and I feel completely helpless. Any guidance would be appreciated. [​IMG]
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    If you have another death in the flock (I sincerely hope you do not)- you should take advantage of your state's free necropsy service. There are several CAHFS labs in CA that can help you (free)- though you have to ship the bird there in a styro cooler. LL is possible, but bloody discharge (this is from the vent, or are they coughing it up?) is not the usual symptom. Newcastle's is also not common. A regular fecal will tell you if there are worms present, or coccidia. It will NOT pick up flagellate organisms. Have your vet do a DIRECT FECAL (fresh from the chicken feces looked at with saline) to pick up the flagellates. Was the deceased LB necropsied? Hip degeneration is an odd diagnosis in a chicken. Mycoplasma synoviae can certainly cause joint degeneration, but usually you will have some upper respiratory signs as well. Again, a good reason to get a real necropsy with cultures- if you have mycoplasma S in your flock- you need a tetracycline type drug to suppress or denagard, but you will end up with carriers (all off label as you have a laying flock). Something does not add up. Is the vet an avian vet, or a GP who was willing to see the chicken? If you have been seeing a GP- you might want to see an avian/exotics specialist. Did the vet tell you about CAHFS? Baytril, by the way is on FARAD's prohibited drug list in food animals- if your chicken planned to lay any eggs in the future. Vet is playing with fire, as prohibited drugs are more than off label like most of the drugs used in pet chickens- they are actually illegal- I hope they discussed with you the pros vs cons of using it. It is a great drug- but needs to be used very cautiously in animals that are considered food animals--- I would use it only in pet roosters, show birds, internal layers that won't be laying again- not ones that you plan to eat or sell eggs from ever. Sorry, wandered off topic there... I hope you find the answers you need & your flock is healthy soon---
  3. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    mypicklebird - thank you so much for your response to my post. It has been very difficult to get any input on what's going on with my birds.

    I spoke with the vet again and she assured me that she had ruled out every possible illness that could be seen under a microscope, including any flagellates. There were no visible worms (this is why she treated for possible caecal worms previously) and no coccidiosis. Her best guess as to cause of death was that the bird sustained an injury to the leg/hip that affected the spinal cord and caused her organs to shut down. We do allow the birds to free-range our three acres but I think I would have known if something that traumatic happened to one of them, so I'm a bit skeptical of that hypothesis, although with so many other things ruled out it does seem a mystery.

    Because my chicken died on a Sunday I did not have her necropsied - I could not face the idea of bagging and freezing her - we just went ahead and buried her.

    The vet said nothing about pros/cons of Baytril. I don't know what CAHFS is. Clearly I have much to learn...

    The good news is that my remaining two now seem happy and although on some days I do still find fluid discharge in the coop I am not seeing blood.
  4. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Glad the remaining 2 are doing ok--

    There is the cahfs lab for my area (NoCAL), but there is more than one in the state.

    IF another bird dies or is euthanized & you want to get it necropsied- do NOT freeze (freezing will ruin the tissues for exam and kill some of the organisms they might want to test for). Double bag and refrigerate- send within 24 hrs if possible. If a bird passes on Sunday, send it on Monday, as long as it went into the refrigerator and is shipped with ice packs- it will be fine.
  5. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for this.

    My other two are still looking spry and healthy so it looks like whatever happened was limited to the one bird.

    Read a bit about Baytril and am wondering why my vet even has it on hand since it looks like it's not supposed to be administered. Wish I had known about this before giving it to my hen. Is this antibiotic used in factory chickens that produce the eggs we buy at the store?

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