My 6-month old hen limping, gasping, & mucous drainage from mouth

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by school32, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. school32

    school32 New Egg

    Sep 27, 2011
    I already posted this on the NEW EGG topic, but wanted to get it out to everyone else - in this topic, also. Thanks so much!!

    I have lost 1 hen already. A young buff Orp. I actually took her to an avian vet when I noticed a problem! She was limping and then a large lump grew under her eye. The vet wasn't sure what it was (torn tendon or broken leg), but not wanting to get an xray for my pet chicken - I opted to have her splinted. As for the lump - she was really at a loss. She advised an antibiotic, and if that didn't help - her only other advice was to have it biopsied. My hen also had a small hard nodule / lump on the front of her neck. After 2 weeks of keeping her isolated in a dog crate, changing her bedding often, smelling her leg for possible infection, and administering antibiotics 2x / day... she continued to get worse. When she ate (for example - lettuce) - she would peck and miss. She would misjudge where the food was...even large food like lettuce. We ended up putting her down. It was a hard thing to do. I didn't begin raising chickens just to kill them! :-(

    Just this weekend, I noticed that my coop has Mites! Red mites...according to all the internet searching I've been doing. So - yesterday, I did an extensive clean out of the coop, and dusted all the chickens with DE. I will keep a closer eye on the mite problem from now on. Not a fun job at all!!!

    My NEWEST problem is: Another hen is limping / lame. She started with a simple limp, but now her walking has decreased severely, and she sits most of the time. When she does move in and out of the coop - or whatever - she used her wings to help her. If I pick her up and place her on her back, she moves her legs, and I don't notice anything visible wrong with them. No swelling, No "bumble foot" (another problem I recently became aware of, thanks to the internet). I can't figure it out. So, I decided to just leave her, and see if it began preventing her from feeding, etc. I notice she doesn't roost with the others. Instead, she goes into one of the lower nesting boxes at night, with the aid of flying up, and sits / sleeps in there all night. I began putting a cup of food into the box with her, and she eats.
    NOW A NEW SYMPTOM.... While I was 'dusting' all the chickens yesterday - before letting them back into their de-mited, clean coop... I dusted my injured hen last. I noticed that her breathing is labored (she breaths with her mouth open sometimes) and she has clogged nostrils!! When she opened her mouth....I noticed mucous!! Then, while holding her upside down, she laid her head back behind my arm, and a big blog of mucous drained out of her mouth and landed on my shoe. I hung her upside down for a while more, hoping that would help drain whatever was in her (lungs?) out... but now I have no idea what's wrong with her!!
    I have searched and searched and searched....scouring this site and so many others...forums, extensions, etc.... to no avail. I am just totally and thoroughly confused now! There are so many different diseases out there! It sounds like fowl cholera (kind of) or Trichomoniasis, or AE, EE, or a number of different things.

    Has anyone else had these same symptoms in any of their chickens? I am isolating her now today...and I plan on trying to "smell" the mucous to see if there's any foul odor. I also plan (although this doesn't seem pleasant AT ALL) to smell the 'vent' see if there's any foul odor there...?! I haven't noticed her having diarrhea. She may be loosing weight, however. I know she still eats, but not like before. I also haven't noted her laying eggs (although in general, egg production is down a bit). I need to begin giving them artificial light to make up for the shorter days now.

    By the way - I live in the Pacific Northwest, and the rainy season is beginning now. Shorter days, rain.... not looking forward to extra added problems!!!

    Please - if anyone has any suggestions... I'd really appreciate the help! I was thinking about just starting them on some Sulfa Drugs (Albon or Sulfadimethoxine or Sulfamethazine or Amprolium... but I'm still nervous about mis-diagnosing and doing more harm than good!!! I also read about sulfasol (Albon) Powder or Albon oral solution. So, actually - I'm confused again!

    There's a reason I choose NOT to become a vet!


  2. scbirdfarm

    scbirdfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    Maria Stein, OH 45860
    I would say it mite be Mycoplasma gallisepticum or infectious coryza. The best treatment is Tylan Soluble Powder & Gallimycin. Here is a link that mite help you to find out more.
  3. school32

    school32 New Egg

    Sep 27, 2011
    FYI... that's supposed to say a big BLOB of mucous drained out of her mouth. Then....when I hung her upside down, a lot more mucous did drain out!

    I haven't noticed any mucous (drainage) from her eyes. She seems bright eyed and alert.

    No foul smell from the mouth/nostrils or vent.
  4. flashover1969

    flashover1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Gilbert, AZ
    I'm sorry to hear of your loss and the problems with this illness. You should consider a necropsy to find out exactly what the cause of death is. If your not too far from Washington State University, they will perform this for a $21.00 fee. Research your area and you might find a place to do it for free.

    Anyway on top of what scbirdfarm said, you may also want to treat for fungal infection. Respiratory infections can be bacterial, fungal, or viral. See if your vet can examine a sample of that mucus?

    Keep us posted

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