My Hen is breathing heavy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by colette peters, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. colette peters

    colette peters Songster

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    hi
    I noticed a few days a go my hen of 1year is breathing rather heavy and noticed as she’s breathing, below her eyes it puffs up and her neck seems also to be puffing up. It very noticeable compared to my others. Also she’s showing no sign of sneezing or strange crackling noises.
    I do know it’s sometimes to late and they will not show sign of weakness, but maybe this a respiratory issue as I had my last hen die from it and worried it spread to my flock?! I’ll post her final report from Davis.in that thread no one warned me that her death was contagious or that it would affect my flock. Let me know any thoughts
    Thank you
    @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock
     

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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  2. Wishing4Wings

    Wishing4Wings Isn't it Amazing?

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    Sorry to hear your hen is not well. According to the necropsy report, your other hen died from a fungal infection in her lungs. Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold that is pretty much everywhere. Most animals and people handle being exposed to this mold with no problems. Some individuals (especially with a compromised immune system) are susceptible to it and have problems fighting it off.

    So it seems likely the hen having breathing problems may also have a fungal infection. If this is the case, she did not "catch" it from your other chickens and she would not be contagious. It may just be you have a high load of Aspergillus in your area. Give your coop and run a good cleaning if there is hay or bark chips, especially moist, that may be a host to the mold.

    I would isolate the heavy breather away from the rest of the flock. Set her up in a small pen or dog crate somewhere safe, warm, dark and quiet. There are several reasons for this. First, it may not actually be aspergillus, but some other respiratory virus that could be contagious, and you don't want to risk exposing the other chickens. Second, you can monitor her food intake and look for changing symptoms more easily if she caged. And finally, you can offer her supportive care in the way of good food, vitamins, etc, and without the pressure of the flock, give her immune system a chance to fight off the infection. If she is removed from the source of the mold, her chances are better. You would have to consult a veterinarian for any treatment beyond supportive care.

    I hope she gets better. Here is some info about aspergillus that might help.

    https://thepoultrysite.com/disease-guide/aspergillosis

    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/aspergillosis
    /overview-of-aspergillosis-in-poultry


    http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/aspergillosis
     
  3. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Crowing

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    Greetings colette peters,

    The necropsy report from UC Davis, states that the hen died from a fungal infection, aspergillus.

    This fungus is in the environment, the soil, moldy bedding, or even in the feed. If you suspect that the feed is moldy, you must discard it. Some feeds have mold inhibitors added.

    This infection isn't contagious, but can affect multiple birds if they are exposed to the same infectious source. Chickens that have a compromised immune system are more susceptible to this type of fungal infection.

    The report describes a ruptured liver and spleen, that may have been caused by possible infection. The infection may have originated in the right remnant oviduct. The right oviduct of a hen is not functional. So this is an interesting find. But, this is yet to be confirmed, as the results of tests are pending.

    Treatment of aspergillus infection is difficult. An anti-fungal may help, treatment with Nystatin is suggested.

    If you can have a vet examine the current hen, that would be good. Take the necropsy report with you, to show the vet. The hen may have some other illness. Difficulty breathing can be due to infection, heart failure, obstruction in the trachea, or something else.

    If a vet is not an option, it would be helpful if:

    • You could upload a photo of the hen's recent poop.
    • A video of the hen's breathing is also helpful.
    • Is the hen eating?
    • Is she drinking normally?
    • Is there any swelling of the hen's abdomen?
    • Is the hen laying eggs regularly?
    With more information, the members here at BYC, will be better able to help you.

    These are my thoughts on your hen's health issue. I hope I have been helpful.

    God Bless :)
     
  4. colette peters

    colette peters Songster

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    Thank you so much for all your knowledge.
    I’m so neurotic about cleaning my coop it’s crazy. I did it once a month, now I’m at about every week.
    And there is never any signs of mold on the inside or excessive moisture.
    During the day I usually open the whole door so there is ventilation and it drys out. I’m starting to fear that my “clean coop” product bedding I use may be the problem. Should I switch to pine shavings? The deep litter method is not an option for me.
    Also my average temp in California during the day is 72° so nice. At night drops to 60°
    Also with my last hen who died, everyone suggested I have continuous air flow so I’ve now left windows half open for fresh air.
    I do have a vet here that I take my girls to. Should I go?
    Thanks a million I’ll keep everyone posted :love
     
    Wishing4Wings likes this.
  5. colette peters

    colette peters Songster

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    Thank you!!! I would love to post a video. I have no idea how??

    And I’m definitely going to track her today and will isolate her. For egg production, that’s tough as I have 16 hens. My daughter said she remembers her in the nesting box a few days ago. As for water and food again I’m at a loss. I’m going to watch her like crazy today.
    I literally noticed it bad last night when she went to roost. But I did notice the strange puffing above the beak breathing about 3 days ago which I thought was alarming and odd.

    A Vet is an option here.

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  6. Kathy Golla

    Kathy Golla Songster

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    Hi Colette,
    With that aspergillosis diagnosis, I would err on the side of caution and take her to the vet.
    Aspergillosis is hard to treat, but treatable.
    Bring the necropsy report with you.
    You probably don’t need to isolate her if you can get her into the vet. I only isolate if the hen is either very sick or getting picked on.
    ETA: wishing for wings makes a good case for isolation, esp if you feel the hen is feeling poorly.
    Let us know what the vet says!
     
    Wishing4Wings likes this.
  7. colette peters

    colette peters Songster

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    Thank you
    I went out this morning and she’s super active and was eating and drinking with the flock. They are not bullying her at all. No signs of lethargy
     
    Wishing4Wings likes this.
  8. Kathy Golla

    Kathy Golla Songster

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    Good, no reason to isolate then. I'd take her to a vet just to check her out based on the other hens history. Try to describe to the vet what she was doing. He will be able to listen to her lungs.
     
    colette peters likes this.
  9. colette peters

    colette peters Songster

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    Ok will do
     
  10. colette peters

    colette peters Songster

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    @Kathy Golla how do I upload a video? I just took one of her for you to see what I’m seeing
     

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