Need advice about mites/lice/coccidosis- my pullet has one, not sure which

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jalen911, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. jalen911

    jalen911 Out Of The Brooder

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    Symptoms:

    My barred rock has been "off" since Saturday evening when I noticed. She is very light/thin, her comb is gray and she is sleepy/tired/low energy. She does walk around a bit and has been seen eating & drinking a bit each day, but looks generally miserable and clearly isn't eating enough since she's so thin.

    I'm new to chickens, we've had them for one month. The other 3 are normal, happy, perky, curious girls, my BR seems to be the only one with an issue.

    I have seen no stools that made me worry. No bloody stools, nothing abnormal.

    Spoke to a vet today on the phone, he said she is anemic based on her comb color. He worried about coccidosis. I went to our local feed store, which doesn't sell Corid, but gave me a Sulfa powder instead and he said to start that for a week.

    After doing some online research, I got worried about possible worms or mites, because they could drink her blood and cause anemia as well. I did a general "look over" and didn't see anything, but I'm far from an expert and I'm kind of nervous to dig through the feathers in her vent area, I just never seem to locate the vent.

    I think I should treat for mites just in case, it can't hurt right? I'm going to use Sevin dust on all of them tonight and clean the coop deeply tomorrow when its warmer & sunny so it has time to dry before they go into it for the night (too late to do that today).

    I ordered some Equimax de-wormer online, should be here later this week-- but I've read it can be harmful to de-worm an already sick/weak bird. Should I wait on that? My worry is that she, being as sickly and thin as she is, may not have enough time left to wait it out until she is stronger, and if she has worms wouldn't it be better to treat her as opposed to letting them kill her? Or will the Sulfa powder be enough to keep the worms at bay for awhile? I'm so confused on how best to approach treating her.

    I would think that if it was coccidosis, this being day 4, the other hens would/should being showing symptoms by now right? Since they aren't showing signs, should I assume it's not coccidosis? Or can they come down with it later? I thought I read somewhere that coccidosis would be deadly within 4-7 days, and this is day 4, but I guess that isn't a comment on how fast it spreads.

    If you were dealing with a sickly, weak, thin, anemic bird, and you don't know if its coccidosis or mites or worms or whatever...how would you treat?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If she were so overwhelmed with lice/mites that they had caused that kind of anemia and weight loss, I imagine you'd see tiny bugs crawling around pretty easily, maybe even onto your hands, or on her head or under her wings. The Sevin is probably a good idea, though. A few mites/lice are not at all unusual for any chicken.

    The sulfa is rough on their gut. I'm not familiar with Equimax, but I think I'd go that route before I gave a sulfa drug, particularly as the symptoms don't really fit cocci. And I would tend to feel it was worth a try in spite of her condition. Usually if they are overwhelmed with cocci they will not eat or drink at all, and you have to dropper feed the Corid water to get it into them. She might not have any of the above. She could have a cancer or be an internal layer, just for example. But I think I'd still go with a dewormer at this point.

    I would also try to get some powdered milk or buttermilk into her, as these are soothing to the digestive tract. A milk flush would be good if you happen to have the ingredients. The milk flush is also an "old timey" remedy for cocci.

    Good luck!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/186479/milk-flush-for-coccidiosis/0_20
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    If you're giving sulfadimethoxine, it's good for coccidiosis and some infections, like an antibiotic. I think it's Sulmet that's hard on them. Which one are you using?
     
  4. jalen911

    jalen911 Out Of The Brooder

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    I started her on sulfadimethoxine today. She's really not well. Earlier I saw her taking a few sips of the treated water, but even just now I went out and tried to put her near the water dish and she wouldn't take any. I tried to dropper feed her by dripping it on to her beak hoping she would reflexively drink it and she took maybe one drop. I did a dusting with Seven on the coop, and all of the girls. She didn't even have the strength to flap or walk to get the excess off so I had to help her. I put her in the yard while I dusted the other girls, and she barely moved for the half hour it took me. I have no idea what's wrong with her, so far none of the other girls have any symptoms whatsoever.
    Today was her first day on the sulfadimethoxine, and I really hope that she starts to drink more of it and that it helps to get her stronger.


    I'm not sure if I should stay with the sulfadimethoxine or start her on Corid tomorrow. I'll try de-worming them all when I get the equimax stuff later this week.
     
  5. jalen911

    jalen911 Out Of The Brooder

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    If it comes down to the point where I have to sort of "forcefully" dropper feed her, how do I even get her beak open, and how can I make sure it doesn't go into her lungs?
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    For feeding liquids I dribble alongside the beak with a syringe and they drink it themselves. I don't pour it in the mouth...but drip it slowly alongside the beak.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, this is my understanding, although any sulfa drug can be problematic. Sulmet is sufamethazine. Sulfadimethoxine is definitely preferable over Sulmet.

    I would be very cautious about trying to pry the beak open. I agree that dripping alongside the beak as ChickensAreSweet suggests is the safe way to go.

    Some do tube feed their birds. A search will lead you to threads or articles on this if you are interested.
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I would do the SD first, but maybe someone knows of a more gentle wormer.
    I put 2 of mine on SD this morning. I don't know what the problem is yet. I put it in their water, and also you can make them a wet mash or even oatmeal with the treated water. Corrid is a good med, but the SD covers some infections as well, and Corrid, only cocci.
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Most people don't know this, but to properly hydrate a bird they need ~30ml/kg every 6-8 hours if they aren't drinking on their own... That's 90ml (3 ounces) 3-4 times a day for a normal sized Barred Rock hen... There is *no* way to safely drip that volume of water into them, so I tube, period and tubing guarantees the correct dosing of medicines that are mixed in water. If *anyone* wants to learn how to tube I can teach them, you just have to be willing to get the supplies, which you can get at any vet office.

    I guarantee that if one learns to tube they will kick themselves for not learning to do it earlier.

    To quote my vet, "it's not usually the disease that kills them, it's dehydration and starvation".

    Two great threads on how to tube feed:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...cken-and-give-subcutaneous-fluid#post_9910754
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-for-visuals-very-detailed-post#post_11652991


    If you decide to tube feed, which is what I would recommend, get a kitchen scale, 18 french rubber catheter, pedialyte, 35ml catheter tip syringes and Kaytee Baby Bird Food. I'm available by phone to help you through this.

    -Kathy

    Edited to add:
    Sent you a PM with my number.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013

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