Need advice re: potential fungal infection

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lhkpdx, Nov 19, 2019.

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  1. lhkpdx

    lhkpdx In the Brooder

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    Hello!

    I've been battling some kind of issue/infection with my Polish Hen for almost a month now. My observation is that she does great while being [cool] misted with non-activated Ozine and backslides when I stop.

    I've done this twice now and have gotten similar results both times:

    Bring the sick bird in the house; cool mist with Ozine 3 times a day for 5-7 days. ALL symptoms of problem clear up.
    • Hungry & eating normally, talking, good color, poop is normal, interested in escaping the cage - all-in-all, seems like she's back to a healthy chicken.
    Stop the treatments - she continues to do well for about 3 days and then the decline starts again. By day 5, we're back to:
    • Green poop that smells like a sewer, eating less, weakness, lack of coordination, flicking her head, etc.
    The first time I put her back in the coop as soon as she seemed better. This time I kept her in after stopping the treatments so I could observe and be sure. I'm glad I did because after about 3 days, here we go again.

    I'm leaning towards this being fungal in nature - it seems stubborn and her symptoms seem to match with a lot of what I've read. My vet doesn't think so but to be fair, it was a short visit AND I had started her on the Ozine 2 days prior to the visit and she had already bounced back from almost dead. The vet visit resulted in 3 daily injections of antibiotics, and injected vitamins. I then kept the Ozine going until I put her back in the coop.

    I reached out this second time (after treating her for 5ish days with the mist) and the vet asked me to keep the mist on, but remove the Ozine because he didn't think it was fungal. When he was here he mentioned that the humidifier wasn't a bad idea, but that was about it. He didn't think the Ozine was necessary then either. I didn't follow his advice of keeping the humidifier going without Ozine because I fear that if it's fungal, moist air alone could make it worse. I did however stop the misting altogether after 7 days and she continued to do great for another 3 days and then started to decline again (as described above.)

    My questions:
    • What is the inactivated Ozine doing? Is it simply inhibiting the growth of whatever this is and allowing her own body to get stronger? If so, any experience on how long I'd need to keep this up? (obviously 7 days isn't enough)
    • Is this enough evidence to continue down the fungal infection path and should I perhaps move on to something a little more aggressive?
      • Does anyone have experience misting with activated Ozine?
      • Copper Sulfate in the water?
      • Is there some other OTC fungal medication that I should use in support of or in stead of the Ozine?
    • Might there be validity in the humidity alone being the key to recovery?
    Summary:
    • She had lice (treated and gone just prior to these issues)
    • Went into her first [hard] molt
    • Stopped laying
    • Started exhibiting illness: weakness, lack of color, some watery/greenish sewer-smelling poop, lost her "top bird" status, stretching her neck up and opening her beak; feverish; "flicking" her head; walking upright, then going down but continuing to walk, then back up again (that one could be molt?)
    • clear fecal
    • treated with Ozine and I feel like it saved her life; then treated with antibiotics and vitamins - in the house for about 6 days with extra protein to assist molt
    • Did good in coop for about 3 days and then started to decline again
    • Brought her back in, started the Ozine and after about 5 days poop went from green to brown and stopped smelling so bad. Kept it going for another couple of days and then stopped but continued to keep her in the house. 3 days later, the poop was stinky, green and watery, she lost her color, and interest in food. Watched her for another day and still the same.
    • Put her back on the Ozine and within 24 hours she started feeling better and her poop started improving.
    • Normal diet is organic layer pellets; organic layer mash. While she's been inside, she's also getting either scrambled egg or tuna to support this hard molt. I also gave her some sprouted wheat and she gobbled it up.
    • ACV/garlic; Probiotics; RopaPoultry get rotated in water supply
    • Treats are dried meal worms; black-oil sunflower seeds; dried bugs
    • Pacific northwest - we had a very wet end of summer/start of fall. Lots of mold to find while scratching around in yard.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    I have to wonder what the source of the fungus is. You haven't mentioned the coop and extent of ventilation.
     
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  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I agree with ChickenCanoe. Eliminate the source of the fungus/mold. It can form in litter, nest boxes, corners or sides in the inside of the coop etc...ensure feeders and especially waterers are clean and free of algae and other debris as well.
    It will help if she is kept on soil that is in sunlight, rather than soil that is damp and moist or wet most of the time. Sand is your friend.
    Also, take a look inside her mouth for anything out of the ordinary.
     
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  4. lhkpdx

    lhkpdx In the Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2019
    I have 5 chickens and they live in a 14 x 14 covered run wrapped like fort knox in hardware cloth. For winter I've put a clear tarp on 2 sides to cut down on wind, leaving 6-12" open at top and bottom. They have a small coop inside the run, but they don't sleep in there - they prefer a roost in the run. There is plenty of ventilation, in fact I worry there's too much. They have a huge, dry dust bath inside, along with logs, etc. to jump around on. Until recently they free-ranged in the yard anywhere from a couple hours to all day. I have some big grapevines and a ton of flower beds they dig around in (destroy!) We had a crazy wet end of summer/start of fall. I swap out their water regularly but did notice some mold in the springs of the drinking cups that I've gotten rid of. I don't think there's anything that would bother a healthy chicken, but her immune system was compromised due to the lice and really hard molt (vet said it was particularly hard). The other 4 chickens are healthy and still laying 7 days a week even with the short days.

    I'm not sure it's fungal - just seems like it due to symptoms. I'm kind of stuck ... she declined after I took her off the treatments this last time and she was still in the house so the run/coop is not the immediate issue, although it's certainly possible it is the original problem. Right now I'm just trying to figure out how to get her off the Oxine treatments without health decline.
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Could it be dust from dust bathing, pesticide use in the flower beds, or perhaps pollen?
    What did the vet say about the situation with your Polish hen?
     
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  6. lhkpdx

    lhkpdx In the Brooder

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    When I called them, she had some kind of bad respiratory thing going on and I wasn't sure she'd be alive by the time they came 2 days later. I started Ozine and she was MUCH better by vet visit. After examination he said she was having a very hard molt, was weak and low on vitamins because of her weight loss, checked her over paying a lot of attention to mouth, throat, etcl, took a fecal and gave her 3 daily injections of antibiotics. He mentioned it could be neurological and the next step would be blood tests. The visit was already $300 so I opted not do that since she had already showed so much improvement with the Oxine treatments prior to his visit. I don't see how it could be neurological when the Oxine seems to clear her up, but I'm new to chickens. I only use concentrated Vinegar, neem oil, DE and organic fertilizers in my yard and beds, but I did need to cover her with poultry dust twice to get rid of the lice. There's no way she didn't breath some of it in - I certainly did! Not sure that could explain why/how the Ozine seems to be what's helping?
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    The 3 daily antibiotic injections; if they helped your hen, then it's not a fungal problem and more likely some type of respiratory disease which would be bacterial since antibiotics are ineffective against viral diseases.
    The problem with respiratory diseases in chickens is that they never go away. Symptoms may disappear with antibiotic treatments, including use of oxine, and surviving birds remain carriers for life. They will spread whatever disease they have to other birds.
    AND; symptoms will reappear during times of stress, ESPECIALLY during molt. The birds immune system is compromised because of the stress of molt in your case, which requires extra vitamins and minerals in the diet to help build up the immune system. Products I recommend are Poultry Nutri Drench or ProBios Dispersible Powder.
    The immune system is also compromised by the respiratory disease. If the antibiotics worked for your hen, contact the vet and ask for a script. if in fact it IS a respiratory disease, you'll have to keep a closed flock; no new birds in, none out. Your other option is to cull, disinfect everything and wait a period of time to repopulate.
    Knowing what disease it is would determine when to repopulate...if that's the case.
     
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  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    :goodpost:
    If you are to choose the latter option (culling), it will be critical to send one or more birds to your state poultry diagnostic lab, preferably one at a university for a complete workup.
    That will tell you what disease/s they may have been harboring.
    That will be the only way to know how to proceed on your property, how to disinfect and how long it must remain vacant.
    What state are you in?
     
  9. lhkpdx

    lhkpdx In the Brooder

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    I did not notice additional improvement after the antibiotics but she was already on the mend via the Ozine. The vet told me to put her back out with the other birds after a few days -- I can't imagine he'd say that if he thought it was something so infectious that I"d have to cull the flock. I'll just stay the course and see where we end up. She's gained a bit of weight just recently, which seems like a good sign.
     
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  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Alright, good point. Just continue with the oxine as needed and hopefully she'll eventually pull out of whatever is affecting her. How about the green feces, has it cleared up?
     
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