new chicken panting with mouth open

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lilvredcat, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. lilvredcat

    lilvredcat Hatching

    Nov 8, 2011
    It is my first chicken. I just got her from the dog pound. She is an adult Dominique chicken with many issues.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
    I do not know her age. I just got her form the dog pound. She is an adult. She is a big bird, bigger than what would fit in a nest box at the tractor store -I think she is anyway.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    I got her Monday afternoon 11/14/2011.
    As soon as I got her home I noticed she was breathing hard and with her mouth open and had lice and bald spots on her. Today I noticed she sounds a little hoarse in her breathing, not raspy or congested really but throaty. She had chicken lice (peach in color) and smaller yellowish bugs and she has a crooked foot and cannot walk well (possible bumble foot as I pulled her toes aprat and did not see any abcess) She has a featherless tooshy and blad spots under her wings. She has feathers on her neck and toosh that are in the sheath and some on her buttocks look like they are pinkish at the base.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    Since I got her on Monday evening she has been breathing funny whenever she is not eating or lying down. It is like she is out of breath if she moves very much at all. She was drinking her bath water too (it only had baby shampoo in it so I guess it's OK) and she is very thirsty. I have been providing her with LOTS of clean water. There are 1 and 1/2 gallons of water in her temporary "pen". I made 3 half gallon water buckets out of "milk" style drinking water jugs and zip tied them to the "walls" of her temporary pen at a height she can reach them and I showed them to her. She is drinking from them. I see her do it.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    This is my first (only) chicken.

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma?
    She stands funny with her wings slightly out and her head leaned to one side but I think that is because she has a crooked foot and she is trying to keep her balance. I hope that is it. She was running loose in a city before animal control picked her up.

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

    Her last owner was a horrible monster who did not care for the chickens and that is how animal control came to have her so it could be anything. She had tons of lice, I mean tons of lice, crawling off on the box she was in and on me when I touched her and on the car seat when I was bringing her home so I used Advantange II (flea and lice killer) for cats on her. I read it on the UK chicken board that vets in the UK give chickens with lice or fleas Frontline which is a similar product to Advantage but I had some Advantage here not Frontline so I used it on her. I gave her the smallest possible dose (for a under 5 lb cat.)
    I gave it to her on the back of her shoulders and back whe n she was dry after I had bathed her in warm water and baby shampoo and then I sparyed mite killer under her wings. I do not think that had anything to do with it but I am just mentioning it just in case. She has NO lice or mites on her now (as far as I can tell) by the way. I do not see any and I have picked her up several times and got nothing got on me.
    She also has a bald butt and tons of feathers in ther sheath still on her neck, face, under he wings, and on her tooshy. Her feathers seem to fall out awfully easy. Whenever she flapps her wings or I pick her up she loses a couple of feathers.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

    I have seen her eat some and drink some. She has in different buckets- scratch grains, corn, layena chicken pellets, water, oyster shells, grit, and we gave her some whole wheat bread when she first got here.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    I am not sure, as far as the chicken poop I have seen before it looks normal I guess.
    It is white, clear, green, and brown bird droppings. She makes plenty of that so I guess she must be eating OK.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Nothing yet. I had thought maybe she was just stressed from the move to a new place and so forth but now I am not sure.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I do not know. I would like to find a chicken vet to look at her foot at any rate in the OOLTEWAH, CLEVELAND, or CHATTANOOGA Tennessee areas if anyone knows of one.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    I can take a picture of the foot if anyone wants to see it.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    First thing she got when I got her home was a warm bath, mite spray and lice treatment. Towel dried and then we went to the "barn" which is a huge insulated metal and wood building with concrete floors, (commerical style building like a huge garage) it is about 70 or so degrees in there currently. Not cold at all. I made for her, because it is currently pouring the rain outside, a big 10 foot by 4 foot "pen" out of pallets, and put cardboard sheeting down on the floor under it, made her a nest box which I have seen her get in once, and I put several containers with various thing like oyster shells, grit, corn, layena pellets, scratch grains, and water attached to her "pen" walls with zip ties so that she cannot tip them over (she is clumsy because she has one foot that's crooked like it's toes are contracted and she falls over if she loses her balance) and so she cannot poo in the water but she can reach it well and can eat and drink. I have seen her doing it. I keep her food and water clean and changed daily.

    Anyone have any advice for my chicken's foot, feathers, for her heavy breathing???
    I think the lice are handled now.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    The heavy breathing is probably as a result of the massive blood loss from the heavy bug load. She is going to need a lot of TLC.

    1. Get some Poultry Drench/NutriDrench/Poly-Vi-Sol and start her on some vitamins. She is going to need them to rebuild her blood supply. Mites and (to a lesser degree) lice can kill birds pretty quickly by draining them. You have treated her for mites, but you are going to need to repeat the treatment in 7 days. You will also need to clean and treat her surroundings to make sure the bugs are not living in her environment
    2. Keep her warm, dry and comfortable. Stress can be more dangerous to birds than any illness or injury. Keep her surroundings quiet and comfortable. Some sugar in her water for the first couple days might be helpful. It can give her a little boost.
    3. She will probably need to be wormed. Send a PM to Dawg53 and he can help you out with the specifics of what you'll need to do here.
    4. Get some pics of the foot and her posture, and show us. We can probably help to diagnose what is up there.
    5. Remove all the food options except for the pellets. Scratch is useless, she doesn't need oyster shell, and grit is probably not necessary at this point. She needs a high nutrient diet to heal.

    After all this, let us know how she's doing. She is going to need a few days to recover from her stress. If she can survive the initial stress of her situation she may perk up and get much better. Get the parasites under control, build her system up, and she may make it.
  3. M.sue

    M.sue Songster

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan've got one sick & most likely stressed bird. You have one big heart....I commend you on that!! The heavy breathing I'm assuming some respiratory condition. Some of the missing feathers could partly do to stress & molting. The foot??? Bumble foot like you're thinking. I'd get her to a vet as soon as possible....if possible. Poor thing sounds like she was totally neglected. Good thing that she now has you....hope she recovers well.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oh yeah, the feather loss- she is likely molting. Most birds over 18 months molt this time of year. The feather loss is probably completely normal, but has probably been exacerbated by the bugs.

    Sorry I missed that one.
  5. lilvredcat

    lilvredcat Hatching

    Nov 8, 2011
    Ahh my poor beautiful chicken. I will take pictures of her and her strange foot and nude pink tooshy tomorrow and post them on here.
    Thank you for all the advice. I just saw her one night on line and went and picked her up the next day so I am playing catch up because I was not quite ready for chickens yet. I have not got her permanent structure up yet so any advice on that would be helpful also, especially in relation to the crooked foot and roosting. They were about to do away with her at the pound. It is not a no-kill shelter and her people would not come get her out so I had to go fetch her before I was quite ready. They only keep animals 3 days.

    I will go get her vitamins. I saw them in the store but I did not get them yet because they go in the water and I was afraid it might make the water taste funny and thought she probably never had any vitamins before so I was afraid she would stop drinking the water and she seems so thristy.

    Do you think giving her chick food or chick food with antibiotics would be good? I do not know what living conditons she came from but it must have been pretty bad. I would assume she could have anything wrong health wise. The lice just literally crawled all over her. If you put so much as finger on her you would get big pink- peach colored lice on your finger.

    When one worms a chicken does it poo worms like a dog or cat would?
    How do you find a farm animal or chicken vet?? I am just going to cold call vets tomorrow until I find someone who knows about chickens.
    Thanks much, Amber
  6. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Songster

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Can't really offer anything that you haven't already read except for [​IMG]

    And [​IMG] to you for rescuing this bird! [​IMG]
  7. Ksane

    Ksane Crowing

    Jun 21, 2011
    You're very intelligent and have a lot of common sense. You're miles ahead of a lot of people who've had chickens for a long long time.
    You're 100% right about them not drinking the water if there's vitamins in it, the ones I've tried it with won't. I hope she does well and improves. She may have respiratory problems that can't be fixed no matter how hard you try, but she has someone to care if she lives or dies now, it's doubtful she ever had that before.
    Trust your instincts, you're good at this.
    Edit:Depending on the kind of worms she has you may see them in her stool after you worm her, but not neccessarily. The best thing to worm her with is Valbazen or Safeguard horse paste. The Safeguard paste is super easy to find anywhere which is why I use it. The only worm it does *not kill is tapeworms. Valbazen *does take care of tapes but in most cases you have to order it online, it's not so easy to find. I'd give her about 3 pea-sized drops of Safeguard horse paste and then be sure to repeat 10 days later.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011

  8. M.sue

    M.sue Songster

    May 29, 2011
    Cold calling the vet is good. If you strike out ask if they could recommend one...mine did. You could also look into lg. animal vets / livestock. Food, at this point for now I'd say yes give her some chick feed, can't hurt.....and vitamins too. Also try offering some yogurt. As for set up for keeping her I'd keep her in a dry, warm spot...garage, basement, spare bathroom, mud room.....someplace comfy & where you can keep an eye on her. Good luck fingers crossed and keep us do have a wonderful heart!!
  9. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    CMV has provided you with great advice.... hit all the bases. Agree with checking with dawg53 on the worming, or anything actually.

    I hope she recovers.

    Good luck.
  10. lilvredcat

    lilvredcat Hatching

    Nov 8, 2011
    Thanks again for all the good advice and encouraging words.
    I am going to give her yogurt. Do they like a flavor or plain or greek?
    To start out on a gross note: she is making brown and clear poops and lots of them (and wee in her litter) so she is eating and drinking well.
    I took pictures of her crooked foot today. I then promptly left my camera in another person's car so I will have to post them tomorrow.
    She seems no worse. In fact I only saw her open her mouth to breath when she was flapping her wings to balance herself or struggling with me because she did not want me to take photos of her tooshy.
    She has what I would call a ballerina pose when she is just standing around (it is because of her crooked toes.) The toes on that foot all sweep outward in one direction. She will stand with her wings ever so slightly out to balance herself and then leans slightly to one side and puts her weight on her good foot and holds that crooked foot in front of her like a ballerina would pointing it, toes out, forward with her leg extended. I got a picture of her doing that too and I will load it on tomorrow also.

    No luck with the vet so far but I spent most of the day on a roof putting tarps on it and other interesting activites such as that, so I will try again tomorrow to find a vet for chickens and to load photos of Gretta the chicken. (Gretta is her name now- my son named her.)

    Thanks to you all,

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