New Problem, 4-6 month old EE Cockerel Gurgling, Can't Stand

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wingleader, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey all, another chicken issue here. :(

    I've got a boy named Flynt, who hasn't be having the best time of late. He's 4-5 months old, at my best estimation, and is an EE. I found him about a week ago sitting on his ankles and unable to move in the coop, so I brought him inside and have had him caged since. At first he was eating and drinking perfectly well and in the last day or so has been making far more successful efforts at standing and moving around. Thinking it might be botulism I've tried a few reccomended home remedies, such as mixing molasses into the water for short periods of time and it didn't really seem to do any harm.

    However, now he's got this nasty gurgling noise going on and his crop feels like a water balloon. There's a bit of moisture around his nostrils and every so often he coughs (very high-pitched and loud noise). His feet are warm, there is no moisture under his wings and as far as I can tell he's been pooping regularly. He IS interested in eating and drinking, but right now the only food in the cage are the bits that he knocked out of the feeder (I took the feeder itself out). He has fresh water with nothing in it.

    Any ideas? Should I induce vomiting, or try and just lube up his crop with some oil and massage it? I've never had to deal with this kind of thing before.

    It sure is *awesome* that my chickens have decided to throw me into a crash course of chicken medical care all at once.

    Thanks in advance for any responses!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  2. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    So, the roo isn't looking much better and the more I look into his symptoms the more I'm thinking it might be marek's disease. I induced vomiting this morning and managed to clear out most of his crop (and cover my bathtub and my legs in chicken goop at the same time, joy), and he drank a small amount of warm water.

    Since last night he has been having a harder time breathing and needs to strain his neck upward with his beak open slightly to get a breath, which is very drawn-out and gurgly. He can't balance at all (and is currently propped on a towel in the cage), and there is definitely a difference in the paralysis of his legs, with the right leg being the weaker of the two and almost completely immobile. He can at least flex his toes on the left leg.

    I hate seeing the little guy suffering so much and I'm not really sure what to do other than to consider getting him euthanized.
  3. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 9, 2009
    I am so sorry to hear of this - he has had a lot of problems! - Has he been wormed at all ? He sounds as if he at have gapeworm, it seems as if he has many issues to deal with and it is possible he may have Mareks - I can only say that I hope somebody here with a lot more experience than me can help you and your young Roo!

  4. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV

    Reviewed your other threads, and butchered your posts, as my way of runnin' down the facts in my head (sorry ~'-)

    Many consider puttin' an end to what we perceive as suffering, but chickens aren't made like us -- they don't feel pain in the same manner, as shock nearly renders them completely numb. Not that, hopefully, it's gonna get to that point.

    It's not likely to be Merek's, as there are other symptoms that would most probably be present, and other birds would show signs of this disease.

    My first suspicion is poisoning, or intoxification, or drug toxicity ... the toxins from botulism are among the most poisonous known to man, and the bateria are normally present w/in all birds' mouths and intestines. Algae can be the cause, or yellow jasmine. Spoiled/infested food. Decaying matter, and the maggots that feed on it ... list is relatively long, most especially if they're allowed to free range.

    For certain: Put Apple Cider Vinegar in all water offered to your flock, at the rate of four teaspoons to the gallon (but never in galvanized metal containers). This will help (and may be the only thing that really will) if my first suspicion proves to be true, but will help him most especially even if it isn't, as the tannin in ACV sorta strips the mucus and other coatings from the mouth, throat and intestines, helping them more easily expel it, and improves the uptake of vitamins/nutrients, and any medications you may have to offer them. It is also a treatment for many respiratory illnesses, and boosts their immunity. And, I'm equally certain that it can do your birds absolutely no harm.

    Since he's interested in eating? I'd let him, but would give him fresh pellets/crumbles in controlled amounts, so as to not allow him to stuff his crop ...

    I'd consider the possibility of internal parasites (coccidiosis and/or nematodasis). Amprolium blocks thiamine (Vitamin B), to which coccidia are 50 times more sensitive to than chickens are, and fenbendazole has been proven both safe and effective, even when birds are very ill, as it's been tested to 100 times the suggested dosage.

    There are links below that might provide further answers. After you finish w/ the ACV water and first feeding? Begin w/ the one on diagnosing diseases based upon symptoms -- crash course, indeed -- read through it quickly, and several times, prior to considering his specific symptoms. This will help to train your mind's eye to spot what would otherwise likely go undetected. Then? Research his symptoms, and the longer list of possible diseases ...

    Now, here's where my logic throws some folks off -- if you find a possible cause to be a disease for which there is no treatment/cure? Simply skip right on past that answer, and continue to find all others for which there *is* something you can do, until and unless the answer is absolutely the only one that remains: If there truly is no treatment/cure? Then, your efforts to treat these other alternative conditions really ain't gonna make much difference in the eventual outcome anyhow, so anything you can think of is worth givin' a shot.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the thought, Suzie! I didn't know that was a thing so it might be part of the issues he's having.

    Hey again Cowcreekgeek. You are certainly very full of good info and generosity. :)

    I have actually been adding ACV to the water of the flock for a few weeks now since that seemed to help out with my little bantam (who has recovered and been returned to her flock, thankfully).

    Where can I get this fenbendazole stuff? Tractor Supply? I found a horse dewormer, would this work?

    Pretty much the only, readily accessible place for me to get this kind of thing around here that I know of is Tractor Supply. Here's the search:

    Since checking on him after getting home a few moments ago, Flynt is still sort of laying all splayed out and continues to have a hard time breathing. I massaged his crop again and a huge bubble of air was expelled. Might that be another symptom of something?? He's no longer very interested in food (as he is more focused on breathing) and only pecks at his water tiny bits at a time.

    I feel terrible for my birds, because while I'm trying to offer them the best I can, I'm very inexperienced and I feel as though these issues are something my ignorance probably caused. :/
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  6. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    Startin' w/ your last comment, 'n workin' backwards: Of *course* you feel terrible, because you *are* responsible for your birds. Anything we, as their keepers, do, or don't do, may result in their injury, sickness or death. Or, it could just be bad luck for both you and your Flynt ... my point is that this is what happens when we keep birds. And, you're doin' what you can, and learning as you go, and that's what you are supposed to be doing.
    SoOo ... kick yourself for any mistake you can think of, and then? Move forward, with pride, because it is far better that your Flynt should die as the result of error, but in the hands of the person that cared enough to name him, than live any life of pure 'n simple neglect.

    That release of air doesn't sound like a good thing ... this could be a number of diseases, and even aspergillus (a fungus), or something goin' on w/ his air sacs. I could guess for pages, 'cause I don't know either ... here's another link for you: >>peck here<< for the introduction to an online presentation on the anatomy of the chicken.

    An abstract of study is below, indicating that the 4% Panacur at 15 to 20 mg/kg for 3 consecutive days was "suitable for the treatment of the important intestinal and tracheal worms" -- but I'd dose at 20 mg/kg as that "was effective against Syngamus trachea," or gapeworm.

    There's some other choices at TSC, including Safe-Guard[​IMG] Canine Dewormer, which contains three 2 g pouches of powder that is 22.2% fenbendazole, which gives you 1.332 grams of 100% fenbendazole, in the granular form, for a penny under ten bucks.

    I bought the 1 lb. Safe-Guard[​IMG] Medicated Dewormer, in the form of alfalfa-based pellets, intended for beef/dairy cattle & swine for $5.99 the other day. It's only 0.5% fenbendazole, but that still works out to over 2-1/4 grams of fenbendazole, already in a good food delivery system (and, at a much lower $/gm ratio ~'-)

    Remember that the percentage affects the dosage, and that slightly over is better than under at all.

    Fenbendazole 4% (Panacur, Hoechst) administered in feed was used to treat chickens infected with Ascaridia galli, Heterakis gallinarum and Railletina spp. It was also used to treat Syngamus trachea in broiler birds. There was a marked drop in helminth egg counts in the faeces on the second day of treatment and the faeces became negative by the seventh day after the last treatment. Post-mortem examination 15 to 21 days later showed that the drug was 100% effective against Ascaridia galli and Heterakis gallinarum at 10 mg/kg. However, for complete removal of Railletina spp. 15 mg/kg was required. Similarly 20 mg/kg fenbendazole was effective against Syngamus trachea. It was concluded that fenbendazole is suitable for the treatment of the important intestinal and tracheal worms of poultry, a dose of 15 to 20 mg/kg for 3 consecutive days being recommended for use under field conditions.
  7. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, so would I add this to water and then make sure he drinks it? Is it possible to force-feed him via a syringe (so long as I'm careful to get it past his breathing passage)?
  8. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    Yes, and yes ... well ... actually? It'd be best to just dose him directly into the crop, if you think he's less likely to drink/eat, unless he's still eating well enough to incorporate it into his food. There's a very well-done and bookmark-worthy article on tube feeding, compiled by Heather, right here on BYC:

    The main thing is to not let all those emotions interfere w/ your treatment of what is no longer your pet, 'til he's all better -- he's your patient, and you're to be that methodically logical care-giver he needs ... take special notice as to which side the crop is on, and be sure not to hit the small hole at the base of his tongue, and -- enter gently, and deliver slowly. You've already demonstrated that you can do whatever you've gotta do ~'-)
  9. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Update on Flynt. Sadly, he just passed away moments ago. He was doing very well when my fiance and I got home, eating and drinking and even managing to balance well on his legs. The fiance was watching TV and the roo started to bed down for the night. Then suddenly the rooster just sort of keeled over and passed. There was no warning at all.

    This is unfortunate and very upsetting because he was my favorite little roo, but I'm glad the poor guy isn't going to suffer anymore.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  10. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    Am so sorry for the loss of your favorite roo. I believe you certainly provided a great sense of relief for
    that roo as the previous poster stated. He had a better life than many and certainly had a passing that
    some people can only dream of ie. In a home with people who care about you as you leave this planet.

    Peace to you and yours :>

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