Open-mouth breathing <<Update - I lost her>>

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AmyBella, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1) What type of bird , age and weight. SLW / Lt. Brahma pullet, about 6 months old, normal weight
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. Slow, labored breathing with gaping beak. Tucking neck in, but occasionally gasps, shreiks and shakes head. Closing eyes, lethargic.
    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No
    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Nothing
    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. layer mash, water, grass and bugs, occasional treats, free choice oyster shell and grit.
    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Normal
    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Last night I fed her 1/4 cup of mash with 1 tbs yogurt, 4 drops poly-vi-sol, and cod liver oil. She ate it all and drank ACV water. She didn't eat much this morning. Told DH to put electrolites in her water today but I don't know if she's drinking it
    8 ) 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 would prefer to treat myself. Vet is far away, inexperienced w/ chickens, and expensive.
    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use. Chicken tractor, pine shavings in coop area, free range all day.

    What can I do for my poor girl? Does this sound like gapeworm? I can't see anything in her throat. She sticks her neck out and yawns occasionally, but mostly has a hunched posture. There is no nasal discharge or wheezing.

    I should mention that she has not laid yet as far as I can tell. (I have been starting to get concerned about this!) Also, she only has the use of one wing... she was injured as a chick. (I can't imagine that this has anything to do with her illness though.) Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should I just treat with Safegaurd (fenbendazole) even though I am not 100% certain it is gapeworm? They have the paste at the local agway.
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    To check for certain for gapeworm, my vet showed me this: Put her in your lap, take a Q-tip and gently open her beak, holding it open with one hand. Take the Q-tip and gently put it down her throad, TWIRLING AS YOU GO DOWN - you don't have to go far. Twirl as you bring it back up, and if she's got gapeworm, you'll see thin, red strings on the q-tip.

    Check here for good treatment options: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=246484
     
  4. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
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    I'll try it. Thanks! I am at work all day and I am so worried about her!
     
  5. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    If it is not gapeworm, it sounds like it could be ILT.
     
  6. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western MA
    pips&peeps :

    If it is not gapeworm, it sounds like it could be ILT.

    I hope not... I'm reading up on it right now and the acute form sounds horrible!​
     
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Could be canker also. Look down the throat with a flashlight and see what you see.
     
  8. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western MA
    I did the q-tip test for gapeworm and didn't come up with any. [​IMG] Does that absolutely rule it out? Would it be a mistake to dose her with Safe-guard just in case?

    I spent some time with her tonight... Very small poops, so she probably didn't eat much today. She ate a little plain yogurt but wouldn't touch the moist mash that I made her. Drinking water (with electrolytes) made her cough and squawk, but she drank a good amount.

    She is still mostly mouth-breathing and closing her eyes, but in my opinion it looks like more of a pain kind of thing rather than conjunctivitis. Her mouth and throat are creamy-colored and look healthy. I don't see any nodules or mucus or blood or worms.
     
  9. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    Well, tonight was a lesson in patience! I spent three hours trying to get some food and water in her. Finally hit upon diluted sunflower butter. It didn't clog the dropper and she swallowed it if I did small drops. Anything more solid (tried egg yolk, various mash consistencies, oatmeal, tomato) she just flung. She wouldn't drink on her own either... and anything more than two drops of water made her cough.

    Breathing is the same. Always through the mouth and with neck stretched out. No rattling or noise. I got a REALLY good look down her throat! I discovered that if I held the flashlight to her neck it illuminates the whole windpipe! I looked for a long time and there is simply nothing to report. It looks fine!

    Her left eye is staying closed. Her mouth seemed a little bit mucus-y with sticky strands when I first saw her. There may have been a tiny bit of clear discharge from her nostril, but it also could have been the water I was trying to give her. Couldn't tell.

    I hope she can sleep! It seems like it would be really hard with the way she's breathing.
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    OH, hon, I'm so sorry! There's just no way to definitively figure out what's wrong with her on a public forum. You really need to take her to an avian vet if you want to know for sure what it is. You are sure there are no rattling noises (rales) when she breathes? Is she sneezing? Can you try to syringe some very liquidy food into her beak? I've never had problems doing that with sick ones; yes, they do shake their heads a bit and it can get messy, but she REALLY needs to keep her strength up if she's going to kick whatever she has. I highly recommend baby bird handfeeding formula, which you can get at any pet store in the bird section. It's a powder that you mix with water. How I use it is I put some of the bird's regular feed, along with whatever water they are drinking (i.e., if you have her on electrolytes & vits, put a little slosh of that in), some yogurt for good cultures, and then sprinkle some baby bird formula on top. It's LOADED with vits/mins that are really good for birds. blend it all up really well to remove any little lumps, and then you can draw it up in a syringe and hand feed her that way. What I typically do is syringe some water first, then as many syringe fulls of formula that the bird will take, then a bit more water. You'll need to do this every 3-4 hours during the day.

    If you don't get her strength up, she'll not survive!! [​IMG]

    GOOD LUCK!
     

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