Orpington found seriously ill with multiple ant bites-Please Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickensInTempe, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. ChickensInTempe

    ChickensInTempe Hatching

    Sep 19, 2011
    I have a 10 month old Buff Orpington who has been very healthy so far. Today, I found her laying in the rocks by her coop unable to get up-she appeard to be dead. Her breathing is labored and she was covered in biting ants-focused around her cloaca. She has access to water and food and her coop mate is apparently healthy. After washing all the ants off, I could see that the skin around her cloaca is red and has scattered erosions/bites. One of her legs looks like it has some abrasions on it but hard to tell if from the ants. No other signs of trauma. She is unable to stand and her right leg seems to be weaker than her left when placed to stand. Her diet is pellet with free access to water. We live in AZ, so it is hot but it has been much cooler lately (mid-90s). Her feces has been normal but I have not seen it for several days since we were out of town-a house sitter checked that she was healthy yesterday morning. I moved her inside where it is cooler, applied Boudroux's Butt Paste to her irritated skin and have been trying so slowly syringe feed her water. I found her approximately 6 hours ago and she seems slightly better but has no interest in eating or drinking. I am considering tube feeding her a mix of pellets, rice protein powder and a bit of agave syrup. I plan to call a veterinarian tomorrow, although I only know of veterinarians that do exotic medicine. I would appreciate any thoughts, advice, tips and especially would love any Phoenix metro folks if they could recommend a chicken vet. Thanks in advance.

  2. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool! 7 Years

    Sep 1, 2010
    I'm not an expert by any means, here are my thoughts ..... Hydration is much more important then food right now, make sure she is drinking, if you have vitamins or pedialite handy I would include that in the water and perhaps a little honey for a few calories. I wouldn't force food on her at this point. The ant bites likely poisoned her much like a human, I would keep her quiet and comfortable let her immune system work out the poison (at least until you talk to the vet) since she is a bird not sure if the human remedies for insect bites are effective or safe. My biggest question would be what underlying condition made her stay and get so many ant bites? Hope she gets better. [​IMG]
  3. ChickensInTempe

    ChickensInTempe Hatching

    Sep 19, 2011
    Thanks for your reply. Since she was first sick a week ago, I started giving her sub-cutaneous fluids, tube feeding her and giving her nightly oral Baytril (enorfloxacin at 5 mg/kg/day). She sarted to improve soon after I started SQ fluids and has continued to get better. I found a great site that detailed tube feeding a chicken:

    She is now eating and drinking on her own, standing on her own and walking for several feet before needing a break. There are great threads on this site that detail optimum feeding for ill birds. She loves challah bread soaked in egg an yogurt!

    My problem now is that her 'friend' attacks her relentlessley when ever they are together. Percy, the sick bird, has been inside quarantened to the bathroom but when they are put together, the other hen pecks at her face and seems to have a strong drive to hurt her. The are separated for now but as much as I love my birds, I don't want to have an indoor chicken.

    Any suggestions on how to create harmony once Percy is fully recovered?

    Thanks again!
  4. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Songster

    Oct 2, 2009
    The pecking is just the natural instinct to weed out any unhealthy members. Once she is healthy again(no inflamed skin, etc...red attracts them) then slowly re-introducing them should not be that hard.

    Good luck.

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