Pale, anemic looking membrane around eyes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lilcrow, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. lilcrow

    lilcrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 1 1/2 year old bantam cochin hen that I discovered 4 days ago, sitting with her eyes shut and her mouth slightly open, appearing to be having some difficulty breathing. I freaked out, snatched her up and brought her inside to analyze the situation. I fully expected to loose her that evening, but by the time I got her to the house she was alert and appeared much better; however all of the membrane around her eyes and mouth, and any place that I could see skin on her face was very pale, almost white. I imagined all kinds of things that it could have been that would have been as a result of my negligence, the first on being a rampant infestation of mites. I treated her with poultry dust and gave her a shot of Nutri-drench and hoped that would save her. I then turned to the rest of the flock and began cleaning coops and treating birds.
    I have managed to get my entire set up done, which has been no small feat considering I'm old and lame [​IMG] Anyway.............
    After all of that, the little hen is showing no improvement other than periodically she shows "color" in her face. The most unsettling thing about this is she keeps her eyes closed so much. I have even seen her eating with her eyes closed. I was watching her today, and noticed that when the color drains from her face, this is when she is most likely to sit with her eyes closed and even appear to have some difficulty with her breathing - however, I can't hear any distress on her part. When the pink returns, she opens her eyes and begins to look around again.
    I'm guessing it's the obvious...a heart problem, but I'm hoping that I've missed something, or don't know of something and someone can offer me a miracle.
    Anybody got one? [​IMG]
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Just as a last ditch effort to find something else it could be- have you checked for gape worms? They might give her some difficulty breathing. At least they can be treated if that's the problem.

    That being said- I think you are spot on with the diagnosis. You obviously know a thing or two about chickens. Heart problems are not uncommon in chickens, and cold weather is a particular stressor for some heart problems. I am sorry. I hope she doesn't suffer with it.
     
  3. lilcrow

    lilcrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I've wormed her with Iver-on, so I think that will get the gapes even though I used it initially for the extermination of the mites. I haven't owned her very long, so I don't know if she was on the ground or not. I keep looking at the rest of the group, but no one is exhibiting any similar or signs of any problems for that matter. I don't know much about cardiac issues, but do you know if they are known to develop at this stage of life? I guess I was thinking it showed up a bit earlier. I'm going to keep working on this for a while, but I won't let her suffer. So far she appears in very little discomfort, but the breathing issue worries me. Thank you very much for your response.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Cardiac issues show up at any point in life. I do meat birds, so I see CXs with hearts that are mush at a very young age. (I was stunned by how bad their hearts are!) Usually cardiac issues are not noticed until the bird suddenly drops dead. Good eyes on you to have noticed the signs of it at all. Most folks wouldn't have thought there was any significance to what they were seeing. Most of us tend to think, "Whew! She was looking bad for a few minutes there, but now she looks fine, so she must be OK." There is a term for sudden chicken death called "flipover". It is a term used when a chicken suddenly flips over and dies. The COD is usually cardiac arrest in these cases. It can happen at any time. Fortunately, it seems to happen very suddenly and the bird doesn't usually suffer for a long period of time prior to it.

    I'd keep her comfortable and treat her like any other member of the flock. If she starts to fail I wouldn't hesitate to cull her. She may pass as a result of this, but she may have a few more years left in her.

    Good luck with her.
     
  5. lilcrow

    lilcrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So you think it's OK to let her stay with the flock? I hadn't noticed them picking on her or giving her any kind of grief as yet when I brought her in. The only thing I noticed was that she was off by herself when she'd have her "sleepy" spells. The environment she'll be in is not particularly harsh for winter conditions. The outdoor run is covered in plastic so there is no harsh wind or extreme cold that she'll be exposed to, and night time sleep conditions are pretty warm and snug.
    I think it's about as stress free as it can be under the circumstances. [​IMG]
     

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