Panting chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Exning, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Exning

    Exning Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Hi there! Our three hens are under a year old. We got them during the summer, and our summers can get up to 120 so we kept them inside till it cooled down. They were not acclimated to the heat, so we noticed they would pant. One would pant more in particular, but she grew up quicker than the rest so we thought it was just because she had more feathers.
    Anyway, she still pants every now and then, more when under stress like her sister will peck her or something scares her. We just thought it was normal, till I started reading the Internet and became paranoid. I took her to our local vet and she said she was pretty skinny, but she eats and lays normally and not to worry about it then. Their fecal test came out fine for all three. When we took the one hen, she didn't like it at all and panted heavily and drooped her wings, so the vet gave her antibiotics. He handled them well, but since I thought she acted fine to begin with, I didn't see any significant changes. We took her back and she stressed herself on the visit and did super duper panting. Vet said we have to go to the specialist in San Diego, which is 2 hrs away to get X-rays and see her lungs.

    I don't know if it's even worth the trouble for her, she has such a hard time traveling but I've heard the panting can be serious. She does it every now and then, not for long periods, maybe 30 seconds. She cuddles, runs, plays, everything else is normal. I'd like to get peoples' opinions on what I should do from here. Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I would not stress her out by transporting her to a vet. Chickens will pant if they are hot, or have too much carbon dioxide or too little oxygen in the body. Birds have lungs, but they don't function the same way ours do. Chickens have 9 air sacs that deliver oxygen all over their bodies. Chickens will also extend their wings when hot--that may have looked like drooping. I would think if there was some infection that the antibiotics would have already taken care of it. Here is a link with some detail about their respiratory system: http://www.poultryhub.org/physiology/body-systems/respiratory-system-thermoregulation/
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I had a hen that would often pant as well.she would pant when laying and hot or stressed.she was perfectly healthy. My other birds pant as well but not as often as she did.mine pant now mostly when hot.if she seems otherwise healthy i might not be concerned but you mentioned she was awful thin..that might concern me along with the panting.rather than drive all that way for a specialist you might consider finding another local vet that can do in office xrays just to rule out any tumors or masses that might be present. I also live in southern california and know most vets have the ability to do the xrays and diagnose in office without a specialist. That would be what id do if she were mine. Basically find another avian doctor to rule out any tumors. A regular vet can do this without the need of a specialist..id make some phone calls to other vets and find one willing to xray her. This is just to be on the safe side..that's what i would do. Hope this helps and best wishes
     
  4. Exning

    Exning Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2014

    Thanks! Unfortunately, there are no vets here that will do xrays, we would have to make the travel for that
     
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes,they pant for all sorts as reasons,particularly heavy breeds. She was probably panting at vets b/c she was terrified,chickens do not handle stress at all. The heat is especially hard on chickens as they have no sweat glands and rely on their respiratory system to cool themselves down,this is why you will see heavy/hard panting,dropping wings,etc. Know the dangers of heat stress/stroke as it can and will kill chickens.

    I have yet to see my silkies pant,but my orpingtons i see panting for all sorts of reason. For example the other day i was carrying a broom to sweep off snow,well one of my orpington roosters took one look at broom(broom is striped with multi colors on it,who knows what he thought it was) and was terrified,which set off him running/banging into things and heavy panting,so i picked him up and offered him a treat to take his mind off his terror of broom,did the trick he stopped and calmed down. Now i walk with broom hanging low to the ground which does not scare him.

    Does her comb darken at tips or is she just panting? When she does this light panting has the weather been hot?
     
  6. Exning

    Exning Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2014

    Her combs dark at times and light at times, but not the tips like you mentioned. The weather is about 85-90 but she was still panting when it was 60-70 degrees. She's sneazed on occasions but its so dry here too and it hasnt really been a thing.
    They live a really stress free life. Spoiled rotten and they are happy for the majority of their day
     
  7. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she is eating/drinking/pooping normally,then i would not worry,just watch the heat stroke/stress and know what to do in an emergency heat stroke situation,which would be to submerge into a pail of COOL(never cold)water up to their neck,this will immediately cool them down and will save lives. Temp around 80 and up are dangerous for chickens,so always keep an eye out for heat stress/stroke related issues.

    You mentioned that she was thin,has she ever been wormed? Is it possible one of the other girls is being a bit of a bully and keeping her away from the feed?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  8. Exning

    Exning Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. Our vet said it was most likely a problem, which is why im so concerned. But, she has been the worst when going to the vet. They did the fecal egg count which i think tested for worms and parasites and it all came out clean. All the chickens are considered "thin" but he said not to worry about it. They eat and poop quite normal to me
     
  9. Exning

    Exning Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2014
    I have recorded a video of her doing it. Its not hot so theres no reason for her mouth being open.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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