Panting, lethargic, wings drooping, suddenly...What is it?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bocktobery 10, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    I'm hoping to get some advice/help on what is ailing my hen.

    She's an Austrolorpe about 5 years old. She's been healthy (other than being saved from a hawk attack about a year ago, which she recovered in a day). We've had really hot weather here lately, lots of hot weather and although its not been that hot today, I'm wondering if she's just had enough and that she's having a heat stroke... I just don't know.

    I just found her like this: The roosters were trying to mate with her- she was trying to come up the hill and one rooster came running and mated, then another. Both times I saw that she did not get up suddenly, like most hens do. She was 'out of sorts'. I could tell there was something wrong.

    After noticing she was panting heavily, I took her inside. She's been inside with air conditioning- about 70 degrees F for two hours now. She seems better, but still will pant from time to time. She seems to not be able to pick herself up. I've felt around all of her body to see if there was an injury anywhere and I could not find any blood nor did she ever react in a way you'd expect an animal that's wounded to react if touched in a sore spot. Her crop seems, well, watery- I can feel grain in there, but its more like a large water balloon. I smelled her breath, it smells normal, like fresh cut grass if anything.

    Her wings are droopy. I've not noticed anything wrong with her this morning or last night. I've somewhat narrowed the possibilities to either...

    Heat stroke
    Poisoning
    Injury from hit by a car or hawk or maybe rooster
    or maybe something I have no idea about

    I have tried to give her water, but she does not drink. I have put apple cider vinegar in it and put her beak in it a few times anyway. She seemed to drink little. The other thing I've noticed is that she has not pooped, AT ALL.. these last two hours. That has to be a clue. Her comb seems normal color. She is somewhat hot to the touch on her skin... especially her feet and facial skin. Its not terribly burning up, just a bit warmer than I'd think a chicken sitting in 70 degree F air conditioned room for two hours would feel like. I figure her skin temp should feel just like mine if we've been in the same environment for the past two hours.

    Does anyone have any idea what I could do for her? She seems very weak. She's got her eyes open and alert, but just seems to not be able to stand. Does heat stroke make them weak like this... and not poop? I've checked the rest of my flock. No one else is exhibiting these signs. I'm somewhat wondering if she was hit by a car? She was walking up the hill that leads down to the road when I noticed her odd behavior. There is a spring next to the road that the chickens like to drink from.

    I plan on keeping her inside the cool house for the night, maybe a few days if she's still alive. The not pooping is what has me concerned that its something I have no idea about. I'm not sure she lays eggs anymore. And her comb is not dark, its an absolute normal color. She seems to be doing a bit better right now, resting comfortably, but still can't get up and pants from time to time.

    Recap: She just seems to be really weak and wobbly. She doesn't seem to be able to stand up. She is panting from time to time and will not eat/drink for me. This happened suddenly. This is why I think its heat stroke... how do you treat that?

    Sorry for being so choppy in describing everything. I hope its understandable. Can anyone recommend anything? Seen this before?
     
    OG Anomaly likes this.
  2. Sara Ranch

    Sara Ranch Songster

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    Will you post a picture?

    We've had temps here of over 100 the last week or so. All of my chicks are panting and hold their wings open/out/down/droopy.

    They are drinking water and eating. There's plenty of poop in the coop/barn in the morning, but I couldn't say whose doing what unless I am observing one chicken.

    The only odd thing I've experienced is egg weirdness from one chick the last two days. It may be unrelated to the heat.

    Keep the chicken comfortable, make water available 24/7, and some food as well. With this heat, my chicks won't take food from my hands - just from a container or from the ground.

    I hope she's ok.
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    I wonder if she is egg bound perhaps with a shell less egg. This can really take it out of them and make them very weak. If her comb is a good colour, then that suggests she is still in laying condition, especially when the cockerels are giving her attention, but if there is an egg stuck, she will be unable to poop and that will stop her from wanting to eat and drink.... things will be backed up.
    I would give her a soak in a warm Epsom salt bath and give her abdomen a massage and then perhaps insert a lubed gloved finger and see if you can get things moving. Do this whilst she is in the water, so that excrement and/or an egg are released they are captured in the water rather than make a mess all over you.

    PS. Do your hens a favour and get rid of all but one cockerel or pen them separately so that they are not repetitively and competitively mating your girls like that. Young roosters are hard on hens, especially when there is more than one because they will both deliberately mate the same hen. It creates stress for the hens and is particularly unpleasant when they are ganging up on an obviously sick hen like this or one that is at the bottom of the pecking order as often happens and making her life a misery.
     
    sbhkma likes this.
  4. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    I promise to get to both of your responses in a bit... thank you so much.. but I'm needed to get some food in me at the moment, so I will be back in about an hour.

    She seems to be resting comfortably for me now. She's still alert, and even ate just a tiny bit of banana and rice cake. I think this is a good sign. ? I'd take a picture for you but she looks absolutely fine and normal, just doens't stand up.

    It could be egg bound.. yes. I might give her a bath after I eat and put my flock away for the night. .

    Will be back..
     
  5. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    Ok.. she's not as 'better' as I thought.. If I move her, she is very tight, keeping her feet to her belly. She has not moved. She will pant if I move her. Something's wrong inside her body for sure as she has not passed any fecal matter at all for the past 3 or so hours. I'll be giving her an epsom salt bath soon and will be doing the gloved lubed finger thing. How do you feel for eggs or blockages.. and if nothing happens... what could it possibly be?
     
  6. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    Sorry I can't get to that request for a picture, it would take too long. I don't have the easy technology as most people do these days to do so.
     
  7. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    Oh and another note.. all the rest of my flock were fine. I went to put them to bed and none were panting or exhibiting anything unusual. They all looked better than usual.
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    About an inch inside the vent there is a junction. Up over leads to the oviduct and this is where the egg will almost certainly be stuck , but obviously if it is a shell less egg it will feel gelatinous rather than solid. There may also be more than one, as they can get back logged. More or less straight ahead is into the colon. Be very gentle and work your finger in slowly feeling around for a lump pressing down and causing an obstruction. If/when you find it, try to gently work around it to loosen the passage and assist it to pass out. Don't go further than your second knuckle, but you should find the problem before that.
    Unfortunately I am into the early hours of the morning here and will have to leave you to it as I need some kip. Good luck and please post results so that I can (hopefully) read some good news later this morning when I get up.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
    OG Anomaly likes this.
  9. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    Oh no... I just noticed, she is making gurgling noises now... Perhaps respiratory?
     
  10. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    She is soaking right now... gave her calcium tablet about 10 mintues ago and she's soaking in some warm epsom salt water.
     

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