Panting rooster, lethargic, diarrhea, NOT heat stroke.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 10, 2011
Middle Tennessee
I tried searching the forum but everything I came across suggested heat-induced panting. This is not that.

I have a year-old roo that is the sweetest guy. He is a black silkie. Today I found him in the coop in the corner by himself while the rest of the flock foraged around the yard.

His symptoms are:
- Constant panting/heavy breathing
- Drooping tail
- Walks very slowly
- Very thirsty
- Liquid diarrhea with undigested bits

It is not hot outside. Everybody else is just fine. I have felt his crop. It seems normal. It was more full this morning and has gone down by this evening. He ate small amounts of food. I gave him water with nutri-drench, vet rx, and apple cider vinegar (separate doses). He drank everything enthusiastically. The whole flock recently had 2 rounds of ivomec for scaly leg mites and there's DE for dusting.

About a month ago I lost my other silkie roo who was a year older. He was also panting but I didn't notice he wasn't feeling well until 2 hours before he died. At that point he was barely walking. So I don't know if he had the same symptoms. His breathing was labored and slowed gradually until he was gasping. It was awful and I was heartbroken. Since then, I've been even more diligent about keeping my eyes on every one of my flock of 12.

I'm afraid he might not make it through the night. I didn't have the strength to necropsy the last one, but if this one goes too, I'll do what I have to figure this out and try to make sure it doesn't happen again. So, either way, I'd really like some advice.
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He didn't die last night! Anybody? Please? I don't have a bird vet...

I thought he didn't make it when I didn't hear crowing this morning, but I was happily wrong. He is eating and drinking. His eyes are clear, not swollen or goopy. Before he started to eat and drink his mouth was sticky with strings of saliva. Maybe just from mouth-breathing? And he just had a big ol' solid, normal looking poop! This is good, no? Still panting/breathing very hard though. Still lethargic with droopy tail.

I've also been reading about respiratory illness...
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I just saw this as I was researching chicken diarrhea. Sorry no one wrote back and also that your rooster died. Did you necropsy them?

I also have a chicken who is going through some respiratory things- she sneezes, coughs, sounds congested and sometimes has spit around her mouth and she mouth breathes. I took her to the vet. My whole flock had dry pox so the vet said that it could one of three things:

Bacterial, fungal or wet pox. I didnt want to pay the 200 extra for x-rays so I just decided to go the bacterial route. The hen is now on 14 days of Bactrim. She is also getting 3 injections of oxytetracycline injection spread a week apart. I also have been giving her 3 drops of Vetrx every night. She is better and I haven't really heard any congestion or coughing. She is mouth breathing today but it's also hot today. Well I hope my experience shed some light on your chicken's symptoms.

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