Please help - hen wheezing and coughing

EmilyAlamano

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
18
43
49
We are new to raising chickens and live outside of portland Oregon. My hen Peggy is 8 months old and a couple days ago I noticed her sneezing, coughing, wheezing and shaking. I added garlic and acv to the water and up until today was letting her stay outside with the other hens because she has been acting totally normal despite this - for example she still eats, drinks, forages, preens, runs, I think is still laying eggs too - everything a normal healthy chicken does!

We brought her inside today since it’s cold outside and I wanted to monitor her. Now she is making a high pitched wheezing noise with every breath and breathing with her mouth open. Please help me help my girl Peggy! What should I do?
 

allebasi4

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
106
142
111
Northern California
Sorry to hear your girl is sick :/
I’m in no way an expert, but I just went through a similar situation with one of my girls. Did her wheezing come on suddenly, or was she sneezing and coughing before the wheezing? Is it constant or is it more pronounced when she’s moving around more? If you put your ear near her lungs can you hear the wheezing there, or is it more towards her neck? Has it been wet lately or have you noticed any mold? Have the other chickens had any symptoms?
You’re definitely doing the right thing so far by keeping an eye and keeping her warm.
 

EmilyAlamano

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
18
43
49
Sorry to hear your girl is sick :/
I’m in no way an expert, but I just went through a similar situation with one of my girls. Did her wheezing come on suddenly, or was she sneezing and coughing before the wheezing? Is it constant or is it more pronounced when she’s moving around more? If you put your ear near her lungs can you hear the wheezing there, or is it more towards her neck? Has it been wet lately or have you noticed any mold? Have the other chickens had any symptoms?
You’re definitely doing the right thing so far by keeping an eye and keeping her warm.

thanks for your response, any help is appreciated! She was sneezing and coughing first, now wheezing with every breath. More pronounced when moving I think but pretty constant. I can’t tell where exactly the sound is coming from. It’s more wet here lately, raining almost daily on and off. The area their food is kept got wet but I have been checking and don’t see any mold. No other chickens have any symptoms at all. Does this give you a better idea of what’s happening to her? Thanks again
 

allebasi4

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
106
142
111
Northern California
thanks for your response, any help is appreciated! She was sneezing and coughing first, now wheezing with every breath. More pronounced when moving I think but pretty constant. I can’t tell where exactly the sound is coming from. It’s more wet here lately, raining almost daily on and off. The area their food is kept got wet but I have been checking and don’t see any mold. No other chickens have any symptoms at all. Does this give you a better idea of what’s happening to her? Thanks again
It’s obviously can’t diagnose/ hard to tell, but its possible she could have something stuck and it may pass on its own, but it also sounds similar to what my chicken had, which was Aspergillosis. The symptoms came on suddenly with sneezing/head shaking, wheezing & breathing with her mouth open though acting completely normal otherwise. I’m pretty sure she breathed in or ate something moldy. Here’s a video of her which may or may not be helpful... https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ajyui2n7x5kjrr/IMG_3962.MOV?dl=0
Does she have any eye or nose discharge?
I would recommend getting some VetRX and trying it, cause it can help to open their airway a bit. Also, if you have some NutriDrench that could help with the stress on her body
 

EmilyAlamano

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
18
43
49
It’s obviously can’t diagnose/ hard to tell, but its possible she could have something stuck and it may pass on its own, but it also sounds similar to what my chicken had, which was Aspergillosis. The symptoms came on suddenly with sneezing/head shaking, wheezing & breathing with her mouth open though acting completely normal otherwise. I’m pretty sure she breathed in or ate something moldy. Here’s a video of her which may or may not be helpful... https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ajyui2n7x5kjrr/IMG_3962.MOV?dl=0
Does she have any eye or nose discharge?
I would recommend getting some VetRX and trying it, cause it can help to open their airway a bit. Also, if you have some NutriDrench that could help with the stress on her body

oh wow.. thanks for sending video. Peggy’s wheezing is much quieter than that. Can eating something moldy cause wheezing etc? I’ll look into vet rx and nutridrench thank you so much. No eye or nose discharge.
 

allebasi4

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
106
142
111
Northern California
oh wow.. thanks for sending video. Peggy’s wheezing is much quieter than that. Can eating something moldy cause wheezing etc? I’ll look into vet rx and nutridrench thank you so much. No eye or nose discharge.
Of course! If you go back through my posts I have a post with a few more videos as well. She was super wheezy the first day then it subsided to a light wheeze/whistle, so I initially thought she had gotten something stuck but she really just had fungus growing in her trachea :/ What I found helpful was listening to her lungs because I could tell that it wasn’t a wheeze coming from her lungs but her throat
And yes, it’s not super common but I believe it can. It was wet here and I noticed dropped feed & poop molding over.
And even if those things don’t work for her now, they’re helpful to have on hand!
If you can’t take her to a vet, your best bet is keeping an eye on her and the others, cause if the others start to show symptoms it could be something like IB or MG. Though no discharge is a good sign as it seems like contagious things usually have discharge
I have also heard of things like this coming and going without any real problems, so I hope it’s that for you :) let me know if I can help more!
 

EmilyAlamano

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
18
43
49
Of course! If you go back through my posts I have a post with a few more videos as well. She was super wheezy the first day then it subsided to a light wheeze/whistle, so I initially thought she had gotten something stuck but she really just had fungus growing in her trachea :/ What I found helpful was listening to her lungs because I could tell that it wasn’t a wheeze coming from her lungs but her throat
And yes, it’s not super common but I believe it can. It was wet here and I noticed dropped feed & poop molding over.
And even if those things don’t work for her now, they’re helpful to have on hand!
If you can’t take her to a vet, your best bet is keeping an eye on her and the others, cause if the others start to show symptoms it could be something like IB or MG. Though no discharge is a good sign as it seems like contagious things usually have discharge
I have also heard of things like this coming and going without any real problems, so I hope it’s that for you :) let me know if I can help more!
Hi again, just wanted to post and say Peggy died today. I posted another thread asking for advice on how to figure out what made her so sick, but wanted to update on here too. I’m so sad, I feel so sorry for her and upset that she suffered. I guess that’s part of owning animals, but it’s still so hard!
 

allebasi4

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
106
142
111
Northern California
Hi again, just wanted to post and say Peggy died today. I posted another thread asking for advice on how to figure out what made her so sick, but wanted to update on here too. I’m so sad, I feel so sorry for her and upset that she suffered. I guess that’s part of owning animals, but it’s still so hard!
I’m so sorry for your loss :hitIts really so hard watching them suffer... I’ve also discovered that death is such a downside of owning chickens but it comes with the territory unfortunately.
I really recommend getting a necropsy, if you’re able. I know university of Oregon is an Ag school so they have this service:https://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/diagnostic/tests/necropsy-small-ag-animal-poultry-farmed-fish-etc
There may be other options up there too. If you do get a necropsy keep me posted!
Also, if you decide to DIY, depending on how you euthanized her, you could look in her mouth & trachea to see if anything thing is blocking it. My chicken had a “yellow caseous (cheese-like) material” blocking her trachea but no other physical signs. They diagnosed aspergillosis through a lab test
 
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EmilyAlamano

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
18
43
49
I’m so sorry for your loss :hitIts really so hard watching them suffer... I’ve also discovered that death is such a downside of owning chickens but it comes with the territory unfortunately.
I really recommend getting a necropsy, if you’re able. I know university of Oregon is an Ag school so they have this service:https://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/diagnostic/tests/necropsy-small-ag-animal-poultry-farmed-fish-etc
There may be other options up there too. If you do get a necropsy keep me posted!
Also, if you decide to DIY, depending on how you euthanized her, you could look in her mouth & trachea to see if anything thing is blocking it. My chicken had a “yellow caseous (cheese-like) material” blocking her trachea but no other physical signs. They diagnosed aspergillosis through a lab test

since tomorrow is Saturday and we don’t have a fridge other than the one we keep food in, we decided not to keep her remains here... All of our other chickens are healthy and Peggy had been sick for about a week so I think/hope whatever she had was not contagious. I cleaned out the chicken coop fully and put in new DE and sweet coop and pine shavings, didn’t see any mold in any of it which was a relief but for peace of mind I needed to do a full clean out. I appreciate your support and sympathy, you helped me feel less alone in this whole ordeal.
 

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