Please help - if it isn't coccidiosis, what is it? Hen going downhill

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by naturegrrl, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently put up a post regarding my LF Brahma hen, who has started molting out of season, has a decreased appetite, and increased sleepiness. I initially thought it was a coccidial infection, because one of the symptoms she is showing is dark, garnet-red splotches of blood on the urea caps of each feces (i.e. I'm reasonably certain this isn't shed intestinal lining, which in her is peachy orange, in the green part of the poop, and only shows up occasionally). However she does not have diarrhea, she is still eating some food (less every day), and she still engages in some normal chicken behavior - preening, foraging (though not actually eating much of what she forages, besides grass). For the moment, I've set aside coccidiosis as the culprit - but she is getting worse every day in terms of appetite, and each poop continues to have these bloody splotches. Has ANYONE seen similar symptoms? Does anyone have any ideas about what this might be? Could she have eaten something sharp that's causing her to bleed internally? Could it be necrotic enteritis? Please help - I'm getting towards my wits end, and I have a very bad feeling about this.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Have you tried medicating her? A course of corrid or sulmet would not hurt.
     
  3. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't tried giving her antibiotics or Corid yet; the Corid is coming in the mail, should be here tomorrow. I'm hesitant to give her antibiotics, because if it is an internal injury or a sickness that doesn't respond to antibiotics, some of the harsher ones could compromise her even further. There is a mobile vet that parks at our feed store on Fridays; unless Kitty gets much worse between now and then, I guess I'll take her over and have the vet check her out. And maybe pick up some antibiotics. Thanks for responding!
     
  4. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A heavy worm load may be causing the bloody poo. I recently treated my flock for what I thought was cocci, but it didn't help. I'm going to try Wazine as soon as I can get to the feed store...
     
  5. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was also speculating about the possibility of worms. I haven't seen any in the feces so far, but I'm not sure that I would, necessarily. I was also considering the possibility that she might have eaten something sharp that her crop couldn't grind down and which is now cutting her intestines... but it seems like chickens can eat pretty much anything without suffering, so I don't know. Wazine would be easy for me to get - is it bad for them to take if they *don't* have worms?
    Thanks!
     
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is just a guess on my part - based on logical reasoning (well, you can decide how logical it is). The blood is every time she poops, and it is in the urea cap. Then, is it reasonable that there might be an injury to the kidney somehow?

    This combined with the untimely molt would make me want to find an avian vet if that is possible for you. It wouldn't be possible for me, so i understand if that's not a direction you can go.

    I would, however, have her inside right now, so that you can watch her, and so that she can rest. If she's bleeding internally, she probably doesn't need to be foraging for food. With some rest, she might heal up on her own. Without knowing what it is, it's hard to say, but i would bring her inside and let her rest with easily accessible foods like yogurt and scrambled eggs.
     
  7. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was wondering something similar, and tried googling "hen" and "urea" and "blood" together, but I just got a bunch of research papers on blood-urea levels under various experimental conditions... [​IMG]

    But it does seem logical to me to think that her problem might stem from the place the urea cap is made or excreted (i.e. the kidney or somewhere in the vicinity). Do chickens get kidney stones? I think I might try calling a vet this afternoon, just to see if someone will listen to the list of symptoms and tell me whether I can treat her at home of if a vet examination seems necessary. I'll have to rely on them not to pull the "Sure, bring her on in... that'll be $1000 and I have no idea what's wrong with her..." [​IMG]

    Regardless, I think I definitely will be bringing her inside and keeping her there until she gets better.

    Thanks for offering your thoughts!
     
  8. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Best wishes! [​IMG]

    Let us know how she does!
     
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    You could start be dropping a fecal sample off at a vet- you are in CA I see, there are many in Nocal that will work with birds (including chickens). It there is coccidia- it for sure will show up in a fecal float, if there is a heavy worm burden- it will also show up. A light worm burden might not show up in a single spot fecal check- but then again, a light burden would probably not be enough of a stress to make the bird look ill. It really sounds like you prefer not to treat unless you know what is actually wrong- so go ahead and invest in a fecal float at the vet's. This will also help you decide whether you should treat the whole flock.
     
  10. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mypicklebird - that's good advice! Something like that had crossed my mind, but I wasn't sure such a thing was possible. I just got off the phone with one vet, who was profoundly unhelpful - either she knows nothing about chickens, or she's one of those doctors who forces people to pay out the nose for even the littlest bit of advice. :angry: I knew I should have found a good reliable bird vet sooner!! I'll call around to other vets in the area and see if any of them are equipped to do fecal floats; I know UC Davis has a vet college that does a lot of poultry stuff, but I'm a bit too far away to drive it over to them... maybe I could xpress mail it.[​IMG]
    Kitty is pretty much the same today - seems actively engaged in foraging and scratching (and she did gulp down a few earthworms and a slug), but I think she's going through the motions more than she's actually eating. Typical sick bird bravado. Poop still has the red spots, but no worse or better than before. Sure wish she could tell me what hurts!
     

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