A couple days ago I was brimming with pride, posting that my "old lady", Buttercup, laid an egg. Despite her age and arthritis, she laid a huge egg, and even wanted to sit on it. Well, the next morning (yesterday), I went to let the chickens out. My heart fell to my shoes when I saw Buttercup with a bubbly eye and crusty nostrils. I was in complete panic mode. All 4 of my birds (including Buttercup) slept in the coop, so all of my girls have been exposed to whatever was going on with her. I came to BYC, to do some research, which only made me feel worse. Things seemed grim for my old girl. I happened to have VetRx for poultry on hand, which I bought at Blue Seal a while back. I was trying to build up my first aid kit. So, I used some of that on her. Then I went on a mission to find some Tylan 50 for her. I drove nearly an hour away to TSC, they didn't have any. Then I tried Blue Seal, they didn't have any. But I did buy a broad spectrum antibiotic that they had, only because I was desperate to give her something. I come home, and see that now, the poor girl's face is puffy. Hubby called, and asked how she was doing. Remember, he "doesn't like the chickens". I told him what was going on, and he suggested bringing her to the vet. I gladly agreed, and was able to find one nearby that will treat chickens. Well, my poor girl is in rough shape. I had no idea. She had been eating and drinking fine, and had even had a few days of decent walking. Plus, she had just laid an egg. Come to find out that my poor baby was skinny under all of that fluff. Plus, she has lice and mites. This, on top of her respiratory issues. I was horrified. I told the vet I've only had her about 2.5 months, and did all of this happen under my care?! I realize I'm a chicken newbie, but I really thought I was doing OK. I thought I was checking for mites properly, but I guess I wasn't. And I thought I had checked for boneyness, but I was checking the wrong spot. The vet felt that everything has been brewing with her for a long time, since she has been compromised for a while. That made me feel a little better, anyway. So, Buttercup got the works. She got a lice/mite spray treatment, along with some oral medication for it. Then she got her sinuses flushed and cleaned out, and had a culture taken from her throat. Then she got an antibiotic injection. I brought home some tylosan to add to her water, plus an anti-inflammatory for the swelling in her sinuses. The vet said that will help with her arthritis, too. All of this stuff cost a small fortune, but I felt terrible for her. And guilty that I didn't know these things. Plus, the vet said that there is a good chance of saving her. I know that these respiratory infections aren't something that gets "cured". But, I don't breed birds, so none of them will be going to other homes. I only have the 4, and they are here to stay. So, if they are all 4 carriers, so be it. I will just treat them with antibiotics as needed. I guess that when/if they pass away, I won't replace any, until all are gone. Then I can start from scratch again. I know, I'm rambling. But I'm trying to figure out what to do, in terms of the long term. Anyway, please keep my birds in your thoughts. And please don't beat me up, I feel guilty enough already... Thanks for listening, everyone!