Really sick turkey

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jbugw, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. jbugw

    jbugw Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Aug 8, 2014
    Michigan
    I am not sure what else we can do. This is our first time with any poultry and we have chickens, turkeys and ducks.

    Our next to smallest turkey has been sick for over a week. We lost our smallest turkey probably 2 months ago from something respiratory (we think). There were no signs of blackhead. The little one went within a few days of showing symptoms- we tried ACV and cayenne pepper but they had no effect. She was separated from the others once she started showing symptoms and it was about 2 months ago. The second smallest started showing symptoms about a week ago so i don't think its the same thing. This turkey does have the yellow diarrhea of blackhead. She started with the depressed attitude and decreased appetite. The week before we had a duck that was a sickness that started the same way and was a respiratory illness that we treated with tetracycline hydrochloride with success. We tried it on the turkey (before yellow poop started) but she kept dumping the water out and wouldn't drink. I haven't found any indication on how to administer it without dissolving in a gallon of water. She did get some of it. We were also using cayenne in the food and she was eating just not much. We weren't sure if the first yellow poop was from the tetracycline or illness but we went and got Api Cure All which was the only way we could find Metronidazole immediately. We've been able to give her most of the 2 doses (250mg each) a day for 2 days. I know she needs more ans we are giving it to her, but she is really struggling. We've debated putting her out of her misery but she has been fighting so hard. In the mornings she is better she can eat and drink some but by the afternoon she seems to have trouble swallowing or something. She starts gagging and having trouble breathing when she tries to eat and drink. Same happens when we give the meds- in the morning I can shoot into her mouth and it seems to go down well but in the after noon she gags and gasps. She is more active in the morning, by the afternoon she isn't moving at all, but she is still standing with her wings drooping. She looks so bad. i don't really want her to suffer anymore but neither my husband or me has the heart to put her down when she seems to be fighting this so hard. I am still putting cayenne in her water and food. And we have been giving her meal worms because she loves them. We have already decided if she makes it through this we will let her die of natural causes at this point she really has become more of a pet than food. We've pretty much decided we are done with turkeys though. We really like them but they are too fragile or we just suck. What else can we do for her?
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,217
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Blackhead is deadly to turkeys as you know. It might be best to cull. If your turkeys were mixed in with chickens (don't know about ducks,) there's the possibility that the turkeys contracted blackhead from chicken feces. Chickens can be the host for cecal worms. Cecal worms can be the host for the protozoa that causes blackhead. You're correct about using metronidazole to treat blackhead. Dosage for turkeys if I'm not mistaken should be one 500mg tablet once a day for 5 days. In chickens, it would be one 250mg tablet for 5 days. Then you have to kill the protozoa's host...the cecal worm. That means dosing chickens and turkeys with a wormer such as valbazen liquid cattle/sheep wormer or safeguard liquid goat wormer.
     
  3. Aronia

    Aronia Chillin' With My Peeps

    651
    14
    108
    Apr 8, 2014
    St. Catharines, ON
    Sorry about that.[​IMG]
     
  4. jbugw

    jbugw Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Aug 8, 2014
    Michigan
    We are giving her a total of 500mg or at least we are trying. it doesn't seem to be making it and I do have 5 days worth to giver her. But she does appear to be getting worse. She is just fighting so hard though, I hate to give up on her. But my husband and I talked about it a few minutes ago unless we can do something to help her today we will go ahead and cull. She is miserable. We are going to take her to the vet- and I do realize that its probably not going to help but we're still gonna try.

    The turkeys, chickens and we also have guinea fowl are free range during the day. The chickens go in the coop and night, turkeys and guineas in their own pin. Ducks are in a pin separate although the chickens and guineas will fly in to their pin occasionally. We do have a hard time keeping the chickens from exploring the turkey pin during the day. We are going to move the turkeys over to an area where the chickens don't normally explore.

    So I should go ahead and get the wormer for everybody else then? So far I haven't read anything about needing to do the worming.
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,217
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    If in fact it IS blackhead as to be determined by a vet, he will tell you that the carrier is the cecal worm and all your birds will need to be wormed. Feel free to ask the vet. Good luck.
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,259
    12,653
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    A really big turkey, like a mature broad breasted type needs more than 500mg... My really big ones get 1000mg. The minimum effective dose is no less than 30mg per 2.2 pounds (30mg/kg) for five days and some vets will recommend up to 50mg per 2.2 pounds (50mg/kg) twice a day for 5-14 days. It's quite possible that your turkey also has an E. Coli infection and for that you need something like Baytril.

    Turkeys and peafowl with blackhead almost always need tube feeding.

    And like dawg53 said, if it is blackhead, you should worm the rest of your flock with Safeguard or Valbazen.

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  7. jbugw

    jbugw Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Aug 8, 2014
    Michigan
    She died on the way to the vet. The vet chaulked it up to breeding. Is there any issue with worming the rest if it was not blackhead? I am wondering if i should do it even though we don't know for sure.
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,259
    12,653
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

    Sorry you lost her... I have been exactly where you are and for the last three year have been dealing with blackhead and the best way to treat it. Very easy to do your own necropsy to check for blackhead... Just check her liver and cecal pouches. I can post pictures if that would be helpful.

    No harm in worming, I sure would.

    -Kathy
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by