1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Respiratory Distress?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by slpadgett, May 3, 2009.

  1. slpadgett

    slpadgett Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    May 3, 2009
    My 9 month old Buff Orp is in distress. She seems to be choking, but I'm not sure if that's what it is. She is breathing rapidly, and wheezing. The wheezing is like a distress call vocalization. She sounds hoarse. Its a kind of honking sound. She sneezes sometimes, and shakes her head.

    We have looked down her throat, and we don't see an obstruction.
    We have isolated her in a dog crate. She has water, and wet food.

    This came on suddenly. She was fine an hour ago.

    A few times her comb has gone purple. She is up and walking around right now. She will eat and drink. But is obviously in serious distress.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feel her legs. If they are warm, she has a fever. Could be a sinus infection. VetRX is a good remedy and certainly antibiotics would help......Pop
     
  3. slpadgett

    slpadgett Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    May 3, 2009
    Her body temperature seems normal.
    Will a sinus infection come on so quickly?
    Like I said, she was fine an hour ago.

    Really, it seems like an obstructed airway. She shakes her head, and looks like she is trying to gag something up.

    We have given her a little oil, and acidic food, in case of an a crop issue.
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I think you did the right thing to isolate her. Just make sure she isn't in a draft. A blanket or towels or a cardboard box around the crate would help block any.

    We don't use antibiotics, so this is just what I would do....

    Usually when something comes on that quickly, the first thing I think is that the hen ate something and she's having trouble getting it down.

    I've noticed when a hen's comb goes purple, it usually means she is dehydrated. Give water with electrolytes or PoultryDrench in it, at the side of her mouth with a needle-less syringe.

    Put eucalyptus oil or VetRx on a qtip and wipe it across their nostrils. Use a clean qtip for each side.

    If she has mucus coming from her nostrils, instead of the electrolytes or PoultryDrench, I would add 3/4 cup acv and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to a gallon of water and use that for her drinking water. The acv will help cut the mucus.

    If I think she is "catching a cold", I would put a couple cloves of garlic in the blender till it is mushy, put the mushy garlic in some yogurt and try to get the hen to eat.

    The scratching of her head could be similar to when a person gets a head cold and is trying to clear their ears. Or it could be ear mites, although I wouldn't think that would cause the wheezing.

    Keep an eye on her droppings. Do they look any different from her normal droppings?

    BTW - We had a similar situation once with our Columbian Wyandotte when she was 5.5 months old. It was December, so I had a heat lamp for her and I ran the warm-mist vaporizer with eucalyptus oil in it over night. We fed her crushed garlic and yogurt mixed with some of her feed. She was fine in two days. The vet thinks she had some chopped cranberry stuck, because that was the treat the flock had that day.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    449
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  6. slpadgett

    slpadgett Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    May 3, 2009
    Thanks for the helpful advise.

    Right now she seems stable in the garage, in a dog crate covered with blankets. She hasn't degraded since earlier, and is still eating and looking alert.

    She doesn't have mucas drainage of any kind. Her other body functions are normal. She just has this persistant honking sound when she breaths.

    Earlier it was changing from a squeeking sound to no sound (gasping) to a strong hoarse honk. She would extend her neck, open her beak and honk, squeek, gasp. Sometimes with a neck twist and a purple comb.

    The birds free range in the yard all day. In spite of our best efforts, I'm sure there are many opportunities to ingest inappropriate materials. I'm hoping its just a stuck treat.

    We will cull if she degrades and appears to be in pain.
     
  7. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:Yes, I realize that chickens don't get colds. I used that phrase as an example. Yes there are an array of serious respiratory diseases out there that affect chickens. However, without vet testing or a necropsy, we are really just guessing at the problem.
     
  8. slpadgett

    slpadgett Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    May 3, 2009
    Chicken is somewhat better this morning.

    She is no longer making the gasping, squeaking, honking sound. She also is not doing the neckstretch / head shake. However, she sounds hoarse. She is making her normal quiet happy chicken sounds, but her voice is changed.

    She is still eating, drinking and looking alert. Her droppings are normal. There is still no muscus on her beak. I haven't seen an egg yet today. But, I wouldn't normally excpect one until mid afternoon.

    She remains isolated in the dog crate. I guess I'll keep her there until her voice sounds better.
     
  9. slpadgett

    slpadgett Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    May 3, 2009
  10. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    That Merck Vet manual is something isn't it?!

    Glad to hear your hen is doing better.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by