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Respiratory Illness.. wont heal.. help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MrsDoubtfire, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. MrsDoubtfire

    MrsDoubtfire New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2016
    Whakamaru New Zealand
    Hello from New Zealand everyone, I wondered if you could help me solve a puzzle. I have a 1 year old hyline chicken who developed a respiratory issue about 10 weeks ago. Her symptoms are sneezing, and a slightly "runny nose" laboured breathing which fluctuates between a slight wheeze to gasping loudly to making a horrible sound in her throat that I'm not sure how to describe. Other than that she is eating and drinking normally, has normal poo's, has a bright comb, and bright clear eyes, is laying normal eggs every 2-3 days and she is energetic enough and interested in her surrounds, and seems to be happy in herself, except when the respiratory issues are at their worst. (She closes her eyes and tilts her head up and sits gasping when she's really bad). Due to the breathing issues, I immediately isolated her, and took her to the vet. (none of my other chooks are showing any symptoms) They treated her for possible viral or bacterial issues, with antibiotics and anti inflams. She did a full course, with no improvement. I did some research online and thought maybe her symptoms were caused through gape worm, so I talked to the vet and we agreed to treat her with eprinex. In the meantime I had caged her inside due to cold weather, and she seemed to be making some improvement. However this did not last and so I talked to the vet yet again, and he suggested a stronger wormer. I had her on one, given orally for 7 days, which is designed to treat a wider range of worms than eprinex. Improvement was minimal if at all, and when she was placed outside in the cooler weather (in her "isolation pen") she would get worse again, so I deduced the cold weather is making whatever she has, worse. Next I decided that maybe she suffered from asthma, brought on by cold weather, so I borrowed an inhaler from an asthmatic friend (figured it would not hurt at this stage to try it) and when she had a bad attack I puffed her airspace with it. After about 10 minutes she seemed to be a little better but still wheezing, so am still unsure as to whether she has asthma or not. I have read everything I can on respiratory diseases in chickens and her symptoms just don't match anything I can find. The fact that this has gone on for over 10 weeks is a mystery in itself. She has not gotten better or worse in all this time, though has moments where the breathing is better and worse but seems to fluctuate all the time between the two. Has anyone had anything similar happen in their flock? Any suggestions I could try? I am reluctant to have her euthanized if there's any chance of her recovering as essentially she appears healthy aside the breathing difficulties and she does not appear to be unhappy or suffering. Thanks in advance for your advice.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Since she has not responded to antibiotics, then is may be viral like Infectious Bronchitis (IB) which lasts around a month or so.
    IB does make affected chickens carriers for about a year, but generally they do recover, barring any secondary infections. Since she has had antibiotic treatment, hopefully there will be no complications.


    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/78/infectious-bronchitis-ib/
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...2-weeks-what-is-wrong-with-them#post_16876342
     
  3. MrsDoubtfire

    MrsDoubtfire New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2016
    Whakamaru New Zealand
    Thanks for your comment. She has been sick since the end of April. Would she be sick for that long if it was a virus? Its been 10 weeks. :-/
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Since she didn't respond to the antibiotics or deworming, then it is most likely a viral. IB is just one respiratory illness/disease that causes sneezing, runny nose, etc. Mycoplasma G. & S. are common as well.

    She may benefit from added protein in her diet, scrambled/hard boiled egg, tuna, salmon, mackerel and meat are a good way to do this. Since she was dewormed, you may want to offer some poultry vitamins and give her some plain yogurt/probiotics for several days to help rebuild her nutrition.

    With viruses, giving supportive care is sometimes all you can do.

    Since she has been under vet care, then you may to ask if they can do any type of blood work/testing to see if they can find out which illness she has.


    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apergillosis is a fungal infection that can complicate viruses and other respiratory diseases as a "secondary infection." It can be found where there is mold, or from eating mold in feed, and it becomes chronic since there is no treatment. The mold spores can create pockets of fungi in various parts of the body. This could be what your hen has. Some people have used a product called oxine in vaporizors for treatment of breathing problems. There are many threads here on BYC about oxine if you do a search at the top of this page. It might be very expensive to get a diagnosis of this, since it causes tissue testing, but you can research treatments.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. MrsDoubtfire

    MrsDoubtfire New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2016
    Whakamaru New Zealand
    Thanks for your advice. I have seen no other signs of Mycoplasma G &S in her as she has clear eyes no bubbling in the corner at all and is energetic, and no other sign of infectious bronchitis as her eggs are firm shelled, not in the slightest deformed. And as for Aspergillosis, she is not showing a loss of appetite, nor drowsiness, or any eye lesions or any other symptoms for these illnesses apart from the respiratory symptoms. Could she still have any of these things without showing any other symptoms? I am at a loss as to what is wrong with her. :-(
     
  7. MrsDoubtfire

    MrsDoubtfire New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2016
    Whakamaru New Zealand
    I have been giving her lots of extra nutrition, such as meat, egg, garlic, fruit and vegetables. Tried her on yoghurt but she wasn't so keen and I have given her apple cider vinegar. I also tried her on a wheat, maize and barley free diet of rice and veges with no improvement in case it was food allergies. She loves grapes and tomato. I am not sure if we can get chicken vitamins in New Zealand. The rural vets here don't know a lot about treating chickens either. They mostly deal with cows, sheep and horses. lol.
     

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