Respiratory Issues and Hot/Humid Weather

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Samloveschicks, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Samloveschicks

    Samloveschicks In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2019
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    Hi Everyone,
    Just want to mention first and foremost that I am relatively new to chickens. I adopted 2 hens from my Aunt whose flock was overcrowded. Lucille the barred rock and Scarlet the RIR had no issues for about 5 months, but I ended up rehoming Scarlet because I am in an urban environment and she screamed at rooster volume all day, every day, regardless of many attempts at enrichment and training.
    After rehoming Scarlet, I knew I would have to get Lucille a friend. Turns out another local lady was trying to get rid of hers for the same reason. They were in awful conditions-overcrowding, filthy, ect. Against my better judgement I took two, a barnevelder and a buff orpington (mainly because, when I asked if they were interacted with at all, she told me "Oh no, honey, they're gonna be food" and my vegetarian heart broke a little). Treated them empirically with a wormer and coccidiostat. No ectoparasites on either chicken. I isolated them for 3-4 weeks and noticed no issues.
    I began intro by building a new run next to the existing coop and allowing the new chickens to see Lucille and vice versa. I did a slow integration over 2 weeks and eventually Lucille stopped the horrendous bullying.
    Now, two weeks later, some sneezing has started. The barnevelder, who also has a slight crook tail (though she can hold it normally, it is just this way when relaxed) has raspy vocalizations but rarely sneezes. She has occasional watery diarrhea that is green, but these chickens free range my urban back yard most of the day because the temperatures are 95-100F daily with 75-95% humidity. I have a mister set up for them, and they have a nice spot under a huge passionflower vine that is probably 15 degrees cooler and a chicken-made wet dust bath. I am checking her crop in the morning to ensure that it empties fully, due to the fact that it felt full of grass this afternoon.
    The buff orpington really struggles with the heat, and probably sneezes 5-10 times a day, with no other symptoms. Her crop was full and soft (but not fluid-y) this afternoon. Sometimes she has a slightly pale comb when she is panting, so I have been giving electrolytes and ice water. She has some clear diarrhea today, but also has normal poop daily. I have noticed that her head occasionally smells pretty terrible, but today it did not. I did not realize that this was any indicator of crop health until today. My other two chickens are so skittish that I never get close enough to smell their feathers, but the buff orpington lives up to the breed's sweet nature and lets me hold and kiss her.
    Lucille, the original barred rock, seems to have the worst of the sneezing and occasionally makes a honking noise that I am assuming is a cough? Again, no additional symptoms and maintains normal stool. She is about 1.5 years old. Her crop appeared soft and normal this afternoon.
    All three girls eat Nature's Best Organic Layer Pellets, crushed oyster shell as grit, have ample room and total ventilation in their coop (it is all hardware cloth with the exception of the roof!), and get fresh ice water every day multiple times. They are all acting normal otherwise and laying regularly. The buff orpington and the barnevelder both began laying about two weeks ago and a week ago respectively. All has been good. I will be checking crops first thing in the morning.
    All in all, it seems like some respiratory disease/virus that is being exacerbated by the extreme weather. I have access to many veterinary products since I work as a veterinary technician. We do not have an exotics vet around here, and my two vets I work for are not chicken savvy. I apologize in advance for the very long post! If it would be better to separate these, please do not hesitate to let me know! Because the symptoms are all upper respiratory, I am assuming they might have a similar problem. Thanks for any and all advice!
    Samantha
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    If you are getting a bad odor from one’s head, they might have been exposed to infectious coryza. They are a handful of respiratory infections such as MG, infectious bronchitis, infectious coryza, ILT, and ORT. Since you work for a vet, it would be a good opportunity to get some testing done on a bird with symptoms. Zoologix is a national lab that will also do testing for respiratory diseases in a respiratory panel for $95. Coryza can be treated with bactrim while MG should be treated with Tylan, oxytetracycline, or Denagard. A couple of diseases ILT and infectious bronchitis won’t respond to antibiotics, but you may help prevent a secondary disease. ORT is a newer disease, and may respond to sulfa antibiotics.

    Sick chickens do not drink well, so encourage them to take plenty of fluids, and spike some feed with water. Any type of stress can bring out symptoms, and several of the respiratory diseases can be chronic for life, and make them all carriers. Glad you gave them a better life, but you may want to close your flock to new birds.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  3. Samloveschicks

    Samloveschicks In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Southern Louisiana
    How does a chicken get exposure to infectious coryza? Wild birds? None of the other chickens have had this symptom yet ( I have been annoying them by inspecting them throughly since this began), so I'm assuming its a transient symptom.
    Also, which of these diseases would birds become a infectious carrier for? I can probably run some testing through out lab. I'll call our usual lab tomorrow and ask their advice for which panels to run. I know they run avian panels.
    On that note, I'm assuming we will be taking blood, but I'm not sure how to do this on chickens! Just google some videos of it is probably my best bet, right? I have seen a particularly large vein on the back of their necks.
    They all are drinking very well as far as I can tell. I will definitely keep the flock closed and be wary of purchasing adults in the future. Thanks so much for all the advice!
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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  5. Samloveschicks

    Samloveschicks In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Southern Louisiana
    From what I have read, it seems like coryza produces smelly exudate, which none of these birds have. Sneezing and possibly coughing are the only symptoms, which kind of narrows it down slightly....only slightly. I guess testing is the only option. If these tests prove to be extremely expensive to cover each possibility, what are the ones you would be most concerned about testing for? Apparently, coryza is hard to isolate. Myco might be as well. Any advice on this front? I can always check the veterinary information network at work, but I figured asking here first wouldn't hurt. All I can do on VIN at work is search threads related to their issue.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Check her crop first thing in the morning before she eats/drinks, smell her breath. A sour crop can also have a bad odor. If the crop is not empty, then read the article below to help get you started on treatment.
    It would also be a good idea to look inside her beak for any mucous, canker, sores or lesions.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
     
    Eggcessive likes this.
  7. Samloveschicks

    Samloveschicks In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Southern Louisiana
    Thanks for the response! This morning everyone's crops were perfectly empty. The buff still has a little bit of a scent, but now i am noticing that it is her whole body. She also ran up to some dog poop this morning and walked around in it and pecked it a few times? Gross but maybe this is the source of her odor.
     
  8. Samloveschicks

    Samloveschicks In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Southern Louisiana
    Also, I took blood from the buff today, so im going to keep this thread updated on what I end up running on her.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Hopefully, it is just infectious bronchitis with the sneeze and cough. But if she just does that a few times a day, it may be just dust or environmental irritation.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  10. Samloveschicks

    Samloveschicks In the Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Southern Louisiana
    That would be preferable to me for certain because they can recover and do not remain carriers. Different sources state that symptoms should not last more than 10 days, some say 2 weeks, some say a month? Whats the actual trend that yall notice?
    Im having a lot of trouble locating a lab that will do PCR panels that I can ship to today (Saturday, everything is closed). Elisa tests at our usual labs were prohibitively expensive...one disease was like 100+. I read on VIN that MD State Lab does a respiratory panel that covers IB, IL, IC, influenza, newcastle's, mycoplasma (both variants), and aspergilliosis for 112$. I'm going to call Zoologics and see if their panel is comparable for disease coverage. Hoping I can get it out today, blood isnt great past 2-3 days and I do not want to have to poke another chicken :(
     

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