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respiratory problem, no discharge. what are my possibilities?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hooktontravel, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. hooktontravel

    hooktontravel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! I have a Salmon Faverolles pullet, about 5.5 months old. Her pen mate started pecking at her about a week ago. This was mostly over food (treats actually) but is not how she behaved previously so I've been keeping an eye on her. Saturday I noticed she seems to have some trouble breathing. I can hear a clicking noise, either in her lungs or throat, i'm not sure which, when she breathes hard. It looks like she may have scratched out some feathers around her throat, close to the beak if that's possible (maybe she's just still getting new grown up feathers?)

    She has been a bit sleepy, but otherwise bright and interested. merps at me when I talk to her. still eating and drinking and poop looks normal. I don't feel any abnormalities in her crop. She breathes fine for a bit, then hard for a few breaths...if she gets more active she breathes harder for a longer period. Her tail is slightly droopy, but not totally down & she has never carried it high. She does shake her head a little more than my other birds, but she always has shaken it a bit more, so i'm not sure there's any increase. I wondered if that was related to her beard fluff being up around her eyes...

    I have seen & heard her sneeze a couple of times today, but there is no discharge from nostrils or eyes.

    She eats pretty well, but not as much as I think she probably needs to. raisins and cracked corn for a treat were well-received last night, but she acted like the crumbles were too hard to swallow. This morning she has eaten some crumbles down and was happy to have them.

    there are 9 birds total - 7 chickens and 2 ducks. no one else is showing even the slightest sign of illness, but this girl has always been a little more delicate/sensitive (though not truly sick!).

    I can find all sorts of postings about respiratory things, but nothing that quite matches this. I got some vet RX and put a little in her upper beak last night. I didn't notice a huge difference, but it didn't seem to hurt.

    I decided to worm her in case that was a problem - she never has been. There haven't been domestic birds on this property in at least 25 years, and I don't think ever. They are penned under trees, so there are lots of fallen leaves & pine needles in there. I used SafeGuard paste (as the goat liquid wasn't available in the closest store). I found dosing on here so I could give a proper amount per weight. It sounded like that should cover a wide range of worms chickens can have - like anything Wazine would cover plus more? It also sounded like it would kill gape worms if that was her problem. It doesn't sound like this is so common in chickens, and she doesn't look quite like the birds in the videos online when she's breathing. no squeeky noise or anything. just the clicking. I did save some of the pre-wormer poop so i could get it tested somewhere if that seems helpful. Would there be a better all-around general wormer to use on chickens? I have mostly planned to move their pen regularly to help reduce getting worms.

    It was a very dry summer, but we've had a good amount of rain in the fall. It is currently quite dry and the leaves in the pen are not wet. I read about fungus and bacteria that the chickens can get, but I'm not sure what symptoms exactly to look for. I looked up fungal stuff, but that doesn't seem to match. her bedding has been dry (it's pine shavings). She has been out in the rain a couple of times, but she has a roof to get out of it... I also don't want to go crazy with antibiotics unless there's a specific reason I should. Is there a bacterial or fungal problem that would present with no eye or nose involvement?

    Do chickens get plain old 'colds' they can have and get over? is there a negative to continuing to use the vet RX, based on it aggravating possible illnesses? How likely, really, would gapeworms be - we do have wild birds, but they don't especially frequent the area where the chickens are penned. It also is not a high-slug zone, and this year was not a big slug year because of the dry weather.

    Thanks for any ideas you have, and if there are more things I should look for to determine what she has just let me know. she's sleeping in a crate in the garage, and hanging in the yard, separated from the others but nearby because a) I only have an acre and true separation if it's a crazy respiratory thing doesn't really seem possible. b) she was happier when she could hang beside her hatch-mates. and c) she's been with them right along already, so if they're going to catch something i think they already would have gotten it?

    Sorry this is so long!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Labored breathing can be a hard thing to diagnose, but with some sneezing, it could be a respiratory disease. Clicking when breathing can sometimes be a sign of a leaking air sac from an injury to the neck or chest. It may happen with other respiratory or heart problems, but I am not sure. Look her over for any puffy area around her neck, chest, or abdomen that feels like air trapped under the skin. If there is not any, then it could be a respiratory infection from a virus, bacteria, or a fungus. Wet or dusty conditions can be a factor, so make sure there is good air circulation and clean dry bedding in her coop. I would add some water to her feed, and mix in a little plain yogurt or egg to tempt her to eat. Hopefully, she is not that sick, but keep a close eye on her.
     
  3. hooktontravel

    hooktontravel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She has good clean air. Nothing too wet or dusty at the moment... maybe a couple of weeks ago when it rained hard for several days in a row? but no one else is having problems. Dog crate in the garage at night for her now, and leaving her free-range so the other guys in the pen can't pick on her in her sleepiness.

    I will double check her for injuries & air bubbles, but i've been picking her up a couple of times a day and never saw anything.


    Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it!
     
  4. hooktontravel

    hooktontravel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Took out her 'chicken vicks' and sat with her for a bit in the garage. She eagerly attacked some raisins & mealworms...ate a bunch of pellets. I tried wetting her food last night and she thought that was a terrible idea. I offered her layer pellets instead of the grower crumbles and she chomped down a bunch of them. And some cracked corn. I feel like i'm being that mom who lets her kid eat all the doughnuts for dinner, but I did only let her have chicken food all day, and the raisins, mealworms, and cracked corn just before bed. She eats fairly voraciously, then takes a break to catch her breath, then eats some more.

    no air sack that I could see/feel. just some loose chicken skin and feathers flopping around. She didn't like it when I massaged her crop a bit. It felt quite hard, but that was right after she'd eaten about 2T of all manner of pellets & snacks, so I don't think that's too surprising. She was pooping normal looking stuff... I can hear the crackling sound when she's breathing still, but her comb & face are still quite pink.
     
  5. hooktontravel

    hooktontravel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ordered some oxine - paid for 2 day shipping, so I could put her in a vaporiser tent in case of fungus or bacteria infection...then 10 minutes later went out to turn off the light in the garage and she's all chipper and jumping around. breathing sounds much better. She's still not 100%, but now i've just spent almost $50 on stuff it looks like I don't need?

    (good thing I can use it to sanitize my milk jugs every week from now until forever!)


    so maybe it IS gapeworms and the wormer I gave her worked to kick them out...? or maybe it was just some chicken cold & she is getting over it?? or?? whatever, tomorrow is supposed to rain all day so I think she's going to hang out in the garage. She still isn't loving her food, but will eat some. I'll be watching her. and maybe administering more wormer just in case.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Where do you live? Gapeworm can be diagnosed with a fecal float, or treated with SafeGuard liquid goat wormer 1/4 ml per pound given for 3-5 days in a row orally. Chickens can be a bit challenging to diagnose, and sometimes it might be best to watch their symptoms for a few days. I tend to be rather conservative in treating my own chickens. If there is something off, I make sure they are drinking and eating, maybe worm them, check the crop for normal emptying, look for parasites, and cull them if they are suffering. If they have respiratory symptoms, they will be separated from the rest, in case something is contagious. Hopefully your chickens will be alright, but in the past, my faverolles have not been the most robust of my chickens. They are very sweet, but they don't lay well, and I have never been able to keep them with the rest of my flock due to their being bullied.
     
  7. hooktontravel

    hooktontravel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in Maine. I did save some pre-wormer poo, but i'm not sure if any old vet could test for it... or maybe even i could do it myself with our microscope? or if I would need to drive it an hour to the closest place with an Avian vet. And then pay more than the cost of a new chicken for any tests, in all likelihood.

    I've got her in a crate in the garage at night (and today because it was pouring rain!) and let her be out in the day where she can see her buddies. They all seem to be looking for her. Funny birds!



    {{My favs cockerel has been pretty robust, but the 2 pullets I would agree with your experience. One had scissorbeak. This one is lovely & friendly but is just always seems a little 'off' somehow. I picked up a 2 year old who is quite hardy, and has laid a couple of eggs since I got her (I didn't expect many as she's clearly older!)...but I haven't been able to integrate her into the flock after over 2 months. She keeps flying out of the pen because they do chase her & dominate pretty relentlessly. I swear if she wouldn't take off running they would get over it. When the top roo managed to get into her small 'introduction' pen with her he didn't do anything but eat her food. If they're loose, or in the big pen, forget it!

    I got Brahmas & Faverolles because I was looking for dual-use, calm animals for handling, and wanted winter hardiness. Then I ended up with 2 black orpingtons too since my initial hatch only had the 1 faverolles cockerel & I wanted companions for him. The orpingtons are definitely the most aggressive. I had planned to freezer camp them or re-home, but my nephew named them & had them sitting on his lap so that went out the window. }}
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Most any dog and cat vet can perform fecal floats on chickens if they are willing. I asked my vet who does not see chickens, and he agreed that he could do them. Many people learn to perform fecals on their chickens, but you would need to learn how, and then learn what to look for. It isn't for everyone, and it might be easier just to do the 5 day SafeGuard treatment. You can do some searching at the search box at the top of the page, or Google some for more info.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. hooktontravel

    hooktontravel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I looked up instructions on the internet. It doesn't sound hard, but it does look more involved/time consuming than I want to do myself. and i'd have to get a solution to 'float' in... definitely worth having someone 'professional' do if they're already set up for it. Maybe if I had 100 chickens and made that my living it 'd be worth having the equipment & know-how.


    The girl still seems chipper, but she's sneezing a bit more (dry sneezes!) and definitely scratching at her throat (knocking off feathers) and her beak/nostril. I rubbed her throat to see if I could feel any sort of obstruction or item stuck in there, but it just seemed like a chicken throat...


    tried to get her to eat some oil-covered bread and fruits into her... she loves the raisins but won't touch anything else. and she tried to wipe off the oil before she ate the raisins! She wouldn't eat the raisin that had a pumpkin seed stuck to it, either. i took off the seed and she chomped it down. I told her chickens are not supposed to be so picky, but she isn't going for it.
     
  10. hooktontravel

    hooktontravel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could this possibly be mycoplasma galliseptum? She has never had any discharge from eyes or nose. still doing okay, but not really thriving, and still the funny breath sounds. She will eat when I sit with her, and wants to be where she can see her hatchmates when possible... Someone local said 'whenever I have respiratory problems i just give some tylan' but she's thin enough i'm leery of injecting into the breast... i've only given shots to goats & horses and I have this vision of punching right through her little body into something critical and getting meds where they're not supposed to be.


    I think there's an avian vet an hour away. I may try calling to see if they can test her specifically for that, and what the cost might be. I can't figure where she got it if that's the case. We do have wild birds around, but i've never seen my guys in the same place at the same time. none of the wild ones go in the chicken pen...

    It would make sense in some ways. Several symptoms do match up on the checklist, except she never had discharge or any major sneezing issues. Odd hackle feathers, I guess? Hers look more like a cross between pullet & cockerel, and the older fav has more basic feathery-looking hackles.

    (I have continued with the safe guard just in case. tonight's the last dose. It sounded like that at least wouldn't hurt her since I measured it per her body weight.)
     

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