Respiratory problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kcunn760, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. kcunn760

    kcunn760 New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2012
    At first just one or two but now several of my chickens are "sneezing" and wheezing, sometimes shaking their heads. It seems this has come about because they are now spending much more time in the henhouse (I live in VT...and it's been cold) and, I will be honest here, they are overcrowded in there. I've been working hard to keep it clean and have recently purchased a second henhouse to accomodate the number of hens, but I'm not going to be able to relocate them fully for another couple of weeks, and I'm afraid left untreated whatever they have could get worse, claim lives even. In the past my vet has prescribed something on a case-by-case scenario (this has happened before, but only ever to one bird before I treated it and it went away) but he never did share his thoughts on what he thought it was. I'm looking to you, the chicken experts, for help. I'd like to know what this could be so I could research it, treat it and then develop preventative measures for warding off future problems. Thanks, in advance, for your help!
     
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    First, [​IMG]

    Assuming these are mature birds, the Chicken Health Handbook points to either Laryngotracheitis or bronchitis as the more common reasons for the symptoms you describe.

    The Laryngotracheitis is the more problematic, as it is highly contagious and there is no cure.

    More likely is the bronchitis, a cold. The treatment indicated is electrolytes in their water, do not overcrowd, keep them warm and well fed, and watch for signs of secondary infection. Individuals recover in 2-3 weeks, although mortality in mature birds can be up to 90% in cold conditions.

    I have heard of success using a mist of Oxine vapor to help with respiratory tract issues, but have not used that method myself.

    Others will have better advice, but I wanted to get you started on your search. Good luck!
     
  3. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2012
    Petawawa, Ontario
    My girls started sneezing as well and my friend had me try "Superbooster". She has used it in the past and it did work. You add it to their water and they drink it. It has a small amount of antibiotics......which help with the bronchitis and has vitamins and electrolytes. I got it at our local feedstore and an envelope does like 184 litres so you scale down for what you need. it was $11.00 Cdn here.

    Keeping them warm will help as well.
     
  4. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    It is my understanding that antibiotics won't help if it's a viral bronchitis, as that is caused by a virus. However, it will help arrest secondary problems, so looks like a good idea. And the vitamins are real good for them as well.

    Since I had not heard of it before, I looked it up. Here's a link to Superbooster info: http://www.drugs.com/vet/super-booster-can.html
     
  5. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2012
    Petawawa, Ontario
    You are right Stevetone.....I should have written that more clearly. As it will not help if the problem is caused by a virus but, will stop anything else from developing while treating the problem. The electrolytes and vitamins are really good for them and give them the energy and the vitamins they need if their appetite is not where it should be. I have used once now and still have the envelope here. My friend has used it many times and swears by it.

    Hopefully it is available or you can get it in the states......I hadnt thought about that part. If not then I am sure that your local feed store could find you a similar product for sure!!
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I have used the Oxine AH when we had an outbreak of Infectious Bronchitis and I do swear by it. I fogged the coop with the birds in there, let them breath the mist. You can also use it in the waterer's to disinfect. Just make sure you use it as is, do NOT use the activator. It is antibacterial, fungicidal and antiviral.

    As far as antibiotic's.... the problem with most of the respiratory diseases chickens can contract is that they so easily morph into pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections. For that reason my avian vet went ahead and started all my birds on antibiotic's as soon as they started showing symptoms. And whatever it is, it will move through your whole flock rapidly. Do keep them warm, especially at night, until they are getting better.

    Mine recovered very quickly with some TLC and meds but just remember that they will remain carriers of whatever it is they've picked up. So new birds you bring in are likely to come down with it too eventually.

    The vet can do tests to determine what they have. My vet did cultures and blood work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012

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