Respiratory problems

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jools2014, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone I'm new to the forum. This might be a fairly long post as I have a few questions. I have a small flock of 7 chickens (including one rooster) and 2 ducks. About 3 weeks ago I noticed one of them was sneezing quite a bit, before this I don't think I'd ever heard one of them sneeze. They are now all sneezing, including the original one so it's now been going on for a while. They all seemed fine otherwise, although egg production has dropped a lot in the past few months-they are aged between 1-2yrs.

    Anyway I didn't do anything as they seemed to be doing fine except the sneezing until a couple days ago when one of my chickens had a sort of fluffed up classic sick chicken appearance (a different chicken to the first one I noticed sneezing). Her comb which is the biggest comb of all of the chickens has also collapsed and fallen to one side. I read this is a sign of dehydration and she is drinking no end, but I don't think she's eating. She's also generally lethargic and sometimes opens and closes her beak. I just bought something called "breathe free"-does anyone know if this is any good for this type of thing? Or not strong enough? Chicken is obviously quite sick. I just remembered I have some Denagard from a year ago when another chicken was sick-is it safe to use this or would it be out of date by now? Could I use that at the same time as the breathe free?

    Also, I have a broody chicken that's just started sitting on some fertile eggs, I'm guessing it's probably not the best time to hatch out any chicks-will the babies be sick too if my whole flock have been sneezing? All other birds seem ok otherwise but am going to treat them all. Oh they also just a couple weeks ago were wormed with Flubenvet too.

    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Most diseases, especially respiratory, aren't transmitted vertically from hen through egg but if the pathogen is present when they hatch they'll be susceptible.
    So what exactly do you think you are treating for?
    The problem could be viral (most likely) bacterial, protozoal, fungal, environmental or nutritional. Only the bacterial causes could possibly be improved with an anti-biotic and not all of those.
    I wouldn't bet the breathe-free will solve your problem.
    Make sure they have excellent ventilation. Poor ventilation is one of the primary causes of respiratory issues.

    You probably need some lab work to know exactly what you are dealing with and allow you to correct the problem.

    As I see it, there are two choices.
    Take the worst bird to a good avian vet with poultry experience. They're rare as hen's teeth and may not be available where you live.

    Take the worst bird to your state vet school or poultry lab to be euthanized and necropsied to see exactly what you're dealing with so you have a good course of action.

    The latter is less expensive and more conclusive.

    Otherwise you're just shooting in the dark.
     
  3. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know what it could be at all-we have a lot of wild birds around that get into the pen and my guess would be the flock caught something from them, but what I don't know. They have a big house so they have good ventilation.

    We do have an avian vet, that's where I got the antibiotics from last year although with that bird it turned out to be egg peritonitis (we had a necropsy done-mostly to check it wasn't worms as I hadn't wormed them at that point) It was too far gone for anything to be done for it when I took it to the vet.

    I don't like to stress this bird out by taking her to the vet when she is so sick but will do if there's a risk to my other birds which seems likely, although it's possible it's an entirely different problem to the sneezing in all the other birds. I have read a lot about Tylan being given for sick birds with respiratory problems. From a money stand point it was very expensive to take the last chicken to the vet (came to around 60 British pounds) to have the necropsy done, and possibly more before that for the appointment, can't remember now. It's just a lot to fork out every time a chicken gets sick with a different illness whether it be egg bound, egg peritonitis or some sort of infection. Though of course if it means risking losing the whole flock it's worth it, and I do love my birds. Just got to weigh up the pros and cons I guess.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Just guessing here, but it sounds as though they may have had infectious bronchitis, and the one has developed some secondary bacterial infection such as MG (CRD.) The Denagard will treat MG, but the IB will have to run it's course since it is a virus. As stated above, you won't know for sure what it is without testing. IB, I have read will sometimes test negative if it is not done early in the disease. I would just get a necropsy done on the sickest one to know for sure, or I would treat her with the Denagard, and close my flock since it may be positive for MG. Here is a link to read about the respiratory diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  5. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the link-very helpful and at the same time a bit overwhelming there being SO many things it could be! I think I am going to treat the ill bird with Denagard and see what happens.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I feel your pain on the cost. It was $55 for which I was just billed for my last necropsy which turned out to be cancer. But at least I knew there wasn't anything contagious and I didn't waste time worming or giving antibiotics.

    The antibiotics didn't cure the peritonitis either did it?
    Stabbing in the dark.
    A big building doesn't equate to big ventilation. Big openings in the walls make big ventilation. They're outdoor animals, we just keep them in buildings at night to protect from predators.
     
  7. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No the antibiotics didn't cure the peritonitis, but I think the bird was unfortunately too far gone at that stage. They might have worked if I'd used them earlier. It was what the avian vet recommended at the time and he'd be who I would take this one to as well since like you already said avian vets are hard to find.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    My point exactly. Antibiotics wouldn't have cured it, nor 80% of the other things that afflict chickens.
     

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