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Rooster keeps opening his mouth

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gossie, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. Gossie

    Gossie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a BLRW rooster named Pip, who is 5 years old. When he was younger, something happened to his toes and they curl outwards. He also has very long spurs which make it hard for him to walk (we are planning on cutting them soon), so I am not surprised when he stands weird and is a little crooked. But for a month or two now, he has been standing in the corner, kind of looking a little sickly, but he still drank and ate, so I assumed he was okay. He would still walk around sometimes and after I picked him up, he was fine and acted normal. We had no other rooster, and the hens weren't bothering him. He never crows, that stopped around the summer and he hasn't crowed since. It's been the same ever since.
    Today, we got a white silkie rooster. We assumed that because Pip was lower in the pecking order, he wouldn't care about another rooster, and we were right. I went down to check on the new rooster after dark, and found the little guy sleeping on the floor where Pip usually sleeps(he can't get up on the roost because of his toes [​IMG]) and Pip was sleeping under the roosts, poor guy. I almost left then, but noticed that he was panting, he would stretch his neck out, breathe deep, and then return to sleeping for a second or two and then repeat. I've never seen him do this before, he was acting normal this afternoon, maybe even better (he was eating today, too). He didn't seem at all hurt and he was acting alright other than the gasping. None of the other chickens are exhibiting these symptoms and the chickens at the place we got the new rooster are healthy too. What do you think could be wrong with Pip?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Has he molted recently? I have an older rooster who really feels puny during and right after he molts. I tried timming his long spurs this fall, and found that it was much easier to twist them off at the base with pliers. I had tried and tried to trim them, to just dull the ends, but when the first one came of, I just removed the other one. He didn't bleed, or seem to be in pain, and his spurs have grown back somewhat gradually. I would keep an eye on him, and perhaps get a fecal test done on a few of his fresh droppings. Some worms can affect the breathing, and he seems a little tired for his age. Is it very warm there? You might want to cage him for a couple of days to give him some chopped egg, chicken feed with a little plain yogurt, and even mix in some water to make sure he will eat well. Placing an old towel or puppy pad down, you can collect some droppings to take to a vet, and really give him a good looking over. Check him for mites and lice, feel of his breastbone for any weight loss, and make sure that his crop empties overnight--just a good once over. He probably realizes that there is another fellow around now, and hopefully the little one won't get to aggressive when he realizes that Pip is under the weather. If he hasn't been wormed recently, it might be good to use some Valbazen or SafeGuard, but a fecal test would show you if he needs it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Look in his mouth and down his throat with a flashlight It sounds like he might have canker. If you see yellowish or whitish spots in his moouth or throat, that look out of place and look like lesions, than yeah he does. In that case, he needs an antibiotic called Metronidazole. I don't know where you are but if you are in the US you will need a vet to give you a prescription for it. Also whatever he has will most likely not have a happy outcome without treatment from what you are describing. If you see no lesions, he could have gapeworm or other types of worms, or, he could have something stuck in his mouth or throat even, or it's possible that he has canker in an area you can't see. Have you dewormed your flock at all?

    Whenever you have a sick bird, you should keep him separate from the others unless you are sure it is not contagious, and even then, sometimes it is less stress if they can be in a cage where they have some warmth and privacy. This is hard to do with multiple roosters, because of the pecking order thing, but in your case it probably wouldn't make any difference because he is already lower on the pecking order anyway. If he gets any sicker though, the little Silkie rooster may try to drive him off, and that will add to his and your problems.. If you keep him separate where he can still hear and see the others and try hard to get him well, then he will be able to hold his own when he's back with the flock. If you don't want to do that though, at least do what I described above, and let us know if you see any other symptoms. If you don't see any lesions, and you don't have access to a vet, I would suggest deworming the entire flock with a broad spectrum dewormer like Valbazen or Levamisole or Safeguard, and see how he does from there. You can deworm the sick bird with Safeguard for three to five days, and even with the other types of dewormer if I am treating for a significant worm infestation I deworm for two to three days and then again ten days later. Some worms like Capillary worms are extremelly hard to get rid of as they bury themselves in the bird's digestive tract lining, and that might be why you see him opening his mouth if they are in his crop or throat. If you can, before you deworm, take a poop sample to a vet and get them to do a fecal float, just to see what's going on. If you can't do that, still deworm everyone, it won't hurt them. With worms in a flock (as with lots of things) some birds will get sick and show symptoms, and some will not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Make sure that he is drinking plenty of water. Sometimes they will open their beaks if they have a crop problem. Check to see that it is empty by morning--if not there may be a blockage. Gasping can be a sign of aspergillosis, a fungal respiratory disease, but also can be a sign of other respiratory problems or heart failure. I would take a look inside his throat with a flashlight while someone heads him for you. Canker is not that common, but it would look like a yellow to grey patch of gunk inside the mouth or throat. It also smells bad. Keep us posted on how he is doing.

    [​IMG]
    What to look for: canker is the yellow gunk, a protozoan infection
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That is a classic example of canker but it does not necessarily look that pronounced.
     
  6. perthchickie

    perthchickie Just Hatched

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    I have a 4 year old hen who has been doing the same. The poor darling keeps trying to sleep but can't do it for more than 10-15 seconds before gasping for air. Initially I thought it was due to the hot weather we have had recently. Our vet initially thought it may be heart failure/heart disease (he heard a murmur), but an ECG showed that it was murmuring due to there being insufficient blood in her system. Long story short, she had intestinal parasites sucking her dry and is severely anemic. She had a small blood transfusion yesterday from one of our other hens and that initially seemed to really help her. Unfortunately though she has now deteriorated again. I'm so worried for her :(
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Did the vet give you something to help get rid of the worms? Have you tried avian vitamins?
     
  8. perthchickie

    perthchickie Just Hatched

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    yes he gave me Vetafarm wormout tablets for her. She has been eating a mixture of layer pellets, cooked yolk and water/probiotic yoghurt. After just over 48 hours she is still the same- almost constant panting with no relief. The longest I have seen her sleep is 1.5 minutes!
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    @perthchickie I'm sorry to hear your hen is still not doing well. Have you called the vet to report no improvement?

    How does her abdomen feel - is it swollen like a water balloon, hard, bloated, etc.?
    When was the last time she laid an egg - was her egg laying typically normal or does she have a history of soft or shell less eggs?

    The gasping is concerning. If she feels bloated or her abdomen is distended, then she may have an internal laying/reproductive disorder. Peritonitis, Ascites, cancer or tumors are fairly common in laying hens and can cause shortness of breath/labored breathing, weakness, loss of appetite, etc.

    Since she had a worm overload and is anemic, did the vet recommend any foods for her. If not you may want to give her a small amount of iron rich foods like dark leafy vegetables, red meat, liver and sunflower seeds. Personally I would opt for the beef liver and a small amount of chopped kale. Add some poultry vitamins to her water like Poultry Nutri-Drench or Rooster Booster Poultry Cell.

    I'm sorry to say this, but if she is unable to sleep and is declining, then letting her linger too much longer will just add more stress to you and to her. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to help no matter how hard we try and how much we love them.

    Please keep us posted.
     
  10. perthchickie

    perthchickie Just Hatched

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    @Wyorp Rock her abdomen feels normal- she hasnt laid eggs for a while presumably due to her age, but she doesnt have a history of soft or shell-less eggs. Her abdomen feels normal- no bloating or fluid or anything like that. She has a fatty tumour at the top of her leg, but it has never caused her any issue before.

    The vet has been checking in every day- they both seem to think that the worms took a lot out of her, and that once theyre put of her system she'll begin regenerating red blood cells and recover.

    It's awful seeing her like this. I think I'll wait until saturday and if there is no improvement think about other options :(
     

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