Shipped bird showing signs of respiratory distress

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hennyetta, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Hennyetta

    Hennyetta Chirping

    Jan 29, 2013
    I got a pair of faverolles shipped to me this week. They were supposed to arrive Wed. by 3:00 pm but the PO messed up and they didn't get here until Thurs. morning. However, the birds seemed fine, just hungry. I put them in their quarantine cage with feed and water that had electrolytes added to help them recover from the stress of shipping.

    Yesterday I noticed that the cockerel was gurgling slightly when he breathed. Not all the time, just once in a while. It sounded like a cat purring softly. Now this morning he is gurgling a lot more, and frequently gives a 'cough' (if chickens can cough-- I'm not sure what else to call it!) and shakes his head. He is breathing with his beak open.

    What could this be, and is there anything I can/should do for him? Also, is it too late to separate him from the pullet? I'm sure if it's contagious, she's already been exposed.
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    That does sound like a respiratory disease. The exact disease causing the problem is difficult to pinpoint. Chances are, if it spread to the pullet within a few more hours, it is Infectious Bronchitis or another fast-moving disease. If it takes longer, or if you start seeing swelling around the eyes, it could be Chronic Respiratory Disease. Infectious Coryza is another possibility.

    It is probably to late to isolate the pullet, so I would treat both of them. Keep both of them warm, and give them vitamins and electrolytes in their water. Do this for two days, and then re-evaluate.

    If they are the same or worse at the end of that time, I would also put them on a course of an Terramycin, which is a antibiotic that treats respiratory diseases. You can probably get the Terramycin at a local feed or livestock supply store. The dosage is 1/8 teaspoon powdered Terramycin per cup of water for 7-14 days. If giving Terramycin or another antibiotic, do not give probiotics.

    If Terramycin doesn't work, the next antibiotic to try is Tylan. Tylan is one of the strongest antibiotics used in treating respiratory diseases. When one of my birds had a respiratory disease, Tylan was the only antibiotic that worked. However, because of its strength, Tylan can be hard on a bird's system, so it should only be used after other methods have failed. The dosage for the injectable form (the version I used) is .5ccs/day for large-fowl, .2ccs/day for bantams. Inject it into the breast muscle, alternating which side of the breast you inject it into.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  3. Hennyetta

    Hennyetta Chirping

    Jan 29, 2013
    So far, the pullet isn't showing any signs of sickness, so I'm hoping that continues, but of course I know it's very possible that she'll get sick too.

    I have one last packet of Sav-a-chick, so I'll put that in their water today, and try to get to TSC this evening for more, and check if they have terramycin.

    Does the Tylan need to come from a vet, or would Tractor Supply or someplace like that be likely to have it?

    Thanks for your help and advice!
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    Hi I agree with above post. I would start tylan soon as possible! Tylan50 has always worked well for my flock with respiratory symptoms. The injection is given in the breast muscle once daily for five days. I would start treatment soon. Sounds like he needs the strength of tylan50. Problem is with water soluble anti botics the dose is only contingent on amount the birds drink making the dose unstable. With injection your dose is always stable and it gets into the bloodstream much faster
    Another issue with water soulable antibiotics is when the bird is sick they won't drink as much as they should or as much as needed to get a good dose of the medication
    Making the injectable more predictable. You can find tylan50 at the feed store for around 12 dollars if that's what you decide to use. Hope your bird gets better real soon. Best wishes
  5. Hennyetta

    Hennyetta Chirping

    Jan 29, 2013
    I gave him a couple of days with just the Sav-a-chick in the water to see if he would improve, and he hasn't (but hasn't gotten any worse, either) so I decided to start medication. Tractor Supply didn't have terramycin, so I got Duramycin 10 instead. I also got some Tylan, so if he doesn't improve with the Duramycin, I can move to something stronger. I'd just rather not use the strongest meds right away, if something that's not so harsh will work.

    I also put Vet RX around his nostrils and on the roof of his mouth, to help clear his sinuses so he can breathe better. He is eating and drinking well, and, as I said, isn't getting worse. The pullet seems fine, no symptoms so far, so I'm hoping she can avoid getting sick.

    Does anyone know, is it a good idea to give probiotics (I have Rooster Booster, so it's a mix of vitamins, electrolytes, and probios) while giving antibiotics, or should I wait until after the medication to give them? Can they be put in the water along with the meds?
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Sounds like you are doing everything you can. I hope that he recovers soon! I don't think probiotics are a good idea, as, since antibiotics destroy bacteria, I assume that they also destroy probiotics. And if they did that, that would defeat the purpose of giving probiotics. After the treatment is a good time to give probiotics, as well as plenty of nutritious feed and other strength builders.

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