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Sick buff orp. What's wrong?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Country4ever, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2007
    Hi all,
    I have a big beautiful 3 and 1/2 year old buff orp. Her name is Skye. I noticed several months ago that she tended to breath heavily and had a fair amount of loose stools. Occasionally she would have black dots on her comb......but it was a good color.
    But 2 nights ago, she wouldn't get on the roost. This morning when I went out, she was just sitting there, and her comb was VERY dark.
    I prepared a crate for her and put a 100 watt bulb over the crate. I've noticed that if a hen is sick at all, she just can't handle cooler temps.
    Her abdomen is very soft and I can't palpate her crop Iwhich is good). I have no other problems with any other hens (I have 11 others).
    Now that she is in her own crate, I will be able to see what/if she poops and what/if she eats and drinks.
    She is receiving vitamins/minerals in her water, and this afternoon I will give her some soft foods.
    I'm so afraid. It seems like if my hens are going to die, they do it in the late winter/early spring, when their egg laying is picking up. I just feel nothing obvious in her chest or abdomen to worry about.
    What illness would be so insidious over several months?
    She had a few mites last summer, but got rid of them. She has a gorgeous coat of feathers.
    Any ideas what might be wrong with her?
    At what point might I consider Baytril? Thanks.
     
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    big breeds sometimes are prone to heart insufficiency... and it is brought on by swings in temps...cold weather etc. Supplement during times of stress and weather extremes is a good idea to help support their system. Seeing her age you might want to give her a crushed TUM (ermergency replacement for calcium gluconate)...
     
  3. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2007
    Thanks Diane,
    I was thinking heart failure too. I have another buff orp who seems to have had a weak heart since birth. She gets ascities badly, but if I drain her every few months, she does fine in a small area.
    What is the calcium gluconate? Is that a way of getting calcium in? Would that be to help with the the heart failure? She doesn't seem to feel like she has any edema.
    I love these buff orps. They are gentle giants. But they do seem to develop more problems than the other breeds I have.
    Looking at Skye's purple comb makes me want to give her O2! I'm glad she's in a smaller space now and won't wear herself out so much.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2007
    P.S.
    My buff orp hen has intermittantly had black spots on her comb. Is it possible that she has Avian Pox? No one else here has it. Is it possible for just one hen in a flock to get it? I've read there isn't much to do for it, since its a virus. She definitely has respiratory involvement. Any suggestions what to do, if it is avian pox?
     
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Sounds like the poor dear has pulmonary edema...which is basically fluid around the heart and lungs...
    If it was pox everyone would have it.
     
  6. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2007
    Thanks SpottedCrow,
    I was thinking the same thing........about how everyone would have it, if it was pox. I think what's happening is that she isn't oxygenating very well, and even when her comb was a good pink color, maybe it wasn't healthy enough to fight off opportunistic organisms.......and that's what the black dots are??
    I wonder why she doesn't have any ascities?
    I'm always amazed at how calm chickens are when they are sick. I would be crying and screaming and moaning........but they just sit there, all by themselves, so bravely. [​IMG]
     
  7. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Awww country, im so sorry to hear your BO hen is not well. We get so attached to these little feathered cuties...its hard to see them sick. Hope she recovers soon! I know nothing about all that heart stuff...wish I could help.
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    you mentioned you noticed these symptoms also as they were beginning to go back in lay... the calcium gluconate is to help the reproductive system... (so nothing to do with the heart)
    Streamline their diet... concentrate nutrients while lowering fat and protein
    mix some wheatgermoil through their feed and offer live culture yogurt free choice. No meat treats, watch the scratch and WATCH THE SALT!!!
     
  9. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2007
    Thanks Justusnak and Diane,
    Speaking of salt..........I chopped up some hard boiled egg to give her this morning and added some olive oil, garlic powder and a sprinkle of chicken vitamins and minerals, and tasted it, and I couldn't believe how much salt those Vitamins and minerals have in them! I rinsed it off. I will be more careful of salt now, since I'm sure it would work against her little heart.
    She ate a little of it. Later today I'll give her some yogurt. I seem to have good luck using olive oil with sick chickens. Where is wheat germ oil sold?
    She did readily eat some scratch and black oil sunflower seed. I know I need to go careful with that stuff.......but since she's eating so little, I thought it would be better than nothing.
    Her comb was a little less purple this morning, but she's still huffing and puffing.
    I still have some left-over powdered stuff to mix with water that I used awhile back on Squeaky......but the trick will be getting it down her. She seems to get really stressed when I handle her, so I'm hoping she'll drink liquids on her own. She spends alot of time laying down, so I always keep her water right close to her beak, hoping she'll drink more.

    I've sensed her being sick for a long time. I never got very aggressive with her symptoms, since I thought they could be just a normal variation of healthy............loose stools, breathing faster than the others. She always had a beautiful coat of feathers and a healthy comb. Now I realize it was the beginnings of a larger problem.

    I hate using antibiotics. Many times, I just use supportive therapy and a tincture of time. But knowing she's been working on this for a long time, I'm choosing to start antibiotics on her. I figure there's nothing to lose.
    Thanks.
     
  10. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    what is the "powdered stuff"?
     

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