Sick Chicken - Choking symptoms? Gape worm? Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cheleweasel, May 27, 2014.

  1. cheleweasel

    cheleweasel Hatching

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    I am totally new to this site but would love any help you can offer. I have Buff Orpington Chickens. They are sweet lovable chickens. One of my girls, Polly started acting like she was choking. She would extend her neck and open her beak. She isn't making an sounds. Her poop is still normal. Her crown is almost purple instead of bright red like my others. I forced her to have water and noticed that she seemed better after that. I have done tons of reading on here. I'm not sure if she has gape worm.
    I went to the farm store and bought Safe Guard fenbendazole. I read to buy the liquid for the goats and give 10cc for every 10 lbs. Since Polly is closer to 5-6 lbs. I only gave her .625 cc. She took it quite easily. I will continue this for 2 more days as all the instructions say. How long till I see a difference? I don't want her to die. I'm super concerned. I have had my chickens for over 3 years. Is there anything else that I can do for her? After the medicine she seemed to have a hard time so I feed her some water.
    Will my other chickens catch it? I have 2 babies that hatched on May 9th and I'm concerned about them. The lady at the store recommended giving Multi-wormer Triple Action (Type B Medicated Feed Concentrate & Vitamin Supplement) to all of them. You mix it into their food. Also, all my chickens share the same coop. What about the eggs we eat? Can they catch it? I could put her separate but chickens are social animals and I think that would be worse on Polly. I just noticed this today but she is gulping every few seconds. I read that they can get this from earthworms. My chickens are free range and do eat bugs and worms. Should I try to lock them up? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Welcome to BYC. Have you looked inside her throat with a flashlight for anything that may be blocking her airway, such as something she ate or any yellow or grayish patches (canker) that shouldn't be there? She also could have something stuck in her crop such as grass, hay, or even an item that she found lying around. Aspergillosis is a fungal infection from mold in the environment (or from feed or scratch) and will cause silent gasping, respiratory distress, weight loss, and paralysis in late stages. Here is some reading:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/7/aspergillosis
     
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  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Birds with gapeworm hold their heads up gasping, making grunting noises and will shake their heads trying to detach the worms from the trachea. They are rare in chickens.
    The lady at the store that recommended the Triple Action wormer is incorrect, it will not treat gapeworms.
    She may have something stuck in her esophagus, crop or gizzard. Give her an eyedropperful of vegetable or olive oil to swallow, then gently massage her neck down past her crop, She will either puke or pass whatever is stuck. She also might be adjusting her crop, birds open their mouths to do this.
     
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  4. cheleweasel

    cheleweasel Hatching

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    We looked in her throat and nothing was stuck and didn't look abnormal. Should I continue with the safeguard? I will try the dropper of oil in the morning. She got very upset when we massaged her lower part of her crop near her gizzard. Thank you.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Give her lots of water and keep massaging the crop. I agree with Dawg53 that she probably doesn't have gapeworm. You have now wormed her which is good, and you can repeat it in 10 days for regular worms. For treatment of gapeworm, the dosage of fenbendazole or safeguard should be 20 mg per Kg (or each 2.2 lb) for 3 straight days.
     
  6. cheleweasel

    cheleweasel Hatching

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    I still have the question on whether I should give her 2 more treatments of the safe guard or stop?
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    I think that is up to you. I don't think they have gapeworm, but you can treat them for it if you want to. It won't hurt them. To me it seems more like a crop problem. Respiratory diseases can also look like gapeworm.
     
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  8. cheleweasel

    cheleweasel Hatching

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    She looks 90% better today. Her crown is red again and she's walking around. Thank you. If she has respiratory issues is there anything I should watch for or do?
     
  9. sandesnow

    sandesnow Songster

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    I also have a hen doing this. At first I thought it was gape worm, but after reading this, don't think so. I examined my flock (5) and everyone seems happy healthy, eating and drinking well and even poo looks great, beautiful red crowns too.

    The one hen, has done this since I got her (or fairly immediately). Today though, she did it 4 times within about a minute of letting them out of the coop to free-range. They always attack the grass voraciously as soon as they step out the door.

    For each one I looked down their throats, checked for mites and lice while I had them, examined their craw and breast bone. On the three younger (25 week) ones, it is fairly protruding, the older 2 (14 months old) not so much. Considering I have had chickens for a year now, and have never wormed or treated for lice/mites, I am wondering if I am doing things right. (I feel like such a newbie some days) Their bedding and nest boxes are pine shavings on a powdery dry dirt floor that they dust bathe in often.

    Should I be concerned? Is there anything else I am missing that could be causing this? During the whole time I examined the hens, not once did any of the hens do this motion. (Took about 15 minutes time to examine each one.) They are pretty tame around me, so their stress level (i think) was kept pretty low. No elevated heart rate and even some didn't move off of my lap after I was done, just wanted to hang out and get a treat.

    This is not my hen, but it is exactly what my hen does from time to time.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

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