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Sick Chicken- Need some guidance to decide on Euthanasia ...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crazychickhen, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. crazychickhen

    crazychickhen In the Brooder

    Dec 31, 2015
    I have a 9 month old Buff, who within the last 2 weeks has declined in health. At first we attributed her dullness to the increase in temperature (we live in South Florida and its gotten hot over the past two weeks...) but we first noted that her red features and beak had turned almost grey. She then began to intermittently pant/open beak....but it would come and go, and she was still eating. Last week we found her laying under the coop in the sand- seemingly in respiratory distress. Upon our extensive search and some threads on here...we determined it was probably gapeworms. I treated her with fenbendazole(panacur) for 4 days, Ivermectin for 2 days, and Added in Wazine to the water and a food dewormer (low grade) for the whole flock to get.

    She was not eating or drinking initially, but after the fourth day began to drink a moderate amount and showed interest in food when it was brought near to her. She then began to have neurological side effects- she seems at times to lose neuro status on one side of her body- like a stroke, and then she loses her footing and falls off the roost bar- which she know only sleeps on the ground inside the coop. She falls off the walkway out of the coop and drops into the sand, then crawls her way under the coop. She has been interested more and more in drinking and eating. Last night she laid an egg- be it almost as if she wasnt trying (it was directly behind her as if she had involuntarily released it---but its the first egg in several weeks). She is having a lot of diarrhea- probably from the slew of deworming products I gave to her. She is still grey and dull. She also was my most fractious hen and now will let me hold her for as long as I would like without even moving.

    Her pupils and eyes look alert. She is still intermittently panting. She is still very lethargic and dull. Last night she brought up multiple times a clear liquid from her beak. It was not odorous. I am a vet tech, so I totally get quality of life- however I am in need of some guidance if I have exhausted my resources or if there is something I can do to give her a chance or if I should let her go peacefully. Today will most likely be the day but I would like some chicken people to weigh in for me. Thanks in advance

    -The Sad ChickHen

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would contact your state vet for a necropsy to look for Mareks or other diseases. They usually will euthanise at no extra cost. Each state has a different price for necropsy, while some are no cost. Sorry about your chicken, but putting her down to end her suffering would be good when the time comes.
  3. crazychickhen

    crazychickhen In the Brooder

    Dec 31, 2015
    So for anyone in Florida... I found an amazing Dr at the University of Florida who I consulted with about my chicken's health. He wasn't irritated or upset to have a long thorough conversation with me. Long story long he is suspect of Marek's disease. We are submitting her to Bronson Diagnostic lab for necropsy and nerve plexus analysis. Due to her onset of symptoms and her neurological progression, he doesnt believe her symptoms were respiratory at all (which is what I first suspected). She is much much older than a chicken typically affected by the disease but he said it isnt uncommon. I will keep you all posted on the status of her tests. I have posted links to the information I collected. I don't know if anyone cares much about them but I know how useful it was to me and I hope that it will help someone in the future in assessing their bird sooner.

    UF Extension Site (You do not need to be from Florida to utilize, this is a free to the public extension office that offers information for all types of farm animals. The link is obviously directly to the poultry Dr but you can easily navigate to other places on the site)


    The Dr's Contact information is directly under the contact information. He was quick to reply(I phoned and left a message) and he was incredibly kind and thorough.

    As for the Necropsy Lab, here is the info. It does cost money (roughly 30$ not including shipping)


    and since I had incredible difficulty finding the submission form, I assume I wont be the only one. So here is a pdf link to it to give to your vet to submit. The specimen ideally should not be frozen. After death or euthanasia, the bird needs to be wet down and placed on ice to be overnighted to them. The lab can be contacted for further processing information or questions.


    Hope this helps someone out there !

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