Sick chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by downhomegrrl, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. downhomegrrl

    downhomegrrl New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2010
    I have a 2-year-old Rhode Island Red that is lethargic, thin (empty crop), and not eating or drinking willingly. This probably describes about 30 different chicken diseases, but what gives?! She presented with these symptoms 2 days ago; I brought her inside last night and have been syringe-feeding her sugar water, which has caused her to perk up a bit. She went from barely able to hobble away from me yesterday to standing up today. One of my concerns is that our yard service was not very diligent last week about picking up their leftover weed whacker strands that broke off, and I'm sure orange plastic nylon just looks DELISH to a chicken! So, I'm concerned about an obstruction. But given her unwillingness to eat (which I know is common in other animals with obstructions), there is no full crop from which I could deduce that there was an obstruction SOMEWHERE between point A and B. [​IMG]

    The rest of my flock is A-OK, so I don't suspect a contagion, but I'm not sure what the prepatent period is for many avian infections.

    Any thoughts? I'm cautiously optimistic since she has become more animated, but if there's anything I can do to rule in/out a certain ailment, I would certainly like to pinpoint the cause of her illness. I really appreciate your input, O chicken gurus!

    Cheers,
    Brittany
     
  2. hoosier

    hoosier Chillin' With My Peeps

    NOT a chicken expert here.
    If you have to hand feed her, try a mixture of cooked oatmeal with Karo syrup added. I run the oats through a coffee grinder before cooking, so everything will pass through a syringe. (That is a tip given to me by an older vet.)
    Good luck with her. I am sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon.
     
  3. downhomegrrl

    downhomegrrl New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2010
    Thanks, that's a good tip! I picked up some soy yogurt - a trick I learned from a vet. If an animal hasn't been eating or has had chronic diarrhea, it will deplete its normal gut bacteria and still have trouble digesting food once the cause of the illness is fixed (like after you've dewormed it so the offending parasite is gone). The bacteria in yogurt can help repopulate the intestines with those helpful bacteria (think Acitivia!). I'm also syringe-feeding her some Pedialyte to get her electrolytes back up. She's pooped twice today (yay!), both white/green and very runny, but all she's had for 24 hours is sugar water. I'm a little concerned that her "wobblyness" is something neurological, but I don't know quite how to tell the difference between a chicken too weak to hold its head up and one that's presenting with neurological issues. :-/ Looking forward to more input!
     

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