Sick chicks gasping for air

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickaddict82, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Chickaddict82

    Chickaddict82 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2014
    Chickamauga, GA
    I have a group of 50 chicks. A week ago we lost 2. I hoped it was an isolated incident as there was no apparent cause and everyone was healthy. 3 days ago I found one gasping for air and stretching its neck out making squeaking noises, not eating or drinking. Isolated the chick immediately and treated it with vitamins, Ivermectin, and Vet RX. Looks like a textbook case of gapeworm but these chicks have never been exposed to the ground or to other chickens that have been exposed to earthworms or other sources of the parasite. The chick passed over night and seven others have come down with the same illness. All have passed except 2 that are declining rapidly. I chick-autopsied the first victim with a q tip swabbed in its windpipe and found no evience of worms, just clear mucus.. It has been hot and humid here, heat index of 100 or worse and raining daily which could be contributing to respiratory disease. If anyone has any ideas I need help before I lose all of them.
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    It sounds like they have some sort of respiratory disease. If that is the case, then to treat them, you need to get antibiotics. I would recommend oxytetracycline (Terramycin, Duramycin, Tetroxy HCA-280, etc.) or water soluble powdered Tylan50. Both are administered in the water, and both can be effective against some (non viral) respiratory diseases. The oxytetracycline dosage varies depending on the brand/product, but I do know that the Tetroxy dosage is 2 teaspoons per gallon of drinking water, given for 7-14 days. I don't know the Tylan50 dosage.

    Good luck with your chicks!
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I agree.

    Keep in mind that the antibiotics won't treat the disease if it is viral; they only work on bacteria. But, even with viral diseases, antibiotics can be helpful, as they prevent a secondary bacterial infection from developing while the immune system is compromised.
  4. arkansas55

    arkansas55 Chirping

    Aug 23, 2014
    awwwwwwwwwwwww hoping your chick's get better soon[​IMG]
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    If these were chicks shipped to you from a hatchery, and you don't have older chickens, then you may still be seeing chicks with symptoms of shipping stress. Make sure that you have excellent ventilation, because stuffy, dusty, too warm, or moldy conditions will cause the perfect conditions for a respiratory disease. Mold can happen with spilled water, pine shavings and food mixed in very quickly, and this can cause brooder pneumonia or aspergillosis. If you have more sick chicks, offer them electrolyte water. Make sure they are not eating shavings or bedding. Gapeworm is definitely not the problem in 1 week olds. Good luck with the rest of your chicks.

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