Sick Duck, worried about the rest of the flock

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BlackberryAcres, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. BlackberryAcres

    BlackberryAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Tonight I noticed one of my Silver Appleyard hens was breathing with her mouth open like she was panting, but it wasn't hot. She also seemed to be limping. My kids helped me catch her, and it seemed like she might have bumblefoot- the back fleshy part of her foot is black and scabby looking. I tried to wash it with water but nothing was coming off and she was making a rough noise when she breathed (and my kids wouldn't leave me/her alone) so I stuck her in the brooding room so I could go do some research and she would be isolated. I'm now realizing that was probably one of the stupidest things I could have done because I have a mama hen on 14 eggs that should be hatching soon that will need to be using the brooding room, and if it is contagious I just made them sick. :(

    I went back out to move her to a cage in the garage, and noticed that when I was carrying her she was dropping very loose, reddish stools. The reddish could be because she was raiding the goats' food this morning, but then one of the droppings seemed mucousy. And there was lots of poop dropping out of her.

    We got 4 Buckeye chickens, a Pekin drake, and a Polish crested chicken from a friend who couldn't take care of them anymore 2 weeks ago. They were in a very bad environment with no clean water or anything. On the way home the drake kept throwing up mucous, but once we got home and gave him water he seemed fine. We thought it was probably the lack of clean water and maybe some motion sickness. I had his poop tested- no coccidosis or worms, and otherwise he seemed fine, so we let him join the flock earlier this week. Now I'm afraid that he was carrying something and has passed it along and all my birds are gonna die!!! (Yes, I'm panicking!) :p The Buckeyes are with everyone else too and they have always seemed healthy. The Polish Crested is still in the bathtub because she seemed very "off" when we got her and would only poop white, but we had it tested and didn't find anything so we thought it might be kidney problems from the lack of clean water. Two days ago when I gave her cut up veggies then she had normal poop and perked up (guess she just doesn't like the crumbles?) but I still haven't let her out with everyone else.

    How do I figure this out? Any ideas what she might have and what I need to be watching everyone else for? My instinct is to just cull the sick one in the garage and have her tested for things, but who would I have do that? The vet? Health department?

    And I guess I need to completely clean out the brooding room and bleach the walls and floor just in case? The entire bird barn? We have a sand yard and they free range, so there is no way I can clean up all the poop.

    Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!!!!!

    Kathryn
     
  2. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am concerned about the additions from the bad conditions :( In a perfect world, you should've quarantined the new birds. But you recognize your mistakes, you want to learn, and you're asking for help. I am definitely not a Vet nor an expert in such things, but it seems like there are several disease type things popping up all over the duck threads, so I will encourage you to read thru the Diseases Section. Here is a link that was posted elsewhere today, not sure if it applies to your situation or not, but you might find it useful. http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
    (There's more there than botulism-- but FYI I've read Aug thru Oct are peak times for botulism, plus bad water is a contamination source) Seems like your hen is not in the brooder room yet, that is good, meaning, you have time to clean. And I would. Having hatch on the way, I might be inclined to cull and get testing, just so you know exactly what you're dealing with. But that's just me and I am not advising you to do that, because its very possible that more experienced/knowledgable people might post other good solutions here for you soon. If you do go that route, I think you'd want a necropsy, and you'd want a Poultry Vet to perform that. If you don't have a Poultry Vet in your area, then get in touch with your State Agrictural College Contact. I want to say that if you don't know where to call, then go to a USDA site, and start searching for contacts in your state. I hope that you've caught this quickly and that whatever it is doesn't spread. Good luck and please do post back what you find out, having info & experiences here is informative and helpful to others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
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  3. BlackberryAcres

    BlackberryAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the reply. I was concerned about the new birds too, which is why I did quarantine the duck for a week and have his poop tested. The Buckeyes didn't stay quarantined quite as long, because our other ducks hopped the fence to steal their food. [​IMG] And the chicken I was really worried about is still in the bathtub. It will be 3 weeks for her tomorrow, and she's acting great now but I'm unsure what to do with her based on this sick duck.

    So, I found an avian vet an hour away and got her in today. She found a kernel of corn in the duck's nasal cavity. She said when I saw her breathing weird she could have had the corn stuck in her trachea and that she finally got it up but it got stuck there. I didn't notice any weird breathing noises today. But to be safe she gave me a wormer for lung worm. The duck has lost weight since I first separated her, and has been having watery diarrhea. It HAS been brownish red, but today it was normal greenish color. That didn't occur to me until we were on our way home, though. The vet did a bacteria smear (I think she called it?) and detected clostridium, so she gave us Tylan for that. When I got home I looked it up, though, and I can only find clostridium botlinium online. She doesn't have ANY of the signs of botulism, though, and she's still alive 6 days after I noticed the breathing issues and diarrhea. So I really have no clue what to think there!

    She got enough poop to do a coccidosis test before we left and said she'd call with those results. She gave me coccidosis medicine, and also Bene-Bac to help with her bacteria balance.

    She also confirmed that the duck does indeed have bumblefoot, but then with finding the clostridium we kind of stopped talking about staph being an issue. I wish I'd looked up the clostridium when we were still in the office.

    So, I have some answers but I'm still not completely sure what's going on!
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I wonder if the Tylan will help with the staff? are you doing soaks with her foot? iodine?
     
  5. BlackberryAcres

    BlackberryAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    I hadn't done anything yet because I ended up in the hospital Sunday-Monday and have not had the energy to do anything like that yet. My father in law was kind enough to drive us to the vet or we wouldn't have gone today. Plus, I was really thinking everything she possibly had required a necropsy to identify it, but every vet I called said they needed to do a live examination first. Those places were all 1.5 hrs away, I just called this vet on a whim because I remembered seeing a picture of the insides or a bird in their office. :/

    I called the office about the not-botulism and she's supposed to call me back.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I'm sorry hope your feeling better. [​IMG]
     
  7. BlackberryAcres

    BlackberryAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I think it's going to be a slow process for me. And stressing out about all my birds sure isn't helping, especially knowing it could be all my fault. [​IMG]
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good thing you didn't take my approach and cull! I wouldn't have ever thought of a kernel of corn. Wow. And I apologize, I did not understand that you'd done a quarantine for one week. I promise to read more carefully from now on. I think it's great that you found a great poultry vet! ... And you post so others can learn too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  10. BlackberryAcres

    BlackberryAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    It's okay, I wasn't entirely clear. And honestly, now I kinda wish I'd just done the hard thing and culled him and the Polish Crested. They were acting weird on the way home, that should have been enough. I can't take this worry about everyone else. We're going to cull the Polish Crested tomorrow and use her as fox bait. Even though the two bad things that would cause the white poop (coccidosis and worms) are negative, and she's doing so much better now, I just can't take the risk of her being a carrier of something. The other birds from my friend have all joined the flock, but I can keep her from exposing them to anything.

    When I was thoroughly cleaning the sick duck's cage tonight I looked at the poop I'd thought was brownish-red. I realized that, in the garage light it does look that way, but in daylight (I had the garage door open) it looks normal greenish tan, so that has helped me relax a bit.

    And just to add to the craziness, the broody hen I mentioned in the first post had her babies on Monday. But I had one more broody hen who I thought wasn't due to hatch for another week and a half. When we went out to feed everyone tonight she had three babies in her plastic-tote-turned-nest-box! Ahhh! Instead of cleaning and bleaching out the brooding room tonight I took chicken wire and a metal roofing panel and split the house into two parts so both mommies can have their areas. Now I'm just hoping that the one mama is fine since she can't see the other, because she is one of the ones who was attacking babies when I had three broodies hatch out at the same time this spring. Never a dull moment I tell you!

    So, if the sick duck DOES have something contagious, the babies will get it, right? I'm sure she had been in the house before I noticed the breathing issues. I KNOW there is diarrhea in the brooding room, so I'm keeping them out of there until I totally clean it, but I can't imagine there wouldn't be SOME germs in the house. If they do fine in the brooding room after I clean it, and then in the brooding room yard, and then are healthy free ranging with everyone else and I don't notice anyone else sick (although how hard would it be to notice duck diarrhea in the grass?!? But everything that I can find that causes diarrhea would eventually cause death?) does that mean we're in the clear? If the vet can't tell me exactly what's causing the diarrhea and the Tylan clears it up and no one else gets sick, can I just assume we're okay? Anyone I sold ducklings to would need to quarantine them out of good practice, but I wouldn't need to avoid selling to anyone because I suspect they're carriers of something? How would I ever know? We had planned to sell some of these ducklings and some older ducklings to a lady who sells ducks to the Chinese for meat, and they really like dark ducks and she's always looking for more. We don't have much of an ethnic population in our little Appalachian town, so it makes sense for us to just sell them to her when they're 8 wks old or so (that way we can keep the hens if we want). But I can't do that if I suspect they might be carriers of something. So if I just wait for months and no one else gets sick are we good?!?
     

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