Sick hen for weeks. With PICS!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ashedd, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. ashedd

    ashedd Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a buff orphington that is around 8-9 months old. Her name is #3, she is the most timid out of the 3 hens I have. RIR is #1

    About 5 weeks ago I noticed #3 was staying in the coop while the other two came out in the run and did their normal chicken "thing" for the day. After 3-4 days #3 looked like the walking dead. Grayish comb, sunken eyes, just looked ready to die. I took her to the vet. She was diagnosed with an impacted crop, tape worms, coccidia, dehydration and malnutrition. There could have been other things wrong but they required x-rays and other tests that would be at least $300. I declined so they kept her for 3 days and treated all the known problems but the coccidia. I was advised I could treat her myself at home for the coccidia with meds from tractor supply. I was told I had to force feed her three times a day and was shown the procedure. I took her home to the basement and went looking for the meds to treat her. I was told that the entire flock likely had tape worms and coccida as well and to do a mass treatment. Unfortunately I was home alone(bf out of town) the entire time and could not feed her myself, I tried. No friends of mine were willing to help so #3 was never force fed while under my care, although she was at the vet.

    A few days went by... I could not find the meds I needed but #3 looked fine so I put her back out in the coop with the others. She seemed to be nearly 100%(about 90%) so I forgot about the meds. After one week in the coop she started looking/acting the same as before. I called the vet and advised the situation. The vet agreed that #3 would benefit greatly by giving her oral albon for the coccidia and she had some expired sulmet I could have for the other two hens. #3 was weighed at the vet and shown to have lost 3 pounds! She was again dehydrated. I was sent home with saline and all the stuff needed to inject her with it and albon to give orally. At this point the vet understood we had passed the limit on the amount of money I was willing to spend. The vet even gave us some very frank advise on how to euthanize #3 if it would come to that.

    #3 was given all the meds and the prescribed treatment of saline. After the very first 80cc saline injection her color started to come back. By the end of the albon treatment she was fighting me bad enough that I found it difficult to give her the meds myself, but we managed. She has spent about 2.5 weeks in the basement. Yesterday was warm enough that I took her out to the coop to play, she looks very depressed in the basement. After the other two tried to kill her I took her back to the basement. I am getting good advice in another thread on how to get the flock to play nice again. Today I let her run around the basement a little and finally got a good poop on the floor for me to look at. See attached pics.

    It is clear to me that she is still ill. Presently she is: lethargic, skinny, diarrhea, eating a little(full crop/empty crop), no eggs since she has been sick. BUT she is not dead. I thought she would have died a long time ago but she hasn't. That leads me to believe that she isn't all "that" bad off.

    I need to know what to do? She can't live in the basement hanging on by a thread forever.

    Any help would be great.

    Pics read captions
    http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x279/andrewshedd/chicken/

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  2. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    It sounds like quite an ordeal. If your hen is still ill, you can't put her back with the others.


    Chickens will have green poop if they're not eating enough. Since she is still eating some, try adding some scrambled eggs and some plain yogurt to her diet. Also, you can get some polyvisol infant drops (no iron) at the drugstore and add a few drops of that to her yogurt or by dropper into her beak for a little extra nutrition. Organic Apple cider is also good to add to her water (1 T per gallon and must be organic). If she totally stops eating, it may be too late and you may need to put her down.


    Did your vet give you anything for the worms? If the tapeworms are causing the malnutrition, she won't get much better till they're gone, but worming her will also stress her system. Call your vet and ask what to give her and the other chickens for the worms? I've heard that it's safer to give hens wazine for roundworms first and then once they've shed the roundworms, use a stronger dewormer for the rest of the worms - that way you don't harm her by flushing all the worms out at once.


    * If she does end up getting better, you can put her in a pen right next to the others so they can see each other for a few days. Then remove one of the meanies. The next day, put her in with the hen you did not remove and give them a few days to bond. Once those two seem happy together, you can put back the 3rd hen and hopefully, she'll behave herself since she's now the newcomer.
     
  3. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess is that the cocci and worms casued the crop to back up. Have you treated for worms and cocci, if so with which meds?

    If the crop is very blocked then there might be trouble getting the meds in and I would expect her decline quickly.

    If you don't or can't get some Sulmet or Corrid on board for the cocci and wormer in for the worms The humane thing to do is cull her ASAP as I don't think there could be any reasonable expectation for recovery. I think the advice above on the wormers is very good I would do exactly the same. I am not sure about treating for Cocci and worms at the same time but given her state I think I would risk it.

    Once the worms and cocci are under treatment work on getting the crop going again.
     
  4. ashedd

    ashedd Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Yes she was treated for worms when she stayed there a few days.
     
  5. ashedd

    ashedd Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I do not recall the worms meds, it was something I had heard of before with my cats. Cocci meds were Albon given orally. I dosed the other two with Sulmet via their water. The crop has food in it by evening and in the morning is the size of a wallnut, seems like it's working. It doesn't fill up as big as the other hens... after ten mins in the yard the other two look like they split a pair of breast implants.

    Last night when I took those pics I rubbed her crop a little and it seemed to bother her, I dont know if that is significant. I also forgot to add in the original post that when I took her to the vet the first time that she was panting even though it was 80 outside. She was given an ice pack to calm her down by the vet. She was panting in the airconditioned office too.

    I admit it she probably needed culled awhile ago BUT she doesn't seem in pain or uncomfortable. Just looks like hell.
     
  6. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then given the meds have been, given they have worked and the crop is moving at least some food it should be a matter of getting good quality food in so she can rebuild. Some canned fish, a little wet catfood, scrambled eggs and such. Avoid the junk food like scratch and white bread, limit greens as it takes a lot of volume to get few calories and nutrients.

    If there is something underlying though the worms and cocci may have just been what showed up to cause trouble to an already weakened bird. If that case there really might not be much to do to help. I think both cocci and worms can cause permient damage too, both directly to the intestines as well as to the body as a whole through malnutrition.

    If you have a scale and can weigh her say each morning to see if she is putting weight back on or not that might be useful in deciding what to do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some yogurt should also be good to get good digestion going again. A little olive oil and some masaging the crop might help break up anything there that could be adding to the troubles.
     
  8. ashedd

    ashedd Out Of The Brooder

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    I need a scale so I might go to harbor freight and get a digital one. I just made some cream of wheat for her and the other two. The vet always said we could be missing the real issue but she needed to do all those tests to figure it out. I need some more yogurt myself so I will get her some generic stuff. I just gave her a mild dose of sulmet with her water, just in case.

    Thanks for the help
     
  9. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeh, a digital scale is not bad to have around, good if it can measure down to 1 gram or something like 0.05 oz. getting a track of her weight will be a good indicator if she is recovering or not, expect some daily fluctuations though as they can put a lot in their crops.

    I'm with what the vet is saying, not so much missing something as it just could be something underlying that allowed the cocci and worms to really take hold.

    Careful on the sulmet though it's a tough one on them.
     
  10. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    I agree with all of Clay Valley Farmer's suggestions of feed. When you go to get the yogurt, choose plain (not vanilla). The plain yogurt has less sugar in it.

    If you have access to a health food store, you can get get a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar (the bottle should have the 'mother' in it and will say so on the label). Adding 1 tablespoon per gallon of water will be helpful to all 3 of your hens. Besides the extra nutrition it will offer them, it also makes their bodies less inhabitable by worms - you don't want to get another worm build-up.

    If you can section off part of the pen for your ailing hen or give her a small pen nearby (maybe a wire dog crate?), it might help her spirits to be outside and close to the others. She may eat better and since she's already been treated for her illness, she shouldn't be contagious. Don't even attempt to put them all together until she's stronger and then you'll need to do so carefully (see 1 possibility above).
     

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