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Sick hen not getting any better...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Janet Van Dyne, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Janet Van Dyne

    Janet Van Dyne Just Hatched

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    Apr 17, 2017
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    I have a sick Australorp hen (her name is Nico), who just doesn't seem to be getting better.

    About three weeks ago, we noticed that she was having trouble swallowing and seemed to have a lot of mucus in her mouth. Shortly after that she became lethargic and stopped eating and drinking.

    So, for about two and a half weeks, We've been giving her about 1/4 cc of Tylan 50 orally twice a day and force feeding her 3 times a day. (We're giving her a liquid smoothie of mostly scrambled egg, corn, water, and various greens, spinach,brocolli, cabbage, etc.)

    She' doesn't seem to be getting any worse, but she doesn't seem to be getting better either.

    She's still pretty lethargic (always the first to bed at night, and last out in the morning), not eating or drinking, and not cleaning herself. She walks around with the other chickens, and sometimes pecks at food half-heartedly when the other girls are eating, but never actually eats.

    She doesn't poo as much as a normal chicken, and when she does its mostly or all liquid, and very green. (But her diet has been green and all liquid, so I think that's why)

    The mucus in her mouth has definitely gotten better, but there's still a little in her mouth usually, and she still has trouble swallowing.

    The other chickens treat her normally, and no one else is sick.

    She doesn't seem to be in pain, but it's so hard to tell with chickens.

    She's such a trooper, even though I know the force feeding must be very uncomfortable for her.

    My mom won't pay for a trip to a vet, and I don't think they can do much more for her than I can.

    Does anyone know what might be wrong with her? Am I doing the right thing to treat her?

    I love her so much, and can't stand the thought of her being so miserable.

    If anyone can offer any suggestions, I would be very grateful. Thank you.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi Janet [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    Can you post a photo of Nico?
    How old is she?
    Do you see any plaques, lesions or canker inside her beak?
    Does her crop empty after you feed her - any smelly breath?
    What do you normally feed?
    Does she lay eggs - when was the last time she laid an egg?
    How much does she weigh?

    If you can take a fresh poop sample to your vet for testing of Cocci overload and worms that would be a good idea.

    Look inside her beak to see if there is any canker or lesions. Being lethargic with mucous coming out of her beak makes me think of a crop issue, so check her crop after her last feeding of the day, then first thing in the morning to see if it has emptied.

    Tylan 50 can be used for numerous things, I'm glad she seems to have improved. Depending on her weight, you may need to increase your dosage. Dosage is 1cc per 5lbs of weight, so weighing her would be a good idea.

    The egg is fine for her smoothie, but you may want to consider using chick starter or her normal feed to make a smoothie out of as well, and eliminate the corn and greens. Add some poultry vitamins to the slurry as well.

    Try to keep her hydrated and keep us posted.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Janet Van Dyne

    Janet Van Dyne Just Hatched

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    Apr 17, 2017
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    [​IMG]

    This is Nico. Her feathers look pretty rough because she hasn't been cleaning herself, and I don't want to bathe her until she's feeling better.

    She weighs about four pounds. I hadn't weighed her before, but she's a lot lighter than before she got sick.

    We don't know how old she is. We bought her from a seller who claimed she was just over a year old, but she acts older than the other chickens, and rarely lays eggs, so we think she might be a few years older.
    Our chickens are more pets than anything else, so it's never been a problem.

    I can't remember the last time she laid an egg.

    Her crop has been emptying normally, and I don't see any sores or lesions in her mouth or throat.
    Her breath doesn't smell any worse than normal.

    She made a solid poo and seemed to have a little more energy today.

    Do you think I should increase the dosage of Tulane 50, or continue what I've been doing?

    Thank you so much for your help, you have no idea how much it means to me.(and Nico!) Thank you, thank you!
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    "You mention that her breath doesn't smell any worse than normal" - generally a chicken's breath does not have much of an odor or it should smell lightly of chicken feed not an unpleasant odor.

    It's so hard to know what's going on with her. It is not recommended to give antibiotics long term Tylan50 dosage is usually for 5days. Dosage can widely vary, but it seems the "normal" dosage is 1ml per 5lbs of weight - this can be given 2x a day. Make sure to weigh her to get an accurate dosage - you may want to increase her to 1/2ml twice a day for 3-5days to see if there is any improvement.

    Does she seem to have trouble breathing as well?
    Any bloat or swelling of the abdomen?
     
  5. Janet Van Dyne

    Janet Van Dyne Just Hatched

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    Apr 17, 2017
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    Hey, thank you guys so much for the help.

    I've been continuing force feeding Nico as she still will not eat or drink. Her crop is emptying normaly, and her poop looks okay, considering her diet has been liquid for a month, but her breath has started to smell. She is not getting any worse, but she is still low energy and spends a lot of her day sleeping.

    About a week ago I pulled a big clump of scrambled eggs out of the back of her throat, that I think had been working its way out for a long time ( she has not been fed solid scrambled egg in over a month). Where the egg had been sitting, there were a few sores, and a little blood, but those healed up quickly. I thought after removing this food blockage she would begin to get better, but so far she is not. Her throat and tongue are very swollen and I think this might be the cause of her eating troubles? I feel like I've factored everything else out. The back of her tongue is very swollen and because of it she has difficulty swallowing and breathing, but it has been swollen for a few days and just seems to be getting worse. Is there any way i can bring the swelling down? Also her mouth is very slimy and this also causes her trouble with breathing.

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this? I can post a picture of the inside of her mouth if it will help.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Can you take her to a vet?
    Photos will be helpful.

    From what you are describing she may have Canker. Take a look at these links to see if anything look familiar.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1080266/canker
    https://www.pets4homes.co.uk/pet-advice/how-to-treat-canker-in-poultry.html
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/154/trichomoniasis-canker-frounce/
     
  7. Janet Van Dyne

    Janet Van Dyne Just Hatched

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    Apr 17, 2017
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    Wow, I had no idea that's what canker looked like, and I think that might be it! I feel so bad for not recognizing it before. Thank you so so much for all your help. I'm so happy to finally have a name for what's wrong with her. I'm doing my best to make an appointment with a vet this week, and I'll let you know what the vet says. I can't take pictures at the moment, (I'm at school) but I will when I get home.
    Again, thank you so much!!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Glad to help[​IMG]

    Hopefully the vet can see her. Keep us posted.
     
  9. Janet Van Dyne

    Janet Van Dyne Just Hatched

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    Apr 17, 2017
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    I've been looking through the resources you sent me and some others and I was wondering, if I could give her Metronidazole and supplement that with Tylan to cure the canker. I have these things available. I am in high school without a job, so I am working on limited funds, and I would prefer treating her myself if it would work. If this will not work than I will find a way to take her to a vet. Has anyone successfully cured canker? What exactly did you do?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017

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