sick peeps. Gape worm? Respiratory?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dmdhart, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently got some new peeeps from a friend. Luckily, I have kept them separate. They have become sick, and some have died. They appeared to have gape worm, so I have treated for it. Yet some are showing signs of respiratory distress, runny eyes and such. I went over to my friends house today, and she has chickens dropping like flies. I helped her worm for gape worm. (Used fenbendezole) But I am not sure if this is what it is. Or perhaps there is more than one problem.
    What kind of antibiotics can I give orally? Should I do neosporin in the eyes? I am starting the peeps on polyvisol tomorrow.
     
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are they? what temperature are they being kept at? What's their bedding? What are they eating? Is there any discharge, or is it all clear from their eyes? Describe the "and such" please as it makes a difference.

    It might be that you can try Duramycin 10 (2 or 3 teaspoons in the gallon of water, changed daily) as an antibiotic - without really having any more information. You'll use NO LESS than 7 days, 10 is better. You'll need to use a probiotic starting today. Before you medicate, you can use yogurt. After you start medicating you'll want to use acidophilis capsules or tablets - the contents of one or the other powdered and used in something they'll eat quick (a bit of egg, or a tiny piece of bread soaked in water - no milk products during treatment). Dairy products like milk and yogurt contraindicate most respiratory medicines. But for younger birds you really do want some form of living bacteria probiotic and must use daily during medication and a week afterwards to replace the good bacteria and prevent secondary fungal and bacterial infections of the digestive tract. You can maybe get a small bottle of Probios brand dispersible powder at the feed store when you pick up the antibiotics.

    Don't let them give you "terramycin". I'm not really a big fan of Duramycin10 either but used correctly, strongly, without a day skipped or left off it can be of help. If they have a package of Aureomycin there, pick it up, too.

    You can also use Tylan50 injection as a sinus wash to help facilitate healing for many respiratory illnesses. I suspect by peeps you mean babies and thus wouldn't recommend injecting them. BUt keep it in mind if they're older, or if this passes to your older birds.

    Please do make a point of having no less than 31 days quarantine. Many respiratory illnesses resolve but end up in carriers - so keep that in mind. Did she hatch these babies and share, or buy them from someone? Also what bedding are y'all using - no cedar, right?

    I'm also going to post an article here that I wrote about a bunch of supportive methods that work for ANY respiratory illness to either help resolve the issue before medicating (if you're lucky) or help facilitate healing if you do medicate.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. In the mean time, always do these babies' chores last. Wear different shoes that can be washed and a big shirt over your clothes. Use antibacterial gel as you leave the coop so you don't infect door knobs. Make sure everyone but you is forbidden from the babies' room, and keep all other animals out (including cats, dogs, etc). No cross traffic.

    I hope we can get this resolved for you and your friend. [​IMG]

    =========
    TREATING RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES IN POULTRY by Nathalie Ross


    When treating a respiratory illness in my chickens, no matter what the cause (fungal, environmental, bacteria, viral) I like to attack the problem from multiple angles at once: Medicinal, nutritional, environmental, and through supportive products.


    Medicinal: This should be handled on an individual basis for each situation. The one bit of advice I would give is that if you DO treat for bacterial illness with antibiotics, be sure to use the correct antibiotic, the strongest you can get for that problem, for the full dosage and full duration. Never let them "sip", give for a short period, or give partial dosages. And leave Baytril as a last resort.

    NUTRITIONAL/VITAMINS:
    To help tackle a respiratory illness, I keep in mind that the body needs fuel to do its job. Not only is the bird still having to nourish itself to survive, but there's the extra stress of providing materials to fight the intruder - the pathogen causing the illness. There are certain nutrients that boost the immune system and increase healing for respiratory illnesses and I like to take full advantage of them. Anything that I can do to boost the chicken's immune system, I will do.

    Vitamin A (and its precursor beta-carotene) is one of the weapons in my arsenal against respiratory illness. Vitamin A is a most important vitamin for ocular, mucus membrane, and respiratory health. It is so important to the chicken that a lack of sufficient vitamin A in the diet can actually CAUSE respiratory illness. So it's one of the first nutrients I make sure to supplement to an ill bird.

    If the bird doesn't have caseous nodules (yellow-whitish pimples) in the inside of its eyelids, mouth, throat, etc, you can simply treat with a more broad spectrum oil type vitamin liquid. Because vitamin A is an oil vitamin, I feel that using oil or liquid/oil sources is more effective than dried sources. So I prefer a vitamin like PolyViSol baby vitamins (Enfamil brand) used in the individual bird's beak daily. Don't buy the iron-fortified, but the non-iron-fortified. You can find it in the vitamin section of many stores, including Walmart. For a chick, it's 1 drop in the beak for 7 days and then taper off. For a young or medium bird, 2 drops. For a larger bird, 3 drops.

    If I'm treating a flock, I prefer to use fortified wheat germ oil, or cod liver oil, in a quickly eaten damp mash that I prepare for the birds daily. For the cod liver oil, depending on which kind you use you can use a very small amount in some crumbles that you will put on top of their feed or use it in a quickly eaten damp mash. For wheat germ oil, I mix a capful into a cup of feed and stir well. I think stir this into a half gallon of feed and give that three times a week on top of their other feed.

    This takes care of A vitamins quite nicely.

    The benefit of the polyvisol is that it also contains other vitamins helpful to the bird.

    NUTRITIONAL/PROBIOTICS:

    In all cases of illness or stress, I provide probiotics to my birds but particularly for respiratory illnesses. Probiotics are non-medicinal sources of living bacteria used to replenish the beneficial bacteria present in the avian digestive system. Good bacteria live in and 'colonize' the digestive tract, helping the bird to digest their foods, and additionally competing with bad bacteria/fungi for the digestive tract. Having a strong supply of beneficial bacteria not only keeps a flock more thrifty and vigorous, but will increase their resistance to digestive disease.

    If you're not using a medicine whose active ingredients end in -cycline or -mycin (read the label), then you can use plain unflavored yogurt. Most yogurts in the US contain a source of living bacteria, Lactobacilli. (Make sure and read the label for "contains live cultures".) Lactobacillus acidophilus will colonize the gut of the chicken. Use 1 teaspoon per 6 chicks to 1 tablespoon per large adult fowl as a guiding dosage. It doesn't have to be exact, but you don't want to give something as great as a cup to birds. Although birds are normally less able to digest as many milk products as humans and mammals, yogurt contains less lactose and so is less upsetting to their system within reasonable use. The live bacteria as well as its D vitamin fortification and protein make it an inexpensive and worthy probiotic.

    If you ARE using a -mycin of -cycline drug, then substitute with acidophilis capsules/tablets (the contents thereof), or with a prepared live probiotic for livestock such as Probios brand dispersible powder. The powders are often easier to sneak into treats to give to birds.

    No probiotics should be given in the water, despite labeling. They're best given in a small amount of quickly eaten damp feed. Yogurt can be mixed with water, and then that mixture mixed with a few crumbled pellets of the bird's normal diet and that fed first thing in the morning. removing the feed 20 minutes before giving the healthful damp mash ensures that they're more interested in it. You can also hide other healthful ingredients in the same mash.

    The reason this is so important for respiratory birds, even if not medicated, is that the ocular and nasal sinuses drain into the digestive tract through the opening in the roof of the bird's beak. The drainage can upset the bacterial flora of the gut and cause it to be reduced which leaves the bird more vulnerable to diarrhea and digestive secondary illnesses like yeast/fungus, and pathogenic bacteria.

    NUTRITION/PROTEIN:
    As ill birds are often reluctant to eat, sometimes I like to use boiled/mashed eggs as part of a daily damp mash to tempt them to at least eat the nutritional supplements I'm trying to give them daily. The extra protein helps birds who are healing to have a little more fuel.

    SUPPORTIVE PRODUCTS/VETRX:
    VetRx is an herbal based oil that is non-medicinal but very helpful to birds being treated for respiratory illness. The purpose of VetRx is to facilitate air flow through the sinuses of the bird, reduce mucus, and possibly reduce inflammation. If VetRx for poultry cannot be found, any other of the "species" of vetrx (rabbit, cagedbird, etc) can be used the same. If that cannot be found, Marshal Pet Peter Rabbit Rx is the same and can be found at many big-chain pet stores.

    VetRx is best used to swab the upper respiratory area. Mix a few drops of very hot water and a few drops of VetRx in a cup. Stir well to cool the water while emulsifying the oil into the water. Use q-tips to apply to the bird: a new q-tip end for each individual spot, an absolutely new q-tip per each bird. The q-tip can be quite damp for all applications. Swab the nostrils (nares) well, press a q-tip into the cleft opening in the roof of the beak of the bird. Pressing gently there can sometimes cause the VetRx to bubble into the eye, which is acceptable. It's not necessary but a benefit. Use either some very dilute VetRx one drop in each eye or (my preference) simply swab near each tear duct. The box recommends using in the water so that when the birds drink, they treat their own beaks as the oil floats on top. This is an option; I rarely follow it as sometimes I use the water to give other things. You can, however, use it wherever the bird wipes their eyes on their feathers, or where they lay their head when they sleep.

    A bird that can't breathe will not eat; A bird that will not eat will not heal. Bacteria generally hate oxygen, so we want air flowing all through the sinuses.

    SUPPORTIVE PRODUCTS/OACV: If you're not medicating in the water, and if your birds have a lot of mucus in their throats (gurgling, coughing, etc) the you can use organic apple cider vinegar in their water during illness to help reduce mucus and help support digestive health. The dosage is always 1 teaspoon of OACV to one gallon of water. The reason for using the organic is that it's unfiltered and still contains some of the prebiotics and lactobacilli that will act in concert with your yogurt to promote digestive tract health. The pH of this solution will also correct the pH of the digestive tract (which, remember, is being bombarded by nasal secretions) so that it's more friendly for good bacteria, and UNfriendly for opportunistic fungus and bacteria. A correct pH facilitates good nutrient absorbtion and we do want our ill birds to get everything they can from their food. The reason for using organic is not philosophical, but because of its mode of manufacture; there's still some good left in it.

    ENVIRONMENTAL/AIR FLOW:
    All birds, because of their specialized respiratory system, are highly dependent on superior air quality and ventilation. Birds who have reduced breathing ability in respiratory illness are particularly dependent on good air. They should be kept as all birds are: in well ventilated but not drafty conditions with few fumes or odors in the air, in a non-dusty bedding. This is particularly true if you cannot rule out an environmental cause for illness (ammonia, mildew spores in the air, etc).

    ENVIRONMENTAL/BIOSECURITY;
    When you have multiple birds, the sick bird/flock should always be cared for after all the other chores are done. You want to reduce all changes of infecting other birds, or even challenging possibly exposed birds who aren't showing symptoms (yet). Isolate sick birds unless you intend to treat the flock. Then it really does help to isolate the sick birds so that they don't have to compete for feed. Keep something like overalls or a big man's shirt in the 'sick area' and put it on before handling the birds, taking it off before leaving the coop. Keep anti-bacterial gel in that area to wipe your hands as you leave so that you don't contaminate the doorknobs of your house. Of course, wash thoroughly when all chores are done. Be sure to disinfect all the feeders and waterers more often as the droplets of their respiratory exudates will be on feeders and waterers. If you have family or friends over, try to keep only one person handlng the sick flock and ask everyone never to go from the sick flock to the well.

    I hope that these suggestions will help you when it comes time to treat your flock for respiratory illness. All suggestions have been used by me personally on everything from slight cases to extreme cases. They work well for me, and I hope that they will help you to bring your flock back to full health.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my article and consider my suggestions.

    Nathalie Ross
    (Please do not reproduce without permission of the author. The author is not a veterinarian and always recommends a good qualified avian vet attend your ill birds first. No information is intended to supercede that of a qualified veterinarian.)
    August 1, 2009
     
  3. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you for getting back to me, and for all of the amazing info.
    There are two groups, in my peeps. !/2 of them are about a week old, a few of them are about 2 weeks old. It's odd, because one group (of which there are 3) The oldest is sick, the younger are not. In the other group, about 1/2 of them seem droopy.
    They are all on medicated chick starter. The woman I got them from hatched hers out in an incubator, but she often brings new chickens into her flock. (Hasn't done that though for about a month or two now.) Her peeps are on pine shavings. Mine are on a combo of pine shavings and straw. Mine are kept in a cage in my shed, with a light on (not heat lamp) at night.

    One of the peeps which is the sickest, but still hanging on, has one swollen eye, with ligt yellow to clear discharge. He did have some light yellow discharge from his nostrils. He has been struggling to breath, yet is still eating fine. The others don't show any of the signs of the respiratory stuff that he does. I hope this info helps.
     
  4. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it may be that the incubation time hasn't occured for the younger chicks yet, and has for the older. so I'd hold your breath. At that age I'm sure it wasn't gapeworm, likely something respiratory. Some things are passed via egg, others can be in the brooder from a previous batch. Or it can be other things.

    On the week olds, they need to be at 90 degrees 24/7 - no less. The 2 weeks are now at 85 degrees, no less. This will help their over all immunity.

    The starter - did you get a fresh bag, not some of someone else's feed - like a split bag?

    I'd go ahead and treat them all with Duramycin 10 though I hate to do it in that young a group. I'd even treat the youngest if they're in the same area. Especially if they're together. 2 teaspoons per gallon. You'll definitely want to do probiotics (not yogurt, but acidophilis or Probios powder) daily with that sort of medicine.

    On the sickest baby, use VetRx to clean his nostrils and under his eye, swab the roof of his mouth with it - diluted 1/2 and 1/2 with hot water and VetRx, stir to cool and mix.
     
  5. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is fresh food, bought a brand new bag.
    The reason I'm thinking that it may have been gape worm is that a friend of mine got some peeps from the same woman and they started dying. They were gasping like they couldn't breathe. They were very limp and showing the same symptoms as these guys. On an off chance she shoved some safeguard horse wormer (fenbendezole) down in their beaks (a blob about the size of a pencil eraser) and some water. Within 2 hours those peeps were up and walking and by the next day were right as rain!!! I'm amazed that she didn't kill them.

    I gave them some hardboiled egg today. They ate a little bit of it, but not much. I don't get paid until tomorrow, I'll head to the feed store and Walmart to pick everything you suggested. Since it's getting colder here tonight, I switched out the regular light bulb for a heat light. The rabbit hutch they are in is outside, so I thought it best.

    Thank you again for help and concern. It means more than you know.
     
  6. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update - I have 8 peeps left and after starting the Duramycin, vitamins and probiotics, they are doing better. Only one seems still sick (she's sneezing and looks a little rough) but she is MUCH better. I am giving all of the peeps the meds. They won't drink the water when I put things in it though. So I've taken to mixing it in with their food and adding a touch of apple juice and warm water to it. They scarf it down then!
    How long should I keep them seperate after getting them better?
    The one who has been the sickest still seems to have a little trouble breathing. She most often breaths with her mouth open. It worries me.
    Thanks again for all the help and support.
     
  7. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well good on the apple juice! [​IMG]

    I'd keep them separate for a week or two after they're better just in case. On the ill one, you might give her another week of it. Or try using VetRx on her to help clear her. Are you able to clean her nares, keep them open?
     
  8. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't been able to find the Vet Rx anywhere. I've tried all the feed stores in two towns, and the few pet stores we have and no one has it. The one peep is still sick. I've started dropping the duramycin solution down through her nose to make sure she gets it, along with some organic vinegar solution yesterday. One of her eyes is quite puffy and runny. What can I do for that?
     
  9. manichicks

    manichicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Vet Rx is available from Jeffers on line or Smith Poultry and Game supply and probably several others places like that.
    Since this is happenning in chicks, I suggest that it is mycoplasma infection that is carried in the egg. But it could be coryza, although this seems young for that. Check the throat/ top of the trachea for mucous blobs that could be affecting air flow. this can be removed sometimes with qtip or toothepick. You ave to pry oen the beak and then push up under the throat to see.
    I am going to have to really think about that wormer story, that is pretty amazing. I am wondering if there is something in the wormer that is a carrying agent that fixed the birds or if it was really the wormer itself.
     
  10. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That post was done some time ago, but I have used the Safeguard ever since. I have gotten some new chickens with gapeworm and each time I have given them a very hefty dose of it. It works every time. My friend Lori and I have both given chicks that were for the most part dead A LOT of it down them, and every time they have recovered very quickly and don't seem to show any ill effects. I now worm all of my chickens with it once in the spring, at least twice during the summer and again in the fall. My chickens are all free range and their favorite food is worms and assorted bugs! What's interesting, is that I have tried the fenbendezol powder that is for dogs, and that doesn't seem to work. Not sure why.

    Do you by chance have a good cure for mites? Some of my redstars have them. I have dusted them and their coop, but it's not really helping.
     

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