Sick Tom

klee5

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
6
0
7
Laurie, Missouri. USA
I have a Tom that is approximately 6-7 years old. About four weeks ago he started acting lethargic and not gobbling. He had no nasal discharge, was eating ok but just not right. His head was warm to the touch and a fairly loose stool. I wormed him, and the rest of the chickens and turkeys, and started him on oral Baytril that I received from my Vet. He seemed to get better. He was gobbling and trying to breed again. Last week though, he went down hill again, I went and got more Baytril from from Vet and started him on it again. This time though he is acting like it maybe neurological. He stands with his head completely down between his legs. He sometimes stumbles around and will rest the top of his head on the ground. His stool is watery and clear sometimes, and sometimes yellow. He seems better on the antibiotics but his head is still hot. He will gobble and is walking around but I'm not sure what is wrong. I called my Vet and they are looking into it but I was wondering if anybody had any ideas or has experienced this. Most people don't understand but I'm very attached to this Tom. I don"t want him to suffer if there isn't any hope for him to recover. I would appreciate any help or advice I can get. Thank You!!
 

ivan3

spurredon
12 Years
Jan 27, 2007
4,511
219
291
BOCOMO
Welcome to BYC.

Do you have more than one tom and, if you do, have they been sparring? Any changes to feed-feed getting wet (or access to the `wet wild' that has been MO the past few weeks - ate something moldy - suffering from mycoses of some type)? The observed improvement after first round of Baytril might indicate an infection secondary to the underlying disease/condition was knocked down.

Yellow droppings might indicate that turk has Histomoniasis (is vet doing any testing, at present?). Treatment is metronidazole (Flagyl) and can be bought online.

I'd augment this guy's diet with meal worms/scrambled eggs and torn up grapes (poultry vitamins/electrolytes in water might be useful).

`Wry neck' (torticollis) can be caused by anything from injury to Newcastle disease (very unlikely). Some toxins in molds can also be responsible. However, if you're able to lift the tom's head/neck without resistance and he's able to move head and neck in a normal manner, then I'd wonder if he's simply in pain/feeling lousy. Only time I've seen a tom dragging the crown of his head along on the ground was years ago when one of our Slates got his butt whipped by the Royal. The Slate spent the next three days with head down and dragging (intermittently), wings dragging and staying off by self. These guys seem to get seriously depressed, on occasion (slate had no injury beyond the usual bruised snood and abraded caruncles - but, he LOST!).

Please keep us posted about what vet finds out.

Hope your tom gets better (yes, they are too social for one's own good - way too friendly).
 

klee5

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
6
0
7
Laurie, Missouri. USA
Ivan3

Thank you for all your information and help. I thought I had responded to your comments but somehow it didn't post. We put the Tom on Naxcel and he is eating, drinking, strutting and acting fairly normal but he still holds his head between his feet. The other Tom and one of the hens are picking on him a fair amount so I have separated them and he seems much happier. The only thing I can think of about his neck is maybe there was some trauma involved that I wasn't aware of. I have chiropractor that works on my horses so I thought I would talk to her to see if she knows of any exercises I can do with him. It might be worth a try. The Vet is looking into it also. I will keep you posted, thanks again for all your help!
 

klee5

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
6
0
7
Laurie, Missouri. USA
Well, my Tom still hangs his head a bit but seems to be doing much better. The chiropractor gave a few exercises to do with him. He doesn't really seem to enjoy it too much but there is some improvement. I'm very happy that he is showing an interest in following me around again and playing with my dog :)
 

klee5

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
6
0
7
Laurie, Missouri. USA
It has been a while but I thought I would update you on my Toms progress. He is doing much better. Holding his head higher, strutting, and eating good. He hasn't been breeding the hens but that's ok. He still can't hold his head all the way up but at least he isn't sticking it backwards through his legs anymore.
Thanks for all the advice, we think he was injured and extremely stressed not any real illness to speak of, thank goodness.
 

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