Sick - unknown cause

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by eggstastic, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. eggstastic

    eggstastic Hatching

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    May 28, 2013
    Hi,

    I have a Rhode Island Red hen, Martha, approx. 1 year old, who is sick and I don't know why. I have been on vacation until last night. When I got home I checked on my girls and noticed that Martha's comb was limp. Today she is just standing around, not quite lethargic, but definitely slow moving.

    Her chest looks swollen. My first thought was impacted crop. Her crop is not impacted. It is soft and mushy.

    The "swollen chest" seems to be pushing her head to the side slightly. I have examined her and nothing seems swollen. It is all feathers.

    I don't think that she is dehydrated or over heated. I have her in the house and have observed her drinking water. I have not seen her eat food, but she did eat a few mealworms. We have experienced mild temperatures during the past week. The coop is in the shade and Martha has had continuous access to food and water.

    Occasionally she will pant. It lasts one or two pants and is very random.

    Martha is not talking. Typically she is quite fond of telling you what is on her mind. She will squawk when I pick her up. She lost quite a few feathers while I was handling her today. This is not normal. She has always allowed me to pick her up without feather loss.

    I don't think that it is Marerk's disease. She is able to run away when she wants. I have had another chicken with this disease and Martha is in no way acting like the other chicken.

    Her eyes seem bright, pupils look normal.

    She has laid an egg for the last 5 days. No egg today.

    She has not pooped since being in the house.

    My other 4 chicks seem to be fine.

    Anyone have any idea of what is going on? I am at a complete loss.
     
  2. eggstastic

    eggstastic Hatching

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    May 28, 2013
    Update on Martha--She is not any better, maybe a little more lethargic.

    * Eating - the hard boiled eggs I give her. I am not sure if she is eating anything else. She is eating today's egg extremely slow.
    * Pooping - yesterday it was greyish and hard looking, today diarrhea like (not watery) She is not pooping consistently, possibly due to the amount of food she is eating.
    * eggs - did lay an egg yesterday. She has not laid one today. Yesterday, I thought that she may have been egg bound so I soaked her bottom in warm water and she laid an egg immediately. The egg was normal looking. She did not appreciably perk up.

    During her spa treatment, I discovered that she has lice, eggs only around her bottom and no where else.

    Martha is still "puffy", mostly around her breast and neck. Her tail is down.

    Any suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

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    Could you post a picture of her? She could have sour crop, which can be a fungal or bacterial infection in the crop (sometimes from impacted crop that has gone untreated,) and it will be full and balloon-like and squishy. Another possibility is a ruptured air sac from injuring herself. This will cause air to accumulate under the skin where the injury was. She has the most common lice, and it can be treated with permethrin garden dust or sevin dust every 7-10 days until the lice eggs are gone. Also the coop litter must be cleaned out, and the coop sprayed with Permectrin II (permethrin) which can also be used on the chicken. Here are some links to read about how to treat a ruptured air sac and sour crop:
    http://ijasvm.com/ijasvmadmin/upload/IJASVM_5113cbc51d31b.pdf
    http://www.pjbs.org/ijps/fin1339.pdf
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html
    http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/01/crop-issues.html
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    She looks to have a big puffy crop, which may be due to sour crop or something slowing her crop. Does she spit up any or have a sour odor arour her face? Her stool has a little rusty poo in it that makes me wonder if she could have some coccidiosis. Cocci and other diseases can slow the crop. Have you ever wormed her? I would be tempted to give her a 5 day course of Corid (amprollium) to treat for cocci. If you cannot find Corid, then use sulfadimethoxine or Sulmet. Also I would recommend worming her first with SafeGuard Liquid Goat wormer or Valbazen 1/2 ml by mouth, and repeat it in 10 days. As soon as the cocci medicine is finished then give at least 3 days worth of vitamins and probiotics to improve gut bacteria and replace vitamins lost.
     
  5. eggstastic

    eggstastic Hatching

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    May 28, 2013
    Sorry it took so long to get the pictures up. Thanks for your posts. I don't think Martha has a sour crop. There is no fowl smell coming from her mouth and her crop is not swollen at all. I agree with you that something else might be going on with her crop and I was wondering about worms or possibly nutrition. I have never wormed my chicks. I will call around tonight to see if I can find the medicine you mentioned.

    Martha almost died this morning, possibly from dehydration. I gave her a solution of salt/baking powder/sugar mixed with water and she has perked up. She is outside right now (it is easier to observe her than in the sick pen). She is moving very slow, but is interested in pecking at the food I threw out for her. I gave her a raw chicken liver and she really enjoyed her treat.
     

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