Slimy discharge in beak & feathers around head, difficulty breathing...

AshleyRagen

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
6
2
12
My 20 week old pullet is suddenly not doing well. She has mucus in her beak and is in distress. She isn’t eating but is scratching her beak on the dog kennel floor and pacing. She sounds like she may be wheezing at times as well.

I gave her some water with a syringe and some coconut oil this morning. I have amoxicillin that I could give to her if this might be helpful. It’s just breaking my heart to see her like this.

I can’t get her into a vet until tomorrow. I tried getting her in this morning but the vet that treats chickens is only in on Thursday so we have to wait. I’m afraid she won’t make it through another night like this.
 

AshleyRagen

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
6
2
12
I appreciate you getting in touch. I was able to get her to the vet. They did x-rays and fecal samples and think it might be coccidiosis. We’ve gotten a good bit of rain lately and she thinks it might be from her getting into still water when she free ranges. I was hoping for a more definitive answer and they didn’t mention any respiratory issues but it seems to me like that might’ve been an issue too but they’re the professionals so what do I know? Lol.

They also said her legs looked a little splayed and I did notice that when I got her in the mail but since she’s my first, I wasn’t sure if that was normal or not. She said it could be from nutritional deficiencies and wanted to check out the type of food I’m feeding her. She is fed Scratch and Peck’s Organic grower formula. I thought I was getting her the best food possible but again, I’m new at this.
Nearly $400 later, I’m giving her the Albon and Benebac (sp) they prescribed her. They also gave her some fluids and another injection, I’ll have to look at the paperwork when I finish feeding my baby and he gets up from his nap to tell you exactly what that other injection was.

She does seem to be doing much better so far today. She still has some mucus in her beak but it’s not dripping out anymore and she doesn’t seem to be in as much distress. She excitedly ran right to the side of the dog crate to see me when I came out to feed her like her old self. I put some food down for her after syringe feeding her meds and some water and she was extremely interested and is pecking away.

I just don’t want this happening again and since I’m not 100% sure what caused it, it’s a bit nerve wracking.

I really appreciate you reaching out. I think I’m going to be spending a lot of time hanging out on these forums now so I can hopefully learn as much as possible from everyone. I’m feeling a bit guilty for getting an animal and not knowing as much about them as I should have.
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,883
3,604
386
Tennessee
I appreciate you getting in touch. I was able to get her to the vet. They did x-rays and fecal samples and think it might be coccidiosis. We’ve gotten a good bit of rain lately and she thinks it might be from her getting into still water when she free ranges. I was hoping for a more definitive answer and they didn’t mention any respiratory issues but it seems to me like that might’ve been an issue too but they’re the professionals so what do I know? Lol. Most vets are NOT well versed in dealing with birds. A chicken that wheezes does has a respiratory problem; possibly brought on by having coccidiosis which is a intestinal disease.

They also said her legs looked a little splayed and I did notice that when I got her in the mail but since she’s my first, I wasn’t sure if that was normal or not. She said it could be from nutritional deficiencies and wanted to check out the type of food I’m feeding her. She is fed Scratch and Peck’s Organic grower formula. I thought I was getting her the best food possible but again, I’m new at this.
Nearly $400 later, As you become involved with the group you will see many posts from people needing help with sick/injured birds. Most of us can't afford a vet bill such as yours. Makes a person wonder how many pets suffer and die because of the high cost of vets.I’m giving her the Albon and Benebac (sp) they prescribed her. They also gave her some fluids and another injection, I’ll have to look at the paperwork when I finish feeding my baby and he gets up from his nap to tell you exactly what that other injection was.

She does seem to be doing much better so far today. She still has some mucus in her beak but it’s not dripping out anymore and she doesn’t seem to be in as much distress. She excitedly ran right to the side of the dog crate to see me when I came out to feed her like her old self. I put some food down for her after syringe feeding her meds and some water and she was extremely interested and is pecking away.That's great!

I just don’t want this happening again and since I’m not 100% sure what caused it, it’s a bit nerve wracking.

I really appreciate you reaching out. I think I’m going to be spending a lot of time hanging out on these forums now so I can hopefully learn as much as possible from everyone. I’m feeling a bit guilty for getting an animal and not knowing as much about them as I should have.
For the most part you'll find chickens to be a healthy bunch.
 

AshleyRagen

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
6
2
12
I have learned that it’s difficult to find vets that will see chickens but what’s even more difficult is finding vets that are actually well versed with them like you said. My husband is actually a small animal veterinarian. He works with cats and dogs and sticks with what he knows and does well so he immediately recommended taking my sick girl to someone qualified. It’s sad that after nearly $400, this vet still couldn’t tell me what was going on and seemed to be doing a lot of guessing. It saddens me too that so many animals probably aren’t getting the best care or even a fighting chance because of the exuberant prices most vets have. It actually pisses me off. I left her office feeling like I’d been taken advantage of but oh well. I’m happy my girl is showing improvement and I’ve learned I need to find a more qualified vet for the future.

The other injection she gave her that I couldn’t remember the name was Cerenia which is an anti-nausea medication.

I went out to check on her one last time before bed tonight and she seems to still be continuing to improve so that’s great. I don’t want to get too excited because I still had to clean some stringy mucus off the dog kennel by where she’s roosting that I guess she coughed up. I hate to give her anymore medicine if she’s seeming like she’s getting better but I’m still worried about the mucus that she has. I’ll continue giving her the Benebac and Albon and hopefully the mucus goes away.

If she does have a respiratory infection, do you think I should be giving her antibiotics?

I want to thank you again. I’m so happy I found this forum!
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,883
3,604
386
Tennessee
I have learned that it’s difficult to find vets that will see chickens but what’s even more difficult is finding vets that are actually well versed with them like you said. My husband is actually a small animal veterinarian. He works with cats and dogs and sticks with what he knows and does well so he immediately recommended taking my sick girl to someone qualified. It’s sad that after nearly $400, this vet still couldn’t tell me what was going on and seemed to be doing a lot of guessing. It saddens me too that so many animals probably aren’t getting the best care or even a fighting chance because of the exuberant prices most vets have. It actually pisses me off. I left her office feeling like I’d been taken advantage of but oh well. I’m happy my girl is showing improvement and I’ve learned I need to find a more qualified vet for the future. I wish I were able to take my sick animals to a vet at times. Just no way-retirement on a fixed income doesn't allow such luxuries; not with all the medical bills for my wife and myself. I know we have it better than many of our neighbors. My wife worked as a vet's assistant for many years and I have quite a bit of knowledge about birds so we are better able to care for our animals than most.

The other injection she gave her that I couldn’t remember the name was Cerenia which is an anti-nausea medication.

I went out to check on her one last time before bed tonight and she seems to still be continuing to improve so that’s great. I don’t want to get too excited because I still had to clean some stringy mucus off the dog kennel by where she’s roosting that I guess she coughed up. I hate to give her anymore medicine if she’s seeming like she’s getting better but I’m still worried about the mucus that she has. I’ll continue giving her the Benebac and Albon and hopefully the mucus goes away.

If she does have a respiratory infection, do you think I should be giving her antibiotics?Since the hen is showing improvement, do not use antibiotics at this time. It is easy to over medicate birds and cause more harm than good. Has her breathing improved on the meds she is getting?

I want to thank you again. I’m so happy I found this forum!

You are welcome. Feel free to contact me any time.
 

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