Sudden lathargacy - slight bluing on comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sahwithchicks, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a 7 month old hen that is exhibiting extreme lathargacy. Yesterday, she was out free ranging with the other chickens, today she is sleeping. This morning I went to let them out, I noticed she was not acting right. I put her in isolation with extra hay, I added vitamins, electrolytes and probiotic to her water and refreshed her normal layer feed.
    Here are all the details I can give you;
    Severely latharic - I could walk right up and pick her up with out her running off. Not normal. I would stoke her neck and she would fall asleep. Also not at all normal.

    Bluish comb - only a small edge of her comb is bluish, but it is normally bright red

    Dialated eyes - her pupils are very large, just as they would be at night. She does not seem to be able to focus them, and I am not sure if she is seeing me or hearing me, but her eyes are clear

    Puffed up - she has her feathers puffed up. It was in the 50s last night, I don't think that is too cold for her- so not sure why she is holding herself this way. When she lays down she almost looks like she is flattening her self out (picture may describe this better)

    Her crop was emptied this morning, and has a bit of food in it now, which indicates she ate a bit of her food. There is no foul smell coming from her beak, or off her in general. Her butt is clear of poo.

    Her abdomen feel normal, not hard or squishy. She doesn't seem to pooed since I put her in the cage this morning. No poo on hay, but the cage is wire bottomed so she may have expertly pooed out of the hay.

    She did not lay an egg yesterday, missing a day isn't worrisome... Though I honestly can't recall if she laided the day before. I do not see any sign of egg bound, but I also have never experienced a hen with an egg bound.

    She seems rather unbalanced, however I could credit that to her dilated eyes and maybe she isn't able to see very well?

    I think I have covered all the bases.
    Yesterday = acting normal
    Today = very unhealthy

    I dipped her beak in water, to which she responded by taking a couple beakfuls. I will try to make some grit style chicken food for her to see if that helps her energy levels...

    Any idea what this could be??
    Here is a picture of her in isolation.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A small update. I went out with my food paste, consisting of medicated chick starter ground up, electrolyte vitamin mix, and sour cream (out of yogurt) and it was obvious she could see me, and pecked at the syringe I used to feed her, although for the most part she just seemed out of it. I also felt her comb and it did feel cool to the touch.
     
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Can you bring her inside?
     
  4. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got to say that your post is the best example of how to describe the symptoms of an ill bird that I have ever seen. <-- period.

    Quarantining your bird was the right thing to do, both for her own safety, and that of your flock -- clean up 'n change your shoes every time you go in their direction, 'til this is resolved.

    What to Rule Out (for now at least), even if you really can't:
    1. The instant eyes are mentioned, many will suggest Merek's. It probably isn't, and there wouldn't be a thing you could do if she had it, so I suggest skipping this one almost every time.
    2. Cholera, as your bird was still alive, with hours having passed between posts.
    3. Blue Comb (Greens, Mud Fever, Non-specific Enteritis), unless you have either missed symptoms (which I doubt, based upon your post), or you spotted her before other symptoms have had the opportunity to present (which is entirely possible, based upon your post).

    Blue Comb, Aspergillus, Botulism and yellow jasmine poisoning all call for flushing the bird out, which reduces the levels of toxins w/in their systems. Among the dangers of free ranging is the inability to control what they get into, so a few of these rank high on the scales of probability. If she were more likely to drink adequately by free choice, I would suggest a molassas solution. But, both because she isn't likely to, and because of it's properties to aid in the removal of toxins, I'd dissolve 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salts in 1 fluid ounce of water, and place it directly in the crop, using an eyedropper.

    Also, and for your flock as well, I would mix 4 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar per gallon as their sole source of water (but NOT in galvanized metal waterers, as the acetic acid will eat the finish, which is very harmful). ACV does many good things, and absolutely no harm. In addition to treating for a number of conditions, the tanins in ACV strips the mucus from their systems, allowing for better uptake of nutrients/vitamins, which further boost their immune systems, may reduce to toxin levels w/in affected birds, and imrpoves their chances to overcome airborne respiratory conditions.

    My logic is simple here ... these are things that you can do right now w/o knowing for certain what the cause of her symptoms are, or any likely result of worsening her condition. Waiting for more severe symptoms aids in determining the cause, but most certainly places her at a higher risk of mortality.

    You mention that she may not have laid an egg recently. Not that it's very likely, but she could be egg bound ...
    >>peck here<< to open the best article I've seen on the subject in a new window.

    To better understand what you may find when feelin' around on your birds, it helps if you have one of the same breed/age for direct comparison. And, to have a good reference as to what's on the inside ...
    >>peck here<< to open an online presentation of the anatomy of the chicken in a new window; hover your mouse over elements for additional details, and you can 'right-click' and 'save as' to keep a copy for offline use.

    Also, you should check out the list of links below, in my signature (they, too, will open in a new window ~'-)

    Finally? I'll stop typing, so you go check on her ...
     
  5. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried to find another thread that might have the answer for my hen, in doing so, I realized a lot of people who wanted to help just didn't have enough info. Since you are taking time to help me, I wanted to make sure I gave you as much as I could so I wouldn't be wastig any ones time :) I appreciate those who are giving me the effort to help me, since you are inno way obligated to respond, I am just really thankful for those who do!!

    I had no way to bring her inside last night, but did lock her in my small coop so she wouldn't get drafty with lots of hay. This morning she seems no worst, but no better.

    My suspicion is also toxicity. I could not come up with any explanation. I don't know what she could have gotten into- there are no poisons around, but do you think mushrooms could have done it? We have a lot of mushrooms around, but I kind of assumed chickens just stayed away from plants that would make them sick.

    Thank you for the links I am going to read through them now.

    I also wanted to add I normally put acv in the water- but haven't in a couple weeks since I keep forgetting to buy more
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    This is what I do when one is not quite right...

    • Do thorough exam. Check for lumps, bumps, cuts bruising, watch walk (if they can). Pray for poop. Poop can give many clues.
    • Weigh them on a kitchen scale to get baseline weight and then weigh daily.
    • If no cuts are present, dust for mites/lice, even if I cannot see them. Dust bird outside.
    • Deworm with Safeguard for goats (fendendazole) at the rate of .5cc/kg using a 1cc syringe without needle.
    • Bring inside and provide heat source and place on light colored towel. A warm bird is more likely to perk up and eat a little than one that's chiled.
    • If the bird is not drinking and the crop is empty, I will tube feed it a small amount of lactated ringers solution (LRS) or Pedialyte. Sometimes I'll do sub-q fluids instead. Never force feed or water a chilled bird.
    • If the bird does not start eating, and the crop has cleared, I will tube feed small amounts of baby bird food mixed with Pedialyte or LRS.
    • Once I have a good poop to look at, I might give an antibiotic.

    Note that giving medicine orally and tube feeding can kill a bird if not done correctly. Here are a couple of links for you to look at:
    http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?t=7933
    http://www.peafowl.org/ARTICLES/24/
     
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  7. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry I couldn't respond sooner ...

    As to toxic substances? The treatment begins w/ flushing whatever's in 'em, out (the epsom salts).
    The ACV is also a treatment for detoxification, as well as numerous other ailments that could be the cause of her symptoms.

    Since you mentioned 'poo' before, I'd like to know both that she has since 'pooed' and what her 'poos' all look like.
     
  8. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I am sorry to say that my hen was dead when I went to check on her at 12. I had gone out a half hour before to check on her, check her belly and vet for any signs of distress. When I went out at noon I was planning on bringing her in for a bath and food. Never got the chance.

    Don't know what killed her, but I sure hope I don't lose any more.

    I will have a bitter sweet moment in a couple of weeks when her eggs I have in the incubator hatch.
     
  9. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There where a couple of poos in her cage, both fairly normal if not a little on the hard side. She hadn't been drinking or eating her food, only when I dipped her beak and dipped the mush I made into her beak.

    I want to thank you guys again for responding. I appreciate the advice, hopefully next time I have a sick bird, I can use that knowledge to save it
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Sorry for you loss... I don't mean to sound insensitive, but can you send her off for a necropsy or try to do one yourself? If you're in the US, most states have a lab that will do backyard poultry for free or a very small fee.
     

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