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Suddenly ill, can't keep head up, looks to be having trouble breathing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TheMainException, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a young, 6 or 7 month old bantam mixed breed rooster. He lives with 8 hens. He's always walked somewhat funny. I figured it was because he had oddly shaped feet. That may still be the case. I later thought it was because he had worms. Not sure if he did or not, but I gave him medicine three times at 10 day intervals. He would sometimes stumble and fall, sometimes would fall backwards for seemingly no reason. Again, I figured it was because his feet are weird and his back toe doesn't quite come straight out like it should. He was actually doing relatively well as of late and I figured I'd gotten all the worms. I went out this afternoon to feed them and found him standing in the freezing cold with his eyes shut and his head down. He didn't bother to look at me until I talked loudly. And then he just shut his eyes again. He didn't bother moving when I came in the run or when the hens ran into him. I thought maybe he was just really cold so I put him in the coop, but the way he was acting was just so odd, so I decided to bring him into the house instead. I set him in the bathroom and he just stood there. He isn't holding his wings or tail up. His wings are touching the ground and he can't seem to hold his head up. It just keeps falling forward and he has his eyes closed. He seems to be shaking now, but he's sitting and his beak is on the ground as he moves his head around. Every now and again he'll make a sucking noise like he is trying to get air.

    His nostrils are clear and there is nothing coming out of his eyes. His poop is extremely runny, basically just brown water. I have not found any visible wounds or issues. I set food and water nearby for him.

    The way he was acting, I really thought I was going to watch him die when I brought him in the house. It's been two hours now and nothing has changed. When I go into the bathroom to check on him, he looks up at me for a while but then it is as though he cannot keep his head up or his eyes open and he'll blink slowly and shut his eyes and then his head will slowly go down again.

    No other bird is showing any of these symptoms and they are all very active currently.

    I really don't know what else to do with him or even what the problem could be. Any help?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  2. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately I have no advice for you but I'm wondering if there has been any change in how your rooster is doing?
     
  3. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, yea. I came home from work and he had eaten all the food I had put with him and spilled his water (so I don't know how much he drank). His poop is still veryyyyy watery. I haven't yet had a chance to look for worms, but I'm going to give him 4 doses over the next weeks if he makes it. I'm just going to have to keep him in the house until he is able to walk again. He is standing up, but stumbling a lot.
     
  4. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What wormer are you using? I likely would stop worming, most wormers don't need 7 doses over 10 day periods and it is certainly a stress on them. Not alot of point looking for worms either, sometimes you just won't see them despite an infestation.

    Some other things to considder for movement disorders, Marek's (does not matter if they have been vaccinated, they CAN still get it), botulisum, vitamin defficiency, avain encephalitis mycotoxins toxins or mold in feed or other poisons.

    Coccidiosis could even go symptom wise with the poopy butt and leg weakness.


    Good luck with it, maybe looking at some of the other possibilities something will match symptoms and give you a better idea on treatment options.
     
  5. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for those possible things to look into. I had actually wormed him a few months ago and he seemed to have gotten better after giving him a dose every 10 days, 3 times. I'm using Wazine. I know with my cats, my mom dosed them 2 times numerous times and they kept coming back, so the vet said just go up to 4 and get it done with instead of continuously allowing them to lay just enough eggs to win the battle. I realize it is stressful, but since I have seen evidence of round worms previously, I figured doing this would be the easiest thing to do first.

    I will look into the things you mentioned and see if any of them fit. I'm really hoping it's not Mareks and I do not know if they were vaccinated...

    I feed them Layena crumbles, would a vitamin deficiency still be a possibility? And they go through the food very quickly, so I'm not sure about mold. I keep it in a plastic storage container inside my home, which is very dry.
     
  6. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think it matters which feed some can get end up low on vitamins, the mold or toxins in the feed can be in there right from the mill/feed store. Or the chicken might just have found some gross thing to eat in some corner of the coup or run.

    With the wormer, it might be best to go with the wazine for the first go then switch to ivermectin or fenbendazole for the follow-up. These are not sold as chicken wormers but easy to get them as horse, sheep or cattle wormers. Maybe one more go of wormer is waranted if you have serious worm eggs about, If I was to worm again I think I would likley go with one dose of a broad spectrum.
     
  7. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well...I'm thinking it wasn't worms...or that was just the last straw, I dunno. He died a few nights ago. Could it have been the cold? He got better after I brought him into my garage for a few days and was pretty chipper looking. Eating and drinking normally, normal poop, and he could keep his head up again...just acting like he had before he got sickly. Then, the second night out, he doesn't make it through the night (an especially cold night). He didn't seem to have as much fluff like the girls, but I just can't imagine I didn't see anyone else acting strangely. Even now, I still haven't seen anyone else acting weird or sick or anything. Guess I may never know.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    So sorry you lost him and like you said you probably will never know, good to hear the rest are still healthy.
     
  9. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ended up losing a second one to something similar...she was limping/weak one day and dead the next. I'm just really hoping that it's not Mericks. That would be horrible to lose all my little ones eventually.
     

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