Suspected ILT or.... ?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by borbala, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. borbala

    borbala New Egg

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    Hi there new as a member and to posting but, I spend a LOT of time reading here about chickens!

    Ok.. the bad news is today I had to cull my oldest hen, Birdie. She was about 10 years old and an ex-battery hen.. one of these lohmann browns. I culled her because she has been really pitiful looking since about the last two weeks of March. She started presenting with raspy breathing and the neck stretching (I think its called 'pump handle respiration') but, she was eating and drinking, laying and foraging pretty normally. Except she would often spend time looking downright miserable if weather was poor with tail down and not keeping up with the rest of the flock. They free range. Yet, other times she kept up fine and behaved normally. The breathing got worse to where she started to gasp and every now and again make a very loud gasp that sounded like a rooster about to crow. She did a lot of head shaking and sneezing. I dosed them all with Flubenvet pellets for a week. Nothing seemed to change so I then went to the vet and got Ivermectin and dosed her with that. Then antibiotics and nothing. Still the same. Her comb became quite a permanently dark purple but, she had no eye discharge, no mouth discharge etc. and definitely not egg bound. After 6 weeks roughly of her being ill, today I noticed a younger hen doing the pump handle respiration. But that hen looks in great condition otherwise and this is the first time I noticed it. I decided it was time I culled the sick hen as now I feared she was suffering for too long now and also worried it was contagious.

    My question is... if one bird comes down with ILT... how fast does it move through a flock? I read in one place that it takes 6-12 days to see symptoms when it takes hold in a flock but, this is 6 weeks! Could it be ILT?

    I'm just feared I will have to cull this next one now as well and maybe the whole lot if its ILT.

    Vet is young and not so au fait wi poultry I believe.

    I never thought to isolate as it did not seem to be contagious. Yet now 6 weeks later I have another doing the pump handle breathing only very occasionally. She is not constantly doing it.

    I have 4 broody hens who all have been isolated for about 2-4 weeks all in separate broody coops.

    I have decided since these 4 have been isolated that I would quarantine the main flock (only 5) in their large run instead of letting them free range until I can figure out what is going on here.

    I still have the hen I culled. Should I necropsy myself and what should I look for to rule in or out on ILT?

    Anybody have any other suggestions or treatment I could try if it is something else other than ILT? And if not ILT.. what do you think?

    Thanks! Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Infectious laryngo tracheitis or ILT is a virus that causes bloody mucus secretions to be coughed up from the beak, and may be found on the coop walls when the chicken shakes it's head. I would ask your vet to perform a culture to look for mycoplasma (MG.) There are several common respiratory viruses such as infectious bronchitis in addition to ILT and others, and bacterial diseases. Without testing, you won't know the exact illness. Secondary bacterial infections can complicate respiratory diseases, and also fungal infections such as aspergillosis may exist at the same time. With most respiratory diseases, the whole flock can become carriers even without showing symptoms. Your vet may be able to help you locate a poultry lab for testing, or sacrifice a sick bird to do a necropsy to look for what is happening.
     
  3. borbala

    borbala New Egg

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    Apr 28, 2016
    Thanks for your reply. I have not seen any bloody secretions at all and the one I ended up culling spent a lot of time indoors to keep her warm as we have had a very cold spring so far. I saw no secretions at all. I have them all quarantined today and dosing with turmeric, oregano oil and coconut oil paste. Can they not do a culture for mycoplasma from a live bird? Cheers.
     
  4. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, a tracheal swab can be done to detect MG, but you should get a necropsy, because if it is mareks, or a couple other CRD there is no live testing that can be done.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Where do you live? If you are in the US you can contact your state vet or department of agriculture for information on testing. A necropsy on a dead bird can be a good way to diagnose the disease if you lose another.
     
  6. borbala

    borbala New Egg

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    Apr 28, 2016
    Thanks for the replies. I have been observing closely while I have them locked up and haven't witnessed this 2nd chicken doing the pump handle respiration again. Still watching them very closely to see if any others start showing signs. No, I don't live in the US. I live in a very remote part of Scotland so there is nowhere nearby that will necropsy and it is likely to be extremely costly.
     
  7. sandesnow

    sandesnow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just going to share my experience here on ILT, as I have just dealt with this. On June 20, 2016 went out into the coop to let everyone out to pasture to do their thing. I always like to go in and see if any are hanging back.. which is usually a sign of possibly something wrong.

    In my flock of 22 adults, 8 pullets, and 11, 1 week old chicks, I had a 1 year old AmeraucanaX that was coughing and shaking her head as she sat on her perch. Picking her up, I brought her into the house for a look over. She was extremely rattled (breathing) and continued to cough and shake her head. Her feathers on her face were almost matted from the phlegm she had been bringing up through the night. There was also red dried blood in speckles on her beak and face.

    After placing her into a cage, I was concerned that it didn't look well for her. I then proceeded to go back out into the coop to see if I could see anyone with symptoms. (Respiratory)

    Upon inspection, I noticed one other bird with watery eyes. Bringing her in, I also put her in a cage to start her on antibiotics (Oxytetracycline)

    Again I examined the first bird, it was then that she coughed on me. It looked like bloody snot. Immediately, I took her out and culled her, as this was something I had never encountered when it came to a respiratory infection.


    Within an hour, I contacted our AG college, to get the bird tested for ILT (Infectious Laryngotracheitis). It takes 4-5 days to get the results back from the test. They also performed a necropsy at the same time. The bird was found to be in great health, other than the symptoms she had. (tracheal and lung hemorrhaging). Weight was good, coccidiosis test was of a low count..

    As the week progressed, this virus slowly spread throughout the flock. Symptoms were that of a respiratory infection, NO BLOOD with the rest of the flock. Treated with Oxytetracycline.. All remaining birds seemingly (visually) recovered.

    Test results on Friday June 24th 2016, Positive for ILT.

    Monday, June 27th 2016, my whole flock was destroyed by AG Canada, with my cooperation. This disease affects (Live Carriers) Chickens, Quail and Pheasants. I was allowed to keep my ducks, as they are not carriers of the live virus for life like Chickens, Quail and Pheasants are.

    Those that have to vaccinate, know what you are in for, for the long haul and know the risks involved.
    Those that are unsure if you have ILT, don't mess with blood in phlegm or droppings. Get tested. Chicken tests are pretty inexpensive. It was 70 dollars to do the full necropsy. It was devastating to have this happen, but ILT must be dealt with correctly to prevent spreading to others as well as commercial farms. If you do not know what or why your chicken has died from (visible illness) get it checked out.

    Chickens can recover from their symptoms. But they will forever remain carriers of ILT, it isn't something you want living on your farm or property. Respiratory infections are not typically contagious, so one bird having a respiratory infection then recovering from it.. -without anyone else having any symptoms within 14 days- is usually -just- a respitory infection. Any time one bird comes down with one..then another... then another... That means you have something contagious on your hands.

    ILT is spread through mostly wet things: Water drink stations, phlegm from coughing and sneezing, and droppings.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. sandesnow

    sandesnow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So! An update. I took a good deal of time off from chickens as.. well it was kinda devastating. The best thing you can do if you get this horrific virus, is time. We cleaned up so much.. made adjustments to our barn.. and are fresh start is on the go. AG Canada came and inspected us and we passed easily. We were fortunate last year to have gotten the virus at the start of a very hot summer. That means that the ground and the barn was able to sit in high temperatures for more than 21 days. The bedding was spread on the field to bake.. which kills the virus. With the all clear, Eggs are getting ready to go into the incubator Friday.. Chicks have been picked up and are in a brooder.. And to top it off, Ducklings (whom are not carriers) are ready to hatch out some time between this friday and next! Busy times on the farm here, though a little late to the game. ;)

    Do feel free to ask me any questions from my experience here or via PM. I will share everything I know in a means to help you 1) cope and 2) understand what to expect when you have to deal with this Virus.
     
  9. Huston's Happy Hens

    Huston's Happy Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sandesnow, do you have any idea how the virus was contracted on you farm, or does the AG Dept offer any suggestions?
     

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