Sussex Hen - difficulty swallowing

lisalovli

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2021
12
3
14
Hello everyone,
About 6 weeks ago one of my Sussex flew out of her yard so my puppy had a fun time cuddling her and pulling out 70% of her feathers!! He had her for about 40 mins until we realised!
She recovered well and after a few days, she was eager to be outside and back with the flock. Her feathers are growing back well and she is holding her ground in the hierarchy.
A few days after it happened, however, I noticed that she was very eagerly eating but having trouble actually getting the food down her throat. She is still doing it, 1 month later. She takes small bites and then really swallows hard with her head up/thrown back trying to get it down. She sometimes has a bit of a high pitched 'cough/sneeze' noise that she does while either trying to clear her throat (or swallow?) and she shakes her head to try and either gets things down or out, I'm not sure which.
I gave her cucumber earlier today and now - 2 hrs later - I can still see it in the top part of her throat, not in her mouth but throat. I gave her scrambled eggs soon after the dog incident which she inhaled as she was so excited to eat it but after a few minutes she shook her head violently and most of it flung out again.
She's not wasting away but her crop never seems as full as the rest of my flock. It is often pretty soft and squishy, even at bedtime.
She also seems to have a bit of trouble getting water down but she obviously must get enough down!
Does anyone have any idea what this problem could be? Could the dog have damaged her throat in some way? Could it be a parasite or disease? She obviously wants to eat and is getting enough down her throat to survive but probably not enough to thrive.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts! I'm happy to take her to the vet but I thought I'd try on here first as my vet has repeatedly made it clear they aren't very good with chickens.
 

Banana01

Songster
Feb 18, 2021
707
1,163
221
San Martin, Peru
Do you give any vitamin supplements? Maybe good idea to give a vitamin B complete supplement. Lots of feather growth needs the extra vitamin B.

Have you changed food recently? A smaller pellet size or dry powdery food can be hard to swallow especially if her neck is strained.

Does she have a water dish near the food? What height are her food and water dishes at?
 

lisalovli

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2021
12
3
14
Thank you for your reply.
I did give vitamins and probiotics when the attack first happened so I will keep them up.
But just an update: I managed to catch her again and could see down her throat a lot better. I really think she has canker! I then caught another two birds, one Wyndotte and one Sussex. The other Sussex definitely looks like she has canker too. The Wyandotte looks fine. I thought to catch more and take a look as I noticed my other Sussex was also having a bit of trouble drinking water and was dribbling, just now. She is so fat and healthy I thought she didn't have any problems until I watched her drink.
I am in AUSTRALIA. Do you know the best way to treat canker? I have a flock of 8. Thank you!
Do you give any vitamin supplements? Maybe good idea to give a vitamin B complete supplement. Lots of feather growth needs the extra vitamin B.

Have you changed food recently? A smaller pellet size or dry powdery food can be hard to swallow especially if her neck is strained.

Does she have a water dish near the food? What height are her food and water dishes at
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,595
60,775
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
But just an update: I managed to catch her again and could see down her throat a lot better. I really think she has canker!
I was going to say by your description it sounds like she may have canker. Is there a bad odor?

Do some research on your own to check dosing and treatment, but most give Metronidazole to treat Canker. Dose is 250mg given orally once a day for 5 days.

It is contagious and birds will be carriers, so if that's what it is, consider treating your flock with Acidified Copper Sulfate for 3 days in a row once a month to help prevent spread and control outbreaks. ACS dose is 1/4 tsp per gallon of water.

https://www.jefferspet.com/products/acidified-copper-sulfate-1
 

lisalovli

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2021
12
3
14
Hi again, Do you know if ACIFIED copper sulphate is the same as just "copper sulphate". My feed store is trying to sell me this product (also called BLUESTONE) and they say a lot of their customers use it for horses and chickens. I'm just worried it doesn't say "Acified". From all my googling, I can't find any "Acified" in Australia.
Here is the link to the product and I will also attach a pic of the packaging.
If it is the right product, is the dosage the same?
https://www.petcircle.com.au/produc...0jZ9S7-joQMphD6PixgaAj8zEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
vetsense-gen-packs-copper-sulphate.png

Thank you!
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,595
60,775
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
I believe the blue copper sulfate has to be acidified with apple cider vinegar, but may be wrong.
Let me tag in @azygous I believe she's the one I saw that had mentioned the difference between the 2 copper sulfates.
 

lisalovli

In the Brooder
Sep 17, 2021
12
3
14
Thank you!
I’ve now decided the hen I initially wrote about must also have something else wrong, or not have canker at all. She is gurgling and went to bed early tonight. She runs to and pecks at food offered but doesn’t seem to actually get much down. Shes always doing weird head movements to try and swallow. She’s very thin and no food in her crop, I can’t even feel it. Her breath/mouth doesn’t smell at all (the other hen’s does so I think she definitely has canker). I think I’m going to have to take her to the vet if no one has any other ideas? She’s getting too thin and weak. She seemed to have bubbly liquid in her throat just now, when she was gurgling. Her comb and eyes seem fine and as I said, her feathers are growing back well after the dog mauled her.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,595
60,775
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
I managed to catch her again and could see down her throat a lot better. I really think she has canker! I then caught another two birds, one Wyndotte and one Sussex. The other Sussex definitely looks like she has canker too.

I’ve now decided the hen I initially wrote about must also have something else wrong, or not have canker at all. She is gurgling and went to bed early tonight.

She seemed to have bubbly liquid in her throat just now, when she was gurgling.
Can you get some photos of the inside of their beaks?

You have more than one bird you looked at an thought you saw something (?) to make you think it was canker. What did you see?

Crop is emptying completely overnight? Any swelling or feeling of fluid below the vent between her legs? I Know that sounds odd for you to feel her abdomen, but I've found that sometimes a hen with fluid in the abdomen can make some gurgling type sounds at times.
 

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