Sweet Sick Silkie...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Happy Chicken Mama, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Happy Chicken Mama

    Happy Chicken Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Florida
    Good Morning BYC!

    I have a sick silkie and could use any advise that you all may have. We have never seen one this way before.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    She is a black silkie who is just shy of six months and about a pound/pound and a half

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    She is lethargic. She is not a get up and go silkie in the first place...
    Sits far back or far forward. Dosen't want to stand up (she can but dosen't want to). Her legs are NOT sticking out in front of her.
    Wings a bit droopy (not too bad).
    When she eats... her head dives into the food several times (she gets just a little bit) and then she rears and rolls her head back... way back.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    24 hours. Since yesterday moning. She was perfect the night before. We brought them in because of the cold... so I am sure she was fine

    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    NONE.

    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Absolutly nothing... that's why I'm stummped.

    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    Her regular feed (a little bit) which is countryside naturals organic layer feed. We have been giving fruit juice with vitamins and water.

    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Normal-ish... but not much... but enough to make me think she isn't stopped up. They all had cherry pie two days ago so they all have cherry pie poop... ewww.

    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Quiet. Rest. food and drink. Vitamins.

    9 ) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    Just yard clippings in coop and free ranging in the grass. There has been no change in bedding, food (except for the cherry pie!) or enviroment.


    Usually if there is something wrong with one of our birds there is an obvious reason or symptoms. This is the first time there dosen't seem to be any obvious cause.

    She gets wormed monthly with verm-x. No parasites. No Mites. No other obvious physical signs that I know to look for.

    Thanks guys for any pointers in the right direction!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  2. Happy Chicken Mama

    Happy Chicken Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Florida
    As today is wearing on she seems to be more and more off balance.

    When you put her down after feeding her she falls over before getting her balance... kind of.

    She dosen't want to stand up at all.

    It would seem like a head trauma to me if she hadn't been inside with us and we know she didn't hit her head.

    Are there any anti-inflamitories that are good to use on silkies?????

    She isn't paning like she is stressed or got overheated.

    She has a small bump on the side of her beak which made me think pox for five minutes untill I looked up the symptoms... I don't think that this is pox (dry or wet).
     
  3. kimb

    kimb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Do you let the clippings dry out before putting them in the coop?
    -- could've eaten moldy/bad grass clippings, but it doesn't sound like botulisium as she does still hold her head.

    I'd lean towards neurological or a head injury - she could've had the injury a few days ago and the fluid in the brain is just accumulating enough now to cause problems, if that's the case a broad spectrum antibiotic might help (tetracycline/baytril) - There's a chart for dosages in the FAQ link on the regular page.

    I believe my young banty chick just had EEE (eastern equine encephalitis) you might want to look up those symptoms.

    Otherwise I would keep doing what your doing - vitamins/food/water/quiet.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Based on the information provided above, and personal experience, it sounds like she is severly wormy and weak. Unless you do something quickly, the outlook isn't very good.
     
  5. Happy Chicken Mama

    Happy Chicken Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Florida
    Thanks for the replies!

    I know none of our birds have worms because we treat them monthy with verm-x and have a vet that checks all of our animals twice a year... We have yet to have any! We have a pristene backyard flock... We live in The historic part of our town and have frequent guests so we try to keep it as Martha Stewart-y as possiable.

    The clippings are dry.

    I am leaning twards food something because she is now evacuating the rankest poo's I have EVER seen come out of a chicken. She is holding her head up but not in any grand fashion. Good to know about that... are there any sugestions about the best ways to treat for botulism?

    I think that is the most likely... But a low dose of anti-biotic may not be a bad idea. My only concern is the anti-biotic being harsh on her stomach.

    Thanks again... I have to admit I have been on pins and needles waiting for any reply! She is the most darling thing... sweet and kind. She LOVES to sit and purr in your lap for hours. Not to mention she is our most beautiful black silkie and is key to our lavender/black improvments for next season.
     
  6. kimb

    kimb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Botulism is very distinct - with the paralyzed/droopy neck - and it usually passes in a few days once the toxins are flushed from their system - so I doubt it's botulism, but it still could be a toxic reaction from something she ate.


    I'd probably lean towards head injury or vitamin deficiency. I'd keep her hydrated (water dropper if needed) with the vitamins daily. I've heard of the possibility of treating with prednazone.

    Or Sour Crop - (did you check her symptoms with those of sour crop?)



    Chickens are tough little animals to have sick [​IMG] ... ... I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that she comes out of it.

    I'd try giving her some unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, and/or yogurt (probios) (except no yogurt if your doing antibiotics). And you should do probios when/if doing an antibiotic - bc it can be tough on their stomach's.

    Do keep the vitamins and electrolytes - soften/moisten her food food (I like do put a little watered down applesauce to encourage eating and help get some water into them).


    *also - it might be just me but monthly is quite a bit to be deworming a perfectly healthy and clean flock of chickens (although a regular routine is good - you said you keep everything really clean so you could be overdoing it - especially for a young and sensitive bird like silkies). You might also want to alternate a different dewormer in every once in a while because worms can build a tolerance to single product. - diatomaceous earth (food grade) and ACV are basic deworming products and of course there are other chemical and organic products out there as well...
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010

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