Testing for Cause of respiratory Problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by The Sheriff, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    I have two chickens very sick with severe respiratory distress. I took my bantam rooster to the vet tonight. You could hear him wheezing and gurgling from across the room. He was severely dehydrated and his comb was dry and laying to the side. He was started on Cipro antibiotic and a blood count was done. We elected not to have a culture and gram stain done. The cost of those two tests was $230. The vet said most likely whatever bacteria was found would be covered by the Cipro. The upside is that the vet did some research and found that a Poultry Respiratory Panel is available. It involves taking a swab from the bird's throat and sending it to an outside lab. Results are available in 3 days. She did not know what it costs but estimated it to be "several hundred dollars." We chose to go that route because this test can detect and differentiate these 7 respiratory diseases in chickens:

    Avian Influenza
    Aspergillus
    Infectious Bronchitis
    Infectious Laryngotracheitis
    Infectious Choryza
    Ornithobacterium Rhinotracheale
    Mycoplasma Gallisepticum

    My research today pointed to one of these 7 diseases and we need to know which one it is. Some of these diseases cannot be eradicated from your flock and will continue to infect new birds. The flock must be closed or destroyed. I have read how many people struggle with sick birds, after sick birds, after sick birds. If I am going to cull my flock I want to know for sure we have one of the diseases that cannot be eradicated any other way. So my little $5.00 OEG Rocky is kind of like the canary in the coal mine. He was swabbed tonight and we should know in three days.

    Until then, I have antibiotic for both sick birds and Lactated Ringers solution to give them SubQ to try to re-hydrate them. I am a nurse so I should be able to handle it with my husband helping. They are both very sick and the vet feels that Rocky's chances of making it are 50/50 at best. Right now they are both tucked away in their isolation cages in the shed. I probably won't get much sleep but I don't want to keep going out and turning on the light to check on them. They need their rest. There is not much more I can do for them at this point anyway. God willing, they will get better after the meds and we will find out that they do not have one of the dreaded diseases and we can get on with our hobby farming. Until then, I'll keep trying.

    Will post updates if anyone is interested.

    Mary
     
  2. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Sorry about your birds. I hope it's one of the curable ones.
    I'd be interested to know more about the panel & how much it costs (if you don't mind telling)
     
  3. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    Newaygo Michigan
    Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  4. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    I would like update and am subscribing to your post. Thanks for sharing. I hope everything turns out ok for you.
     
  5. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    Northern CA
    Ok, the swab went out today for testing. It cost $190 for the test, packaging and overnight priority shipping. I am hoping for results by Friday night, otherwise we will be in limbo until Tuesday! Sadly we now think we see symptoms in one of our 6 month old Ameruacanas.

    As for Rocky and Betty, he is better tonight eating scrambled eggs and yogurt and respirations much less labored. She looks worse to me. I should give her an injection of fluid but I am now wondering if heroic measures are appropriate. What if I put her through all this only to have her destroyed in a couple of days? I am so sad and worried.

    Mary
     
  6. KinderKorner

    KinderKorner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    I want to comment. I've noticed lots of people are having these same problems lately. Infact when I was at the feed store today I noticed the Chicken Respiratory medicine is out of stock.

    I called a poultry expert a few hours away to ask him about all these cases. Many people have the view if you get any sickness you should cull the entire flock. This guy had a different view.

    He said treat for a few days. After that stop all meds. Any birds that show any signs from them on cull. I asked about the idea of the other being carries. He said nearly every bird is a carry to many things. He said that despite the scares, it actually a good thing. As long as your bird isn't sick, he said they have gained a natural immunity and that anything that doesn't kill your flock strengthens it. He said if your bird looks healthy then it is. Don't worry about it. He also doesn't necessarily believe the fact they are carries. He thinks most birds, including wild ones carry many diease. We shouldn't vaccinate. He believes natural selection of the weak is the way to go. If your bird isn't strong enough to fight off infections in the air and things it's exposed to then it should have no place in your flock.

    I'm not quite sure if I agree or not. I'm still trying to process and decide. But I just wanted to post in what words of wisdom that were given to me and give you something to think about.

    Also the guy thinks there is some sort of respiratory thing going around. He said lots and lots of people are having trouble randomly after no changes with their flock.
     
  7. kennedyscochins

    kennedyscochins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Clifty
    Hope all goes well with your chickens. I have two that are very sick and sounds like the same thing yours have. I look very forward to hearing the results of the test!
     
  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Iceland
  9. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Quote:How does this work exactly? Meaning, do you need a dead bird for a necropsy, or will they take samples from a live bird?
     
  10. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA

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