1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Turkey with an Upper Respiratory Infection

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by AnneInTheBurbs, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. AnneInTheBurbs

    AnneInTheBurbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,980
    437
    211
    Sep 8, 2013
    Bucks County, Pa
    I bought 4 midget whites from a friend and one came with a cough/wheeze. He said some of them get it once, and then never again, once they get over it. It has been over a month and she is still wheezing and coughing. I don't see anything coming from her nose, although her nostrils look a little darker than the other turkeys. None of the other turkeys have become sick, and she doesn't seem to have gotten worse, but it has been over a month now. She is otherwise eating and drinking okay as well. They do free range when I am home 3 days a week, so she has plenty of bugs and grass to eat as well.

    I tried to give her Duramyacin orally for a few days, but it doesn't seem to have helped. I have also been unable to find a vet who will treat a turkey. I have parrots, and we rescued one which we found out later had an upper respiratory infection as well. The vet said it is common with inadequate Vitamin A levels. He has been healthy since we gave him a round of antibiotics and changed his diet. I am considering giving this turkey some Vitamin A, but I know too much can be toxic.

    Does anyone have any experience or ideas for treatment? She may eventually get over it, but I hate to see her sick if I can prevent it. The picture below is of my turkeys, not sure which one is the sick one in the picture. Thanks for your help!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AnneInTheBurbs

    AnneInTheBurbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,980
    437
    211
    Sep 8, 2013
    Bucks County, Pa
    Nobody has a clue? [​IMG]
     
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    3,283
    1,003
    291
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    When it comes to respiratory diseases you can find a lot of information in the Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures forum.
     
  4. AnneInTheBurbs

    AnneInTheBurbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,980
    437
    211
    Sep 8, 2013
    Bucks County, Pa
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    3,283
    1,003
    291
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    You may want to PM @casportpony She has a wealth of knowledge on poultry illnesses and treatment.
     
  6. Indyshent

    Indyshent Chillin' With My Peeps

    950
    479
    166
    Aug 28, 2014
    Indianapolis
    I've had better luck treating with Tylan 50 and Denagard in their water. Tylan and Liquamycin can both be injected into the breast, but that will discolor the meat, if it matters. Tylan can be given orally via syringe. If using Denagard or other antibiotics in the water, make sure your birds can't get to non-treated water and that you sweeten the water with anything that works (maple syrup seems a good choice so far) because these medicines taste so vile that they can actually trigger gag reflexes in poultry. Also, don't medicate large volumes of water at a time because treated water gains a nastier and nastier taste the longer it's available (not sure why, but it always stinks more the next day, and the birds are even less likely to drink it). Injected medicines do sting your birds and will sting on contact with open wounds.

    If her sinuses are swollen and forming pouches under her eyes, you're better off injecting small amounts of Tylan into the sinus, possibly after you suck out the nasty crud (which may require an even earlier injection of isotonic saline into the cavity to loosen the crud enough for you to get it out). Once the needle's in, the turkey will generally not fuss or move much. In the unhappy event that you must do more than one injection into the sinus, my advice is leave the needle in and switch syringes very delicately because it puts fewer holes in your bird's face and gives her fewer opportunities to struggle. Once she knows what a needle to the eyelid is like, she won't be as easy to stick. Improvement happens far more rapidly using the sinus injection method, and it has the added bonus of not risking your bird to accidental aspiration of antibiotics which is super easy to do and horrible for your bird (if the bird recovers fully at all after aspirating the medicine).

    Aspiration is probably worse than the initial infection, in my experience, because antibiotics burn on contact with open wounds (like irritated sinuses or sores) and mucus membranes (like lungs), and since the bird can't properly cough it up, it's stuck with that awful burning, drowning feeling, possibly for months at a time. Part of why aspiration is so easy to do is because of the sinus problem; the affected birds breathe through their mouths, and they're under stress because someone's struggling with them and trying to force their mouth open enough to get a syringe into it, so they are more likely to accidentally inhale the medicine even if you don't accidentally stick it down the wrong tube. They're already having trouble breathing, so it's a recipe for tragic disasters.

    Particularly for turkeys, vitamin A is a splendid idea. If they're not turning orange, give them more and let them decide when enough is enough. When mine had access to all the pumpkin they felt like stealing from my garden last year, nobody was sick ever. Pumpkins are also in great supply, so now's the time to allow a lot of it into the pens, but also to can it, freeze it, etc for use during the winter and other pumpkin-free times of the year. Keep an eye out on your neighbor's porches after Halloween for tons of free pumpkin, and ask around grocery store for reject pumpkins, carrots and sweet potatoes. If you find wild sweet potatoes, be careful giving them to your birds because they also function as super-laxatives (at least for mammals).
     
  7. AnneInTheBurbs

    AnneInTheBurbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,980
    437
    211
    Sep 8, 2013
    Bucks County, Pa
    Just an update to this thread in hopes that it may help someone else. In one of my chicken magazines, there was an ad for a product for respiratory issues. I had seen the product before, but didn't know much about it. I did some research and people have had great results with it.

    The product is Vetrx, and it is basically a few essential oils in a corn oil base. I bought it for my Silkie chickens which had started to sneeze frequently. I figured I would apply it on my turkey too, what could it hurt? I put a few drops under their wings, on there noses and combs. I also applied it to my turkey's neck. Within three days of treatment, my turkey no longer wheezes!! It's amazing! She seems like she feels better also. Time will tell, her sister had begun laying, but she is underweight and hasn't started. I hope to come back here and update this with more good news.

    I am really so happy for my little sick turkey, she had been sick for the 5 months I had her and probably longer. Two different kinds of antibiotics did not help at all. Also, the silkies are much better. They still are sneezing occasionally, but not like before. I will continue to treat them. I found one of my poor silkies had lice too, and the Vetrx helped to kill and repel them. Absolutely amazing stuff!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by