URGENT - hen struggling to breath - Gape Worm?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mcjessen, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On Sunday I noticed that Nelly my 7 mo old BO was lethargic. I'd seen this with the other 7 mo old BO, Beatrice (they're sisters), isolated her, fed yogurt overnight and she perked up the next day. Back to the run she went and has been fine ever since expect she's not laying. So, I isolated Nelly Sunday afternoon, fed her as much yogurt as she would allow and waited. I did research coming to the conclusion that both girls had an e-coli overgrowth so last night after work I bought some Duramycan-10 (sp?) recommended by staff at farm store. I gave some to Nelly. Prior to giving her the antibiotics I noticed that she was struggling to breath (breathing with mouth open), shaking her head and swallowing like she had something stuck in her throat. She also has balance problems and rarely opens her eyes, even when I talk to her. So now, I'm thinking Gape Worm.

    I did not treat Beatrice or her flock mate Callista with the antibiotics as I thought now that these new symptoms are showing with Nelly, antibiotics may not be necessary for them. In all my research I was unaware that you should worm your chickens - I feel silly about that. So today after work, back to the feed store I go for some wormer.

    My questions:
    1. Does anyone have experience successfully treating gape worm?
    2. Is it a death sentence for Nelly?
    3. Is there anything I can do from the "outside" to help her be more comfortable? (ie - maybe pull the worms out of her mouth somehow - I can't see anything but I haven't physically opened her mouth either. It's open a bit so she can breathe.
    4. What kind of wormer will work - well and FAST!
    5. What precautions do I need to take in the coop and run? Run is sand and coop is pine shavings. I clean coop once a week and haven't cleaned run for about a month.

    I understand Nelly may be past the point of saving but I still need to worm the other two.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I HATE to see animals suffer and will put her out of her misery if its best for her but if there's something I can do (last ditch effort) I will.
     
  2. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its a little disheartening when the chicken expert (who I trust) at the farm store has never heard of Gape Worm. [​IMG]

    Still searching for answers but found this article which was helpful. The recommended product for treatment was one that the farm store guy said they had in stock. So....hopefully, it will help.

    http://happyhenhouse.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=erforum&action=display&thread=10723

    I'd still like to hear from those of you who have successfully treated gapeworm.
     
  3. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I once had a chicken choke on a piece of food. Look in the mouth and see if you see anything lodged in back of the throat. If it dies I would cut open the trachea to see if it was gapeworm or just choking on something else. With my chicken it turned out to be a piece of corn which I had inadvertantly made worse by poking a q-tip in there with ivermectin (thinking it was worms but I was wrong). I think most chickens get roundworms but other types might not be as common.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  4. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure what she would get lodged while in isolation but I will check. Hopefully she'll let me open her mouth long enough to get a good look. Thanks for your response. If she dies, I'm burying her. I'm not good with cutting stuff open after it's dead. [​IMG]
     
  5. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This chicken died at 9:30 last night. About 30 hrs after she started have breathing issues. I wormed her yesterday and gave her a small dose of antibiotics but she never showed any signs of recovery. I did look down her throat yesterday and saw nothing. No worms, blockage, etc so I'm not sure if my original theory of e.coli still stands or if it was gape worm. I am worming the two remaining chickens just in case.
     
  6. Tracy the chick

    Tracy the chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You treat gapeworm with " Flubenvet " you can also get chicken feed with it already in.. You should probley do the whole flock for 5 days.. So sorry to hear about your loss...x
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    She may have had pneumonia from inhaling something. You just never know.
     
  8. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What are the symptoms of pneumonia? And you're right, you just never know. Coincidentally, a neighbor said her parakeet die last night too. That bird was old BUT had been showing signs of sickness for about a week same as my chicken. Maybe the full moon tonight has something to do with it. I say that off the cuff....
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I think sometimes they may inhale fluid or something into their lungs, or maybe food down the wrong tube. If fluid, it would block the little air sacs in their lungs from getting air to the blood. But yours sounds more like a blockage, something she could feel in her trachea that blocked enough airway to kill her perhaps by sliding down lower and lower during the day. It's so sad, and I'm sorry.

    Aspiration pneumonia would be difficulty breathing, lethargic, I don't know what other symptoms chickens would have. But think of a person getting fluid in their lungs.
     
  10. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the sympathy and the information. It is sad and more upsetting to my 9 yr old daughter. She's had a rough day so far on the emotional front. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed that chicken as a pet and hated to see her suffer, but she is just a chicken after all. Given my attitude going into this project, they are there to provide entertainment and eggs. That's pretty much it. It's an important life lesson for my daughter - not easy to learn but really important. My main concern is to keep the remaining two healthy now so that's why I'm asking these questions. [​IMG]

    Thanks again for the input. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011

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