Vet found spirochetes in droppings but med's don't seem to be working -

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mtn Laurel, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 27 wk. old Easter Egger had been very healthy and active until 3 weeks ago. She was the first to lay and was a consistent layer. 3 weeks ago she laid a thin-shelled egg and we've had nothing from her since.

    She seemed a bit withdrawn and was suddenly at the bottom of the pecking order. As I wasn't seeing any symptoms at that time, I thought it was a social issue. In the past week I noticed a change in her droppings. They went from absolutely fine to runny and watery with whole bits of food visible in them as though her food wasn't digesting. She has had little interest in eating and seems to be drinking a lot of water.

    I took a stool sample to the vet 2 days ago. No worms of any type were found. The vet did find a good number of spirochetes [and I hope I'm spelling that right] and said she had a very unhealthy bowel. He suspects cocci and we began corid. All the birds have been on corid for 2 days. He did not feel there was any infection present.

    I felt her crop and didn't feel any problem with it. It's not enlarged and didn't feel squishy. I get no sour smell from her.

    Just opened up the coop and she wasn't interested in eating. She did drink and I then observed her pooing a stream of what appeared to be pure water. There were several samples of very loose stools on the roost and I've no idea if they are all hers or if some belong to the other birds. The other girls all seem perfectly fine at this time.

    I have given them some yogurt in the hope of reintroducing good bacteria to her gut as well as the corid. My vet doesn't have much chicken experience and I'm wondering if anyone has any other suggestions as to what could be causing this and what I can do to correct things.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is her crop ever full? Her poop indicates that she is not eating. She may have some internal issues,any other symptoms? Not laying eggs is normal when they are ill.
     
  3. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, she has been eating but has become very particular and doesn't want her regular feed. She'll eat meat, scrambled eggs, and cicada's [I froze some when we were under cicada attack. Glad now that I did.]. She'll also pick at crimped oats and yogurt. So, her crop does get full but she's also drinking a lot of water.
     
  4. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did a google search on "spirochetes + bowel + chicken" and came up with this page:

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...reliosis/overview_of_avian_spirochetosis.html

    The symptoms they discuss are identical to what she's exhibiting except they don't mention diarrhea. I have a call in to my vet to discuss this but - if this is it - it would appear I need to give her an antibiotic. The article states:

    "The most widely used are penicillin derivatives, but the streptomycins, tetracyclines, and tylosin are also effective."

    I have no experience giving meds to chickens. Can anyone tell me which one of these would be easiest to administer? I have read the penicillin is given via injection. That's totally new territory for me.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    In the article it says that the antibiotics may be useful when the disease is mild, but they could cause problems if there are many spirochetes in the blood, saying you could make it worse by giving AB's. I wonder why the vet is treating for cocci, maybe you could ask when you call in? In the link it also says there is increased thirst, so when a turkey or chicken drinks a lot, they can have watery diarrhea. The easiest way of medicating would be to use Tylan Powder (tylosin), Terramycin, or Duramycin10 in the water if you don't want to do injections. Shots would do more good. However I might be afraid to give drugs because of the risk of making it worse. Hard decision here.
     
  6. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I asked him about why he thought it was cocci and he said there was cocci in the bowel [but we know that there's always cocci in the bowel and it's only problematic when there's too much of it]. He saw the spirochetes and felt they may have been symptomatic of the cocci - that they were showing up because her system was weakened by the cocci. I've dealt with cocci before and her stool doesn't look like cocci [it looks just like the description of Avian Spirochetosis stool with a greenish tint] and she's not responding to the Corid. I saw an improvement almost immediately with Corid when another girl had cocci. We're on day #3 of Corid and this girl is the same, if not worse.

    Yeah, I saw the statement that AB could make it worse if a bunch of dead spirochetes break loose all at once. It also said that young birds get this worse than older birds and this is a young bird. Seems they build an immunity if they get this and live through it. However, it's also infectious from droppings, etc. I'm thinking I have to take the chance and treat the whole flock or I could lose them all. I'm seeing loose droppings from other birds but thought it was diet related. It could be that this is spreading and the other symptoms - listlessness, little appetite - aren't showing up yet.

    I wonder if I began day #1 with a half-dose of AB to kill off some but not all would be beneficial? Or if it would just serve to strengthen them so that they'd be harder to kill overall? Not really sure how to handle this but I've got to do something. Pretty sure she'll die if she continues in this fashion and I don't want to put my other birds at risk.

    BTW, thanks for your input. It's good to have someone to bounce this off of.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  8. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, thanks, that's the amount of liquid Corid I had been putting in their water. As there has been no improvement and we're on day #3 with Corid, I truly feel it's not cocci.

    Have just picked up the Duramycin-10 and am going to switch out their water. Fingers crossed this will do the trick!
     
  9. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    UPDATE: I called the Duramycin-10 manufacturer for dosage instructions and was instructed 1 Tablespoon per gallon of water. Was told by my vet that the effectiveness of antibiotics in water is greatly reduced after a few hours so to give them fresh medicated water in the afternoon. I gave them their first dose of Duramycin-10 water yesterday afternoon. I locked them in the coop so that they would have no access to other water. It's raining and I didn't want them drinking out of puddles, etc. I wanted them to only be able to drink the medicated water.

    Went into the coop this morning and the roost board looked much better than yesterday morning. Too soon for a change? Not sure but not nearly as many runny piles of poo and absolutely none of the water diarrhea with mixed solids that I'd found the last 3 mornings.

    Better yet, the Easter Egger that's been so sick was ready to eat. This is the first time in almost 2 weeks that she immediately went for breakfast and didn't have to be coaxed. She even attempted to steal food from one of the barred rocks that she usually stays away from. BIG Difference! Gave them their regular breakfast along with a little yogurt to offset the stomach effects of the antibiotics.

    The EE did poo while I was there and it still had a greenish tinge and was loose but had form and wasn't water. That's a huge improvement. I gave them fresh medicated water this AM and kept them locked in the coop for an hour so that they had only access to that water. I'm a little apprehensive at seeing such a change after one dose but fingers crossed that this stuff is working!
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Glad you're seeing some improvement... Regarding the dose, did they say what level that would medicate the water to? 100, 200, 400 or 800?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013

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