Video: Chicken repeatedly moving head side to side after every feeding by syringe

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by joegardener, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. joegardener

    joegardener New Egg

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    The quick background is that 10 days ago, this chicken (1 in about 24 of our flock) had positioned herself in the coop with her legs tucked up under her and her head tucked and facing the corner of the coop. We took her to the vet the next day. She had a 107 degree temp and we treated here with antibiotics as a precaution and isolated her from the other chickens. We have been hand feeding her with a syringe 2 x / day with rice cereal and water and now fortified that with fruit, veggies and chicken feed, etc, all blended up.
    However, she still cannot stand except very briefly and never totally upright. She is VERY unstable and falls forward or uses her wings to stabilize herself. She has not eaten on her own at all (nor water) except today I did see her eating lettuce from my garden bed. I place her there during the day so she can enjoy the outdoors and soak up some sun.
    She seems alert and otherwise content.
    But it’s the lack of progress and this head thing she’s doing after every meal as of the past 2 days.

    Here is what she does as of the past 2 days or so after every partial feeding from the syringe.
    Thank you for your wisdom. Ginger is a trooper and we want to do anything we can to help her.

     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    :welcome! Not to disparage your vet, but a chicken's normal body temperature ranges anywhere from 105-109 degrees Fahrenheit. 107 would be a completely normal temperature, so if they told you that it was high that would be incorrect. Does she have any other symptoms besides the inability to stand? I can't see your video - it's just loading as all black - but I'm at work and that might be the issue. I'll see if I can view it on my phone after my shift. Sorry I can't help with that right now!
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  3. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    I'm curious to know what the vet had to say. Did the vet give a diagnosis?

    As far as the head movement, well... that's a new one for me.

    What is the temperature of the contents of the syringe? If it's too cold it may be uncomfortable to her and that may be why she is doing that. Whenever giving oral dosages (food or liquids) it should be warmed to the temperature that is comfortable to the inside of your wrist. The same temp as you would warm a bottle for a human baby. Do not use a microwave as it heats unevenly or get too hot. Just fill the syringe with her dose and place in a glass of very hot water to warm up the contents of the syringe. When both the glass and the syringe have equalized to a comfortable temp then you can give it to her.
     
  4. joegardener

    joegardener New Egg

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    The video may still be pending approval for posting by the administrators. But here's a link to view it on Vimeo:

    I might have gotten the temp wrong. I know he said it was outside the normal range. Maybe it was 113. Sorry!

    As for other symptoms, she's not eating or drinking on her own (except today when I saw her forage a little lettuce from her resting position in the garden), and she won't stand. If we try to assist her in standing, she goes head first forward but catches herself eventually, even if it's after her beak hits the ground. Or she goes sideways a little in either direction, using her wing to stabilize herself. But that's about the only symptoms we can observe. She also seems to have lost some weight. But I can't tell how much. She just feels lighter for sure.
     
  5. joegardener

    joegardener New Egg

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    I have been using tap water to mix with the rice cereal, and today's diet upgrade to hardier blended fruits and veggies. However, today's food was cooler than in past 2 days when it was room temp. But she's been showing these symptoms for at least 2 days, maybe 3. Thank you.
     
  6. joegardener

    joegardener New Egg

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    Sorry. I didn't answer all your question. The vet felt like she likely had a virus. Her prescribed an antibiotic just in case, and also a pain reliever to help with fever, etc. During those early days. We just finished off with her antibiotics today after 10 days per the prescription instructions. And he suggested giving her the rice cereal and fluids with the syringe until she started eating on her own again. We thought that would happen once her fever broke and she started feeling better. But to date, she's still not really eating on her own at all. Thanks.
     
  7. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    What does her poop look like? texture and color? Do you see any blood in her poop?

    How much food is she taking in with hand feeding in ml ? I don't think the rice, fruit, and veggies are giving the right nutrition. I would recommend getting some Kaytee Baby Bird formula. It is packed with vitamins and probiotics to help her immune and digestive system repair itself from the antibiotic treatment. You can find the formula at Petsmart.

    Did the vet by any chance check for worms? At the very least I would start a wormer on her. Since you are able to give her med's orally then I would suggest Safeguard Equine paste or Safeguard liquid for goats at 0.23ml per pound of body weight (you'll need to weigh her to get the dosage). Give calculated dose 1x per day for 5 days. Many worms cannot be seen in the feces and can cause the drunken like symptoms she is having.

    Having said that, there are several things that can cause those symptoms. I'm not an expert but I would start with the wormer since it is the most common problem.
     
  8. joegardener

    joegardener New Egg

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    poop looks normal, greenish with white. semi-solid and no blood. She is getting about 3tsp twice a day but we're bumping that up starting today to 3x. I am going to take your advice and get the Kaytee Baby Bird formula today.

    The vet did not check for worms or mention them. But I will start a wormer on her too.

    Thank you very much for these excellent suggestions!
     
  9. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Just an FYI. I realize that the vet said a likely virus. Just so you're aware, antibiotics do not help or treat viruses (so I'm surprised she prescribed an antibiotic) only bacterial illnesses (and not every antibiotic will treat every bacterial infection). So if it is a virus it will have to run it's course with a lot of TLC. It's good your getting the formula. It is full of probiotics that will help restore healthy bacteria needed in her digestive system that the antibiotic had killed off. Yogurt would be good too if she will eat it.

    Supplying this helpful link for educational purposes only
    http://www.tufts.edu/med/apua/about_issue/when_how.shtml

    -Free Spirit
     
  10. joegardener

    joegardener New Egg

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    Yes, I should have added that he prescribed the antibiotic "in case" it was bacterial. So it was a precautionary measure. But I agree, this looks like viral with lots more TLC ahead. Thanks again for your suggestions. I am def. getting that at lunch break.
     

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