Weak, disoriented two year old hen; watery diarrhea, extremely thin

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wayoutwest, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Wayoutwest

    Wayoutwest Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been nursing a chicken along for a few weeks now and she's going back downhill. If anyone has any ideas that would be great!

    First problem I noticed with her was her head seemed to turn all yellow-she's a pure white chicken and her comb/skin/head turned very yellow, like liver failure yellow. She was progressively weaker until one day I found her barely moving. She's been isolated since I first noticed her weakness. She was interested in food and water, and still is today. She had lice bad and I treated her for them and she perked up. Not sure if they caused the problem or were a side effect. I gave her 1/2 cc of penicillin for three days and stopped b/c it seemed to give her diarrhea and she was continuing to perk up. She's been eating and drinking but still very slow, she'll stand but not walk, tail down, hunched, eyes closed a lot. But if I pick her up or feed her she wakes up and slowly eats/drinks. Today she is especially slow and I've seen her a couple times folded up, head back, like she's dying. Both times when I check on her she wakes up and looks at me, will take a bite or two of food. ?? Probably I should euthanize her but I hate to when there's still a spark in there. The abx treatment was two weeks ago, she's been progressively ill for at least a couple months. Not paralysed, she can walk and use her limbs equally... her poo has turned to nearly pure water with a little dark squiggle in it. I have syringed her a little sugar water-I don't have much for medical supplies here for chickens-I have the penicillin handy and some ivomec, both pour on and horse wormer. I know that's not much-we're far from town. The rest of the flock is fine, this seems isolated to her. They free range and are locked up at night. I do have turkeys also.

    Any ideas? I can't go crazy with expenses but I'm willing to hand feed/water her and can get better abx but not today....

    thanks for any ideas-I'm prepared for her to die at any moment but she just doesn't seem to want to give up. I can euthanize if that is necessary. She had been doing better so I hate to give up on her, maybe this is just a quick crash.


    1) What type of bird , age and weight. 2 year old, white leghorn, very thin
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. weak, yellow pigmented, diarrhea, had lice
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? progressing over six weeks; bad for two
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? no
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. no
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. no idea-noticed the yellow tint first
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. watery things, watermelon, tomatoes, bananas, some canned cat food
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. watery, white
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? pennicillin and dusting for lice
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? reasonable care that I can provide, no vets
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use-had been free range hen over the summer, now she's in a cardboard box under a heat lamp. seems easily chilled
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    You've done everything but worm her. What is the name of the horse wormer?
     
  3. Wayoutwest

    Wayoutwest Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2009
    it's ivermectin-in the paste which is 1.87% and then I have the pour-on which is meant for cows... I usually have it in liquid form but just don't right now.

    I thought she was better before last night so I hadn't gotten anything the last time I went to town. I'm thinking of giving her more penicillin today just b/c it's what I have. She's alert and looking around, weak. I'm squirting sugar water down her throat and she's pecking at some tomatoes... I can't figure out what her deal is but after all this time I'd like to save her if I can...

    ETA I did a quick search and found the dosage that you have recommended in the past, I think I will give her some of that today too. what the heck. After the lice treatment I did give her a drop of the paste and maybe since that was two weeks ago she could use another dose?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:Do you have ivermectin pour on... blue in color, smells like alcohol? Edited: You could put 4 drops of the ivermectin pour on...on bare skin on the back of her neck, dont get any on her fluff or feathers. Repeat in 10 days.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  5. Wayoutwest

    Wayoutwest Out Of The Brooder

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    Yep I've got it right here, I'll dose her now. thank you! I hope I can get her around the corner again, it's a bummer to see her fall back apart!
     
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Was she a regular layer? If so, how long since she last laid?

    And as dawg said, worming might be the key. Best of luck with her!
     
  7. Wayoutwest

    Wayoutwest Out Of The Brooder

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    Yep she was a great layer-I have a lot of chickens and don't keep close track but I would say it's been six or eight weeks since I noticed her pale head. She was still acting normally and I figured she was just coming off the spring moult. I should have wormed her sooner, I feel bad about that. I felt awful when I found the lice too-she was in bad shape. I know better having livestock-I should have caught her and doctored her before she got this sick.

    She's eating... seems to enjoy the attention. I actually have to hold her so she can eat b/c she's so weak. gads. my family all thinks I should euthanize her but I'm not giving up until she does!

    I can hear her clucking a little now even...
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Check her for lice and mites again. I hope you dusted the inside of her house as well. It's possible she couldve gotten reinfected with them. When you treat a chicken for external parasites, you should always re-treat in 10 days to kill larva hatched from eggs since the initial treatment. The same applies with the inside of their house including nests and roosts etc...
    I hope she pulls through. Good luck.
     
  9. Wayoutwest

    Wayoutwest Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2009
    thank you, yes we treated the whole house and cleaned it.

    It's a "duh" on my part, we've had company staying with us this whole time and I forgot it was time to redose her, lost track of time. I've been checking for lice and haven't found any more at all, on her or anyone else, so that's good.

    I hope she makes it... you get attached when you handle them so much.

    thank you for your advice, it's very appreciated!
     

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