What are the Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure in Chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by the Old Rebel, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. the Old Rebel

    the Old Rebel Rest in Peace -2011

    May 12, 2007
    Hendersonville NC
    Does anyone know the symptoms of congestive heart failure in chickens? I've got a 5 and 1/2 year old hen whose feathers are ruffled. Her comb is pale (although it doesn't seem as pale tonight as it has been). She makes a small honking noise when she breathes sometimes. She has developed a baseball-sized ball behind her legs that is soft, not hard. She eats and drinks and walks around the house, pecking at the floor when we let her out of the infirmary cage she is in. She is not in the penguin position. She's been like this for about three weeks. We've already been through a week of Terramycin. I don't think she is egg-bound or internally laying, but what do I know?? For some reason, I think it may be congestive heart failure. If that is the case, is there ANYTHING I can do for her??

    Thanks for any help you can give me.
  2. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I THINK I read on here that the comb may be blueish? I can't remember the post but I think Speckled Hen answered it. You might try to PM her.
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I think more info is needed. Pale comb may mean parasites of some kind. , she might be anemic? Tumor? Actually CHF can be edema in the lungs and body.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Hi friend!!! I have searched and searched different diseases, etc. Look up "aspergillosis" in poultry. Nothing that I have read about encompasses all of her symptoms. I'll keep searching tho'. Hugs....
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Heart issues result in a purplish comb and sometimes very shallow, rapid breathing. I lost a pullet whose heart basically exploded due to a previously unknown defect. When their abdomen is full of fluid/infection, the comb will turn deep purplish-red on and off due to stress on their organs. Terramycin is useless. If she has an infection in there, she needs penicillin injections. If she has ascites (just fluid buildup) she needs to have the abdomen drained.
  6. Nan C

    Nan C New Egg

    Jan 14, 2015
    First let me say I am sorry to hear your chicken is not well. Though I do not know what is wrong with your chicken, I would like to share some info on heart failure. My rooster was diagnosed wih heart failure at the University of Florida Small animal Hospital this past weekend. I noticed his eyes were sucken in. He was breathing though his beek which was part open and his breathing was making as gouging sound. The local vet sent me to the university. He has many heart issues including An irregular heart beat and enlarged heart. Because of this he has accumulation of fluid in the lungs. His treatment is complicated with 4 heart meds. It requires mixing these drugs and tubing this mixture into his crop. His prognosis is grave.

    Hopefully this can help with symptoms to look for. These are the symptoms my rooster has but they might be different in other chickens.
    PureBigBird likes this.
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Nan, this is an old thread but really useful information. I believe I had one as well. It's pretty cool that you ended up at UF. What meds is he on? I love my roosters too, I know many don't find much value in them, but all mine have been really nice. Welcome to BYC!
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

  9. Nan C

    Nan C New Egg

    Jan 14, 2015
    Spanky is om Pimobendan to slow his heart rate and help the heart pump blood better. Digoxin treats the heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Enalapril helps vasodilator the blood vessels so the heart doesn't have to work so hard. And lastly. Furosemide to remove fluid from the lungs.

    The U of F has not seem this in chickens so they are excited to be able to work with Spanky so they learn from him and help other chickens in the future.
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Thank you so much for sharing. Sure hope the meds and your TLC help Spanky to feel better.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by