What the heck is this illness??? HELP Please!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by suzettex5, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    I cant figure this out. I have searched all the sites and links I could find. None of them seems to have a illness that matches up with my hens' symptoms. I am hoping someone else has had this problem and might be able to share what they did or the outcome of their treatment.

    Here are the symptoms- Sneezing and some gurgling or wheezing when they are picked up or chased around.

    Here is what they DONT have- Runny noses, crusty eyes, runny eyes, coughing, lethargic, fluffed up, NO deaths, no wrinkly eggs, no egg production drop off, no swollen wattles or combs, no stinky breath or bad body odor. Basically, no other symptoms besides sneezing and some gurggly breathing, and its not all the flock, just a few.

    This has been going on for at least two months.

    What I have tried- I use DE in coop, nests and dust baths. I used Sevin when I saw a few mites (theyre gone now) Also use organic apple cider vinegar in water.
    I used Tetracycline (sp?) antibiotic as the package described and have used it twice now. It got rid of the sneezing for the majority of the birds, but there are still a couple juvies and 2 senior hens sneezing, so I figure the medicine worked for the majority and has me believing they do/did have some kind of upper respiratory infection.

    Its the lack of any other symptoms that has me mystified. Is there some unknown, kinda general resperatory issue chickens get that doesnt present with all symptoms that can be cured with antibiotics, but is easy to catch again (or is hard to wipe out with antibiotics)? I'm getting frustrated and I really want my girls to be 100% healthy again.

    How many times can I safely use antibiotics? I dont wanna destroy the effectivness, nor create some super bug thats immune to antibiotics. [​IMG]
  2. ChickenMadness

    ChickenMadness Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2010
    Hi there, sorry to hear your girls have the sneezes!

    I'm afraid I don't have any information regarding the use of antibiotics as I have (touch wood!) so far never needed it. I would however say that if your chickens seem otherwise happy and healthy that I wouldn't expose them to more antibiotics as (like in humans) it will become less affective and may not work when you really need it.

    ACV works well as a pick me up also verm-x feel good pellets if you can get your hands on them, though they can be a bit pricey.

    I may have some information regarding the sneezing/gurgling sounds though with a little more information from yourself. How old are your girls? Have you changed them onto a different kind of bedding and what bedding are they currently kept on?

    If you have already answered these in your previous post and I missed them, apologies. Will check back soon.

  3. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Thanks for your reply!

    It all started with my 3 senior hens, (they gotta be around 5 or 6 years old, still laying eggs though) they were the first sneezers, then it went to my 9 week old juvies, then a couple of my 1 year old layers (not all, but a few). Now only one senior, 3 juvies, and 2 of the layers are sneezing.

    They all free range in my horse pasture and my front yard (all grass, dogs and cats share the space, but its over 2 acres total) the bedding is alfalfa hay over dirt in the coop/henhouse and nesting boxes. All are dusted with DE and occasional Sevin as needed. I havent changed the bedding type in a long time, the alfalfa seems to work fine, its just a pain to change out when its time to do a total clean out.

    I started to think my flock has allergies! Isnt that funny?!?!?!

    I agree with you though, I dont want to use antibiotics all the time, thats why I have been looking up natural cures. I did forget to mention I put powdered vitamins/elctrolights in the waterers in the very begining, but it didnt seem to do any good.

    Now that I am down to so few chickens who sneeze, I'm planning on trying isolation and just watching them for a few days before trying anything else. I worry though since the ones still sick are in different age groups and I only have 1 isolation pen. But they get along in the yard, so I guess I have to try it and see what happens.

    Its just so frustrating to not find an answer, and what I do find, the symptoms dont all apply to my situation. I just keep seeing how chickens dont get colds. Grrr....
  4. Drk_Wlf

    Drk_Wlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Chautauqua County, NY
    Could they have breathed in some of the DE? I keep my hens out when I clean their coop and spread the DE and then let it air out a bit before I let them back in. I know the first time I used it I didn't where a mask and was sneezing and coughing all day.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  5. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Honestly, at first, thats what I thought- maybe the DE was making them sneeze. But the gurggling and sneezing has been going on so long and stopped in many of the hens who got the antibiotics.

    I'm still looking for the answer and hopefully, a cure.
  6. ND

    ND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    When symptoms are listed for any given disease... they don't necessarily present with EVERY symptom. It just means those symptoms can be common in the afflicted bird.
    Something like MG can be extremely slow moving through a flock... they don't necessarily all catch it at the same time (lower morbidity), but the incubation is 6-21 days. It can take months to spread through a flock. And some handle it better than others. There are more severe strains of it... and strains that are pretty mild. Just an example.

    I'm not necessarily saying that's what it is...but it's one possibility.

    Gapeworm? I don't know about the sneezing, but gurgling is usually heard with it... usually when held, roosted or under other strain. I'd think they'd be coughing though after this much time. If some got better on meds-- it's probably not that.

    If you wanted to continue to treat with antibiotics, I'd switch to something a bit more effective. Consider trying Tylan 50 injectable (but can be given by oral dose--slightly slower working). It's a much better medication for respiratory issues...

    I'd probably not treat for just sneezing... if behavior, appetite, and all other appearances look good, I'd just watch...
    I'd probably treat any that are gurgling or raspy...
    That's just me... others would cull respiratory symptoms... so that's up to you.

    Did you bring in any new birds up to a month before this started? Or otherwise 'breach' biosecurity by possibly tracking it home from somewhere else?
    Some of these things can be carried by wild birds, too... so if there's been no new additions and good biosecurity otherwise, that's a possibility, certainly.

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