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Wheezing/noisy when breathing chicken...any ideas??? Vet doesn't know!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dook, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Dook

    Dook Out Of The Brooder

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    So came home from work today to and went to let my chickens out for the afternoon.

    One of my chickens "Dottles" was making this terrible wheezing, noise..kind of like the air from her breathing was affecting her voice and made a loud noise as she breathed. I looked in her mouth to see if i could see anything stuck, inspected her vent and felt her crop and belly. Nothing unusual. She acted as if she was fine, beside the rapid and noisy breathing. She ate and drank happily as if no discomfort either.

    I took her to the vet incase there was something i could not see stuck in her throat...or if maybe he was sick with something? The vet had no idea and couldn't find anything. There's no mucus or nasty stuff either to suggest any sickness. They hadn't a clue. They referred me to see another vet in town who might know more - specialist in birds and exotic animals....

    Though I am not sure if they'd be much help or a waste of $70 for a consultation? Dottle is now in a cat cage inside for the night...just incase it could be some sickness the others could catch. But tonight she isn't making any noise...I'm not sure if she's just settled and because she isn't breathing so heavily..or its suddenly gone? I don't want to disturb her to get her riled up to see if it comes back....I'll wait until morning. If it the noise is gone...should I still take her to the other vet? Should I let her be with the others yet? or keep her separate a while longer?

    More importantly....has anyone else experienced this before?? what did you do? any idea what it is? did the chook get better?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Avian veterinarians can do a lot for your chicken. They can do blood-work, radiographs, surgery, fecal examinations, and so forth. Most likely the Avian Vet worked on chickens when in school and has retained plenty of poultry knowledge. Just because Dottles (Love the name!) is a $5.00 chicken doesn't mean she can't get the same care as a $6,000 Macaw.

    However, how much you want to spend on your chicken is up to you. Some folks will cull and some folks with do their all for their pet chicken. From your description your chicken might have a respiratory infection either viral, bacterial or fungal. You can try a broad spectrum antibiotic-since you are in Australia I don't know what is available, but you can ask the vet-he/she can go on line to get proper dosages.

    I hope Dottles improves!
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If you are willing and able to spend the money, yes an avian vet is a good choice. It often gets spendy pretty fast though just because of the number of tests that usually have to be done to try to reach a diagnosis.

    I've had three different instances of chickens making noises like you describe. One bird had something stuck in her throat, she was eventually able to get it down and was fine thereafter. Another bird got progressively worse by the next day and died on the way to the vet. She was found on necropsy to have aspirated something into her lungs. The other instance of wheezing was related to an outbreak of infectious bronchitis. But this was also accompanied by coughing, sneezing, lethargy and a raspy voice. They were treated with antibiotics and all survived.

    I would say keep her separate so you can monitor her more closely and see how she is in the morning. See if she starts making that noise again or if there are more symptoms to help you decide if you want to still go to the vet or not.
     
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    There are many things it could be. It could be aspergillosis, which is where the chicken inhales the spores of mold and it infects their lungs. It could also be Infectious Bronchitis. You can read about Infectious Bronchitis to see if your bird could have it on my website: http://bantamfan4life.wordpress.com/infectious-bronchitis/
     
  5. Dook

    Dook Out Of The Brooder

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    This morning she seems fine..not making strange noises and she's perky and dooking like usual.... but there is the odd sneeze and i noticed her belly seems swollen. My other half (even though he hasnt seen her yet) thinks her egg maker is broken....all our other girls who passed had the same swollen belly =( So taking her the the bird vet shortly to see what they think.

    I'll post back with results when I get back!
     
  6. Dook

    Dook Out Of The Brooder

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    I have returned!

    So the vet has concluded she has a case of cropstasis. She isn't digesting properly and yesterdays noise was most likely was the crop impacting on her breathing! =( She hadn't digested all yesterdays food yet, which she said wasn't very good. She also believes there is bad bacteria in there causeing her to have discomfort and gas inside.

    The vet also said she may be egg peratolitis which can be the swelling of the underbelly. But because of the crop, it could also just be the gas. So I went with getting her some pills and antibiotics for her to take over the next 3-4days which should help her crop...and then in turn, help her belly. But if it doesnt get better, than it's most likely the broken egg maker (which all my deceased chickens had suffered) and so if thats the case by monday... then theres not much I can do for her. =(

    So I just hope the meds work and she gets better!! Wish her luck!! =)

    - There was no sign of cold or mucus, and the vet confirmed she was not infectious to the other chickens...so she can be with them again now! -
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  7. Dook

    Dook Out Of The Brooder

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    **update!** she laid an egg!! perhaps she doesn't have a broken egg maker? Will update in a few day to see how the meds go.

    Also....is it OK to eat her eggs if she's taking antibiotics?
     
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Wow! She laid an egg! Yes,you can feed her eggs while on medication. But do keep track of how fast her crop is emptying.
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    A swollen lower belly can be caused by other issues not related to the reproductive tract. It is usually caused by ascites, fluid build up in the body cavities but there can be other causes. A diseased and swollen liver or even a hernia. Though hernia usually appears as more of a dropped pocket in the back end. While ascites is very frequently caused by internal laying and peritonitis it can also be caused by cancers and other tumors as well as diseases of other major organs such as the liver/kidneys and heart. None of these things are curable. An avian vet can drain off the fluid which makes the bird much more comfortable, it also makes it easier for them to breath. It doesn't cure the problem but it often buys them some time depending on what the underlying cause is. Usually an x-ray is taken to see if it actually is fluid or if there is something else in there. Did you vet do an x-ray?

    As far as eating eggs from a hen treated with antibiotic's? I do not, nor do I feed them to dogs or other chickens. They will contain trace amounts of that antibiotic so feeding them to other animals or even yourself is a very good way to encourage drug resistent bacteria.
     
  10. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    It is advised that you do not eat the eggs from a bird that is on antibiotics. They can pass some of the antibiotics on to you through the egg, which is a bad idea all around. You don't want to be giving your body a small, incomplete course of antibiotics, as that is just asking for antibiotic-resistant disease later on!
    Unfortunately this also means it's a bad idea to feed the egg back to the hens or to other pets. As depressing as it is, it's generally best to discard such eggs.

    What antibiotic is she on?
     

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