Wheezing older hen-UPDATE, ADVICE PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicknmania, May 8, 2009.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I know there are a lot of reasons for wheezing, but was hoping for some help here. we have an older Golden Comet hen, she is between four and six years old; we got her as an adult in 2005 or 2006. She has always been very hardy. Last summer I noticed her wheezing when it was really hot and dusty; seemed to go away when the weather got cooler, so I attributed it to the weather and conditions, plus her age. Now she is doing it again, and is slightly worse. this time the weather is cool and rainy. Her symptoms have been going on for a few weeks and she is not getting any better; her breathing is now a little labored. Otherwise, she is eating, and running around with her friends; they are all free range so I can't really tell about her poo, but so far her rear seems clean so I don't think she has diarhea.. She does seem like she is losing some weight. so how should we treat her? we are going to try to catch her over the weekend, and isolate her. Since it has been going on for so long, I kind of doubt if it is a virus or infection; although that is still a possibilty should I try VetRX and are there any stores that sell it? Or what else can i use?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you wormed her? With the weight loss, that is what I would try first, as she almost certainly has some worms if you do not worm regularly. And if she gets too sick the worming might be too much for her. She could have a chronic resp. illness, of course, and could be symptomatic because of being run down. Plenty of info on here about resp. illnesses like CRD.

    Here is a thread on worming, but there is plenty of info on here about it elsewhere as well:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=103771&p=1

    And here is another:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=103771&p=1

    I'd try the piperazine, then give some yogurt and vitamins, then go from there.

    I'm no expert; this is just where I would start. VetRx is expensive, and I believe just a supportive sort of thing, not a direct treatment.

    Anyway, this will give you a bump so maybe some others will chime in here.

    Good luck!
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yes we deworm twice a year with a broad spectrum dewormer. Last time was in december, I was getting ready to deworm them again in June. she is a little better as of last night; I am keeping an eye on her at this point and will give them all some Aviacharge.
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I think she has gapeworm. Some people think this is uncommon in chickens b ut ours have shown preliminary symptoms before, and if we use Fenbendazole every six months, it seems to eliminate the symptoms. We last dewormed them with Fendbendazole, in December, but I am going to go ahead and give her Fenbendazole tomorrow. We have her in a pen and I gave her Terramycin (4 TBSP per gallon) this afternoon, thinking she might have pneumonia, but, here are her symptoms: Wheezing, rattling breathing. Stretching her neck and opening her beak; closing her eyes while she labors to breathe, interspersed with periods where she is better and can run around without seeming to be in a lot of distress. I thought she looked like she was losing weight but now i don't really think so after picking her up; she has always been smaller than the others. She is always hungry as she should be, but when she eats or drinks she seems to have a problem swallowing, however, she can swallow. When I gave her the terramycin water this afternoon, she was very thirsty and drank a cup of it over a period of about four and a half hours. Her air sacs seem normal, we looked in her mouth and it is pink and normal, no sign of canker in the mouth, haven't tried to look down her throat. She is very strong and capable of struggling a lot. She sometimes sneezes but not excessively. She sneezes up a little discharge when she does sneeze, but not much. Poo seems normal. Currently she is semi-separated from the others but not entirely as it stresses her to be separated from them and at this point I am sure she is not contagious; she is separated so we can medicate and monitor her better, and to keep her roo off of her. So, re meds: I know Fendbendazole will work but is there anything better and where can I get it? Does Fendbendazole lose it's strength over a period of time? Ours is over a year old.

    Can anyone give me any help with this????
     
  5. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure if chickies get asthma but it sounds like my reactions to high mold levels. Especially after a rain. I use Advair but you can't use that on chickens. Can chickens use Claritin (it's a non-drowsy antihistamine)??

    There is another thread of someone with a scorpion sting and they are trying benadryl.
     
  6. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Investigate roundworms and rule them out as well. They're one of the most common form of worms. The lavae will migrate to the lungs causing respiratory symptoms. It's that time of year as well. I'd bump up your worming at the least. Be sure to give her probiotics thereafter and although I'm not a big pusher of vitamin supplementation, I'd give her some for the week following the worming. It wouldn't hurt to give her a little more rich crumble for now to get nutrition in her during her stress. If you have come chicks, let her have some of their crumbles to build her blood.

    Piperazine repeated wormings are the treatment of choice for roundworms as they only target roundworms and are mild enough to not stress the bird too badly during the first treatments if they're severely infested.

    One worming will not get roundworms, incidently.

    ON the antibiotics - since you've started them, please be sure to go for the full length of treatment to avoid antibiotic issues in the future.

    I hope you're able to treat her, the poor dear. Sounds like she's got a wonderful home and that you all are certainly on the right track for whatever this is.
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thank you both for your responses; and the good advice. I don't know about the allergy meds; I did consider mold but I really think this is a throat issue, mostly. I will definitely deworm her today and we do have chicks so I know she will love the chick starter....they all do! [​IMG]
     
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Ohio
    Ok, I think it's aspergillosis....this is the opinion of a friend who did some research, and I think she is right. Have been treating her with Terramycin, and she rollercoasters...better one day, worse, the next. and we treated her with the fenben with much the same results. I know our feed is not moldy; we keep it in bins that are waterproof and don't store more than they can eat in two weeks...but it wouldn't surprise me if the barn has mold and there isn't a whole lot we can do about it, although she is only in there overnight and in the morning to eat and lay and then free ranges all day. We are going to try a stronger antibiotic, I guess, which we have ordered. She runs free now b/c she just can't stand being confined and I am trying to keep her from stressing too much. Her poo is normal, she is laying, and laying normal eggs. No evidence of mites or lice, she is coughing and sneezing some, has periods where she stands and struggles to breathe. She is always hungry like she should be but her thirst, that she had in the beginning, has dropped off, so she does not consume as much antibiotic, probably why she is up and down like that. She is enjoying the special food.Since this seems to be a problem for others, I thought I'd update...also, once again, is it worth trying VetRX? If she does not improve in a few days, I won't have much choice but to cull her, b/c I don't want her to suffer.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009

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