will a hen cured of canker always carry the disease?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Theblackwizards, May 20, 2012.

  1. Theblackwizards

    Theblackwizards Hatching

    6
    0
    7
    May 20, 2012
    Hi.

    I have a three year old plymouth rock hen About 5 weeks ago she developed canker.
    We took her to the vet & he put her on flagyll (liquid not tablets). She doesnt seem to be making much improvement however. She seems happy & is behaving normally, but we have to pick the horrible crusty growths out of her mouth every couple of days, & shes findibg it impossible to eat & drink without help from us (the initial sore warped her beak). We were looking at supplementing the flagyll with thrush tablets that weve heard can cure canker, but I read today that even if she recovers fully, shell always be a carrier for the disease. Is that true & does it mean we'll never be able to reintegrate her into the flock? If thats the case we'll have to have her put down as theres no way we can isolate her long term (plus she wont like that).

    We really dont want to kill her & we've managed to keep her going for this long. Is there anything we can do? Thanks.


    - Jack
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    25,299
    5,697
    646
    Nov 27, 2008
    Glen St Mary, Florida
    I'm sorry to say that she can become a carrier and spread it to your other birds.
     
  3. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Songster

    187
    5
    114
    Jun 15, 2009
    SoCal
    Yes, she will be a carrier, but chances are your other birds have already been exposed anyway. There is hope however. Most put their birds on a regimen of acidified copper sulfate for 3 days every month or 2. By now you must have learned that it comes from pigeons - 80% of them carry it. This tx will prevent the protozoa from taking hold. Also, when she recovers from this, she will not get it again. She will develop resistance to the disease.

    I hope you have done a search on here, there are quite a few posts on here regarding canker, including mine. You said you took your bird to the vet - the vet should know that Flagyl would destroy all the good bacteria in the system, so normally they give another antibiotic to prevent secondary infection. Did your vet prescribe anything for that? Also, you say you are picking at the sores - did the vet say you should be doing that? My thinking is, the protozoa has established itself firmly into a blood supply. When you kill the bug, the sores will disappear on their own. I have read case histories where this has occurred as the disease was overcome. When you pick at the sores you open them up for either a possible bleeding episode or infection from another organism. I would leave them alone unless your vet instructed you otherwise. What you are seeing on those sores is simply the body's reaction to the protozoa, not the actual protozoa.

    The flagyl has been used many many times and the protozoa has become resistant. Therefore if your vet has positively I.D.'d the trichonomas, and if flagyl is not working, I'd ask to be switched to another med. There are four of them to switch between. They all have some degree of resistance.

    Please do not cull your bird as long as she seems to be eating and drinking well. It takes patience, but you can overcome this. Feel free to pm me if you have questions.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Theblackwizards

    Theblackwizards Hatching

    6
    0
    7
    May 20, 2012
    Thankyou. We really dontwant to cull her. We'll switch medication. The vet did say to pick at the sores but to be honest he didnt seem well informed. He didnt even know it was contagious & didnt instruct us to isolate the hen, we only found that out on the internet. What other medication is available? And where can we get it without prescription?
     
  5. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Songster

    187
    5
    114
    Jun 15, 2009
    SoCal
    Here's a good site with a lot of info for you:
    http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/trichomonas.html

    I have been getting my meds from Jedd's, which is a racing pigeon supplier. Another one is Siegel Pigeons. Siegel's is really fast at shipping I ordered on Saturday and got my meds on Wednesday. Jedd's is driving distance for me, but they didn't have everything I needed. I figured since this disease is spread by pigeons, the racing owners have the most experience in dealing with it and know what works.

    Most vets don't know birds and almost nothing about chickens. Did your vet do a microscope exam - is that how he came to the diagnosis? I mean - he is sure that's what it is? If you are sure, then I would go ahead and switch meds and see if another one works (the meds are listed in the above site).

    In the alternative, since you want to try and save this girl, I had ordered an alternative med that in my opinion is not well tested but seemed safe enough and had enough recommendations that I felt I had to pull out all the stops. My bird was not going to make it so I had nothing to lose. It is called Berimax. Some pigeon fanciers swear by it and said if they have no other med, this is what they will keep in their kit. It is not cheap. It does seem safe. I used it as a precaution on all my remaining birds (including pullets). Siegel's is the only source here in the states that I have found. Visit their site, they have a good descrip on it. I have more info on it (including links) if that helps. Just let me know and I will send.

    I don't know how many other hens you have. This disease is primarily spread through water. The Berimax is supposed to stop the spread. I also tried Grapefruit seed extract in the water but I'm not entirely sure that kills the protozoa in that medium. ACV does not work on this, and I'm not sure that Oxine does either. So the only other alternative to prevent it in your other hens is to use the copper sulfate, but you can't use that in conjunction with any of the "zoles" . That's why I switched to Berimax and discontinued the other meds.

    Hope all this helps - please post how your hen is doing or if you need more info.
     
  6. Theblackwizards

    Theblackwizards Hatching

    6
    0
    7
    May 20, 2012
    Right, we've got some antibiotics, & Im going to buy some copper sulphate & an alternative drug to flagyll. A big problem we have however is that she cant eat. She has problems swallowing. We've been feeding her by hand but it's very hard & she resists to the point of getting very little food. Is there anything we can give her that's a liquid, perhaps milk or something, whereby she was getting nourished but we could just squirt it directly down her throat via syringe?

    thanks for the quick replies
     
  7. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Songster

    187
    5
    114
    Jun 15, 2009
    SoCal
    What I did was offer her crumbles instead of pellets, soak pellets in plenty of water, offer bread soaked in water or a teensy bit of red wine (they love that) maybe with drizzle of olive oil, baby parrot food (mix with water and syringe it), hard cooked egg with shell (I just sprayed microwave-safe dish with no stick, pour in the whipped up egg and nuke for 39 seconds - slides right out) then cut it into tiny pieces, cut up cucumber (provides moisture at least and helps them swallow stuff), soemtimes they'll eat banana. Another thing I do sometimes is take the bread, cut into little pieces, add vitamins, greek yogurt, mashed banana, ground flax seed, and enough water to make it a gruel. They gobble it up. That's all I can think of right now but maybe someone else has some ideas on what they give them. Anything you can get in her helps because I'm sure she's losing weight.

    Do you know how involved her throat and mouth is? Have you looked in there? I'd be real tempted to spring for the Berimax the amount you spend on that is still less than going to a vet. And it's not resistant. I'll send more info on it if you're interested.
     
  8. Theblackwizards

    Theblackwizards Hatching

    6
    0
    7
    May 20, 2012
    Yeah, I'd really appreciate that. Can berimax be bought in the UK do you know? & Can we use Berimax in conjunction with Copper Sulphate? I know some drugs can't be used with it. The current plan is to isolate the sick hen, give her a specific anti canker drug (i.e. berimax) & give the rest copper sulphate.

    Yeah, I've had a look. It doesnt seem to be advancing down her throat, in fact it's only on one side of her mouth (in the crease of her jaw), but it seems to be hollowing out part of her face on that side. As I mentioned we have removed the cheesy growth with cotton buds & sterilised tweezers every couple of days (she can only eat by herself on the day we do this), but it does cause her distress, & due to advice given above we aren't doing that now.

    she basically can't peck at all, she seems unable to open her beak. To feed her what I've had to do is put a finger between her upper & lower jaw to actually get her beak open & then push the food (we've been trying mashed up tuna & bread we've soaked in water, into her mouth in a position where she can actually swallow it.
     
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,770
    157
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    I just answered one of your other posts related to a different problem. This lot of birds is infected with all sorts of nastiness. Get rid of them!

    Canker is for life and readily infects other birds through the saliva. There is no cure, only treatment. Any period of stress will bring it back to the surface. Why waste resources on sick birds that will never get better when you can buy new, healthy birds that will make poultry keeping a joyous adventure? A sick flock takes all the joy out of poultry keeping.
     
  10. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Songster

    187
    5
    114
    Jun 15, 2009
    SoCal
    @Theblackwizards, Berimax originally was developed in South Africa I believe. The marketing system is not real good, but supposedly the doctor who developed it had an interest in pigeons and had become frustrated with using the "zoles" as they were so ineffective. I figured at this juncture it was worth a try as I felt I was losing ground. As stated in my posts regarding my hen, I did end up culling her b/c she had taken an irreversible turn for the worse. I took her to the agricultural extension office about an hour from here so they could euthanize her and run the necropsy. The results should be back this week sometime and I'll post at that time.

    She had been on Berimax but only for one day if that. It came too late for her, but I treated the rest of the flock with it and although it tasted horrible (I tasted it) they, including the 13 and 10 week olds, didn't even notice and drank it right up.

    Your plan sounds ideal, giving the rest of the flock copper sulfate and isolating. I couldn't isolate mine any more than I had but she only had one other adult hen with her. The babies were being kept separate. Be careful on the copper sulfate dose, the stuff can easily kill if given too much so be accurate in the dosing.

    On taking out the growths, as you found out it is stressful for her but if it impedes her eating I would see if any of the growths can come loose by occasional gentle rubbing but not tugging or tweezers. You don't want to make it bleed. You are doing a great job of feeding her I think that is wonderful. Please let us know how you do with her. I never got a real chance to test out the Berimax.

    Here is my info on Berimax that I put together in one spot:

    Links and info on Berimax:


    The third post down talks about Berimax and applications:
    http://forum.pigeonbasics.org/topic/41321-trichomonas-treatment/


    Written by the vet who supposedly developed it:
    http://www.racingpigeon.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=103&id=5424&catid=6&func=fb_pdf


    and http://www.pigeonnetwork.com/vetdirectory/vetnorway/drnillsreither/devtrichomonas.cfm




    And a picture description:

    http://www.berimax.com/



    Ingredients on bottle are listed as:


    "dry decoctions of Curcuma longa, Daucus carota, Hennae folium, Coptis japonica, Iridis rhizome, Crocus sativus, Vaccinium myrtillus

    Dosage: 1 level teaspoon (5 grams) per gallon of water for 5 days...."

    May be sourced from Siegel Pigeons in the U.S. Other countries you may have to order direct from the doctor.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: