Help with sick chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Illness, Meds & Cures' started by Little Rascal, May 22, 2020.

  1. Little Rascal

    Little Rascal New Member

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    Four years ago I purchased six Isa Browns and six more two years ago and about a year ago four Rhode Island Browns. Eight weeks ago, I had three Isa's get sick. Became lethargic, lost weight and a runny discharge on butt feathers. I went everywhere for help but no one around here knows anything about chickens. The three Isa's died. The local feed store gave me some Zyfend A. They thought it was a parasitic load. I also took some of the poop on the butt feathers to a local vet. He said he did not find any worms or other bad things....but he gave me some Albon 5%. Since the rest of the chickens looked healthy, I didn't give the Albon....but have given the Zyfend twice now. About two weeks ago, another Isa chicken started getting sick. Lethargic, runny poop on butt feathers, pale comb and head shaking. I gave this chicken four days of 1.5cc of the Albon. That didn't seem to make much difference and I think the chicken will die. This Isa will slightly eat some sweet potatoes and blueberries and sometimes I see her eating her regular chicken food. The rest of the chickens look healthy and good. Can anyone help save this chicken?...
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Are these the older Isa's? It is possible that they're having egg laying issues.

    Zyfend isn't really a wormer, it won't kill off internal parasites.

    Is there an unpleasant odor coming from the discharge?
     

  3. Little Rascal

    Little Rascal New Member

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    I don't really know which ones are which. The one that is currently sick, quit laying maybe 4 to 6 weeks ago...before she got sick. But she was always sporadic with her laying. She wouldn't lay for a week sometimes and then start laying again. I have never seen worms in any of the chicken's poop. I never noticed any smell but I didn't intentionally try to smell it either. The feed store that sold the Zyfend led me to believe that this was a wormer. I assumed that the vet that sold me the Albon was giving me a wormer also but I am not sure about that. Thanks for any help.
     
  4. TomC

    TomC Active Member

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    The help and advise you get here is awesome and I'm no down playing it one bit. But, if it were me, I would take your sick girl to the vet, since you have one willing. Descriptions, pictures, and explanations are often good enough diagnose most things, but nothing beats a good, hands on, exam. Since you've already lost 3 with another doing poorly, I would be worried that something is going through the flock that may potentially take them all.
     
  5. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    You would notice it without having to get your nose up close and personal. I'm leaning more towards it being an egg laying issue with the sporadic laying of the one.

    Have you noticed any abdominal swelling?

    The Albon is a broad spectrum sulfa drug. Your vet was aiming at it being a GI issue that involved an overload of bacteria.

    The Zyfend is more of a protector. Something to be used once it's established internal parasites are not an issue.

    What Tom said is so true. If your vet would look at one of them it could give you answers it's just not possible to give here.
     
  6. mitzy123point

    mitzy123point Active Member

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    It could be vent gleet. I would look that up and see if it sounds like your chickens. It typically causes them to stop laying and if left untreated can kill them.
     
  7. Little Rascal

    Little Rascal New Member

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    Thank you so much for that. We have one vet here in town and he said he doesn't do chickens. I will make an attempt to contact surrounding vets. I am amazed that two feed stores and the local vet can't give a referral to someone that does treat chickens. It never occured to me that when I got some chickens that I would have no support for these animals. I was told that I should search online sources for support....so that is why I am here. I think my experiment with chickens is done....but I will see what I can find about vent gleet. I have looked online about egg bound. This chicken is past doing that kind of treatment. I will be surprised if she is alive when I go down there. I am in a rural area and you would think that there would be professionals around here that help. Thanks all for your help.....
     
  8. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't give up yet. We all have dealt with health issues with our little beasts.

    For whatever reason vets in the US are not trained to treat chickens. They get about five minutes in all the years they're in school learning about them. Chicken physiology is vastly different from that of mammals.

    Usually farm vets are amenable to looking at our birds. But most often we have to go in with an idea of what might be going on. Basically give them a direction to look. For you, it would be: 1. is it vent gleet 2. Is it internal laying?

    The very first chicken my vet ever treated was a head injury bird. I told her what I needed and after the exam she sent me and my bird home with the drug I needed. That bird went on to live 14 years. It only worked out that way because I was able to tell her how they were treated for head injury.
     
  9. Little Rascal

    Little Rascal New Member

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    liz.jpg Here is what her rear end looks like.

    Joel
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2020
  10. Little Rascal

    Little Rascal New Member

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    I have now three no's from vets.....
     
  11. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Shot in the dark, do a search online for Nystatin. Some pigeon websites offer it. If it is vent gleet. You can also try picking up some monistat cream at the store.

    The same thing can appear when internal laying is an issue.

    If the vets are not willing to see them all we can do at this point is guess.
     
  12. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Try searching for "exotic pet vets" in your area. You might have more luck being a little more specific and no, chickens are not exotic pets but you have a better chance of finding an exotic that will look at chickens than you do regular vets. (we have an exotic 55 miles away should I ever need it lol)
     
  13. Little Rascal

    Little Rascal New Member

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    The chicken died. I am very angry and I appreciate your support. I suggest that before someone gets chickens, they check the local vets for support first. If they don't do chickens, you are on your own. I am a dentist. No, I don't do orthodontics....I don't do periodontics....I dont do endodontics....but I have excellent support in my county that I refer to. They are better than I could be. I just don't get it with vet services.....
     
  14. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    I understand your hurt and anger and the frustration that help is not always there from those that are supposed to know.

    There is a ton of stuff that transfers from human medical training to the birds. Some of the most basic things, like ABC. Your medical training is an advantage.

    Their age also may be part of this. Many birds start experiencing egg laying issues by four years old. There isn't a ton to be done about it other than spaying but since no one near you will see them it's not an option.
     
  15. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    I was curious so I looked up more information on the Isa Browns. Lifespan for them is 4 to 5 years with a few living a bit longer. This lends more to my thinking that this is an egg laying issue.

    Look for ascites in the belly area. If you feel any, you have the training to drain the fluid. Then put the bird on a broad spectrum antibiotic. It's only a stop gap measure, not even a vet can help with this issue.

    This is something many of us that raised chickens for years observed with birds bred specifically for heavy egg laying.
     
  16. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am really sorry for your loss. You did what you could, it is a failure in our society and veterinary services. Most people see chickens as food and as such, treat them as if they were a cob of corn or something. I live in a farming community and I see farmers treat ALL their animals this way, they are THINGS, not living creatures that need us as much as we need them. It is a very cold, hard way of living, I could never farm that way. My animals are just as important as anything else. I am angry for you and with you and again, I am sorry for your loss and the frustration caused by the lack of medical services available.
     
  17. TomC

    TomC Active Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss. I understand your anger, but don't get discouraged. I believe, unfortunately, that the reason most vets don't do chickens is, there's no money in it. It's much more profitable to handle cattle, horses, and hogs. Also, even more unfortunate, is that, like Sylie said, most chicken owners look at them as food and expendable. Most chickens are bought as day-olds for just a couple of bucks each, so the loss of a couple is not enough to warrant a vet visit that may cost $25, $50, or more. Since few people take their chickens to the vet, few vets work with them. It may be a little different in areas of the country that have a lot of large commercial operations, but then, those vets are probably contracted to work on the large farms.

    I am very fortunate that within 30 miles there are two exotic veterinary clinics plus the University of Missouri Veterinary School, which has a large public clinic that will see most any creature roaming the Earth.
     
  18. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Tom, the vets that work with commercial flocks don't actually do any doctoring. If a problem is found the whole building is euthanized. All they do is the tests.
     
    TomC likes this.
  19. Little Rascal

    Little Rascal New Member

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    You guys are great. Thanks. It doesn't matter to me which animal I have. I feel my job is to do the best I can to keep them well and to help them.....and cost isn't an issue. I quickly buried the chicken....maybe that wasn't smart. I should have inspected it more. Any general suggestions that might help with the rest of the birds?
     
  20. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    I think at this point most of us have named our birds and can recognize the different birds even if they're the same breed.

    One of the things that makes it difficult for us is we're going off pics and with chickens the same symptom could be caused by different disease processes.

    If you lose another one you can do your own necropsy, although those are not as definitive as the state and their testing abilities.

    And don't give up having them. Look for breeders in your area. The birds will be more expensive than those that come from hatcheries but they are longer living. I had two hatchery birds, both died by the time they were five. Egg laying problems. All my others were bred by me or others and many lived to be anywhere from 8 years old to 14.