3 year old hen mouth breathing?

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GemmaEllen
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by GemmaEllen »

Morning! Quick update on Rosie - she perked up a few hours after Andy vomited her yesterday, although spent most of the day asleep under her favourite bush. (pepper slept with her on and off) She put herself to bed early, as she often does on her 'bad days'. This morning, Andy let her out and reported that she was first out of the coop, and dived straight into her grain. When I went out a few hours later (we leave them in the run for a few hours to fill up on grain before letting them free range in the garden) she was off down the garden with Pepper, doing her best to get into the kitchen before I closed the door. (she sneaks in and eats the cat food if we dont remember to close the door at all times!!) Andy forgot to check her crop when he let her out, but I had a quick feel when I let them into the garden and it seemed pretty normal - food and water inside, but not overly full or watery...

So I guess today is a good day! She is currently wandering the garden, pecking about. Our wormer arrives tomorrow so will start the process and see how she gets on.
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Marigold
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by Marigold »

Good news! Is the cat food the soft meaty type? If so, you could try her with some of it, - also scrambled egg with no salt.
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GemmaEllen
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by GemmaEllen »

HI all!

so we are on day 3 of the flubenvet and Rosie is struggling. She still has a doughy crop in the morning, and is still slow and sleepy, but the worming is taking its toll and she is even slower than usual! we gave her a warm epsom bath earler as she's made a mess of her bum. she's not really eating today, except cucumber. her droppings are runny, mostly white with the occasional brown bit (whatever food is getting through her) and yesterday she dropped a red mucus. after going into full panic mode, I googled it and discovered that worming can sometimes cause red mucus and it is the worms detaching from the stomach lining? please tell me if this is wrong.

I'm trying to decide whether to give her a break in the worming for a few days, and try again? I know a full 7 day run is required, but she's so tired of it all... I'm worried it will push her over the edge!

We offer both wet and dry cat food to our cats, and she often picks at both - plus the cat milk! she's not been interested in that today - nor the sardines in olive oil I've been trying to feed her to get oil into her crop...!
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GemmaEllen
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

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Quick update - we stopped worming Rosie as she was really suffering. I'm giving her a few more days off, and then I'll start again with the full 7 days. She spent most of yesterday up in the coop, and we were worried it was the end, but then this morning she passed a big worm looking thing - it was worm shaped on one end, and bulbous at the other, like the worm had plugged itself somewhere and grown around her... since then, she's been a bit more alert, and not breathing so hard. she's been eating sweetcorn and water... I wouldnt say shes out of the woods by any means yet, but I'm hoping that was the problem...

Needless to say, I will make worming a priority from now on!!!!

I'll keep you informed.
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Marigold
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by Marigold »

Amazing GemmaEllen. It does sounds as if you’ve found at least part of the problem. Did you take a pic of the dropping? We’d all love to see it!
Yes the vet. advice is to give two courses of Flubenvet if there’s a very heavy infestation. The second course should be 3 weeks after the first go, to catch any worm eggs which were laid and incubating and thus not killed in the first treatment - flubenvet only works on the active internal worms which have already hatched. How many days has Rosie had on the first go? If you can resume dosing her and keep going with the treatment, however poorly she seems, you’ll have a much better chance of reducing the number of hatched worms now, and she should feel better as a result, even if it’s difficult for a few more days. Good luck!

PS have you tried scrambled egg or meaty cat food? High protein, can be helpful. Also sunflower seeds. Not earthworms, which are probably the cause of the problem if she’s been free ranging - (earthworms eat the soil with chicken droppings containing worm eggs, hens eat the earthworms, and keep the worm cycle going. So never give them as treats!)
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GemmaEllen
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

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todays update - she's still very slow and not eating much. She had 3 days of worming before we stopped I'll probably start again tomorrow since she's not showing any sign of getting better. It's very hot so I'm trying to make sure she drinks as much as possible which isnt easy. I've tried her on everything - cucumber is her go-to, but Ive put down scrambled egg (cold from the fridge) wet cat food, and some bird seed. her water is laced with probiotics and poultry spice (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1) and I'm replacing it throughout the day to keep it cold.

I didnt take a pic of the dropping - I was grossed out so threw it away very quickly!!!

They free range so I can't avoid earthworms, but we dont give them as treats anyway.

I'll keep you informed!! xx
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Marigold
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by Marigold »

I’m glad you’re going back to Flubenvet. From what she passed in that dropping it does sound as if worms are at least a large part of the problem, and until they are dealt with she won’t get any better. Leaving off in the middle of the course is not a good idea, the rest will still be in there laying eggs and taking the nourishment you’re trying to get her to eat. Yes she won’t feel very well, but it’s the worms, not the Flubenvet, that is making her feel like that. All healthy hens do have a worm burden to some extent, and can deal with it if it’s not too great, and are not affected by Flubenvet, which is an effective drug but comparatively mild in its effects on the hens.
If in doubt, why not ring your vet and ask his advice? What I’ve said is just my opinion and it might be good to find out what a proper vet thinks about it.
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Tweetypie
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by Tweetypie »

Hi Gemma

I find Westgate Labs are useful if you want an idea of the worm burden. You send a poop specimen and they text you or email you the outcome. Worth doing, even if its a one-off. I worm mine for a week, then send the poop sample to check it has been effective.

https://www.westgatelabs.co.uk/shop/by- ... ckens.html

The type of worm you described, doesn't sound like tape worm, as I believe they are in segments. Roundworm looks like spaghetti. Seen this in neglected horses. Grossest thing I have seen in my life, I might add.

Agree with Marigold, that it's best sticking to the full 7 day course. :-) Hope all goes well. I've had a problem with one of my hens, too. Mites/lice, but she seems to be on the mend now.
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Marigold
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by Marigold »

Hi GemmaEllen, how is Rosie today? I wondered if you’d found this article on the main Poultrykeeper site? Might be of interest.
https://poultrykeeper.com/general-chick ... -chickens/
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GemmaEllen
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Re: 3 year old hen mouth breathing?

Post by GemmaEllen »

Hi all,

Thanks for the link, Marigold. I can't see any worm that looks like what Rosie passed. Perhaps it wasn't a worm at all? I'm now wondering if it was a tumor or something like a lash, although the shape was so strange...

Bad news; Rose took a turn for the worse today.

She was OK this morning when Andy let them out of the coop. she got down and her crop was empty, however she didnt eat or drink anything until about an hour later, when I came down and gave her some cucumber. She didnt have much, but I left her to it for a bit, and she made her way down the garden with Pepper, and came and sat by the back door. Her bum was a mess again, so we gave her an epsom bath so I could clean her up. It was then that I noticed that her abdomen was swollen like a water balloon - ascites? - it cetainly wasnt that way when we bathed her a few days earlier, and so I dried her off and put her back in the garden to look into water belly (I've not dealt with it before) When I went back out to see her, she had collapsed onto her side. We got her up and she was staggering almost upright - exactly like the pictures I'd just seen for water belly. We set up in a little wicker box with a towel, and popped her in a shady part of the garden (under her favourite tree for sitting)

I've spoken to our vet who can't do anything for a day or so (busy and quarantine is making things harder) and I spoke to the ladies at the farm we got them from originally. They agree that not muh can be done for water belly at this stage (her comb and wattle has turned dark purple - only a tiny bit of red at the top remains, and she is doing nothing but sleeping in her little bed, barely opening her eyes, and breathing hard.) We have ordered 2 new friends for Pepper; 2 black tail POL's, which we will pick up on the 9th June.

Needless to say, given how quickly she is deteriorating (up and walking about this morning, collapsed in a basket by lunchtime) I dont think Rosie will last long enough for the vet to come and put her to sleep, and I cant do it myself (I still have nightmares over a dog attack from years ago) but the ladies at the farm assured me she wouldnt be in any pain and should just leave her somewhere familiar and keep her comfortable. I'm assuming she wont last the night.

I'm devestated, as I've never had a hen die from illness. Although we've dealt with illness, the girls always pull through and de of old age, comfortably in their sleep. I'm second guessing every decision I've made, and wondering what else I could have done to help her, but ultimately, we are going to lose her, and soon.

xx
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