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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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3yr old chicken with symptoms of- Occasional nasal mucus Stopped

Customer Question

3yr old chicken with symptoms of-
Occasional nasal mucus
Stopped laying
Stopped eating
Moulting a bit
Diarrhoea
Smells mouldy
Generally looking very sorry for herself
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Pecks. In any case of respiratory illness (occasional nasal mucus), it's important to know if you're dealing with a viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic disease. The treatment for one disease may be ineffective or even harmful for others. To make a diagnosis, your vet can perform several tests including bacterial cultures of the airways, blood tests, and necropsies (post-mortem exams) of dead birds if they are available (refrigerate - not freeze - their bodies until they can be brought to the vet or your county health officer).

Most of the infectious respiratory agents in chickens can cause sepsis - infection of other organs such as the gastrointestinal tract in Pecks's case. Presumptive treatment is acceptable when an avian vet isn't available. Most of my bird owners will administer Duramycin-10 (see here: http://durvet.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=30:duramycin-10-powder) in the water but this isn't appropriate for an anorexic bird who won't drink enough to medicate itself properly. If possible, an avian-oriented vet should demonstrate how to tube feed/medicate Pecks so you can do so at home.

Hand feeding as you're doing is essential but I'd like you to also administer a broad spectrum antibiotic such as enrofloxacin at a dose of 10mg/kg once daily for ten consecutive days. The injectable enrofloxacin can be given orally if you prefer and is carried by most all vets. You might also find it in your local feed store. If Pecks's hasn't been wormed within three months it would be prudent to do so. Here's a thorough discussion of wormers: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/worming You should be able to find one of them where you live. Gastrointestinal parasites aren't likely to be causing Pecks's acute illness, however, and so our attention should be directed to force-feeding and medicating presently.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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