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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32877
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have some ex- cage hens .... one of them after a couple of

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I have some ex- cage hens .... one of them after a couple of days developed a gurgle on breathing (intermittently) and an occasional cough. It's not got any worse over the last week, and the bird is showing no other symptoms at all. Is lively and otherwise very healthy, lively, is Laying well, eating well, no signs of lumps in the crop or anything I can see, but still a bit straggly from the cage environment .... any suggestions?
Infectious bronchitis (coronavirus) is the likely culprit in a coughing hen. Infected birds usually cough because of excessive mucus in their trachea. The disease spreads rapidly through the entire flock but in uncomplicated cases, the flock recovers quickly. I wouldn't have you treat her. She appears to be be minorly affected and otherwise well. Here's my more complete synopsis of respiratory disease in chickens for you:Respiratory infections in poultry have several etiologies but outward signs - conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, swollen sinuses, coughing, gaping, and labored breathing - may appear similar to you. Successful treatment of respiratory disease requires the correct diagnosis which can be a challenge to clarify unless you have a vet experienced in avian medicine. Your vet can perform several tests including bacterial cultures of the airways, blood tests, and necropsies (post-mortem examinations of dead birds). Necropsies are particularly valuable when large flocks are involved. We might sacrifice an ill bird in an attempt to identify the etiology of the infection and be able to treat the rest of the flock in the most appropriate manner. If more than one bird is affected, medicating through the drinking water might be necessary with a tetracycline-containing product such as this: If just one or a few birds are affected, your vet might show you how to inject the broad spectrum antibiotics tetracycline or tylosin or dose them orally. Here is a reference guide for you: but your vet should be the final determiner of which antibiotic and what dose to administer. When testing isn’t possible, presumptive treatment with antibiotics such as Duramycin (tetracycline) or Tylan-50 (tylosin) available in at your local agricultural merchant may have to suffice.Bacterial diseases include fowl cholera (Pasteurellosis), chicken coryza (Haemophilus paragallinarum) and turkey coryza (Bordetella avium), and avian mycoplasmosis (Mycoplasma gallisepticum). Fungal infection is most often caused by Aspergillus spp. Parasitic infection is usually caused by the gapeworm Syngamus trachea which is more common in game birds and waterfowl. Viral infections include infectious laryngotracheitis (herpesvirus), Newcastle disease (NDV), and infectious bronchitis (corona virus/not in turkeys).Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.