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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 41892
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My chicken has rattly breathing and sneezing but seems fine

Customer Question

My chicken has rattly breathing and sneezing but seems fine in herself otherwise
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is your chicken's name and age?
Customer: Whitey and she's almost 2 I think
Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Whitey?
Customer: She was attacked by a fox in April but survived. She's bullied by the others so I keep her separate.
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
She was also poorly a few weeks ago, very low, with very pale comb. Came inside for a bit of tic and bounced right back.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 14 days ago.

Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 14 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Whitey. You’ve described the symptoms of respiratory disease in your hen. Mycoplasmosis and chicken coryza (Avibacterium paragallinarum) are most common but 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. The UK has made it nigh impossible for caretakers to address their chickens appropriately. Tylosin - in the form of injectable Tylan and given into the breast muscle daily for 5-7 days at a dose of 5 – 15 mg/lb is a reasonable choice if you can find it over the counter. An avian vet (bvpa.org.uk) may be needed to provide that antibiotic.

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 (coronavirus/not in turkeys).

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.