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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:22 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Good morning, I lost Sarah a 5 yr old Croad Langshan about 6 weeks ago. She just got weaker and weaker, no appetite and her face became very pale. There were no other visible signs of sickness. I took her to the Vet that I don't normally go to and he gave her Doxycycline but she didn't respond to it. When I spoke to my Avian Vet he believed it wouldn't have been anything contagious but more likely a tumour. Now only 6 weeks later another of my Croad Langshans who is 6 yrs old is displaying the same symptoms. Lethargy, no appetite, her comb goes bluish and then returns to a red colour. Now I'm wondering if infact it may be contagious? I had 6 Doxcycline left from the last time and I have given her 3 already but she is not responding. Your thoughts would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:04 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
I'm sorry that you lost your girl Sarah.

If the comb on our other chicken is going blueish then it means that she's not getting enough oxygen in her bloodstream. That could be from a respiratory issue...which could be an infection. The other possibility with a blueish comb is a heart problem. If that is the issue then it is unrelated to your first bird, and is just a co-incidence. But since the symptoms are so similar it really does seem as if there is a common cause here.

An infection can be bacterial or viral but it can also be fungal. Birds have very complicated lung systems and once they are compromised with an infection it can be hard to shift it. As your other bird did not respond to the antibiotics the possibility remains that you're looking at a viral or fungal infection. Fungal infections come from the environment, and usually healthy birds can resist them, but if a bird has a compromised immune system for some reason then the infection can take hold. So I would consider the possibility that there is mould somewhere in your chicken house...perhaps from spilled food or in the litter. Mould will kind of clump the litter together and may smell musty, and it may be coloured white or something else. Just have a look around and clean out and replace the litter if you think it needs it.

The symptoms of both could still also be due to tumours..I can see why your vet thought that as that kind of slow decline you described is often due to a tumour somewhere.

I'm sorry that the above isn't a lot of help in relation to your currently sick bird. I would separate her from the others, though, just in case it is something contagious. If your other birds are in good health then there is no reason to worry that they will also be affected. It would not be unusual to have only a couple of birds affected by something even if it is a transmissible disease. So don't start worrying about the rest if your birds at this stage.

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Cheerio, Rach
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:38 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:33 am
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Hello Rach, thank you so much for replying. I gave both my pens a thorough clean last weekend using diluted iodine and F10. I always make sure I keep them clean because I know how important it is. However having said that, Ella sits on the floor, not wanting to perch like the other girls so perhaps has inhaled mould spores at some stage. I use wood chips for substrate

I don't like giving worm medication when they are in a weakened state but that crossed my mind so gave her wormout this morning, even though she was wormed 3 months ago. I have just noticed about an hour ago too she is drinking lots of water, just standing up drinking and drinking but looking nothing like herself. I did also notice a few weeks ago she was shaking her head quite a bit but at that stage didn't act on it.
Is there anything you suggest I do apart from giving her the remaining 3 Doxcycline Tablets I have and keeping her comfortable. I have separated her. My car is getting repaired and won't have it back until sometime next week.

I really have appreciated your thoughts.
regards Andrea


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:27 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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I usually worm birds that aren’t looking good. Even if worms aren’t the actual problem, taking care of any parasites will remove one pressure on the system. So I think that was a sensible thing to do.

I’d probably just keep doing what you’re doing at the moment, and offer food that’s likely to be tempting (meat, scrambled eggs, sunflower seeds....). If you’ve got some bird vitamins on hand you could add that to her water. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a lot more that can be done. As you know, slow declines are very hard to halt. If she’s going to recover the supportive care you’re providing already will give her the best chance.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:08 pm 
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Great Game
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Location: Murwillumbah, NSW
Could be worth having a read of this thread on megabacteria. Good luck with her. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8019727

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:32 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:33 am
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Hi Rach and John, thank you so much for your replies i really appreciate it. And the article John is so interesting and thank you for taking the time to send it to me.

Ella looked so sick on Friday afternoon I waited till my friend got home so she could drive me to the Vet. I was very fortunate that an Avian vet, not my usual Avian vet I see was on. She felt a mass in her stomach and said "I can throw everything at her but she is a sick girl" so it was then I decided to say goodbye to her. I came away feeling, if onl.... maybe I should have given her a try, but I have gone down this path before and I didn't want her to suffer like my other girl must have by keeping her alive when clearly she was really sick.

And to make matters worse just today, I have noticed one of the my other girls scratching away at my dormant vegie patch which I placed coffee grounds into a few weeks ago. I lift the netting up to find mouldy coffee grounds. I do hope she will be okay. I have had it covered but we have had such windy weather the last few days it lifted it up.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:45 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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You absolutely did the right thing. I honestly think that there was no chance of her recovering (I just didn’t want to say it).

If the vet felt a mass then it definitely wasn’t anything she picked up while scratching about. I’m sure you’ll remove the coffee grounds but I don’t think that a one-off exposure to that would be issue for your other chooks either.

Fingers crossed for a lengthy period of very good health for your other birds.

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Cheerio, Rach
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