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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:36 pm 
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WARNING: The copper sulphate treatment discussed here did not work and I would not recommend that anyone use it.

Unfortunately, I had an opportunity to get some Canker photos today, so it seemed an opportune time to collate some of the information on the site. The treatments of choice are obviously medications such as Flagyl, Emtryl etc. Gail Damerow mentions the use of Copper Sulphate (included below), but I haven't found very much backup for this treatment. I'm going to give it a go on my bird, as I have no Flagyl atm. I went to the pharmacy to see if there was any medication that I could buy without a prescription but they could only sell external creams. I went to Bunnings and bought the Copper Sulphate for $9.50. It seems like a long shot, so it's something of an experiment. She's still got some condition on her and she seems well apart from the irritation caused by the sores in her mouth. It seems that it's an opportunisic infection and so the bird's general condition and immunity is important. I'll put her on vitamins as well. I will post further pictures of her both during and after the clean up. Here she is:

Image

Canker (trichomoniasis, or Roup)

Incidence: worldwide, especially in warm climates or during warm weather, but rare in chickens

System/Organ Affected:: It affects the mouth, throat, and crop

Incubation Period: 2 weeks

Progression: acute or chronic

Symptoms: usually in young or growing birds: loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, weakness, darkened head, extended neck, frequent swallowing, sunken breast (due to empty crop), watery eyes, foul-smelling discharge from mouth, white or yellow sores in mouth and throat, inability to close mouth or swallow due to massive sores.

Mortality: limited, usually within 8 to 10 days due to suffocation

Postmortem Findings: cheesy white or yellowish raised buttons on throat walls; sometimes crop filled with foul-smelling fluid

Diagnosis: flock history (drinking from stagnant water), symptoms, lab idenficiation of protozoa from throat scrapings

Cause: Trichomonas gallinae protozoan parasite that infects a variety of birds, primarily pigeons

Transmission: stagnant drinking water or feed contaminated with discharge from infected bird's mouth; spread by wild birds and pigeons.

Prevention: good sanitation; keep pigeons away from chickens; avoid bringing in new birds that may be carriers

Treatment: move unaffected birds to sanitary surroundings; isolate infected birds; combine 1 pound copper sulfate (powdered bluestone) with 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon water, mix well, add 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) solution per gallon drinking water for 4-7 days, served in a non-metal waterer; non-meat birds may be treated with metronidazole (trade name Flagyl) injections or pills or with carnidazole (Spartrix) pills for 5 days; recovered birds are carriers.

Human Health risk: none known; not the same as trichomoniasis in humans.

Image

There has been some other helpful and informative threads on canker. Here's some information posted by Meredith to assist another member:
stella wrote:
Here is a bit of info about Trich. basically its a protozoa that commonly lives in pigeons throats, chooks are likely to get it from water contaminated by the pigeons.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a disease of the upper digestive tract, seen in pigeons, doves, raptors, turkeys, chickens as well as many other wild birds.
Occurrence
Trichomoniasis (Trich. For short) occurs frequently in pigeons and doves, as well as raptors which feed upon them. The disease is called canker in pigeons and frounce in falcons. With the current improved management practices in the poultry industry trichomoniasis is not common in turkeys and chickens. Outbreaks usually occur in warm climates or during warm weather.
Etiology
The etiological agent of trichomoniasis is Trichomonas gallinae (Tg). Tg is a pear-shaped flagellated protozoan with 4 anterior flagella and an undulating membrane to provide motility.
The life cycle of Tg is very simple; it divides by longitudinal binary fission.
Transmission
Nearly all pigeons are carriers of Tg. The pathogenicity of the different strains of Tg is very variable. Adult pigeons transfer the organism to squabs via the "pigeon milk".
Raptors often contract trichomoniasis by eating infected pigeons and doves.
Turkeys and chickens contract the disease by drinking stagnant surface water containing T. gallinae . Pigeons are believed to be the most common vector by which the water supplies are contaminated.
Clinical signs
Affected birds may have difficulty closing their mouths and may drool and make repeated swallowing movements.
Severely affected birds will stop eating, become depressed, ruffled in appearance, and emaciated before death.
Lesions
Lesions are seen in the mouth, sinuses, pharynx, esophagus, crop, and proventriculus.
Typical lesions are white to yellow plaques or raised masses.
Diagnosis
Gross lesions are very suggestive of trichomoniasis but are not unlike those seen with visceral pox, candidiasis, and hypovitaminosis A.
histopathology of the lesions will help distinguish trichomoniasis from the above diseases.
The presence of large numbers of trichomonads in the oral fluids is usually considered confirmatory. A wet mount of fresh oral fluids will reveal the motile trichomonads when examined microscopically.
Prevention
Eliminate any carrier birds as they will contaminate the waterers with Tg.
Provide clean fresh water and eliminate sources of stagnant water.
Avoid contact between pigeons and doves and susceptible poultry.
A low preventative level of protozoacide can be fed in the ration or in the drinking water. Agents that have been used are dimetridazole (Emtryl), nithiazide (Hepzide) and Enheptin.
Treatment
Several drugs have been used to treat trichomoniasis including Emtryl (dimetridazole), aminonitrothiazole, and Enheptin. These drugs are no longer available for use in the U.S.A.
Back yard flocks or pigeons not used for food production may be effectively treated with dimetridazole by prescription of a veterinarian (1000 mg/L in drinking water for 5-7 days).


The only references I can find re a dose of Flagyl - is 50mg for a pigeon for 3 days and 60mg/kg for a bird for 5 days
I was quite surprised by the strength of the dose, but birds often do need much higher doses of antibiotics than other species.
So for a 2kg chook I would give 1/4 of a 400mg flagyl daily, if its 3kg + then 1/2 tablet daily.
I think the soluble stuff your vet has would be difficult as she would have to drink 25ml of it and if its in saline it probably wouldn't taste too good.

Oh and the with-holding period of Emtryl is 5 days just for interest sake.
Not sure about the flagyl but I would do 7 days.


Image

Lesion removed from Di's bird in another thread:
Image

Some medication information that Sandy has quoted from Dr Colin Walker:
Sandy wrote:
Any one of a group of medications called nitro imidazoles are effective against trichomonads. There are four commonly in use:

1. Dimetradazole - The common brand name here is Emtryl, available as a water-soluble powder. Dimetradazole was the first nitro imidazole available and is still an effective drug, although trichomonad resistance to it in some areas is a problem because it has been used for the longest. It must be used with care as it has a narrow safety margin. Overdose leads to a reversible loss of balance and coordination and, in high doses, death. The medication can interfere with sperm production in cocks, leading to a temporary infertility, and so is not recommended for use during breeding. The usual dose is 1 teaspoon (3 grams) to 4½ - 8 litres of water. Lower dose rates should be used in stock birds feeding youngsters and during hot weather when water intake increases and evaporation occurs from drinkers, increasing the concentration of the medication.

2. Carnadazole - The common brand name here is Spartrix. It is only available in tablet form. It has a wide safety margin and is very useful for individual bird dosing, particularly youngsters in the nest. The dose is one 10-mg tablet daily.

3. Metronidazole - The common brand name is Flagyl. This is available as a water-soluble syrup and as tablets in a variety of strengths. It is very economical, with the tablets being useful to dose individual birds. Individual birds are given ¼ of a 200-mg Flagyl tablet once daily. Flagyl syrup is water soluble and is given at the dose of 5 - 10 ml per litre but is very sugary and not very palatable to the birds.

4. Ronidazole - This is available as a water-soluble powder under a number of brand names world-wide, including Ridsol-S, Turbosole, Tricho-Plus and Ronivet. The usual strength used is 10%. The dose at this strength is ½ teaspoon per litre. Weaker preparations are available but the birds need to be treated longer with these. The drug is very bitter so preparations stronger than 10% tend to be unpalatable to the birds. It has a very wide safety margin and is safe to use during breeding, racing and moulting. World-wide, ronidazole is the current medication of choice to treat canker. However, in some countries it is not available for use in pigeons, authorities being concerned that resistant organisms may develop. As the drug is used in food-producing animals such as pigs, its use is reserved for these.

In any canker-control program, it is often best to rotate between at least two of these medications in order to decrease the chance of a resistant trichomonad strain developing. Currently, ronidazole-based preparations are used as the primary treatment because of their effectiveness and wide safety margin, but it is a good idea to swap to one of the other available drugs every third or fourth treatment.



Sources:
Damerow, G (1994) The Chicken Health Handbook. Storey Publishing, MA
Thread begun by Di Stockridge about a case: Click Here
Sandy has a website with further information: Click Here
Quoted post from Sandy: Click Here

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:10 pm 
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If I'm going to try the Copper Sulphate the first thing I need to do is to get the US units converted into Aussie metric units that work for me, and also reduce the quantity.

Gail Damerow gives -
1 pound CS: 1 cup vinegar: 1 gallon water

With the help of a conversion site and a bit of rounding off, I've reduced that firstly to:

454 grams CS: 250ml Vinegar: 3.8 Litres Water

That's way too much for me to mix up, so I've reduced that to one twentieth so it's closer to the amount needed for one or two chickens. So I'm going to do:

22.5 grams CS: 14.5ml vinegar: 190ml Water

Then once I've got that mix, I put 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz or 15ml) into a gallon (3.8 litres) water.

So once again I have to reduce that. 3.8 litres of water is way too much for me to be mixing up for a single chicken. If I reduce that to one tenth I get 390 ml which is about the size of her water dish.

So stage two will be to get 1.5ml of the mix and dilute it in 390 ml of water for her drinking bowl.

We'll see how that works. If the chook drops dead we'll know it was a bad idea. I'm also going to go and wash the sores and see if they are loose at all. If not, I'm going to leave them alone. I'm going to check her crop and feed her if necessary.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Here's what I did. I hope this isn't going to turn out to be a 'disaster diary'. I'll have to come back and delete all this if it is - or at least put in some type of warning not to do it. I really haven't got any concrete evidence that this treatment will do anything, except for some anecdotal notes in one book. None of the more reputable veterinary manuals mention it. One university website said that it's 'worth investigating'. I'm not sure what that means - probably that there's no proof so far that it does anything. It's probably nuts, but here we go.

I mixed up the concentrated copper sulphate solution, then used that to make up the drinking water. You can see the colour difference. It must taste terrible. She made a terrible fuss about taking it. I'll have to get some red cordial to add to it for next time.
Image

I rinsed her beak area out with saline and got a cotton bud and moved the lesion around a bit. Some of it crumbled away, but it seemed painful for her. There was a tiny bit of bleeding, but not a lot. I'd say I removed about half of it.
Image

I also had a good look as far as I could down her throat. It seems pretty clear. I know she could have problems down further and in the crop, but it was good that the whole throat wasn't full of it.

Image

She was a pretty unhappy girl when I was done. I put 30ml of Roudybush food into her crop, and trickled about 20ml of the copper sulphate drinking water into her beak as well. I have some Mycostatin topical cream which I'm thinking of putting on the little bit of canker that's on the outside of her beak, but I haven't done that yet, but I'll do it tonight. I've just put her in an isolated cage with some food and water and left her. She did have a little peck so she must be ok so far.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:49 pm 
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Poor girl. It looks so painful! I hope the copper sulphate does something, or you can get some Flagyl soon.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:11 pm 
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wow cathy thats really blue isn't it. As you know we use copper sulphate here in a couple of different ways so i am very interested in how this works out. Are there any toxicity issues for her ingesting the amount she is expected to take in the next few days?
Cheers julie

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:17 am 
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Yes Julie, I believe it is toxic. I don't think it's the best option. The best option would be to take her a vet and get the prescribed medication.

I noted one mention on Colin walker's site:
Quote:
Fanciers often add iron to the diet or copper sulphate to the drinker (to combat canker). These are both heavy metals that are quickly absorbed into the system but only slowly excreted. With repeated low doses, these birds look fine but as the minerals accumulate in their bodies they have a variety of effects. The most common of these in the stock loft is reduced fertility. It can be hard for the fancier to relate the dead-in-shell youngsters, clear eggs and non-laying hens experienced during breeding to these treatments, which may have been given months earlier.


I also found a reference by Sandy here. I can't see where she's got this from, but the toxicity caution is there. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6848&p=46599&hilit=copper#p46599

Quote:
Copper Sulfate Medication

Use 1 gm (0.035 oz) of Copper Sulfate (bluestone) to 2 litres (3.52 pints) of water - be very careful about the measurements of the Copper Sulfate too much will kill your bird
Add 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix in some Cranberry Juice to make it more palatable for the birds to drink and disguise the taste of the copper sulfate and vinegar
Give this medicated water as the sole source of drinking water for 4 to 7 days, in some cases you may need to extend this time until you feel that the disease outbreak is over
Do not use metal containers only plastic ones
Put the mixture out fresh each day

If you choose not to use the Copper Sulfate you can use
1. Nystatin at 220 ppm in the feed….. For Fungal infections
2. Carnidazole (Spartrix) pills for 5 days…… For bacterial infections
3. Metronidazole (Flagyl) injections or pills for 5 to 7 days…… For bacterial infections

Poisoning in Poultry: Inorganic Sources
Copper: Copper sulfate in a single dose of >1 g is fatal. The signs are watery diarrhea and listlessness. A catarrhal gastroenteritis and burns or erosions in the lining of the gizzard, accompanied by a greenish, seromucous exudate throughout the intestinal tract, are found at necropsy.
When you mix the 1 g of Copper Sulfate with water it is diluted and not fatal, only if you try and give the CS on its own is it fatal.


Note.... where it states that 1 g can kill your bird.. that is if they eat it on it own... not when it is mixed in with water.... make sure you give it a stir during the day also... sometimes not all disolves and it sits in the bottom of the dish... that is why I use white icecream containers (plastic) so I can see the blue copper sulphate

I really strongly suggest you put the copper sulphate in the main drinking waterers for the next 7 days ... at the rate suggested... if one bird has Canker..you can bet others have it or the start of it....

It wont hurt them... it will improve their feathers


I'm not actually using those measurements. I'm using what is given in the The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow. It feels like a bit of a stab in the dark, but we'll see.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:30 am 
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Well this morning she looks SO much worse. The Copper Sulphate is not looking like it's a miracle cure. She now looks sick. I am probably poisoning her. She is agitated as though she can't get comfortable. She is flicking her head around due to the canker. She is gasping a fair bit, but not so much drooling as before the treatment started. She is now sitting a lot. No sign of diarrhea yet. The droppings have changed colour though as you can see. Her crop didn't empty over night so I haven't given her any more food. There is some fluid in it still, so I'll see how she goes during the day. You can also see that I've put the topical cream on the outside of her beak.

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Two droppings - one before the CS and one after.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Oh dear! Can you get some Flagyl?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Only if I go to the vet. I have committments all week until Friday afternoon. The chook will probably be had it by then.

The chicken looks no worse tonight - although it's making a funny noise now. It sounds a little bit like a kid with croup when it breathes. That can't be good. I just had a quick look at her when I came in, but later tonight I'll have a closer look at her.

No one I know has any Flagyl in the medicine cabinet atm.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:28 pm 
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what about if you have a good gp could hubby make a trip there for a script?
Would drinking potassium permangenate help instead of copper sulphate?
Cheers julie

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Great minds think alike Julie. I've already been looking up the Condies Crystals - the short answer is no - it's not useful against this at all.

Hubby could possibly go to the doc for a script. What symptoms do you think he would need to develop? :rofl: I looked up Trichomoniasis and then realised why I've never needed the meds. My life is just not that interesting. :lol:

I should go and find out what other conditions these medications treat.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:28 pm 
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what about cephalexin? Eg ialex keflex would that be useful? Just clutching at straws now. If you have a good relationship with gp just phone him and be straight. If not hubby would need some sort of chest rattle and for some reason decline the amoxil. . . Cant believe i am saying this on the forum. . . Dont try this at home folks i am only joking :wink: *mutters under breath*
Cheers julie

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Nah, Cephalexin is not effective against trichomonas. Those kinds of antibiotics would probably make it worse. It'd have to be something like metronidazole or tinadazole. Flagyl is what we need.

To be honest I don't know a gp that well. I avoid them like the plague. He'd probably have to develop an std overnight to get it, or maybe a Giardia infection or a touch of amebic dysentery. He did have very bad food poisoning a couple of days ago from the tavern. :lol:

Just kidding - no, that won't work. The chook will have to hang in there until Friday. It's up to her.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:46 pm 
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giardia is good, um gee did some animal die in your water tank and make you all sick?
I could post you up some but i dont think it would make it any quicker.
Cheers julie

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:10 pm 
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I got her upstairs and had a closer look tonight. It's another 6 hours since I last looked at her. Overall, I think she's breathing better. There's no croupy sound now. She's not drooling or shaking her head at all. I don't know if there has been an improvement or if I've just caught her at a good moment.

I got some warm water and washed the Mycostatin off her to have a look. I encouraged a bit more of the scabby crusts off both inside the roof of the mouth/beak, and also on the outside of the beak. It's pretty raw and sore. I felt her crop. She has about half a golf ball sized lump of food in her crop that she's eaten herself today. The sloppy food I put in there last night is gone. The crop contents feel hard and dry though, so I think she's not drinking enough of this blue water. I put 20ml of it into her tonight, together with some vitamins. Her droppings are too dry as well, so I'll have to keep an eye on that. Then I recoated the lesion with Mycostatin. She does not enjoy this process one bit. It clearly stresses her.

Here's how it looked tonight after I cleaned it and then recoated it:
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