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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27951
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My Polish hen seems not eating, not even the frenze worms,

Customer Question

My Polish hen seems not eating, not even the frenze worms, is she sick
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is a rattle in throat and keeps mouth open also
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Yes, an anorexic hen who's rattling and gaping is likely to be in respiratory distress and in need of the attention of an avian-oriented vet (please see here: www.aav.org). You can bring her inside in an 80F environment until she can be attended to by a vet. Unfortunately, the symptoms you've mentioned can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests and physical exams to differentiate. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: www.aav.org) for help in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the various etiologies.
It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of Betty Boob's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen.