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Dr. Elaine
Dr. Elaine, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1388
Experience:  D.V.M. 26 years of small animal emergency and general medicine, including pet birds, poultry, waterfowl, and birds of prey.
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How do I treat a sick rooster. He was found about a week ago

Customer Question

How do I treat a sick rooster. He was found about a week ago on his side unable to get up by himself.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My rooster was found about a week ago on his side unable to stand. He has been given vitamin water and some booster food. He is not getting better but not worse. He is unable to stand with out falling like he is dizzy.
Expert:  Dr. Elaine replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, this is Dr. Elaine
It is a good thing to keep him separated from the other birds as you have done because of the possibility that this is a viral and contagious problem vs a vitamin deficiency, toxin, or traumatic one. Those are the 4 most common general categories of causes.
Deficiencies in B-vitamins and/or vitamin E/selenium can create symptoms of weakness and neurologic signs--sometimes birds are said to be "stargazing." Inability to stand would be extreme for this, but not impossible.
Although you have given vitamin water, a more direct way of treating a potential deficiency is to give 5-6 drops of children's Polyvisol liquid vitamin drops (available at any drug store).
Remember to always store chicken feed in airtight dark containers in a dry and cool location to avoid potentially toxic mold growth as well as oxidation and loss of essential vitamins. B and C (water soluble) vitamins are especially susceptible to loss this way (light/heat) and moisture is a sure contributor to mold which can be deadly. Many time mold cannot be seen unless a tremendous amount of it exists.
Buy food with the freshest date and in quantities you will use within just a few weeks to have the best chance at avoiding such troubles.
If this is a viral disease affecting the brain/nervous system, it is likely to be fatal, unfortunately. Hence the importance of potentially having this bird autopsied if that occurs--most crucial if any others become affected.
Aspirin in the drinking water can help generally with inflammation and discomfort (5 regular tablets (325mg each) per gallon of drinking water--you can adjust based on how much water you are offering at one time)--change daily. Alternatively, standard sized chickens can receive 1 baby aspirin (then don't offer the aspirin water) every 12-24 hours. If no improvement is noticed in a few days, it may be more humane to end his suffering.
Antibiotics for use in poultry are available at feed-stores. These are effective only if a bacteria is involved and the antibiotic itself is specific for that particular bacteria. Generally, unless dealing with wounds, I find this treatment to be ineffective.
See the following for general info:
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/100/mycotoxicosis/
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/167/vitamin-b-deficiencies/
http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/health.html
Hope this is helpful. I particularly like the MSU site and "thepoultrysite.com" for a wealth of info that is reliable. Let me know if I may help further.
Kindly,
Dr. Elaine
Expert:  Dr. Elaine replied 1 year ago.
Hi Michael,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Dan. How is everything going?

Dr. Elaine

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