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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23765
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a rooster who was diagnosed by a vet with coccidiosis

Customer Question

Hi, I have a rooster who was diagnosed by a vet with coccidiosis in December. He doesn't display any symptoms of the infection really. The only thing that is noticeable is the constant plucking around his preening gland and his legs. He has lost some weight I believe as well. He sleeps in the house and goes with us to various places since he is my daughter's very special pet. He eats/drinks well, sleeps fine and he seems perfectly fine otherwise. He occasionally eats the dog food which is vegetarian and I treated him with corid--first diluted in his water, then straight doses with a dropper into his beak. It didn't seem to work. He also received multi vitamins for roosters at the same time which made me wonder whether that negated the effects of the corid. So far, nothing seems to be alleviating the problem. The other hens displayed very minor plucking issues in the same area but they seem to be just fine now. I am hoping to find a solution to this issue as I am concerned about the plucking, weight loss, etc. During the day he socializes with the other birds, gets sun, and eats organic laying crumble. He also gets rice in the evenings as well as other treats. Please let me know what steps may help in this situation.
Thank you so much,
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Catherine, the finding of coccidia in otherwise normal birds is actually more common than the coccidia causing clinical illness. If Sunny is otherwise well I might administer Corid every 4 months as a preventative of serious infection and part of a regular endoparasite control program for your flock. His (and your other birds') plucking suggests ectoparasites such as lice or mites. Lice are relatively easy to see. Mites are just barely visible with the naked eye; the adults are a dark red to black color and evidence of mites and eggs can be seen as a dark area at the base of feathers in the ventral regions (vent, ventral coelomic - abdominal - area, tail, ventral cervical - neck - area) The most common is the northern fowl mite. Clinical signs of this mite infestation may also include soiled feathers around the vent, tail, and rear legs. Mites are commonly first discovered or seen on eggs. Do you have dust boxes for your birds? In one study, all hens using dust boxes containing sand and either diatomaceous earth, kaolin clay, or sulfur showed a reduction in ectoparasite populations by 80-100%. Ectoparasite populations recovered when dust boxes containing diatomaceous earth or kaolin claw were removed; however, sulfur provided a residual effect up to nine months post-removal. Provision of dust boxes may be a simple and effective method of ectoparasite control for backyard flocks...and Sunny.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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