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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 24459
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Very pale comb, lethargic, droppings/diarrhea, she seems in

Customer Question

very pale comb, lethargic, green droppings/diarrhea, she seems in pain
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: about 1 1/2 years; Blanquita.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Blanquita?
Customer: she's holding her head inwards and her feathers are puffed out in back
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Unfortunately, a pale comb (anemia/shock), lethargy, and diarrhea can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. If this is the case, 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.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of Blanquita'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. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

If you don't have an avian vet available to you, presumptive treatment for the most common gastrointestinal parasites plus a broad spectrum antibiotic are reasonable. Piperazine (Wazine, e.g.) will address roundworms and amprolium (Corid) will address coccidia. Tylosin (Tylan-50) dosed at 20-30 mg/lb once daily intramuscularly or the injectable solution can be given orally (it tastes awful) for 5-7 days is likely to be available in your local feed store as are the other drugs. It's best to bring her inside as shown here: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/02/how-to-help-sick-chicken.html

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.