Hi I have a chicken that becomes ill every year at this time. We took it to the vets last year but they couldn't find anything. This year she gapes and makes a gasping sound when sitting down, chokes and sneezes while eating her corn and has puffy eyes. All the other chickens seem fine. Could you please advise me on what it could be and what we could do to help her? Many thanks Hannah
P.s she also is cratching at the neck
If she had a light infection of gape worm could it be possible that the vet missed it ,even though he checked for it? If so how come she is fine the rest of the year, it is normally only during the summer.
I will have a look into some of the other things just in case I have missed a symptom.
I have just had a listen to her breathing. She is very wheezy but not raspy.
Hi Hannah I'm Dr Gregg and I wanted to chime in here regarding your chickens problem. First I have to say I am not an avian/poultry vet, just a small animal vet that has had an interest in treating birds for the last 35 years. I agree with Dr. Bob that there could be an infectious cause for these symptoms, but like you I am bothered by the seasonal nature of the problem. I supposed there could be an infectious component here, made worse this time of year by an allergic response to something the bird is exposed to. Another idea is exposure to an inhaled irritant, such as ammonia. How are the birds housed? Does the coop have good ventilation? Is it particularly dusty? Allergic sinus problems seem rare in chickens, but I supposed not impossible. What I would consider is talking to your vet about checking some swabs of the affected areas and doing some basic,in house cytology, looking for infectious organisms on exam by microscope. Samples to a lab for culture would be even better. If your vet is not comfortable with that perhaps they would set you up with a trial dose of antibiotics to try-as long as these are not meat/egg birds, just pets. Antibiotics most vets have around, such as doxycycline or enrofloxacin could be used here.
While I am not convinced that gapeworm could be the problem, you may as well have your vet check a stool sample looking for gapeworm eggs, just to be sure. If available to your vet, an endoscope exam of the airways and crop would be very helpful
I hope this helps you out. If you have further questions I will be happy to try to answer them for you. Good luck. Dr. Gregg