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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3596
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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I have a 1.5 year old New Hampshire Red hen that is very

Customer Question

I have a 1.5 year old New Hampshire Red hen that is very lethargic today. She was acting completely normal yesterday. Her breathing appears to be somewhat labored and her eyes are closed most of the time. I can't get her to drink any water either.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Does she sound congested or wheezy?

Any coughing or sneezing?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?
Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is now completely unresponsive but may be breathing slightly. About 2 minutes ago, she flapped her wings wildly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Oh no,

This sounds like she is deteriorating after possibly being in respiratory distress. Therefore, just as in people, this is an emergency situation or may actually be her taking her final breaths. Therefore, since this is now at a stage where home care isn't going to be enough (which is why I am leaving this as a info request so you are not charged), I do have to warn you that she needs to be seen urgently. Just in case you do need an avian vet and do not have one already, you can check where you can find one at near you at AAV (, Avian web( or Birdsnway(

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand. Thank you for your quick reply.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If she has passed, do I need to report it to anyone?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome,

Generally speaking, we'd not necessarily have to unless we were concerned she had a notifiable disease (ie bird flu) though we have to be aware that if she had a respiratory infection then other birds in your flock could be at risk. So, we'd want to keep a close eye on everyone else.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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