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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28546
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My almost four-year old black astrolorp, Velvet, has

Customer Question

My almost four-year old black astrolorp, Velvet, has occasional labored breathing/clicking sound, more often when I hold her (causimg abdominal pressure and gurgling.)
Today when checking her, I noticed a poopy butt, but not massive pasty butt. I usually crumble off the matter, but today I gave her a warm butt wash to help her out.After drying and sunning, she seemed to perk up a bit and is eating and drinking. Her tail is droopy about half of the time, and her comb seems pale and has lost its luster. I am also concerning about her being egg bound as she seems a bit larger than normal im her lower abdomen.
Most of my hens, including Velvet, are currently post-moult and not laying.
Looking forward to your comments. Also wondering if there are still local volunteers who make house calls? I live in Garden Grove.
Thank you, ***** *********
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this, Sandy. Velvet's labored breathing and clicking (the sound of air moving through exudate - pus, mucus, e.g. - in her airways) is worrisome for life-threatening respiratory infection and a few of the respiratory infectious agents can also cause diarrhea. Her pale comb usually indicates chronicity and her having trouble keeping herself oxygenated. It's important to recognize that in any case of respiratory illness, it's important to know if you're dealing with a viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic disease. The treatment for one disease may be ineffective or even harmful for others. To make a diagnosis, an avian vet (please see here: will perform several tests including bacterial cultures of the airways, blood tests, and necropsies of dead birds if they're available. Dead birds should be refrigerated - not frozen – until they can be necropsied. Microscopic evaluation of affected tissues is helpful and can be performed at a diagnostic laboratory such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory. A fecal test for parasites also should be done. Attempts to isolate virus may be required. Respiratory infections in poultry have several causes but outward signs may appear similar to the flock owner.

An egg bound bird usually walks like a penguin and repeatedly squats as if to eliminate or lay. If an avian vet isn't available, presumptive antibiotic administration is reasonable - either tylosin in the form of Tylan-50 injectable solution dosed at 20-30 mg/lb daily intramuscularly (or this injectable solution can be given orally as well) for 5-7 days or 2.5 grams of the tylosin powder in the form of Tylan Soluble Powder dissolved in 5 liters of drinking water for 5-7 days; or tetracycline in the form of Duramycin-10 as per the label for a minimum of 10 days. These products can be found in your local feed store.

I regret I'm not privy to the availability of local volunteers in Garden Grove. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Velvet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin