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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28524
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Have a rooster........noticed a few days ago he was

Customer Question

hi.have a rooster........noticed a few days ago he was lethargic..........walked slowly and hunched over some of the time..........he eats the egg laying feed...scratch and oats..........lpus veggies and bread..........a vet said he did not know as he does not treat chickens.....but it could be............shirley
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vetws on this site. The truth of the matter is that the vet, like I, can't know why Johnny is lethargic. Constipation isn't common in roosters and Johnny's behavior isn't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. Unfortunately, the symptoms you've mentioned can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. With this in mind, 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 in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the differential diagnoses.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the Johnny'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 rooster.

Have any other symptoms appeared that might help clarify why Johnny is ill?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he is only a rooster.....nobody really cares.......nobody around here does anything about chickens or roosters..........they are anime a dozen he is just our pet..........and i would hate to see him suffer.......he was always johnny on the spot.......mr.big guy of the coop...............and then suddenly like i said........he was mooping around...walking slow.and was kind of hunched over............from whats i read he is not molting ......nor does he have lice................constipation was just thrown out there by an man who had turkeys..............i cannot afford to do a hundred and one test and find out nothing...........if you had of told me he was dying i would put him out of his misery ..........you have a great day..............
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I care. No, I can't tell you he's dying. I wish I could be more specific for you but it just isn't possible without his being examined and tested which really is no different if he were a dog or cat with those symptoms. I understand your frustration. It frustrates me too. Please let me know if new symptoms arise. They may help me narrow down what's going on with Johnny.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i wrote you......you wrote back..needed more info..........i sent about the same info back to you...........you said pay...i paid..you said you needed more info................tests lab work etc................. and he is a rooster..........basically is he worth the financial expense.............lab work ...test.........etc.................no he is not.............he is JUST a rooster...............so on that note i will rate you a 3 so you get the credit......you so deserve ........but your service is a sham.......when you found out he was rooster and you really couldn't do anything for him.........you could have said when i sent you the 2nd info..........there is really nothing one can do for your rooster.......but you pay and i will tell you that.....you are the smart one ...we are the fools...............
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I agree with your last comments...until you posted "but your service is a sham...when you found out he was (a) rooster and you really couldn't do anything for him..." That isn't really true, is it? I clearly told you what could be done and also made sure that you understood that it would entail costs that you might find unacceptable. Small flocks are becoming more and more common nowadays and the need for poultry vets has increased dramatically. Such a vet needs to treat not only the bird(s) but also consider the expense and time commitment a caretaker would incur when diagnosing problems correctly. Birds hide their illnesses well. This is because they'll be attacked by other birds if they appear ill. I hope you'll reconsider your thinking.

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