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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30338
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a chicken who looks as though she is having

Customer Question

i have a chicken who looks as though she is having difficulty breathing. she is eating I have seen her not sure if she is drinking and her stool is very solid. we thought about 3 weeks ago she was egg bound because she looked very puffy and she still does do you know what I could do to see if she has an upper respitory infection or something else thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

The signs of respiratory infections in chickens can be quite varied. The expected symptoms of conjunctivitis, sneezing and nasal discharge, coughing, and an increased respiratory rate may or may not be present. Diarrhea might be the only symptom and some chickens will simply suffer peracute (sudden) death. This is the dilemma that poultry vets face regularly. Without a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and fecal tests plus cultures of the choana (the slit between the oral and nasal cavities) and cloaca (vent) we may never know why a hen is ill. Do you have an avian vet (please see here: available to you?

I understand, however, that it's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the bird'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. 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 your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin