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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20840
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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We have a 12 month old silkie hen who started with balance

Customer Question

We have a 12 month old silkie hen who started with balance problems yesterday. She also has green watery poop. We took her out of the coop today and put electrolytes in her water. She is eating and drinking but falls to the side when trying to walk. No respiratory symptoms. It has been very wet recently and the front of the coop flooded last week.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No wounds on her feet. Her toenails are a little long. I have not trimmed them yet because I did not want to cause more distress
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Jay - she had a "J" on her back as a chick
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Jay?
Customer: She did have an episode of wry neck at 3 weeks old that we corrected by hand feeding her baby vitamins, vit E and keeping her in a brooder by herself. Otherwise she has been very healthy and laying eggs without difficulty
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
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 today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me: How long has she had abnormal stool?Does she fall to just one side?Any head tilting or circling?Any weakness or abnormal use of either leg?Any change of toxic exposure (ie plant based, chemicals, medication, poisoned snails, etc) or head trauma?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Abnl stool just started Monday.
Balance problems to both sides.
No head tilting or circling.
She cannot walk correctly, like a "drunk" walk. Does not seem to be a weakness, more like no coordination.
No toxic exposure that we are aware of. No chemicals, not change in plants in yard etcThe only change is we recently had heavy rains and front part of coop flooded and she got wet.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** am glad to hear that she hasn’t had any toxic exposures that you are aware of. Furthermore, with her having more of a drunken gait after the diarrhea started and without signs suggesting a particular side, we’d be most wary of this being related to dehydration and low blood sugar secondary to the GI signs. Though if you think it is a lapse in coordination, then we’d need to also consider diffuse brain based issues (ie bleeds, swelling, viral/protozoa/bacterial infection). With that all in mind, we’d want to initiate some supportive care. Since there has been flooding and that can trigger flare-ups secondary to stress but also expose them to unexpected bacterial agents (ie salmonella, e.coli, pasteurella, etc) and even protozoa (ie coccidia, giardia, crytposporidia, etc); it would be ideal to consider having a fecal sample analysed. This can be submitted to her vet even without having her seen and would allow us to determine if there is an infectious process that needs targeted treatment to settle. Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** care, our first step is to isolate Jay. While all are likely exposed, we just want to lower the risk of the others developing signs if we can help it. From there, we’d want to monitor her feed/water intakes. Generally speaking, we need to keep an eye that she isn’t becoming dehydrated. She should take in ~0.5c plus an amount to match her diarrhea losses per day. So, as long as she is we won’t need to syringe fluids. Though since she will be losing electrolytes, do consider offering her water with electrolytes instead of plain water. There are readily available electrolyte solutions available on the market (ie. Vi-tal) or you can use Pedialyte or diluted Gatorade (diluted 50/50 with water). These will help replace the electrolytes that she will be losing along with water in her diarrhea.If you see any appetite loss, then we’d want to tempt her to eat. Further to pellets, you can use OTC Nutrical paste to supplement her diet (either mixed in food, water, or via syringe) to provide extra calories or nutrition. As well, you can offer fresh foods, high in nutrition and water content like cucumbers, Romaine, grapes, melon, oranges, etc. Hard boiled eggs mashed shell and all are extremely nutritious and delicious to birds. As well, cous cous, oatmeal, pumpkin, and brown rice are good for them and will help bulk up her stools to reduce diarrhea.Since her stool isn’t bloody, we can also start OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate. This is available at most pharmacies or you can get the powdered version at most farm supply stores. And while using that to slow diarrhea, we’d also want to consider bird specific probiotics (ie Avipro Plus) for her and the others to just help ensure their normal gut microflora (good bacteria) are at optimum to help fight this off.Finally, if you use these and we don’t see her gait improve as the diarrhea reduces, we would need to consider those brain based issues. In that case, we could start a broad spectrum antibiotic (ie Penicillin, Tylosin, Tetracycline) but with her previous history I would suggest a check up at that point. That way we can get to the root of all her signs but also make sure that this and the wryneck episode are not linked to an underlying viral issue or brain damage that may need to be addressed for her.Overall, I do find that Silkies are a very sensitive breed. So, this could be related to stress from the recent flood but we do have a few other considerations for her signs. So, we’d want to isolate Jay and start supportive care to tackle those more benign issues. Though if this lingers, then we’d have to consider having a stool test to what is triggering this as well as a check up to make sure there is nothing more underlying behind all her signs.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( take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.