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Her comb is more purple than red, diarrhea, opening of beak…

Her comb is more...

Her comb is more purple than red, diarrhea, opening of beak at times with a wheezing sound when she does that and loss of weight

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the bird's name and age?

Her comb has turned purple, she has diarrhea and occasionally open her beak with a wheezing sound. I'm not sure if she has lost weight but felt skinnier.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?

She is not eating that well.

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Answered in 41 minutes by:
3/10/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,940
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The bird is about 2 1/2 years old.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your hen. The purple discoloration indicates cyanosis - a lack of oxygen to her tissues - which most often occurs with respiratory infections involving the lower respiratory tract - air sacs and lungs. Her wheezing when gaping is consistent with a respiratory infection. Diarrhea is a symptom of some respiratory infectious agents that can affect other tissues in the body (sepsis/widespread infection) such as paromyxovirus, avian influenza, and chicken coryza (Avibacterium paragallinarum). It's best to identify which infectious agent is present but you'll need an avian vet (www.aav.org) to do so.

The FDA has pulled all antibiotics off the over counter shelves save injectable tylosin in the form of Tylan-50 which is given into the breast muscle once daily for 5-7 days at a dose of 5 - 15 mg per pound of body weight. It's a reasonable antibiotic for such a hen but it can't address viral or fungal infections. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow me to speak to customers by phone in this venue but other experts in this category may be able to assist you in this regard. Please let me know if you'd like another expert to do so and I'll opt out of this conversation. Please stay in the conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Should I keep her isolated from the other hens?

That's best but, regretfully, they've all been exposed and need to be monitored for similar symptoms. Do you have a sizeable flock?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No, just six. Are the eggs compromised? I’ll get a vet Monday and see if I can get a diagnosis and I guess I should treat all of them.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Or if it’s the avian flu should they be destroyed?

Thank you. Yes, you mustn't eat her eggs at this time. It would be elective because you don't have a sizeable flock but necropsy should be considered if she fails further or dies. Her carcass would need to be refrigerated (not frozen) until brought to a vet who can send the carcass to their reference laboratory to have a necropsy performed. Your county poultry extension office or veterinary teaching hospital pathology service are other resources for you. Necropsy is invaluable particulary in large flocks which can be started on specific treatment predicated upon the finding in the necropsy. If avian influenza were diagnosed, yes, your birds would be sacrificed and quarantine procedures initiated. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for your help. Didn’t know that keeping chickens would be this painful when faced with losing one. I’ll follow up on all your advice. Thank you.

You're quite welcome. I understand. You're not alone. With the popularity of keeping chickens exploding, caretakers are being faced with new and unexpected challenges. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,940
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
Dr. Michael Salkin and 87 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Ken Takeshita
Ken Takeshita, Poultry Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 0
Verified
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

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Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin
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Dr. Michael Salkin
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Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

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