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Chicken has cough and keeps shaking her head. Age about 3 or…

Customer Question
Chicken has cough and...

Chicken has cough and keeps shaking her head

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the bird's name and age?

Age about 3 or 4 years She is a carnation sussex

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the bird's name?

No name

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

Congested sounding cough, some respirations girgley (sp?) She is eating and drinking Not lethargic. Several other birds in her pen are gargle but not coughing Did not notice anything yesterday

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 4 hours by:
1/18/2018
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 35,558
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to 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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Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. 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: www.aav.org) 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 a 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. For example, coughing is seen with the wet form of poxvirus, paramyxovirus, avian influenza, laryngotracheitis, chlamydiosis, and mycoplasmosis.

If you have no access to an avian vet, presumptive therapy is now limited by the FDA to over the counter tylosin in the form of injectable Tylan-50 dosed at 5 - 15 mg/lb into the breast muscle daily for 5-7 days. There's no egg withdrawal for this antibiotic. To treat more than one bird, however, dosing with medicated feed or wate makes more sense. Regretfully, these antibiotics needs to be prescribed by an attending vet. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
What could the frequent shaking of the head indicate?
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I see that when sinuses are infected. I assume that chickens suffer from sinus headaches just as I do. All of the differentials I posted can also cause sinusitis. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I understand your answer. It makes sense. I did not think of sinuses. Thank you. We have had quite cold weather with a few warm days here and there. My older birds are having a hard time.
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I can imagine. Curiously, last night I had a sinus headache for the first time in a long time.

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