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She is lethargic, puffy and does not look like she feels…

Hi she is lethargic...

Hi she is lethargic, puffy and does not look like she feels good. It has been about a week or more

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age?

Her name is ***** ***** she is about 3 or 4 years old. She stopped laying.

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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/12/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 33,254
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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I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Regretfully, fluffing (an attempt to conserve heat) and lethargy can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. Should you have such a flock, your best course of action might be to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: www.aav.org) for help in that regard. Are there any other signs that have arisen - conjunctivitis, facial swelling, pale or swollen comb/wattles, nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, regurgitation/vomiting, increased respiratory rate, coelomic ("abdominal") swelling, lameness, squatting frequently as if to lay?

It's best to bring her inside as shown here: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/02/how-to-help-sick-chicken.html

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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi I have been so busy with work I have not had the chance to reach back out.
My bird still looks bad. She is always fluffy and her comb is sideways and very red almost a little purple in areas. Her head shrinks down into her body conserving hear perhaps. She is drinking and eating some. I have left her outside with the one other hen (i only have the two).The weather is mild and I thought she would do better outside with her girlfriend. What do you think? There is no sign of any respiratory problems. Would antibiotics help? How can I get antibiotics without bringing her into a vet and being charged a lot. I gave her some vitamins/probiotics in some clean water. maybe lameness but not really squatting. no drainage anywhere. I haven't checked her stomach and I haven't noticed any vomiting. Thank you

I understand. That sideways comb indicates dehydration (as does the the deep red coloration). I don't see any reason not to allow her to be with her friend. If she's contagious her friend has already be exposed. I can't know if an antibiotic would help as I can't know what ails her without a hands-on exam and testing. Regretfully, the FDA has removed all over the counter antibiotics designed for poultry save tylosin in the form of injectable Tylan-50 and I can't see injecting her daily for 5-7 days without knowing if it would be of value. I wish I could be more specific for you but these birds don't allow that in most cases. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for your fast reply. This is certainly not sudden and she has stayed the same for awhile now. Is there anything else you would suggest I do besides the vitamins and probiotic? I hope she is not suffering. do you force more water down that doesn't seem the answer.

If she's isn't eating well, making a gruel from her pellets/crumbles/feed and carefully introducing it into her mouth is the most balanced manner in which to get nutrition/fluids into her. Tubing the gruel into her crop is best but only if you're practiced in doing so.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
What is tubing exactly?

Threading a feeding tube down her esophagus into her crop and then attaching a feeding syringe to the tube and pushing gruel down into her. Don't attempt this unless you're practiced in doing so. The risk is pushing food down her trachea (windpipe) instead which would be quickly lethal.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
okay, thank you. I won't do that. I guess just wait and see if she recovers.

You're quite welcome. 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.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Goodmorning,
I just checked her and her stomach feels fine but she has diarrhea. What do you think? thanks!

Thank you for the update. Regretfully, diarrhea is yet another nonspecific sign in chickens. It can indicate disorders in the gastrointestinal tract such as bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections and disorders elsewhere in her body that also affect the GI tract. You can treat for parasites without the aid of an avian vet. Your local feed store carries roundwormers for poultry such as Wazine and Corid which is used to address coccidia.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 33,254
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
Dr. Michael Salkin and 87 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. 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.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
HI Dr Salkin,
I brought my hen inside. I thought maybe she was feeling a little better but not so much and it got a little colder today. She had a huge clue of poop under her so I soaked it and washed it off. It was very gritty like hard grit. She is now in a kennel. It doesn't look so good. :(

Thak you for the update. Yes, diarrheic dropping tend to accumulate on the vent. I wish I could be more specific for you but it just isn't possible from here.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 33,254
33,254 Satisfied Customers
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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