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One of my 6 chickens has had watery diarrhea for 2+ weeks…

One of my 6 chickens...
One of my 6 chickens has had watery diarrhea for 2+ weeks now. She eats and drinks okay but will not tussle with others for treats. She sleeps alone now on a low roost. Her stool is mostly water (except for cecal droppings) and has some green (grass) and tiny circles of what looks similar to PVC shavings. 3 weeks ago she was off balance for almost a week then recovered. What do you think?
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Answered in 19 hours by:
1/3/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,224
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Deborah, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. May I have an update on your hen, please?

Regretfully, such watery diarrhea isn't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. Primary gastrointestinal problems and problems outside the GI tract can result in diarrhea. Primary problems include bacterial, fungal, viral, or toxic enteritis (inflammation of the intestines); intestinal parasites (unlikely if your other birds aren't diarrheic), heavy metal poisoning, or an intestinal foreign body. Problems outside the GI tract include liver disease and systemic infections such a paramyxovirus, chlamydiosis, and mycoplasmosis.

Without the aid of an avian vet (www.aav.org) we can't know how to help her. The FDA has removed all antibiotics for birds from over the counter shelves save tylosin which wouldn't be my initial choice for such a hen in any event.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
She is still feeling punky. Goes inside earlier than others at night. My neighbor, a non avian vet, found a single spongyloid in her fecal several weeks ago. What should I do for her with this limited info? Does the early imbalance come into play? She's molting now.

Molting can be a stressful time for these birds and may be a factor in bringing an infection out from its carrier state. I'll find a few worms and coccidia in most every chicken but it's not unreasonable to worm her for strongyles (and other nematodes) with an over the counter product available in your local feed store such as Wazine (piperazine/not approved in the USA for birds producing eggs for human consumption but commonly used), hygromycin B (a withdrawal time of three days is required/impractical for one bird), or fenbendazole (not approved but commonly used) in the form of Panacur available in pet/feed stores and dosed at 15 mg per pound of body weight daily for 3-5 days or as a single dose of 30 mg per pound of body weight, or added to the drinking water at 125 mg/L for five days which would treat all of your flock. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I read not to use the Panacur while molting or the feathers come in twisted. Spirals. Do I need to toss eggs after Panacur?

Because fenbendazole isn't approved in the USA for use in birds, there's no posted egg withdrawal period; hence, it would be prudent to discard eggs for a couple of weeks which should suffice considering the pharmacokinetics of that drug in chickens. I'm not aware of such an effect on feathers of chickens with the use of fenbendazole. I've seen reports in psittacines (parakeets, parrots), however. I would be pleased to review any literature you've found to that effect if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,224
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for your help

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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Hi Deborah,

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
Dr. Michael Salkin
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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