We have recently updated this site to improve security. As a result you may need to reset your password next time you log in. Simply click the Reset Password link and follow the instructions. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Canker?

sueonmullsueonmull Member
edited December 2008 in Poultry Health and Welfare
About three weeks ago I noticed that one of my bantams was looking a bit forlorn and not eating. Poops OK and no dirty bottom. Crop was empty. Breathing OK. Eyes bright. Immediately gave her Baytril and started hand feeding to give me time to look through forums for help. She had been wormed (Panacur) about a month previously with all the others.
Next day noted yellowish build up inside her mouth which I believe suggests canker. Stopped the Baytril, as I'd read this could make it worse, and started on Daktarin Oral gel whilst I waited for Flagyl tablets to arrive.
Took a long time for the tablets to come but, after 3 weeks on just Daktarin and hand feeding she was brighter, certainly no worse, and her mouth looked cleaner. Her crop is emptying OK over night. She is interested in food but just picking up bits and not always eating them.
She's been on Flagyl for 3 days now (still hand feeding) and there has been no change - perhaps her mouth a bit worse.
She's on 50mg Flagyl once a day and I'm planning on keeping her on it for 10 days. Have seen various dosages but this seemed to be about average and I didn't want to risk over dosing (though appreciate underdosing could be just as bad).
Would there be any problems with using Daktarin oral gel for her mouth at the same time as Flagyl?
How long before results with the Flagyl could be expected, can I continue for longer than 10 days. Would a higher dose be required, how easy to overdose?
I am missing anything obvious?
Appreciate any advice please.

Comments

  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited December 2008
    Hi Sue

    I think your right about her having Canker...
    But I also think your under a misconception that the Canker is just in the mouth and that is your major concern.... it isn't

    Maybe I should explain a bit about Canker...
    Canker is also called: Canker, Roup, Trichomoniasis, Mold infection of the crop (Mycosis), Thrush, Candidiasis, Moniliasis, Sour Crop

    You need to treat Canker with not only a drug that will kill trichomonads but also antibotics such as Doxytetracycline and Tylan (Doxy-T)

    Drug resistance is always a possibility. I have not seen this with Doxy-T, as yet, probably because Doxy-T already contains two very effective drugs and so an organism would need to develop a multiple resistance for it not to work. If you feel that Turbosole is not giving quick clearance of trichomonads you have three options:

    1. Use Turbosole for longer, ie 3 - 4 days

    2. Substitute every third or fourth treatment with another anticanker drug - All birds can be picked up for 2 days in a row and given 1 Spartrix or ¹ Flagyl tablet each day, or alternatively a 2-day course of Emtryl can be given in the water. Extreme care, however, must be taken using Emtryl during hot weather.

    3. Turbosole can be combined with other drugs - Turbosole can be placed in the water and at the same time all birds are given a ¹ Flagyl or 1 Spartix each daily for 2 days in a row.

    Of the three alternatives, I usually recommend option 2.

    Nature of the disease

    The disease canker is caused by a protozoan Trichomonas columbae. This is a microscopic single-celled organism. It lives within the digestive tract of birds (in particular pigeons), in particular the throat and crop, and can also involve associated areas such as the bile duct. The organism is fragile in the environment, only surviving for a few minutes once outside the bird.

    This helps with control of the disease and means that the birds cannot become infected from the the immediate environment as happens with other diseases such as worms and paratyphoid.

    The organism (trichomonad) requires intimate contact between birds to be spread and is usually transmitted by saliva or pigeon milk.

    So if you have other birds (wild ones) coming into your yard and they have Canker and drink and your birds drink from the same area at the same time .. its passed onto them

    Saliva contaminates food and water. As a pigeon drinks, the organism swims away from its beak and, when another pigeon or bird comes to drink, it not only drinks the water but also the trichomonads there.

    When a pigeon sorts through grain, each dropped grain contains a small amount of saliva. In this way, the disease can also be spread through a feed hopper.

    There is no drug that by itself will cure canker.

    It is a matter of using medication correctly so that the birds can establish a strong natural immunity to the disease. It is this natural immunity that, in the longer term, protects them from the disease.

    Signs of infection can be subtle and quite varied. Typical signs that would alert the fancier to its possible presence include:

    1. 'Penguin' posture - Associated with proventricular (glandular stomach) and crop pain. Birds will lean back on their tails and gulp. Noticed particularly after eating and drinking.

    2. 'Dry feather' - Due to lack of down feather drop and bloom production.

    3. 'Leady' feel - Affected birds will not come into condition and feel heavy in the hand.

    4. Wet dropping - Inflammation in the digestive tract creates a thirst, leading to elevated water intake and urine production. This produces a clear watery rim around the dropping.

    5. Green droppings - Due to digestive tract irritation and in some birds decreased food intake.

    6. Inflammation in the throat - Tonsillitis and increased clear to grey bubbly mucus.

    7. Interference with crop function - Delayed crop emptying and sometimes vomiting.

    8. Increased food consumption

    9. Dry yellow canker - In birds of any age, this tells you that many other birds have elevated trichomonad levels, which have not yet passed the threshold for yellow material to form.

    10. Indirect signs - respiratory problems that respond poorly to medication or quickly relapse, a dramatic improvement in the birds' general vigor in response to anticanker medication are all suggestive.

    Definitive diagnosis, however, depends on microscopic examination of a crop flush. Microscopic changes that are suggestive of the problem also develop in the dropping,. These changes are associated with the stress of the disease and include elevated E. coli and yeast levels. These changes, however, do not occur in all birds.

    Most canker lesions are found in the bird's throat and are often associated with their tonsils here. However, canker can affect a variety of other sites

    1. Crop... Called Sour Crop
    located at the base of the crop or within the glandular stomach (proventriculus). As the nodule increases in size, it squashes the windpipe making breathing difficult and blocking the crop outlet. This interferes with crop emptying, leading to bacterial infection of the crop and secondary starvation and dehydration due to the crop contents not being able to pass into the bird's system. Usually by the time the bird is noticed to be unwell, the condition has passed the point where it will respond to treatment. Deaths often occur due to the nodule growing through the stomach wall, leading to stomach contents leaking into the chest. Alternatively, the nodule can damage the heart or large blood vessels within the chest, causing sudden and severe bleeding. Such birds are often found dead on the floor with blood coming from the mouth. It is always worth attempting to treat valuable birds and I suggest :
    • Manually empty the crop
    • Give electrolytes in water
    • Treat bird with 3 drops Baytril twice daily
    • Treat bird with 1 tablet of Spartrix or a 1/4 Flagyl tablet or 0.5 ml Flagyl syrup once daily
    • Separate unwell bird from loft mates


    2. Cloacal canker
    Affected birds are usually noticed to be a bit quiet or their growth is slightly retarded compared to others of their age. On examination of the cloaca, a firm lump can be felt in the skin above it
    Affected birds should be treated daily with either Spartrix or Flagyl, usually for 3 - 4 days, by which time the nodule has usually localized and can be expressed by gentle but firm pressure through the cloaca.


    3. Canker nodule in throat or crop

    Older youngsters or mature birds with a reasonably strong natural immunity will often try and localize a canker infection, leading to nodule formation. If in the throat, these nodules can usually be seen or if in the crop wall can usually be felt as firm mobile lumps ranging in size from 0.5 cm to 4 cm in diameter. Affected birds are treated daily with Spartrix or Flagyl tablets. Once localized (usually 1 - 4 days), throat lesions can usually be teased free with a cotton bud or crop lesions pinched free into the crop. Occasionally, surgical removal is necessary. Premature attempts at removal usually result in excessive bleeding.



    4. Internal canker

    Canker can infect internal sites associated with the digestive tract, notably the bile duct, which drains bile from the liver into the bowel. Birds with internal canker nodules usually display non-specific signs of illness, including weight loss, lethargy, reluctance to eat and green diarrhoea. The final diagnosis is often made at autopsy.



    5. Sinus canker

    Sometimes canker organisms can invade the sinuses through the slot in the roof of the mouth and form a canker nodule here. The birds present with a firm swelling across the forehead between the base of the cere and the eyes. Anticanker medication is given for 4 - 5 days to kill the active infection. After this, lancing the area by making an incision in the skin over the most prominent area of the nodule enables the canker nodule to be expressed. Once the nodule is removed, it is best to continue with anticanker medication for several days. Healing is usually uneventful.



    6. Other sites

    It is important not to confuse infection in other parts of the body with canker. Trichomonads, partially because of their fragility, can only infect the digestive tract and associated structures. Pigeons are very restricted in their response to infection. Their white blood cells lack many of the enzymes (called lysosomes) that are normally found in mammals and therefore cannot produce pus. For this reason, no matter where the site of infection, the resultant reaction often looks like a canker infection. Bacterial (or other) infections of the skin, feet and eye, etc. for this reason are often confused with canker because of their appearance.

    Ok... that explains Canker and where you can find it and what to look for:
    Sometimes it a bacterial infection sometimes it a fungal infection so its always a good idea to treat for both... Flagyl and Nystatin

    A friend of mine wrote and put :
    Huckleberrycat: wrote >
    I could never find any Nystatin, but I used Pro Biotic for horses which has the good lacto bacteri stuff. Also, yogurt and applesauce and garlic oil. I had to feed these with a syringe.


    I ordered some Pegosan from Siegel's Pigeons to take care of the suspected canker.
  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    Thanks for coming back so quickly Sandy.
    I was aware that canker can go through the system but couldn't find anywhere near as much detail as you have supplied which is brilliant, thank you. She's not showing any signs of sour crop as yet, the crop is empty in the morning when I feed her first thing then I give her another feed before she goes to roost. She is drinking OK for herself.
    I am currently using Flagyl, not Turbisol, and will try to pick up a prescription for nystatin hopefully tomorrow.
    You mentioned 1 tablet of Flagyl a day - the ones I have are 200mg, I'm cutting a tablet into 4 and giving a 50mg dose per day, does that mean I am underdosing for a bantam.
    What dose of nystatin would you recommend I should be using with the Flagyl and for how long?
    Sorry for all the questions but we're a bit out in the sticks here and not many people treat their chickens so the vets don't have much experience.
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited December 2008
    Nystatin
    at 220 ppm in the feed.- For fungal infections - 1-2 tbs/5lb feed: 7 – 14 days -
    Do not use in conjunction with tetracycline, calcium content may interfere with absorption - liquid form > One ml per 300 gram body weight.
    Break the dosage up into two applications in any one day - Nystatin is another drug that is used commonly for fungal infections and is quite cheap at Chemists or drug stores.
    You could look into giving her that- if it's a full sized hen (Isa Brown size) then give about 4 cc, twice a day. If your hen is leghorn sized, 3 cc, twice a day. 1 cc twice a day if she's a bantam.




    Metronidazole (Flagyl)
    injections or pills for 5 to 7 days - For bacterial infections - can be administered at 60 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, for 5 consecutive days

    • Treat bird with 1 tablet of Spartrix (bantam) 1 ½ tablets (Standard) 2 tablets (Large) or a 1/4 Flagyl tablet (Bantam) 1 tablet (standard) 1 ½ tablets (large) or 0.5 ml Flagyl syrup (bantam) 0.10 ml (Standard) 0.15 ml (large) once daily

    [FONT=&quot]• Separate unwell bird from flock

    [/FONT] [FONT=&quot]If you can't find any Nystatin, use Pro Biotic for horses which has the good lacto bacteri stuff. Also, yogurt and applesauce and garlic oil. I had to feed these with a syringe.

    I think you can also order some Pegosan from Siegel's Pigeons to take care of the suspected canker.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]
    Hope this helps you

  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    Thanks Sandy
    I'm picking up some nystatin today.
    Thinking of the others, and for the future, is there any routine treatment I can give to prevent my girls getting canker in the future - like I think they do for racing pigeons?
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited December 2008
    Yes...

    I use a gardening product called ..... Copper Sulphate... also known as ... Bluestone

    No additives but the Copper Sulphate
    It corrects copper deficiencies common in acid soils... and lucky for us
    It kills Canker nasties

    NEVER PUT THIS OUT IN POWDER FORM...... 1 gram will kill a bird if they eat it as a powder

    Mix into the drinking water for 4 to 7 days .. remove all other sources of water

    Mixture:

    15 gal water
    1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 oz (28.3 grams) Copper Sulphate

    **

    68 litres water
    1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    28.3 grams Copper Sulphate

    ***

    2.4 litres of water
    1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 gram Copper Sulphate


    ***

    5 grams to a teaspoon depending on the teaspoon.. some only hold 3 grams

    If you find the birds are not drinking the water.. get some Cranberry Juice and add a little to the water to make it more palatable for them

    4 days of treatment for just making sure they don't have an Canker in their system
    7 days of treatment if you think they DO have a Canker in their system and it needs to be treated

    Also when you treat your birds any of the pigeons or doves that drink the water are also treated.. so your fixing them up too.. and they then won't pass on the canker to your birds.. so its a win win situation

    ****

    Just a bit more information if you want to read it and save it onto your computer

    ***


    Copper Sulfate Medication How to Make up

    Used for treatment of: Canker, Roup, Trichomoniasis, Mold infection of the crop (Mycosis), Thrush, Candidiasis, Moniliasis, Sour crop

    If you have a bird that is suffering form what you think is a crop impaction, then more than likely she also will have one of the above problems, the crop impaction symptoms could have been caused by a small canker in the crop this then causes a chain reaction of food rolling into a ball in the crop and the impaction occurs

    In some cases what seems like crop impaction is the canker on the outlet to the gizzard stopping anything from passing through… You end up with a mushy crop

    Use the solution as a "follow-up" treatment after flushing with Epsom salt solution

    Epsom Salt Solution

    0.45 kg (1 lb) Epsom Salt per 7 kg (15 lb) feed

    -or-

    0.45 kg (1 lb) Epsom Salt per 23 litre’s (5 gallons) water for 1 day

    Give the Epson salt feed mixture as the sole feed source for a one-day period.

    This feed can be used only if the birds are eating.

    If the birds are not eating, use the water solution.

    If the birds are unable to eat or drink by themselves, use individual treatment with:

    1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt in 30 ml of water (1 fl oz water)

    See Crop Tube and Insertion below - on how to administer this solution…

    Do not just pour it down the bird’s throat

    Copper Sulfate Medication

    Use 1 gm (0.035 oz) of Copper Sulfate (bluestone) to 2 litres (3.52 pints) of water – be very careful about the measurements of the Copper Sulfate too much will kill your bird

    Add 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

    Mix in some Cranberry Juice to make it more palatable for the birds to drink and disguise the taste of the copper sulfate and vinegar

    Give this medicated water as the sole source of drinking water for 4 to 7 days, in some cases you may need to extend this time until you feel that the disease outbreak is over

    Do not use metal containers only plastic ones

    Put the mixture out fresh each day

    If you choose not to use the Copper Sulfate you can use

    1. Nystatin at 220 ppm in the feed.
    2. Carnidazole (Spartrix) pills for 5 days
    3. Metronidazole (Flagyl) injections or pills for 5 to 7 days

    This is just some extra information to help you better understand why you are doing what your doing

    ASTRINGENT SOLUTION

    This solution can be used to treat young birds that show non-typical disease symptoms of poor growth.

    The solution can also be given to birds suffering from respiratory diseases that produce a large amount of mucus exudate.

    This solution will help "cut through" the mucus and allow it to be expelled easier.
    Two quarts of apple cider vinegar diluted into 100 gallons of water
    (4 teaspoons/gallon)

    The tannin in the apple cider vinegar aide in removing any mucus or coating from the mouth, throat, or intestinal tract.

    Nutrients and drugs are more readily absorbed. Offer this solution as the only drinking water source for two to three day intervals.
  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    Thank you Sandy, I wll have a good read through.
    We have loads of pigeons and wild birds about so I will start dosing all the water bowls round and about.
  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    Connie is still not eating for herself and not picking up as much as I'd hoped (she is still wandering about and otherwise looks OK). I was able to tease away some of the yellow build up in her mouth with very little blood so I presume it's ready to come away now. She seemed a bit more comfortable afterwards and was swallowing better when I hand fed her. I am concerned about the build up that is out of reach or that I can't see - will it come away by itself at some stage? Will continue with the Flagyl and nystatin and see how we go.
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited December 2008
    What you seeing in her mouth is just a symptom of Canker.. the main Canker may not be there it may be someplace else this is why you may not be seeing any improvement

    They are nasty things if they get a hold on the birds and can kill them if they obstruct anything inside them.. or they rupture..

    Make sure you only give her soft foods to eat.. rolled oats mixed with apple puree (no sugar) and add some yoghurt the one with the active culture in it ... don't make it really sloppy just wet so she can easily digest it ...

    NO whole grains or anything hard at this point
  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    Thanks again Sandy. She is getting oats/pellets/grated apple/honey in a soft mash with the yoghurt. She takes it well and her crop is always empty before I feed her. No sign of sloppy poos so her digestion seems OK.
    Her breathing is OK (ie not noisy) but she tends to keep her beak slightly open, I don't know if this means anything?
    Her 10 days on Flagyl will be up in 2 days time and I thought I would then start her on Spartrix, 1 x 10mg tablet a day for 5 days, would it be worth trying a higher dosage? I will keep her on the Nystatin. After that I don't know whether I should go back to another course of Flagyl or what.
    I am happy to go on hand feeding her for as long as she needs it, I just hope that whatever lesions she has will recede. She's not showing much improvement but she's not deteriorating either so I'm remaining positive.
    I haven't been able to get any copper sulphate to treat the others but will give them a single tablet of the Spartrix which I understand from the supplier would be a suitable preventative dose, although the product isn't licensed for chickens.
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited December 2008
    sueonmull wrote:
    Thanks again Sandy. She is getting oats/pellets/grated apple/honey in a soft mash with the yoghurt. She takes it well and her crop is always empty before I feed her. No sign of sloppy poos so her digestion seems OK.

    Good ... what do her droppings look like... give me color and thickness and if any urates (white on top)

    Her breathing is OK (ie not noisy) but she tends to keep her beak slightly open, I don't know if this means anything?

    Means she is either not able to breath easily or she is under stress... probably both
    Her 10 days on Flagyl will be up in 2 days time and I thought I would then start her on Spartrix, 1 x 10mg tablet a day for 5 days, would it be worth trying a higher dosage? I will keep her on the Nystatin.

    No keep her on the right dosage.. a higher dose of this stuff is lethal..

    and Yes.. keep her on the Nystatin..
    After that I don't know whether I should go back to another course of Flagyl or what.

    Cross that bridge when you come to it .. see what her quality of life is like and make a decision then.. not now..

    She may bounce out of it ..and pick up .. or go down hill...

    As this may not be Canker .. it may be something else causing like a thrush in her and this is being brought on my stress due to a growth or something... your doing great.. just hang in there with her ... give her time to respond ... sometimes these things are tuff little nasties... and take a bit longer on the meds to have them really take effect.. also you don't know how long she has had them.. they may be quite a size inside her...
    I am happy to go on hand feeding her for as long as she needs it, I just hope that whatever lesions she has will recede.

    Keep her on the meds... and if it is a Canker it will recede.. may just take a little longer than normal that's all

    I can remember helping a lady who had 5 birds who had repeated Coccidiosis hitting them... I worked with her on a daily basis on another site every day... she posted me pictures of the birds droppings every day for 2 weeks... ver dedicated .... it took a few changes to her coop area and a lot of medication and love and dedication and she and her birds beat it...

    So just hang in there and don't panic... don't go overdosing thinking it will help.. it won't it will make her worse... keep on doing what you've been doing.. your doing a fantastic job..
    She's not showing much improvement but she's not deteriorating either so I'm remaining positive.

    So far so good.... it means the meds are working but slowly..
    I haven't been able to get any copper sulphate to treat the others but will give them a single tablet of the Spartrix which I understand from the supplier would be a suitable preventative dose, although the product isn't licensed for chickens.

    I know many things are not licensed for chickens... but we need to give them something don't we..

    Hang in there..
  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    Sandy, you're a star - thanks for all the support.
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited December 2008
    I really need to know
    what do her droppings look like... give me color and thickness and if any urates (white on top) please
  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    I'll watch her tomorrow and let you know.
  • sueonmullsueonmull Member
    edited December 2008
    Sandy, collected a sample first thing this morning, I'm struggling to put a photo on the forum so will attach to a PM.
    The colour is khaki and it is firm and formed, looking a bit like a snail shell, with a splash of white chalky looking liquid on the top.
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited December 2008
    Got the email thank you Sue... looks pretty normal... was expecting something different to be honest.. but looks ok..

    Thank you for sending it to me ..
  • Hi Sandy & sueonmull good day
    I need help regarding CRANKER

    Dear friends I need solution to cure this CRANKER is affected one of my pet chicken in throat he cannot take food properly day by day it's spread so please suggest a curable medicine and precautions as soon as possible
Sign In or Register to comment.