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Any idea which antibiotic I should be insisting on for an ear infection?

I bought four new chickens from a local place that people locally seem to recommend. All seemed fine until a week later I found one fitting in the nesting box. She died about 20 minutes later. Three days later a second one died overnight. 

The other two seem to be ok (the 4th is positively thriving). Except one had a very crusty ear so I took her to the vet last week. Definitely an ear infection. Was given soluble Tylan which was supposed to be for four days. He told me to clean out the ear if I could and rinse with saline which I’ve been doing. Still not better I’ve actually upped the dose but still nothing. She seems fine and feisty apart from this and has shown no signs of discomfort. I’m having to keep her separate and bring her in at night which she’s starting to hate.
Dh is very unimpressed in how much money I’ve spent to end up with two chickens, one who still isn’t well.  

So basically, if I’m going back to the vet I want to know what I should be demanding? As I can’t afford to have thrown £100 at a chicken for it not to have worked. 

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Sorry to hear you have been struggling. But really I would go back to the breeder. Chickens shouldn’t die within the week. 
Also do go back to the vet. A good one will offer a follow up against a reasonable price. 
maybe he can do an ear swab and see if it is actually bacterial and not mites or even allergy.

There is no way for us to say what antibiotics or other treatments might work. We are not vets and haven’t seen the hen.

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I do go back to the breeder. Worse than useless and he gave me money back for one as claimed it wasn’t his fault.

It’s definitely an infection and not mites.

I’ve had a hen with ear mites before though admittedly it was about 5 years ago, it doesn’t seem anything like that.

The vets will charge me full wack again. 

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The antibiotic all depends on the type of bacteria. They are not all susceptible to the same antibiotic. Injecting an antibiotic might be more useful, as now you are also treating the unaffected hens. 
4 days doesn’t sound very long for an infection either, but I’m not a vet.

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I would have said that your little hen would have needed at least 5 days of antibiotics.

Mine have had Tylan twice before - the first time the vet gave me a little tiny bit, the second time, the vet ordered me my own container because he said they didn't use it much ( Ionly used a teeny bit of this - an expensive trip)

Unfortunately vets do seem seem to like to charge for follow up appointments - personally, I think a second appointment should be cheaper when they have asked you to come back.

Maybe you should phone the vet to say the Tylan hasn't worked and you want a different antibiotic. They should be able to work out what she needs from the appointment she already had and just charge you for those antibiotics.

Maybe @Lewis might be able to suggest what to do next especially if you add on a picture.

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I’d be going back to the breeder as two shouldn’t have died in as many weeks and the responsibility lays with them.

As for the vet/antibiotics, ring them to have a chat and discuss the treatment plan but you can’t demand anything from them and if you have another appointment you will be charged for their time; the same as you would at any solicitors, dentist, private GP etc.

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Hi Lewis, 

Long time...

I went back to the breeders. He denies any wrong doing and just fobs me off. I can’t force him to do anything without going small claims and I don’t have the time or energy, or money to do that. 

I’m a bit miffed because at the time I said to the vet that I find the soluble stuff never works and he said I should try it first. It was almost like he expected there to be a second. I can’t afford to just keep trying different things though. But then maybe it didn’t bode well when I turned up and said I’m pretty sure she had an ear infection and he didn’t seem to believe me only to then say she did. 

She is showing no other symptoms (which I know they can hide), but no head tilting, irritation, nothing. She’s as happy as Larry and definitely feisty as she now hates me as I’ve been washing it out every evening. But of course I can’t leave it. 

I think I’m going to try a different vet. 

(and not tell the husband) 

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Sometimes we do spend a lot of money on our pets.

I often get told it would have been cheaper to just get a new chicken.

And having paid out for a crop operation, was told that it would have been cheaper to leave her out for a fox (this made me pretty cross) - she will be 9 in August so definitely worth paying out for.

Unfortunately our pets can't choose for themselves a few pills for a head ache from the chemist, and have to rely on us to get them what they need from the vet, but it doesn't help if the vet doesn't know much about chickens. I do try and find the ones that have had chickens as pets for themselves, although they are few and far between.

I hope you manage to find a new vet that might be able to help.

Let us know how she gets on.


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On 4/30/2021 at 10:06 AM, bronze said:

I actually meant more, should I be insisting that treatment is injected etc 

I’ve never had much luck with soluble though in the last fifteen years I’ve not had to have many hens treated.

Last time I had a hen who needed antibiotics the vet actually told me she didn’t think much of the soluble ones and that I’d be much better injecting them and that’s what she gave me. I don’t remember the cost but for a weeks course it was certainly nowhere near £100

43 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

often get told it would have been cheaper to just get a new chicken.

That’s nearly always he case if a chicken needs a vet but absolutely never the point for those of us who keep chickens as pets.

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