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Swollen eye (photo)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello, One of our new pullets (a cream legbar) developed a swollen eye. It's hard to diagnose. Any ideas?


We isolated her and started an antibiotic.


Thanks, Anne

Edited by stcroixusvi - 9/28/15 at 7:04pm
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Anyone know what this is?
post #3 of 7

Sorry i do not, but one of my chickens has a similar, although less pronounced swelling on her eye. I have done exactly the same as you - isolate and give antibiotics. She still seems fine in herself, but as i don't know what the problem is, i am reluctant to put her back with the flock.


Some help please!


Many thanks



Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
post #4 of 7

Did this just suddenly appear on her eye? Can you see any peck marks or stings? Usually swelling around an eye can be sinus infection from MG or coryza, and there can be pus inside that has to be removed. Tylan 50 injectable is fairly easy to give orally 1/2 ml up to 5 lb, 1 ml over 5 lb--twice a day for 5 days. If you prefer to inject it into a muscle, then use it once a day for 3 days. Coryza has a bad odor and thick nasal secretions, coughing, and noisy breathing and can be treated with sulfadimethoxine or sulmet. MG can have respiratory symptoms or just swelling and watery eye. Complications including E.coli and air sacculitis are secondary infections that can kill. These 2 diseases will make carriers of the whole flock for life. Read this info about the diseases:


Mycoplasma gallisepticum

Synonyms: MG, chronic respiratory disease (CRD), infectious sinusitis, mycoplasmosis

Species affected: chickens, turkeys, pigeons, ducks, peafowl, and passerine birds.

Clinical signs: Clinical symptoms vary slightly between species. Infected adult chickens may show no outward signs if infection is uncomplicated. However, sticky, serous exudate from nostrils, foamy exudate in eyes, and swollen sinuses can occur, especially in broilers. The air sacs may become infected. Infected birds can develop respiratory rales and sneeze. Affected birds are often stunted and unthrifty (see Table 1).

There are two forms of this disease in the turkey. With the "upper form" the birds have watery eyes and nostrils, the infraorbitals (just below the eye) become swollen, and the exudate becomes caseous and firm. The birds have respiratory rales and show unthriftiness.

With the "lower form", infected turkeys develop airsacculitis. As with chickens, birds can show no outward signs if the infection is uncomplicated. Thus, the condition may go unnoticed until the birds are slaughtered and the typical legions are seen. Birds with airsacculitis are condemned.

MG in chicken embryos can cause dwarfing, airsacculitis, and death.

Transmission: MG can be spread to offspring through the egg. Most commercial breeding flocks, however, are MG-free. Introduction of infected replacement birds can introduce the disease to MG-negative flocks. MG can also be spread by using MG-contaminated equipment.

Treatment: Outbreaks of MG can be controlled with the use of antibiotics. Erythromycin, tylosin, spectinomycin, and lincomycin all exhibit anti-mycoplasma activity and have given good results. Administration of most of these antibiotics can be by feed, water or injection. These are effective in reducing clinical disease. However, birds remain carriers for life.

Prevention: Eradication is the best control of mycoplasma disease. The National Poultry Improvement Plan monitors all participating chicken and turkey breeder flocks.


Infectious Coryza

Synonyms: roup, cold, coryza

Species affected: chickens, pheasants, and guinea fowl. Common in game chicken flocks.

Clinical signs: Swelling around the face, foul smelling, thick, sticky discharge from the nostrils and eyes, labored breathing, and rales (rattles—an abnormal breathing sound) are common clinical signs. The eyelids are irritated and may stick together. The birds may have diarrhea and growing birds may become stunted (see Table 1).

Mortality from coryza is usually low, but infections can decrease egg production and increase the incidence and/or severity of other diseases. Mortality can be as high as 50 percent, but is usually no more than 20 percent. The clinical disease can last from a few days to 2–3 months, depending on the virulence of the pathogen and the existence of other infections such as mycoplasmosis.

Transmission: Coryza is primarily transmitted by direct bird-to-bird contact. This can be from infected birds brought into the flock as well as from birds which recover from the disease which remain carriers of the organism and may shed intermittently throughout their lives. Birds risk exposure at poultry shows, bird swaps, and live-bird sales. Inapparent infected adult birds added into a flock are a common source for outbreaks. Within a flock, inhalation of airborne respiratory droplets, and contamination of feed and/or water are common modes of spread.

Treatment: Water soluble antibiotics or antibacterials can be used. Sulfadimethoxine (Albon®, Di-Methox™) is the preferred treatment. If it is not available, or not effective, sulfamethazine (Sulfa-Max®, SulfaSure™), erythromycin (gallimycin®), or tetracycline (Aureomycin®) can be used as alternative treatments. Sulfa drugs are not FDA approved for pullets older than 14 weeks of age or for commercial layer hens. While antibiotics can be effective in reducing clinical disease, they do not eliminate carrier birds.

Prevention: Good management and sanitation are the best ways to avoid infectious coryza. Most outbreaks occur as a result of mixing flocks. All replacement birds on "coryza-endemic" farms should be vaccinated. The vaccine (Coryza-Vac) is administered subcutaneously (under the skin) on the back of the neck. Each chicken should be vaccinated four times, starting at 5 weeks of age with at least 4 weeks between injections. Vaccinate again at 10 months of age and twice yearly thereafter.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

There is no drainage or discharge. I can't see a scratch specifically, but there is a black line that might be a scratch. She is one of 6 hens I introduced to our flock about a month ago. I got them from a very reputable breeder. I'll continue treating as though it is a scratch. She is isolated, but I would hate to think of my flock being infected....

post #6 of 7

Are you using an antibiotic in her water or something in a shot? If it is in the water, make sure that she is drinking well. If not, the Tylan 50 is easy to give orally. Let us know how she is doing. You may want to probe her eye a bit to see if you can get out the pus if there is any. Terramycin eye ointment is available at many feed stores and TSC (you may need to ask a clerk for it) and it can be used in the eye twice a day, but if the pus remains, it may not help.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am using an antibiotic in the water and giving it to her in an eye dropper. There is no change. The black line is gone. She does seem to be able to see better out of that eye but it's still very swollen. She has no other symptoms - no discharge, odor, sneezing, nothing - just the swollen eye. She has a great appetite, regular poops. I will try some Tylon 50. We've been putting an antibiotic on the swollen part of her eye.

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