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Rooster with swollen ear lobe

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We are new to chickens and our 6month old rooster has a very swollen ear lobe. It's got black scaly stuff on it too that isnt normally there. I have no idea what it is and he wont let me catch him to investigate because he hates me and attacks me any chance he gets. Does this look familiar to anybody? How do i treat him? I'll upload a pic in just a minute. Phone isn't cooperating.
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

The first photo was yesterday and the other 2 are from just now. The black scabby spot has grown substantially. I cannot find a vet to take him in to and the one I found who is willing to see a rooster is on vacation this entire coming week.  My hubby took a good look around in his ear just now and the ear itself is fine. But he sure got mad when the hubs squeezed on this ear lobe. We are considering starting him on antibiotics (tetracycline is all we have) and/or lancing it to relieve the pressure and treat it with antibiotic ointment. How do we go about this? I don't have the foggiest idea what the best course of treatment would be. Help please!!!

post #3 of 10

A picture would really help. He could have an ear infection which can occur from a bacterial or fungal infection, or a mite infestation. Sometimes a respiratory disease may also cause ear swelling, but the ear can be infected itself too. Some people clean the ears out with peroxide or Vetericyn, and you can use plain Neosprin ointment in the canal. If there is thickened pus inside it can turn solid, and needs to be removed. Some use antibiotics, but a vet is always a good thing if possible. Here are some links to read and we will wait to see the picture:

post #4 of 10

Okay, I was slow in posting, and after seeing your pictures, it does look like more of an infected earlobe, not the ear. He may have developed an abscess from a peck or an injury. Have you seen any fowl pox scabs on him or any others? I would go to Tractor Supply and get some disposable scalpels to lance it. You could also use a sharp knife, exacto knife, and squeeze the pus out which might be hardened. Flush it out with Vetericyn or hydrogen peroxide. Then apply some Vetericyn or plain Neosporin. 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Nope, no fowl pox on any of my girls. This is the only spot on him too. Just after I posted the pics, a tiny spot on the top of the black area tore loose and it looks like it may have halfway drained already. We don't have any sharp enough blades to lance it yet but we will be just down the road from tractor supply first thing in the morning so I can pick some up. I was thinking it could be an infected scrape or something but would that explain the black scabby part doubling in size overnight? Do you think I'll need to give him antibiotics too? If we lance it, do I need to keep him separated from the girls while it heals or do you think he'll be fine back in the run with the rest of them?

post #6 of 10

Is there any way that you can cage him in the coop with the girls? If the abscess has already broke open, you may only need to open it further with tweezers or another object. Antibiotics probably aren't a must if the wound gets flushed out well. Amoxicillin or Clavamox would probably be good, but those require a prescription. You can buy amoxicillin for fish online and maybe in pet stores--it's called FishMox, and if you got 250 mg tablets, you could give 1/2 tablet twice a day in food or orally.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I don't have a way to cage him in the coop. We have baby gates we were gonna set up and cover in the garage if necessary. 

I was wrong about the abscess bursting on it's own. I must have looked at it from a different angle because the hubs went out to check him again and said it was exactly the same as it was earlier. So we are planning on stopping by tractor supply in the morning. I've got peroxide, iodine, triple antibiotic ointment (no pain relief kind), tweezers, gloves, q-tips, what else might i need??? I don't think we'll be able to bandage it once we cut into it because i can't see wrapping something around his neck and risking choking him.

I do have liquid amox/clav in the fridge from oral surgery i had last week. it's 500 mg per 10 ml. Do you think I could give him some of that rather than waiting on stuff in the mail?

So when we cut into this mess, do we need to try to remove all the black scabby part, or just try to drain what it plugged up beneath that? I don't want to remove too much tissue. Also, won't this hurt like hell??? I think that's the part that is freaking me out the most.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well we just lanced it and there was no puss at all, just a boatload of blood clots in there. We've doctored him up real good with iodine and peroxide, filled his lobe with abx ointment and he's happy as can be. We're gonna keep a close eye on him the next few days and keep flushing the area with peroxide daily and hopefully he will heal up soon. If not, then I'll keep hunting for a vet.
post #9 of 10

You don't have to keep using the peroxide if there is no puss, so just use the antibiotic ointment. I would hold of on the oral antibiotics, but if you do use them, I would give 2 ml 3 times a day, or 3 ml twice a day in his food. With the absence of pus, it may just have been an injury with a hematoma or blood. I'm glad he is feeling well. The black scabby part will probably dry up and fall off.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for you advice. I really hope it was just an injury. The area around the scab looked so bruised which makes sense with all the clots we flushed out. It's still swollen but it was just cut into yesterday. Thankfully the scab isn't growing any more. I just hope it wasn't something cancerous, but a hematoma makes so much more sense. I've started putting oregano oil into their water as a precaution rather than dosing him with abx, but I will if it seems to be necessary. So far he is acting like his normal self except now he won't go anywhere near my husband (who did the cutting). Can't say that I blame him though. Hopefully he'll forgive us sooner or later.

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