6-mth old hen with eye problems

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LTygress, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I saw a similar thread that didn't get much response, regarding a young chick. But I am hoping someone is familiar in dealing with older birds, that can at least tell me if I seem to be on the right track.

    I have a 6-month old Ameraucana hen who has not been opening one of her eyes. She first had this issue a couple of weeks ago. I caught her (she's a VERY shy free range hen), cleaned the gunk that "glued" it shut, and she seemed fine. Three days ago, I noticed she had the same issue -although I am not certain it is the same eye.

    I caught her then, cleaned it up again, and released her. But it came back and was "glued" shut the next day as well. So I caught her once again and cleaned it again, this time rinsing it out with the saline solution I use for my contacts.

    Same problem this morning. But she is getting so used to being held from this (and getting mealworms as a treat after each cleaning) that I no longer had to CATCH her.

    Brought her inside, more warm clean washcloth wiping, more salinesolution, and THIS time I also used some hydrating eye gel that was prescribed once when I had a cornea laceration.

    This time she seemed much more willing to open the eye when I released her. Its also just the one side, it seems, which leads me to believe it is likely an injury and not an illness or disease.

    Has anyone else had a recurring issue like this? And do these treatments sound like they will be safe?

    Also, I have a very large vial of tetracyclline antibiotic. I know they use a powder form mixed with drinking water for chickens. Would it be safe to administer the injectible type into a chicken?
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    It sounds like if the eye problem is reoccuring, you may want to treat with antibiotics. I don't know much about tetracycline. I hope someone else can chime in and share some info about that antibiotic . I personally would use Tylan or Penicillin.
     
  3. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    antibiotic eye ointment, available at the feed store is what I tried and it worked. also vertericyn products are available at the feed store.

    Depending on severity may need antibotics see site .... http://www.avianweb.com/avianconjunctivitis.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  4. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was actually incorrect. The antibiotic I have on hand is oxy-tetracycline. I thought it was plain tetracycline. Slightly different, but still a "broad spectrum" sulfur-based (yellow) antibiotic sold under the name Duramycin/Durvet.

    Duramycin is available in a powder form for large domestic fowl such as turkeys, chickens, ducks, etc. The ppwder form is mixed with water, and given as a sole source of drinking water. From my experience in using it on rabbits, it makes the water taste very bitter so they tend to avoid it. And with free-range chickens, and the fact that it just rained two full days in a row, that's almost impossible to replace EVERY source of drinking water with treated water. A single up-turned leaf in the woods behind the house would become a clean source where they could avoid the medicated water.

    So back when I raised rabbits, I invested in the injection form of it. But they don't like the injections either, because it burns. What threw me off though, is that the injection solution only gives instructions for cattle and swine.

    So I did research this morning though before going outside to check on her, and found out that she actually CAN receive injections. Both intramuscular (straight into a muscle) and subcutaneous (under the skin) are acceptable for chickens. Since this infection is in her eye, and I've seen rabbits react to the burning from the injection, I gave it under the skin around her neck. She didn't react at all, and she has been doing fine since getting the injection too.

    I also gave her ANOTHER saline-wash to her eye to help get rid of the gunk, and another hydrating gel treatment in case of an actual cornea injury. I was prescribed the hydrating gel because when I slept, I would get a little bit of scar tissue over the wound. And apparently when I woke up, the now-dry eyelids would scrape the scar tissue right back off, leaving me in pain again every morning. So I'm giving HER the gel in hopes that any possible injury isn't recurring every morning when she wakes up.

    In summary, "Brownie" has gotten every possible treatment for the eye problem today. The only exception would be a full-out bath to her entire body (don't tempt me) followed by a quarantine in my chick-rearing cage with the heat lamp. But with her being so incredibly shy and free-range, I don't want to force her to live in a cage inside with the people and dogs if I don't have to.

    I'll keep you all updated on her progress. And if it works, this particular antibiotic is available from Tractor Supply in a 250mL bottle for just $23 (that's roughly a full pint). For the injection, I use my mom's excess of diabetic syringes with 29-gauge needles. The hydrating gel is called Refresh PM, available at Wal-Mart in the health care aisle.
     
  5. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    Ok dont forget to keep in touch!! Get better girly!! [​IMG]
     
  6. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I waited a bit on this to be certain, but Brownie is definitely on the path to full recovery now! I am assuming that since the only real change was the antibiotic, that is probably what solved the problem.

    They are free-range, but they'll make a trip in front of the house first thing in the morning for their grain feed. Then they'll disappear for most of the rest of the day in search of bugs and other goodies they can find in the yard and woods out back. When I first saw her, the eye still looked very sore and "sunken in" (it was never swollen - quite the opposite), and the skin around it still seemed very pale, even white in some areas. But it was open, meaning it didn't dry itself shut overnight. Since she could actually SEE out of it, I left her alone and didn't try to catch her to clean it out today. Catching her is MUCH more difficult when she can see out of both eyes, anyway! Plus I know mucus has a purpose, so I hate to clean it unless it impairs something important - like the vision of a free-range chicken.

    Just now (about 6:30pm) she made another trip in front of the house for her last bit of grain before bed time, and her eye just looks much better all around! The skin is turning dark red again like her comb, she still has it open, and I don't see any excessive mucus build-up. It's still a little bit watery and the eyeball itself still looks a bit "distant" and reddish, but definitely not thick and caked up mucus around the eye anymore.

    Also, none of my other chickens have yet to have any problems, and the other eye is just fine too. She also passes within a few feet of the growing chicks that I keep in a pen outside, and they are all still very healthy too. So I'm assuming it was probably an injury of some sort that got infected, and needed the antibiotics to help it heal properly.

    I certainly didn't expect a recovery this quick, but I'm SO glad it happened!
     
  7. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    [​IMG] cool!!! We should have gotcha to snap a few pics!!
     

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