Black Spots on Comb - Avian Pox?

dedicateddourly

Songster
11 Years
Jun 20, 2008
447
1
131
Fallbrook, CA
Hi there,

One week ago, I noticed one medium-sized black spot on Bridget's comb. Now, she has several more. My husband (a small-animal vet, though not an avian one) initially thought it was an injury from hardware cloth because Bridget is always clamoring to get out of her run. He's not so sure anymore. And the spots are only on one side of her comb, and I don't see it on her wattles or eyes. Here's a pic:



And here it is after it's been cleaned and a bit scrubbed. Hubby says after removing the scabs, it looks like little craters:



Otherwise, she seems pretty healthy. She's very active with a great appetite. Her poop is a little soft, but she has a tendency towards this anyway. Plus, it's been hot. She is laying, though she skipped one day, and last Saturday, she had 2 soft-shelled eggs, which she has a history of, as well. None of our other 5 chickens are affected.

Any thoughts? From pictures I've seen, it doesn't really look like avian pox. We've checked for parasites, especially around the vent, and there is nothing. Excuse her dirty head - I think there must be a bit of fluid coming from spots, and the dirt is really sticking to her.

Thanks!
 

dedicateddourly

Songster
11 Years
Jun 20, 2008
447
1
131
Fallbrook, CA
Thanks for the response. A fight is possible but unlikely since she is the boss of my only other hen, and the remaining four are 12 weeks old and frightened of her. I'm not too worried at this point since Bridget is acting fine, but I'd definitely like to know what I'm dealing with.
 

WhiteMountainsRanch

Crowing
9 Years
Jun 19, 2010
5,404
28
256
San Diego, CA
Looks like Fowl Pox to me.
There is no cure except to let it run it's course, but you can wash the scabs with iodine to help them clear up.

There are 2 forms of Fowl Pox, wet and dry. Dry is usually just scabs usually no other symptoms, wet is scabs with an upper respiratory infection.

Fowl Pox is really common around here, just watch them closely and as long as they don't get worse I wouldn't worry to much, just let it run it's course. It's spread by mosquitos too, so keeping there population down helps a bit.

Sorry to hear about your girl, hope this helps!
 
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dedicateddourly

Songster
11 Years
Jun 20, 2008
447
1
131
Fallbrook, CA
Cari, thanks! We are definitely keeping a watchful eye. I've read up on the pox, and it seems advisable to isolate the infected bird. BUT Bridget NEEDS constant companionship, so I'll have to forego that.
 
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Sleepy1

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
10
0
22
I have 3 that just recently came down with fowl pox. I believe it is the dry because its just scabs. They are healthy and acting normal but the bumps started out as little yellow bumps and then started getting darker until black. One good thing about the pox is once they get it they can't every have another outbreak. Kinda like chicken pox in kids. I wipe there combs down with iodine and give them all shots of antibiotics as a precaution.
 

welasharon

Crowing
9 Years
Jun 28, 2010
3,955
107
256
North Florida
As long as it is the dry form they usually do not have any other symptoms. It will run its course and then they are immune. You have mosquitos?
sharon
 

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
410
421
Tempe, Arizona
Quote:Correction, wet pox is when the virus infects the mucus membrane rather than external skin. It is sometimes called diptheriatic as it forms lesions in the mouth, throat and even the trachea.

If she continues to get more scabs, then pox is likely, but my best guess from your description is that it is from fighting, not pox.

Iodine will help with external scabs if pox; for wet pox, swab the mouth and throat with original nasty tasting listerine at least twice daily, removing as much of the lesion as possible each time. This will be painful and will bleed (don't remove too much at once), but it WILL help.
 

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