Canker cures?


Apr 17, 2016
Does anyone have advice for getting rid of a canker? We are on day 6 of treatment with no improvement. I doubled her dose of metronidazole today. She has had 1/4 tsp copper sulfate per gallon of water, plus apple cider vinegar. I apply nystatin to the canker twice a day. She's happy and seems to be eating and drinking fine but it's getting bigger.. At what point do I have to euthanize her?
What other treatments are available?
Still no improvement after treatment... The canker has spread all through her mouth, and though she is eating, laying, drinking, running around and in good spirits, she has started to slightly wheeze today, and two of the other hens have (uncharacteristically) pecked at her. I think it is time to put her down. I'm very upset... :(
It started off as a small grey hole where her beak parts, with a bump on the side of her face on that area. The bump continued to grow as the hole got bigger and the greyish green stuff from inside the hole is now covering the inside of her mouth. It looks like the cankers online when I google.
She was on amoxicillin for a week before we realized it was a canker... It didn't improve on the amoxicillin either.
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The only other suggestion I have is unpleasant, but perhaps worth a try: can you make a strong salt solution and irrigate the canker several times a day? You will need a syringe with a long curved tip so you can access all the nooks and crannies in the canker. It is probably too late to find the antibiotic that would be specific for whatever bacterial infection she has, but most bacteria will die in a highly saline environment. Typically I irrigate wounds using a 10% saline solution, but given the dire nature of this situation, I would suggest you make a 30% salt solution, using water that you have boiled and cooled until it is warm, but not hot. The salt might not completely dissolve in the water.

Just be very careful not to squirt any water down her trachea into her air sacs. That could kill her.
I was doing that for a while, but I don't know how much good it would do now -- I checked her again and it's covering the entire roof of her mouth... she is drooling and wheezing. I think I'm going to put her to rest. :(
I just wanted to update; The day we were going to cull Pretty, our little Cupcake flew into the dog yard and was killed.. I couldn't bear to have two dead in one day, so we let it go. The next day, we opened Pretty's mouth, and though I had previously tried unsuccessfully to pull the canker out, it was large enough for me to grab hold of, and I was able to completely rip it out of her mouth. She had a large piece growing from the bottom of the corner of her mouth, and another large piece growing from the top. Ripping them out caused all drooling etc to cease, as there was no longer an obstruction in her mouth. About a week later, they had grown back, and I again ripped them out. I checked her again yesterday -- the bottom has completely healed! Pink skin is now covering the giant hole where the canker was! The top still has a hole, with some black cankerous stuff already starting to emerge... And she has a new hole on the roof of her mouth. So, based on the one hole healing, I am going to keep checking and removing what I find, in the hopes that all of it will heal. Pretty is doing much better than when I last posted and she is still a happy bird. :)

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