Cataract eyes in a single laying hen, bacterial or parasite cause?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Manningjw, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Manningjw

    Manningjw Songster

    I have a single hen that is about 9 months old mixed Ameraucana/Leghorn/Australorp now with both eyes showing cataracts, there is no haziness or discoloration of the iris so I do not suspect Marek's as the cause, also she is neurologically intact including PERRL.


    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Broodiness currently (normal for her and her mother) and bilateral cataracts. A few weeks ago, we noticed she was keeping her left eye closed more often as if something was bothering her but now she is behaving normally, we noticed the cataract developing in that eye at the same time. She has always been lowest in the pecking order and obviously gets picked on the most as a result leading to trauma.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    When she was a pullet, either one of the roosters or another hen tore her scalp above her R eye which was sutured closed. Cataract developed in that eye first at about that time. The other eye we noticed it developing later but this was not watched closely.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    No, no other birds.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    Same chicken feed as the flock and scraps.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Currently broody poops because she is brooding again.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    None for the current symptom/cataract, when the wound above the eye was sutured antibiotics were applied into the wound bed including Bactroban after a wash out of the wound.

    Because of the wound I strongly suspect bacterial/trauma being the cause but the opposite eye being effected now makes me think it is some sort of parasite? I have noticed other hens pecking her including her eyes when she roosted. I do not suspect viral cause because all of her hatch mates and subsequent generations have shown no symptoms of any disease and their pupils are black(clear).
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    It's not a parasite nor bacterial infection if she's acting normal. I suspect it's due to the head injuries received as a pullet. I'm sure an optic nerve may have been damaged causing the cataracts. I hope she can find her feed and water.
  3. Manningjw

    Manningjw Songster

    Thanks for the post! Glad to have some input. She can find the feeder but I worry about her finding water when it is only the nipple watering system. I know she can find larger trays so I think I will need to add a larger traditional style watering system now... She can find her way in and out of the coop but she kind of follows the fences to get there. She also follows me around and perches on my feet when I am outside I think as a coping strategy (I always put her in front of feed/water when she is brooding but doesn't have fertile eggs).
  4. Manningjw

    Manningjw Songster

    Today I treated with ivermectin as a precaution and I also supplemented some vitamins with the feed incase her being broody for so long has exacerbated the cataract/vision impairment. I also gave her a hard boiled egg and carrots blended together(for the beta carotene/vitamin A). We'll see how it goes.

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