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Chicken Experts, Lend me your eyes...and help...hen with Resp Symp.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChicknCharm, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Hello All:
    I posted this earlier, but did not have a response. Some good advice on another thread, but I am still seeking assistance.

    Here is the story:
    We had one minorca this morning with swollen eyes and a runny nose. Of course I checked here first and found the following possible causes: IB, ILT and coryza. As all these are very serious, we called our vet, isolated the hen, and then bleached all our water and feed containers. Now the tips of my fingers hurt while typing, I was in such a panic I did not remember gloves. ouch.

    So, we went to the vet. I prepared my daughters for the possibility that our vet would request we put the bird down and test what could be the cause. The vet looked at our bird, said he felt it was eye irritation from allergies and dust gone to infection, he then gave her an antibiotic shot. His concern was only that we did not eat the bird (which was not going to happen in any event, we really like our hens too much) and not eat the eggs after the shot. So, we did isolate her per the vet's suggestion, but only to be sure we know which are her eggs and do not eat them.

    All of our birds are hatchery chicks. One bird came from a neighbor about a year ago, but she is as plucky as ever. Can I rest and be relieved yet? After reading other posts here, I worry our vet is maybe not concerned enough? Then, that seems disrespectful of a professional who took care of my animals even when I was a kid. All our other 49+ chickens show no symtpoms and appear bright eyed and busy tailed (feathered?).

    Can anyone give me some advice, have I done the right thing? I would have culled and sent for testing, but the vet was certainly not so concerned.

    What I have done since:
    1.) washed eyes out with saline squirt. Her eyes are open, but swollen all around.
    2.) put antibiotic ointment in both eyes.
    3.) told her she is a pretty girl and to be well (please) in the morning.

    She is outside, isolated in a very secure cage that is up against two tall stucco walls, so the cage has two walls of sorts. I have a rug hanging on the one open end and the front of the cage faces the side of a huge stone fireplace. It is in the upper 50's here...she is alone and not with her sisters to roost. Is she too exposed to heal properly?

    Also, she did smell yucky this morning and I mentioned this twice to the vet (as an earlier post cited that symptom as the horrid coryza). Our vet told us that any infection can be stinky. The smell does seem to be gone this afternoon. She got her shot at 11:30 am. I washed with saline at 6:00pm, and put in the ointment at 8:00pm. I don't want to mess with her too much and stress the poor girl out.

    Is there any input out there I need to know? I have bleached the roosting bars on the coop where she used to sit and the walls. I had JUST completely swept the coop and composted the shavings Sunday (yesterday). No mold in the coop, no rodents (super tight little house of a coop)...lots of poop, of course. But, it was clean yesterday at about 7:00pm.

    Please help if you can. No one else in flock showing any signs of a similar problem. How long should I watch? When can I feel my flock is safe again?

    Thanks so much.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    You're doing a great job with her, but I would at least put her in the garage to get her out of the cold an drafts. I have a walk out basement with a storage room, and that is my chicken hospital.

    Don't panic. (You have already paniced a little bit, but that's ok--a good coop cleaning never hurt anybody.) Just be observant, and if you do notice a few of your hens sneezing or whatever, go ahead and put some duramayacin in their drinking water for about 7 to 10 days. If you do this, you won't be able to eat the eggs until two weeks after your last doseage.

    Chickens get respiratory illnesses just like people do. Often, they can recover on their own, and sometimes they need a little help. Alot of people would cull a sick hen right away, but that's not my cup of tea. I like to give them a chance. But isolation is a very good thing to do, to avoid spreading germs--just like you do when you keep your son or daugher home from school. It's just good common sense.

    Good luck to you!
  3. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Thanks so much for the reply, I probably can not move her tonight. But, I feel she is out of any drafts with the stone walls around. We have a space in the garden shed for our pullets and I will clean that out tomorrow. I just hope she is better tomorrow.

    What about so many posts saying anything respiratory is viral and most likely the hen is a carrier for life? Is it always that serious? This is so conflicting with how our vet responded. This is a real country vet, drives out to the ranch for the horses and cows. So, I would think he knows a diseased and infectuous biohazard chicken?

    Again, thank you.
  4. krobin04

    krobin04 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2010
    Lincoln County
    We have a similar problem- and the smell, yes it smells rotten??? When I get her mouth open I can see her tongue and the roof of her mouth are swollen and look white/ very pale. We too are giving eye drops and antibiotic in the water, and I am using VetRx on her head to help open her up. I am thinking about the vet also- I wonder if they could debride her mouth. What does the mouth look like on your hen? (oh, ours is named Nugget.) I forgot to say, she has an appetite, and is trying to drink, though I am giving her the antibiotic h2o by syringe a couple x's/day.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    go ahead and put some duramayacin in their drinking water for about 7 to 10 days. If you do this, you won't be able to eat the eggs until two weeks after your last doseage.

    Not sure, but you may want to double check that. As I read it durramycin is not to be used on laying birds and as such there is no published accepted withdrawal period.

    http://www.drugs.com/vet/duramycin-10.html (warning at the end of the page)

    I have seen some 3rd party info on web stating 21 days as withdrawal period for eggs but I don't know if this source could be trusted or not.​
  6. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    I will need to check with our vet on what shot she was given. I have done lots of reading and the top antibiotic choices seem to be Sulmet, Tylan 50, and Baytril.

    For others posting with similar eye symptoms, I found a great post here about over the counter Neosporin type ointment being completely safe for the eyes, very similar to opthamalic(sp) ointment.

    I am just scared to death about the serious illnesses mentioned in my first post, especially with the odor. But, found another post of a dear soul who was convinced her hens had the worst possible thing...and she called her State Vet and was told that illness is pretty much non-existent in her state. She was taking her most ill bird to the state vet, but she did not post the ending. I sent a pm.

    It is still dark here, but I will check on her soon, after my walk and post what I know.

    Any opinions out there on meds?

    We need to collaborate on a message that lists the meds and what they are best for, with a few symptoms, for reference. I found many posts by members who do not have vets near them that will even look at chickens. If one exists, please post the link here sometime.

    Please keep information and suggestions coming. I am watching the rest of our flock carefully.

    Good morning!
  7. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Well, one side of her face is looking great. The other is still very swollen with a watery eye. She ate bread this morning, but not cottage cheese.

    How long should I give her for the swelling to go down before starting antibiotics?

    Any advice? I can't tell for sure, but she may be breathing a little heavy.

    THANKS again to everyone.
  8. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    I'm dealing with a similar situation with one of my hens, but alas we have no chicken vets around here. I had originally dosed my girl with amoxicillin but have since read that it's ineffective against the Coryza, so I'm going with a sulfa drug. I'm using tetramycin drops in her bubbly eye. Again, no idea if what I'm doing is right so I'm keeping an eye on this thread for sure!
  9. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Ok, called the vet and then had to dash...and maybe forgot the name of the shot given. I think it is Lincocin or something similar, antibiotic. Minorca is still very puffy on one cheek, but the other side of her face is looking normal. Puffy side is much improved. I am still washing the eye with saline and putting neosporin ointment in both eyes (do not use the stuff with pain reliever, I read that can be bad for chickens) twice a day. She certainly looks better than when we first discovered her condition. We called the vet today to report that she is still swollen. If she still looks funny tomorrow, we are to bring her in for another shot tomorrow.

    Here is a really good question: WHO OUT THERE knows how common Coryza actually is? I am reading several posts and articles saying this illness is actually pretty rare. Most of the time the symptoms are really from a respiratory or sinus problem. It seems when searching on these symptoms, Coryza always comes up first...but perhaps in reality it is not so common? I'd like to know, I am planning to call our state vet when there is time.

    THANKS! How are everyone else's puffy faced hens doing?

    ANOTHER QUESTION: Can you give a hen benadryl?
  10. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Hello! I missed your question. I did not yet look in Minorca's mouth. She was opening her beak quite a bit today, but I figured that was from drainage. Since we have other hens and chicks, I am handling her as little as possible and really avoiding the gooey spots. Don't want to make anyone else sick.

    Please keep us posted on Nugget! Our Minorca is named "Minorca". Kids...they can be so creative...or not.

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