Chicken will not open eyes

SnowflakeMama

Songster
9 Years
Jan 21, 2013
59
54
136
Prince George, British Columbia
Hi,
I apologize in advance if this is a repeat question, I did search and read all the posts about vision problems but they all seemed a bit different than what we have going on here.

On to the problem... when I was tucking "the kids" into the run tonight I noticed Frank was lagging behind the gang. He was fine coming out of the run this morning, he ran out just like everyone else but I wasn't looking for problems so I could have missed something. I went to see why he was lagging this evening and saw he was trying to get to the run with his eyes closed. He was stumbling (not lack of balance, the ground was bumpy and sloped) and walking into things and he only opened his eyes once or twice. When I made a sudden noise he opened his eyes but now he won't.

He attempted to eat in the run but couldn't see what he was doing so I brought him in for a big bowl of wet mash, heavy on the water in case he was dehydrated. He ate lots and has a nice, full crop now. He seems quite content and perkier now that he's eaten. I checked him over - his belly, under his wings, feet, head, and eyes all look normal and I can't see any obvious injuries. As far as I could see his pupils looked normal, no odd shapes or deformities. There's no watering from his eyes, no discharge, no pus, lumps or tumors, and his eyelids and around his face all look normal other than being closed. He was pale before eating but his colour is improving now. He's calm but not lethargic and he had a good, normal poop shortly after eating. He's even chatty, clucking away contently when I talk to him.

I can't find anything online about a chicken not opening its eyes, or what might cause vision problems aside from obvious infection or possibly Marek's. My understanding of Marek's is that the vision problems are typically the result of the virus changing the eye and his eyes look the same. I've chatted with my local chicken guru and she's stumped too. I'll grab some electrolytes and call the vet about deworming, etc. in the morning but I haven't found a vet here who will actually see a chicken so my help there is limited. For now, he's separated from the gang and hanging with me.

Any help, ideas, or suggestions for a possible diagnosis would be greatly appreciated. This isn't a chicken we were planning to keep but I don't want him suffering or uncomfortable either.

Thank you in advance.
 
Oct 21, 2020
126
50
68
Give him some rest check on him in the morning for changes. my duck was poked in the eye (my fault) and wandered one eyed for 2 days. She opened them after that.
 

SnowflakeMama

Songster
9 Years
Jan 21, 2013
59
54
136
Prince George, British Columbia
What breed is Frank and how old is he?
Oh sorry, I forgot that part. Frank is almost 16 weeks, an orpington/cream legbar pullet or cockerel... gender is very much up for debate still. We hatched him and haven't introduced any new critters from anywhere else for a while now. We had some new chicks this spring but they were separate for 2 months before everyone got to meet and be near one another.
 

SnowflakeMama

Songster
9 Years
Jan 21, 2013
59
54
136
Prince George, British Columbia
Dust? Maybe a sinus infection, small scratch? Something stuck in his nasal cavity?
I forgot one more thing! We're having insane wildfires where we live right now and today it got very smoky in the afternoon. The sky is orange and there's ash on my car. I wondered if this could be affecting his eyes/sinuses? None of the other birds seem affected (yet) but maybe a possibility?
 

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