Eye injury...what is safe to use?

KeliD

Chirping
Jul 12, 2017
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69
i found one of my hens today with an eye injury of some sort. There is nothing obvious wrong, but she will not open it. I’ve had enough eye injuries myself that I know it could be as minor as dust or debris that got into her eye. There’s no blood or damage visible, so I flushed the eye as best I could with eye saline for sensitive eyes (for people) and put her in isolation with food and water to prevent any further problems.

What I don’t know is if it’s necessary to put any ointment on it, and if so is regular Vaseline safe to put on it?
I’m attaching a picture in case there’s something I’m not seeing that anyone might recognize.
Thanks
 

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FlyingNunFarm

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There is an eye ointment for livestock you could use.
With injury not being obvious I personally would give it a little while to calm down. Like you said even a speck of dust can be irritating.
(Pardon the pun) I would keep an eye on it for now.
If it swells are seems worse then ointment won't hurt and may help.
 

Eggcessive

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I would watch for any bubbles or foam in the eye, and clear nasal drainage. It can catch dust and dirt, and look dirty around the nostrils. Does she seem lethargic or is she gasping or having labored breathing? If you need any medicine for the eye, Terramycin eye ointment which is oxytetracyxline in a petrolatum base is good to use twice a day. For now I would just watch it or use the saline.
 

KeliD

Chirping
Jul 12, 2017
29
30
69
I would watch for any bubbles or foam in the eye, and clear nasal drainage. It can catch dust and dirt, and look dirty around the nostrils. Does she seem lethargic or is she gasping or having labored breathing? If you need any medicine for the eye, Terramycin eye ointment which is oxytetracyxline in a petrolatum base is good to use twice a day. For now I would just watch it or use the saline.

No lethargy really, but she just stood there when my son picked her up. (I attribute that to being down one eye for now.) No discharges or breathing issues either. I kind of figured to just watch it for worsening. But since she can’t see out of one eye, I isolated her to avoid any bullying. Thanks for the info on an ointment. This is our first eye “issue” in two years of keeping chickens so that’ll be good to have on hand anyway.
 

Eggcessive

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Vetericyn also has a non-antibiotic eye gel and eyewash available, but are expensive. Saline is pretty easy to find or even make yourself. One teaspoonful of table salt to a liter/quart of water is the right ratio, and it can be sterilized by bringing to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes with a lid on. Store in clean jar.

Let us know if she shows any new symptoms, such as imbalance or lameness. You can offer her some water and cooked egg along with her usual feed by holding them up to her beak.
 

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