Eye issue - seems to be spreading

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Vickir73, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Vickir73

    Vickir73 Chickens Ate My Brain

    Sep 9, 2010
    The weekend of the 4th we had a older puppy (a stray we were feeding) corner and get one of my silkies. Upon examination, the silkie did not appear to have any injuries; however, a day or two later we noticed she was having an issue with her eye swelling up. We thought she may have gotten poked with something when she was trying to get away from the puppy (whom we have found a new home for). Over the next few days, her other eye started swelling up. They are now complete closed. She did appear to have some fluid coming out of her nose, but I only saw that once ('course I know that doesn't mean it only happened once).

    Later in the weekend a leghorn had a swollen eye. I separated both these chickens from the rest of the flock. The leghorn appeared to be better. This past weekend another silkie came up with closed eyes. Both of these silkies are separated from the flock. They are not eating or drinking. I did put the silkies beak in the water and she did drink quite a bit (I'm assuming since they can't see they are not moving around). There does not seem to be any type of discharge, although it could be that I'm just not seeing it, but the outside of the eyes do appear to be dry.

    My flock was born Sept 8th, so they are a little over 4 months old. They are not laying yet, so there is no way to tell if what they have is affecting egg production. I have not introduced any new birds. They have a wood shavings floor. They are allowed out to free range (3 acres) during the day and are locked up at night (I'm in the process of expanding their coop). I have a mixed flock; however, I've only seen the symptoms in 2 of the silkies and one of the leghorns, but I'm assuming all of them have been exposed. The leghorn that had the closed eyes appears to be better.

    I am treating with Dramicine (I know I have NOT spelled this correctly) that I bought from the feed store (I told the guy I was looking for terraycin and the feed store buy told me this stuff was better). I have a friend who is coming over to pick up the chickens today. He stays at home all day and would like to see if he can save the birds so I don't have to put them down. I have read a few things about Coryza in the feed. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have also treated the two sick birds with Vetx (I believe this is the name, I might be wrong though). I bought this at the feedstore. It said it could be used as a cold remedy for birds. I put some under each of the birds' wing and on top of their heads.

    I have a flock of 69. These are not pets, so I am not willing to incur expensive vet bills; however, I am trying to call the vet now to see if they would recommend anything over the phone without seeing the birds (although knowing our small town vet, I doubt it).

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but I'm trying to give ya'll all the information I can. I did not think to take pictures [​IMG]
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Ewww, I hate dealing with eye problems, it makes me really squeemish. [​IMG]

    But I just dealt with a young pullet with a swollen eye, so maybe your birds have similar issues. I don't know what starts it, some injury or trauma to the eye maybe. This girl's other eye was just fine, so I figured it wasn't an internal ailment. The affected eye was greatly swollen, the size of a large pea or small marble, but with little discharge.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] GROSS-OUT ALERT !!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I wrapped her in a towel to immobilize her and laid her with her bad eye up. Then with gloved hands I first swabbed the eye with warm salt water, then gently pushed at the base of the swelling until I got the infected matter to come out. It was thick cheesy yellowish-white matter that was under her third eyelid. I had to push in different directions to get it all out, some came out the front, then I pushed the other way to get the rest out the back. Another time I did this to a hen & got it to all come out in one piece, it looked like a caterpillar, there was even a little cupped indentation on the end where it had rested over the eyeball. I rinsed out the eye with the rest of the warm saline.

    The other hen made a full recovery, her eyelids stayed closed & a little irritated for a day, then she looked just fine the next day. I put today's pullet back in her pen, the swelling has gone but her eye is still closed with irritated lids. But I'm hoping it will be back to normal in the next day or two.

    Today I also put a squirt of Terramycin Eye Ointment in her eye before letting her go. I don't know if an oral antibiotic will help.

    I don't know if this is the same thing that's affecting your birds. I hope it might help.
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Vickir73, how are your chickens doing? I want to let you know that the treatment I described may not be enough to completely remedy every swollen eye issue. After posting I remembered that I had another hen whose eye was too badly injured under all the swelling to recover completely. Although I got rid of the infected matter that caused the swelling, the hen's eye never regained sight and healed opaque. And it looks like the one I just treated will be the same. I think they both got pecked really deep in their eyes.

    If this seems like a condition that is spreading through your flock, perhaps it could be due to overcrowding or stress that's making them peck at each other. I think that my hen got hurt because she must share a small sleeping space with too many other chickens. Her roommates will be going off to the Fair soon, and she'll have more elbow room & less grouchy company.
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    It is my understanding that Coryza often presents with swollen eye or eyes. If this is Coryza, the only advice i can conscientiously give you is to put them down. Coryza, as you might be starting to see, is very contagious. Even if you are able to relieve their symptoms with antibiotics, they will continue to be carriers, so you must keep a closed flock to keep from spreading the disease to other birds.

    I hope that isn't what it is, but that is my first thought.

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