Help! Sick Orpington Pullet; Mysterious Illness?

Owlgirl7

Songster
5 Years
Jun 24, 2014
63
11
101
Ohio
Hello!

I am a poultry owner from Ohio and I recently got 9 more chicks from Meyers Hatchery this July 29. They are overall healthy except for the Splash Orpington (4 months about) She was always the heaviest and largest bird in the flock but I noticed starting late October that she would frequently close her eyes or nap right in the middle of the yard or have her eyes closed even while she was foraging or drinking.

She developed a cloudiness in her right eye and then I could see it in her left after a week or so (beginning of November). Her eyes are slightly watery. These were the only symptoms of anything I could see; she still ate well, her weight was fine, and she socialized with the flock but seemed to have some sort of eye issue and was a little slower than the others.

I haven't seen my birds in a few days because I've been in school all week and when I held her this evening she felt much skinnier than Sunday and chirped/whined plaintively whenever she wasn't with her flock or when I picked her up. Her eyes were closed especially as it got dark. I know she has been eating well because her crop is full every night (and empty in the morning!) and I believe she is drinking; poop normal, no discharge, but she is rapidly losing weight; and is obviously suffering. She shows no other real symptoms besides the following:

Rapid Weight Loss Despite Eating (I will check growth curves to be sure)
Cries / Squawks
Eyes Closed Frequently Even when in yard foraging
Re-positioning of head and neck with eyes closed (head keeps moving as though she has some sort of vertigo; seen other very sick hens with similar symptom)
Naps Very Frequently In Broad Daylight
.....Getting Worse Fast ... I know the image isn't helpful but you can see she is becoming more and more unresponsive...
IMG_4249.jpg


There are no really positive symptoms of disease besides weight loss; any disease come to mind or is this some sort of developmental condition?
Any help or advice is appreciated! Thank you soooo much!

-Owlgirl
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,270
33,267
1,122
Colorado Rockies
It appears there are very few symptoms to go on. Weight loss can be from just about any disease and also from crop disorders.

What I do in a case such as this is to treat the obvious symptoms which are basically a painful eye infection. We know it's painful because she closes her eyes as often as she's able. Baby aspirin can help her with her pain. You may give up to two whole baby aspirin per day.

The best treatment is to flush the eyes twice daily with saline solution (buy at Walmart or mix your own) and use an ophthalmic antibiotic ointment in the eyes. Terramycin can be found at most feed stores.

If you see no improvement in a couple of days, you will need to give her an oral antibiotic. Tylan 50 is a good one for respiratory disease.

You need to rule out a crop disorder. Check her before bedtime and again first thing in the morning to make sure her crop is emptying completely overnight. A full crop in the morning indicates a crop disorder and you will need to treat.
 

Owlgirl7

Songster
5 Years
Jun 24, 2014
63
11
101
Ohio
It appears there are very few symptoms to go on. Weight loss can be from just about any disease and also from crop disorders.

What I do in a case such as this is to treat the obvious symptoms which are basically a painful eye infection. We know it's painful because she closes her eyes as often as she's able. Baby aspirin can help her with her pain. You may give up to two whole baby aspirin per day.

The best treatment is to flush the eyes twice daily with saline solution (buy at Walmart or mix your own) and use an ophthalmic antibiotic ointment in the eyes. Terramycin can be found at most feed stores.

If you see no improvement in a couple of days, you will need to give her an oral antibiotic. Tylan 50 is a good one for respiratory disease.

You need to rule out a crop disorder. Check her before bedtime and again first thing in the morning to make sure her crop is emptying completely overnight. A full crop in the morning indicates a crop disorder and you will need to treat.


Thank you very much for your input. I appreciate you taking the time to answer and your instructions are very clear and helpful!
Do you think it is necessary for me to quarantine her at this point? (I have her in a hospital cage right now).
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,270
33,267
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Most avian diseases are contagious. The flock has already been exposed if she happens to have one of these diseases, so quarantining is of no value.

Actually, unless a chicken is very sick or seriously injured, they recover much quicker if left with their flock buddies.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,111
50,652
1,302
southern Ohio
How is the air in your coop—any ammonia odor? High ammonia levels from droppings with poor air circulation can cause burns on the corneas. Was she pecked at all in her eyes? Is there any discharge or nubbles in the eyes? There are a few possible explanations for her eye problems. Mareks disease can cause a grey eye and blindness from tumors on the optic nerves. Other causes of blindness are vitamin deficiencies (A or E,) previous viral infection with avian encephalomyelitis (rare in hatchery chicks,) cataracts, and infection or pecking. Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? What type of feed does she eat? Can you try to get a picture of the eyes?
 

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