HELP, What to do about big lumps on Turkey head?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DChan, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. DChan

    DChan New Egg

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    This turkey is almost 3 years old. In its first year it got a couple of these lumps but they fell off after about 2 weeks and she did not get them again until just recently. I also sprayed them with Vetercy at that time..not sure if that is what caused them to fall off or not. They came on suddenly and then started growing fast, so fast that that over night I have noticed that her eyes are being covered now to where she can't see. I had to help her down from her roost this morning. I have been spraying with Vetercyn but it is not working so far. They have a hard feeling to them..not soft.

    Health wise she seemed fine up to today, she was eating and she ate a little bit today but she is having a hard time finding it now since she is not able to see very good.

    It doesn't appear to be contagious because she is housed and nests with another female turkey since they were hatched and she is around guineas, chickens and geese and none of them show any signs of this problem.

    She is going blind and I need to stop this before it continues to grow and cover her nasal passages. It acts like it is going to just continue to spread over her head and face. It almost looks like it is the little bumps that turkeys have on their head has an infection or some type of problem.

    Does anyone know what this is and what I can do for her?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    [​IMG]


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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  2. DChan

    DChan New Egg

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    Someone please help.
     
  3. dracoe19

    dracoe19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are the lumps painful? If not try taking them off slowly. Especially the ones around her eyes and nose. That's all I can think of to do for her... Could it be black head? That's the only turkey sickness I know of but I doubt this is it. I hope she gets better.
     
  4. DChan

    DChan New Egg

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    Thank you for your reply. She shakes her head some, I am not sure if she is doing this because they are painful or because she is trying to see and the lumps are bother her being in her vision and she is trying to shake them off. I suspect the latter is the reason.

    As for taking them off, I am not sure they will come off, when I tried rubbing some of the Vetercyn on her instead of spraying it, the lumps felt hard like a crusty wart or something. I am afraid it will make her bleed if I try to take them off. These appear to be where the little nodules on the skin are normally on a turkey head, like they are something to do with an infection under the skin. I am wondering if there is something I can give her for bacteria or infection that might reduce these or dry them up?

    She hasn't been acting sick at all, she has been eating good until today even though she is still eating she acts like she is not able to find the food well which is to be expected since she can't see with the lumps growing in the way of her vision.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  5. dracoe19

    dracoe19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmm.... I'm really not sure what it is [​IMG]. It kinda looks like warts... Starting to browse to see what it could be so far it kinda looks like Avian pox... Here is an article that sounds like one of these could be what your turkey has.
    Avian Pox

    Also known as:
    Avipoxvirus, DNA virus, also called “avian pox”


    Symptoms:
    Pox sores are seen on the unfeathered areas such as the head, neck, feet and legs.

    The sores begin as red pimples which develop into pimples filled with fluid (vesicles) and then pus (pustules).

    Finally, as the pustules burst open, crusts or scabs form.

    Pox is characterized by raised, blister-like lesions that develop on unfeathered areas (head, legs, vent, etc.) of the bird.

    If the lesions are around the eyes, then swelling may occur with impairment of eyesight and possibly blindness in severe cases.

    Ordinarily, the eyeball itself remains unaffected and, once lesions are resolved, eyesight should return to normal.

    Clinical signs/Necropsy: Cutaneous – Wart like nodular lesions on un-feathered skin of chickens and head/upper neck of turkeys.

    Lesions may also appear on feet, legs, around nostrils, and on eyelids.

    Lesions become yellowish, progress to thick dark scabs, and may coalesce.

    There are 2 main strains of the disease, the first appearing as greyish warty scabs on the comb, wattles and faces of the birds.

    The can result in serious disfigurement making such birds useless for showing.

    The second strain is more serious, causing cheesy substances to form in the respiratory passages, particularly the throat, which can cause death by asphyxiation

    Treatment:
    There is no sure cure, other than treating the scabs with iodine and scraping the muck out of the birds' throats and painting with iodine

    Clear the eyes and beaks so they can see to eat and drink on their own, use warm water with a very weak solution of iodine in the water

    Postmortem Findings:
    The second strain is more serious, causing cheesy substances to form in the respiratory passages, particularly the throat, which can cause death by asphyxiation

    Reference use for this article:
    http://www.msstate.edu/dept/poultry/dissymp.htm
    The Chicken Health Handbook ... by Gail Damerow

    ******
    Cause:
    Pox is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes.

    Avian pox is a viral disease that affects many types of birds.

    Fowl pox primarily affects chickens and turkeys. Pigeon pox affects pigeons, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese.

    Canary pox infects canaries, chickens, sparrows, and probably other species.

    Progression:
    Slow-spreading infection.
    Begins with cutaneous form and goes to diphtheritic form (GI and respiratory).
    It is a Virus
    It is spread by direct contact with infected birds
    Mosquitoes carry the virus from wild & other birds
    Use mosquito management programs to help reduce the mosquito population


    Transmission:
    Direct contact through skin abrasions.
    Mosquitoes may serve as mechanical vectors.

    Mortality:
    Low mortality, but decreased production.
    Diphtheritic – Lesions on mucous membranes of part or entire digestive and respiratory tracts. Caseous patches or proliferative masses. High mortality.
    Birds often recover from Fowl Pox but can remain carriers

    Diagnosis:
    Characteristic lesions. PCR is available.
    Histo -- Eosinophilic cytoplasmic inclusion bodies in epithelial cells on microscopy. Infected cells are also enlarged, with associated inflammatory changes.
    DDx: Infectious laryngotracheitis

    Prevention:
    Vaccine available
    Vaccinate soon after hatching up to 2 weeks of age. All should then be revaccinated at 12-14 weeks of age
    A vaccine is available which is applied with a two prong needle into the flap of skin on the wing. Unlike Mareks Disease where the vaccine must be given at day old, Fowl Pox vaccine can be given to birds of all age

    If it’s Dry Pox

    Treatment of bird - Dry Pox
    You need to isolate the bird and put it into an uncrowded area, remove the scabs around the mouth and eyes so the bird can eat and see

    Symptoms
    Dry Pox, has small yellow warts that appear on the wattles, comb and face
    These increase in size as the disease spreads
    Dark brown scabs form, and then drop off

    Secondary infections
    To prevent secondary infections occurring you need to treat with 300 mg oxytetracycline (Terramycin) per gallon of drinking water for 3 days followed by vitamin supplement in the water, do not give the vitamins at the same time as the medication, one will cancel the other out

    Recovery
    The good news is that the birds naturally recover in 2 to 4 weeks usually, and are somtimes immune to this particular strain of the disease but most remain carriers, and can have reoccurances when under stressful situataions

    Reinfection
    But some remain carriers and may become reinfected during molt and other times of stress; thoroughly clean the housing the bird has been in to remove all the infective scabs that may have come off

    Human and the Pox
    Another bit of good news, is that "chicken pox" in humans is caused by a different virus that has nothing to do the chickens, so no human health risk is involved

    Now... if its Wet Pox

    Treatment of the bird
    The bird may have a thick discharge that interferes with its breathing, so clear the airways with cotton swabs coated with iodine, otherwise just treat it the same as dry pox
    Swab lesion with Lugol’s solution of iodine

    Symptoms
    Wet Pox, has yellow cheesy lesions in the mouth and in the windpipe
    Vaccination is recommended in areas of large mosquito populations


    Treatment
    At least now you know what it is, Betadine is a good iodine to use on the sores
    Make sure the birds are getting fresh water every day, and fresh clean food every day

    With taking the antibiotics, your bird may get diarrhea, give it some yoghurt plain and unsweetened (live culture) will bring the bowel back into a normal function, mix 2 tablespoon with some dry food every day for the next 2 weeks


    Pox supportive treatment for blind birds

    If it is Pox.

    Supportive treatment is all you can do.

    If there are any that are blind, put them in a small area, make sure they can all find waterers and feeders, make sure you don't move them once they are all familiar with where they are.

    Leave them in peace and quiet as much as you possibly can to reduce stress, you do not want a cocci outbreak to complicate things.

    Standard treatment for Pox is nothing, as in DO NOTHING, they will recover, and a fatality from dry Pox is quite rare.

    The good news is, once they have recovered they are immune to that particular strain of Poxvirus and will never catch that again.

    Treat your mosquito population; this is what is causing the outbreaks
    Unless you bring in new birds from somewhere, where the Pox is of a different strain, you may very well never see this in your birds again

    I have never seen or heard of any waterfowl with Pox
     
  6. DChan

    DChan New Egg

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    Thank you dracoe19, appreciate. The thing is, and from what I have read, Avian pox is highly contagious. I have another female turkey that has been with this turkey for three years...they next together at night in a coup and both are out among chickens, geese and guineas all day long and none of the other fowl have any signs of this problem.
     
  7. dracoe19

    dracoe19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmm.... I'll continue to browse about the internet.
     
  8. DChan

    DChan New Egg

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    Thank you, I have browsed the web for several days trying to find out what it is but haven't been able to find anything that seems to be it..although some of the Avian dry pox pictures do look similar...but that it is suppose to be so contagious doesn't fit unless it is taking my other fowl a long time to get it. She already had a bout of this before she was a year old but it was not this bad, just two or three lumps that got really big but then went away, I assumed they fell off somewhere.

    I just came in from feeding and putting everyone up in their coups and I sprayed more Vetercyn on her head...really soaked her this time but it doesn't appear it is going to work, or if it is it is going to take a while. I looked really close at the lumps and the only way I can remove them is by cutting each open and pushing out the contents. I really hate to do that, I am afraid she will get an infection for sure and I am not sure I can stomach it! I sure hope something is found or someone has an idea of what I should doctor her with. Because of her eyes I have to be careful what I use.
     
  9. DChan

    DChan New Egg

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    Does anyone know how best to try to remove some of these lumps? They are closing over eyes and nasal passages.
     
  10. dreamcatcher95

    dreamcatcher95 New Egg

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    I also have turkeys with bumps on their heads. Check out this youtube, caution it will get graphic

    I am giving them tetracycline (got at feed store) to prevent any secondary infections and treating with a mild iodine solution.
     

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