Help with diagnosis please - head feather loss.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by baguette, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. baguette

    baguette New Egg

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    Hi everyone!

    We have a few chickens and bantams, and all are well except for one bantam. We can't remember the precise breed but they look like this when healthy...
    [​IMG]

    This particular bird had scaly leg mite, which we successfully treated over several months with scaly leg mite sprays, vaseline, and other safe treatments.

    But then it started to lose head feathers and currently looks like this. She moulted last autumn, so we know what that looks like, but this is not the same. She has been bald for 1-2 months and it's getting worse, spreading slowly down its neck.

    Any ideas?

    Here is a picture of the bird now...
    [​IMG]

    And a close-up of its head...
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im gonna give you a bump cause I have no idea. Even her comg has no color and her beak looks deformed. Is that the same chicken from top to bottom picture? Is she acting sick eating drinking pooing ok? I have never seen anything like it. At first glance I was thinking some kind of bug like mites lice ect. But dont know what would start at the head. ould it be depluming mites?
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm a LONG way from expert, too, but what occurred to me first is favus, which is a fungal infection you treat with athlete's foot cream. If you decide to try this, do a search first and see if there is one particular cream that works better than others.

    Poor girl!
     
  4. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you for the comment!

    No, it isn't the same chicken, but the paler chicken is there to show what the bald chicken once looked like [​IMG] She was acting sick but has improved a lot. Her poo keeps changing - a week ago it was too runny, then it was too hard, but now it seems about right.

    Her beak is deformed because it grew far too long when she first got scaly leg mites and then was cut, and still looks odd.

    Depluming mites tend to affect the whole body, not just the head, so she would lose feathers evenly all over. At the start I thought her scaly leg mites had infested her comb, but then it went on to the rest of her head and down her neck. Her skin is all flaky, too, like dandruff under the feathers.

    If you're wondering, she's my chicken and this baguette is my dad. xD

    thanks again!
     
  5. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After ddawn suggested favus I just searched for it. Did your hens comb start first? cause from what I am reading it starts at the comb/wattles first with like a white powdery looking on comb and wattles the progresses. I did see one picture that looked like your girls just not quite as bad. It said to treat with Tinactin like for athletes foot. Can you take her to the vet? They could do a scarping to see if its fungal or parasitic.
     
  6. Cosmopolis Chick

    Cosmopolis Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:... I'm no expert either BUT first thought I have is that it's fungus. I (coff coff) (embarrassed cough) actually had a small fungal infection on one eyelid and had to finally go to the doctor as my home remedies that I got off the internet did not totally clear it. Then the following year I got it close to the corner of my mouth on the same side that they eye had been infected last year.

    I'll tell you it was quite uncomfortable and itchy. I bet that poor girl is very uncomfortable! If those eyelids are rubbing her eyeball it could slowly destroy the vision in the eyes. I also wonder if she can breathe through those nostrils? Poor, poor baby. The name of the medicine that cleared mine is: Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate cream USP 1%/0.05%.

    Don't blame yourself, it comes from the soil (if it is fungal). Personally I would put her down.
     
  7. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It could be that - it started with her comb going white and crusty, then carried on down her neck. But favus doesn't usually go that far, does it? I'll look it up. Thank you!
     
  8. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, it was the end of her comb near her beak at the beginning. http://rootbeet.deviantart.com/art/Chicken-216236011 Here's a picture of her. It's what she looked like right at the start. It was taken in the dark so it's rubbish, but you can see it started right by her nose and went very white.

    Thank you for the suggestion, we'll try athletes foot cream. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  9. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:... I'm no expert either BUT first thought I have is that it's fungus. I (coff coff) (embarrassed cough) actually had a small fungal infection on one eyelid and had to finally go to the doctor as my home remedies that I got off the internet did not totally clear it. Then the following year I got it close to the corner of my mouth on the same side that they eye had been infected last year.

    I'll tell you it was quite uncomfortable and itchy. I bet that poor girl is very uncomfortable! If those eyelids are rubbing her eyeball it could slowly destroy the vision in the eyes. I also wonder if she can breathe through those nostrils? Poor, poor baby. The name of the medicine that cleared mine is: Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate cream USP 1%/0.05%.

    Don't blame yourself, it comes from the soil (if it is fungal). Personally I would put her down.

    It is very itchy [​IMG] It seems to be okay under her eyelids, but she won't let me look properly. She can breathe, it's not affecting the nostrils too badly.

    She's laying, and behaves almost like a normal chicken except for scratching more than usual. But her skin is all flaky under the feathers.

    Thank you for the medicine suggestion. I'll look it up. But do you think it could be scaly leg mites from her legs? they can infect combs, too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  10. baguette

    baguette New Egg

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    Thanks everyone for your help![​IMG]
    As my daughter chickenbaguette says, we'll try the antifungal cream and let you know how it goes.
     

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