HELP!--Young hen with ?vision problems ?fowl pox

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by smooch177, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. smooch177

    smooch177 Out Of The Brooder

    26
    6
    29
    Jun 1, 2016
    Corrales, New Mexico
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Any help/advice/insight with my sweet young hen and her situation is much appreciated in advance. I'm new to this chicken keeping so I'll do my best at describing what's going on...

    1) She is a black australorp, 24 weeks old and approximately 2.1kg. She's my only one of this breed so it's hard to say if she feels lighter or thinner compared to others but I hold her frequently and I don't appreciate her feeling like she has gotten smaller although I don't have objective evidence that she's been gaining or losing weight.

    2) Symptoms: The symptom I am most concerned about is her possible vision problems/?mild blindness. She does not seem to be able to track and localize as well as she used to. It is most noticeable during feeding times, to the point that she now seems to get anxious and was getting pushed out completely. When I hand feed her, she still seems to have a hard time. At night she has had very difficult time finding her way into the coop and onto the perches and I've noticed her losing her balance several times on very wide beams.
    Over the last 1-2 weeks, I've noticed a few of other hens displaying more aggressive, bullying behavior towards her to the point that her personality has changed from one of the more social and fearless hens to now very fearful, anxious and isolated from the rest of the flock (total of 10 hens and 1 rooster---all 6 months old, hand-raised together from birth.) When the other hens bully her, the rooster has not seemed to even acknowledge the scuffle let alone break it up, in fact he has not even seemed to acknowledge her at all until a few days ago when he actually seemed to give her an unfriendly nudge after the hens went at her. In addition, not sure if it's at all significant, she is the only hen who he has not attempted to mate with and also she's the only who has not started laying yet.

    The other symptoms that I have just recently noticed over the last few days are the intermittent wide open mouth behavior that seems a little more obvious and prominent than any of the others (crop seems normal, I don't hear any wheezing, etc), and she does seem to be sneezing a few times a day. Since isolating her 3 days ago and starting ophth meds, I've noticed a few ?pimple/blister-like bumps around her eyes and maybe the corner of her mouth that look different but maybe completely normal.

    3) How long? In retrospect, I think she was showing mild issues approximately 2 weeks ago but I dismissed them thinking they were mostly at because of lack of adequate light. The more apparent vision issues as well as the obvious bullying by the others and onset of the mild sneezing/mouth opening approx 4-5 days ago. She was isolated from the rest of the flock 3 days ago, at this point I appreciated ?possible pimple/blister like bumps around eyes and corner of mouth. Observing her, she does seem to scratch at that area somewhat frequently. Since being isolated and starting the meds, she does seem to be doing "ok". Maybe seeing a little better, but still not normal. Her mood and personality has definitely improved, she seems to be eating and drinking well but many times has to be prompted or taken to the dish.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? I haven't appreciated any of the other birds exhibiting vision symptoms or similar leiosn

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. ??

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Purina Layena, veggies/greens, water w/ACV

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Normal

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Terramycin ophthalmic oint, VetRx, added MVI to water

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I will do whatever is best for her. I had planned on taking her into the vet yesterday (although I'm not sure our town has a vet that specializes...) but after noticing the lesions around her eyes and running across fowl pox in the hours on online searching, I thought I'd ask here for some opinions and guidance.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. see attached

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use--sleeping in bathroom with perch, access to dog carrier with pine shavings



    Thanks again in advance for any help or suggestions.
    Casandra & Smooch
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,118
    161
    231
    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    I would suspect Mareks, although I don't have much experience with that. Look it up and see if those symptoms fit her.
     
  3. smooch177

    smooch177 Out Of The Brooder

    26
    6
    29
    Jun 1, 2016
    Corrales, New Mexico
    I've definitely read a lot about Marek's in my searching for vision problems in chickens (and I'm hoping and praying that's not the case). She hasn't displayed any of the other symptoms that seem to go along with Marek's thus far. Because her eyes are so dark, I can't tell if she has a coloboma or not.

    At the moment, I'd say she actually seems actually seems to have more of the mild respiratory symptoms, if anything else. She's sneezing, she does seem to prefer softer foods so I'm not sure if that means possible lesions in her mouth/throat/airway??

    Again, in comparing photos of her several weeks ago, I don't see these small lesions around her eyes and mouth.

    Unless anybody else has advice, I to just go ahead and treat her with an oral antibiotic as well in the event she may have 'wet pox' to prevent the secondary bacterial infection and just watch her closely.
     
  4. smooch177

    smooch177 Out Of The Brooder

    26
    6
    29
    Jun 1, 2016
    Corrales, New Mexico
    sorry to repost so soon, but as I'm sure most if you can attest to, I hate to sit on something if I could be doing more to help her or protect the rest of my flock....

    I appreciate SIMZ offering a quick reply but does anyone else have any other ideas or thoughts besides Marek's??? Other infections? Nutritional? I did run across vitamin A deficiency causing vision problems, anybody have experience with this and what it looks like??

    I've decided to hold off on starting antibiotics until Monday (another 2 more days) when I can see a vet since I don't know exactly what is going on with her and don't want to complicate anything and so far she doesn't seem to have any significant respiratory distress and is in good spirits, eating/drinking fairly well, etc. She actually spent a good amount of time in the sun today and and I saw her take a nice long dust bath, which I haven't seen her do in quite a long time. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. smooch177

    smooch177 Out Of The Brooder

    26
    6
    29
    Jun 1, 2016
    Corrales, New Mexico
    Oops, I forgot to mention a new symptom I've noticed in the last day, she seems to be almost chattering. Mostly after she's eaten and maybe after preening.

    I don't think I've ever noticed any of my birds doing this before?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by