Hen with swollen face- 3 month update, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jonalisa, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    My 7 mo.old Buckeye, Jezebel, has had swelling on one side of her face since at least the beginning of Sept. A vet saw no sinus involvement, but had no clue otherwise. The State vet tested my chickens for MG and all were negative. I tried 3 days of Tylan50 with no results. I recently wormed and checked for lice/mites...nothing.
    She is otherwise healthy except that the swelling impedes her vision/depth perception. Also her comb looks pale some days but not others. She is bottom of the pecking order and not yet laying (7 of 9 are laying and the 8th just now squatting).
    I have added turmeric to her food, oregano oil to her water and tried calendula salve on her face. Nothing has worked.

    Today it looked as if she has some new swelling just below the corner of her beak. See the bulbous part hanging down.

    I am wondering whether it is worth trying Baytril? Or aspiration with a syringe? Something else? I have no experience with that but am willing to hear advice.
    This is really a mystery.
    Thanks in advance!
    Jonalisa
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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Does the new swelling feel slightly firm like the other did? She also looks to have a bit of swelling at 9 o'clock around the right eye. I just went back over your previous thread to look at pictures and to review all that you did. It seems other than the swelling of the face, she had no other symptoms, and other than the pale face , was getting along fine. You had the swelling aspirated, and no pus or bacteria, but only blood was seen by the vet. She was MG negative with testing by the state vet, and you had given a course of oxytetracycline, and Tylan injectable with slight improvement of swelling. I would probably not give more antibiotics, but just watch her, unless you would want to see if the swelling decreased with the Baytril. I suppose Mareks tumor could be a possibility, but I would think there would have possibly been some neurological symptoms at some point. Jezabel just looks so sweet and wise in her photos, as she is saying okay, "I'll just let you take these pictures so that we can maybe figure this out...finally."
     
  3. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    I will check the swelling today. We've had no power since the night before thanksgiving. Temp is supposed to reach 12 degrees tonight so I am going out to apply bag balm or Vaseline to combs/wattles.
    I won't do the baytril unless warranted but I worry about her being at the bottom of the pecking order and being so unsure of herself.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Oh, so sorry about your loss of power. And at such a horrible time. Hopefully you have a warm fireplace. I hope your chickens don't get too cold. Can you bring them into a basement ?
     
  5. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    I think they are warm enough - they aren't really puffed up and they still elect to go outside in the run.
    Yesterday I put vaseline on all their combs and wattles. Today they look like zombie chickens, as their heads are blackened from dustbathing.

    As for Jezebel, I noticed today that she will start to walk up to something (like a cabbage), then will stop and back away - actually walking backwards slowly until she bumps into something behind her.
    I have seen her do that a couple of times now. She's also unsure of herself and hangs back on the outside of the activity.
    I checked her swelling and yes, the newest swelling is soft and squishy and the skin on those areas is whitened.
    I held her on my lap for a while and she relaxed and tucked her head inside my coat.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Does the other side of her face look like the right side? The coloring looks kind of putty-colored and spongy. I wish I knew what it was, but I'm stumped. I saw the power outage in New Hampshire made the national news yesterday. Hopefully they can get everyone's power back on soon.
     
  7. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    We're back up! So nice to have wifi (heat and water are nice too!)

    "Does the other side of her face look like the right side? The coloring looks kind of putty-colored and spongy."

    No, the other side of her face is completely normal.
    Yes, you are right, it is putty-colored and spongy. I don't believe the skin is painful - when I rubbed some ointment on it, she was calm and didn't seem to mind it.
    In the morning, I have started bringing a small dog crate into the coop. I put her in it with some boiled hamburger or chopped egg - just so I know she's getting some good protein. She seems very shy and hesitant about eating with the others and I think at least some of that is that she can't see the food well - or can't simultaneously keep an eye on the others and feels vulnerable. She's always hanging out on the poop board while the others are eating.

    I'm going to keep researching and trying whatever I can.
    Right now I am looking at Swollen Head Syndrome. Not a match really, but there are some similarities, such as, subcutaneous facial tissue involvement, periorbital tissue swelling, reddening and swelling of the lacrimal glands. However, the similarities end there as SHS disease course is super fast at 5-10 days.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Thank goodness your heat and water are back on.
    I have never seen anything that has looked like her face, but I am wondering about some type of fungal disease (if it isn't tumors from a virus, such as Mareks.) Favus doesn't really look like that from the pictures I have seen, but I would wonder about something similar. Could you post some of your older pictures in kind of a succession of maybe 3 pictures to show the changes over time in her facial swelling? Here are a couple of link with pictures of favus on the face:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/533817/help-with-diagnosis-please-head-feather-loss
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dermatomycosis_favus_(chicken).jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Here is a progression of some of your photos that were from your previous thread several months ago to now, where the progression of the white spongy-looking area has covered most of the right side of the face. Since the use of an antifungal cream such as miconazole (Nystatin7) would not be harmful, I would probably try it just in case of fungus. Lymphoma from Mareks still could be a factor, I would wonder why she doesn't have tumors elsewhere if this facial thing is a lymphoma. I wish some vets were on here to see these pictures. Maybe you could try sending pictures to Rob Porter at University of MN again for some thoughts, since MG came back negative.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  10. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    The vets at the 2 universities were very nice, but the last correspondence made it clear that at this point they would need to do a physical exam.
    Here is a link to the past photos. Tomorrow I will add more current ones. http://www.pbase.com/jonalisa/jezebel

    I think the favus is similar in a way, but not the same. I think the fungal cream is a great idea... Will pick some up tomorrow.
    I was thinking of trying the sulfamethoxazole again, as I realized today after looking at the label that I was only giving it once a day instead of twice. I believe the verbal instructions I was given were wrong.
     

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