Hen's comb has died, and no, it is not frostbite. Could it be fungus or other ??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pdx2phx, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. pdx2phx

    pdx2phx Chased by Chickens

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    My 6 year old Serama hen's comb has slowly atrophied and died over the last 4-5 months, and although you're going to want to think it, it is absolutely not due to frostbite. This started in sweltering S. Georgia summer. When we have had a couple of cold spells at 32 degrees overnight (so not super cold) she has been protected in a coop with heat lamp so has not been exposed to freezing temperatures.

    It started as a small black mark on one of the "fingers" of her comb. I thought it was from a rooster/mating but it didn't heal and the blackening/shriveling has kept progressing until the point you see in pictures attached today.

    She was eating/drinking normally, but hasn't been laying much for a while (but hey, she's six). I noticed today she seemed a little listless, and that she had a lot of white dried urine poops down her backside which I haven't seen before. I washed her up for the pictures, but she still has that heavy urea/ammonia smell. Her keel bone is also more prominent now and her face not so red, wattles are looking a little dried out too.

    I have tried multiple types of treatments over the months, including checking & dusting for mites, antibiotics, topical treatments on the comb, etc and nothing has helped.

    Does anyone have ideas NOT relating to cold temperatures? Could this be a fungus, yeast, parasite or other health problem? The urea makes me wonder if her kidneys/liver are having a rough time.


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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Could her comb have been scorched by the heat lamp in the coop? Anything less than about 2 feet away could cause scorching. Also, if her comb got partially wet, it could feeze at 32degrees, but it would probably need to be a few degrees less. Since it looks whitish and chaulky, favus, a fungal infection may be the answer. This can be confirmed by a vet with a small scraping of her comb, and favus may be treated with a number of antifungal creams. Clotrimazole (Lotrimin,) monistat 7, and others may help if applied daily.
     
  3. pdx2phx

    pdx2phx Chased by Chickens

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    Thank you!! I think you nailed it with the fauvus. She wasn't scorched by a lamp and wouldn't have had an opportunity to get a wet comb overnight (when it got to 32 a couple of times).

    Searching under fauvus has turned up a lot of photos that look quite similar. With her weight loss and heavy urea poops, I'm betting this is also an internal problem. Have you had any experience with anti-fungal meds or foods? Naturopathic sites are just saying raw garlic, etc (for people) but I can't imagine that going over too well with her!

    Thanks again for your response - I will get an antifungal ointment tomorrow and hopefully get more input on food or antifungal meds!

    -Lisa (& Webster the Serama)
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    She could have some sort of immunity issue or kidney problem with the weight loss and heavy urates. Dehydration will also cause increased I would feed her some chopped egg, a little plain yogurt for probiotics, and wet her normal chicken feed. Chickens like garlic if chopped up finely or sprinkled in their feed. Fresh is probably better, but I have used garlic powder. Only small amounts may be needed.
     
  5. pdx2phx

    pdx2phx Chased by Chickens

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    I will try these foods tomorrow. Thanks again!
     

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