Histomoniasis? Warning necropsy pics

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by zeppley, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My favorite hen, a 9-month old blue Ameraucauna hadn't been feeling well (hiding in corners) or eating much even when give scrambled eggs and meal worms. I isolated her, added a heat lamp, and added supplemenal tube feeding.

    I did a fecal float (my first) and saw Capillaria/Trichuris eggs (anyone know how to tell these apart?), possibly sporulated eimaeria, and some round and oval worm eggs (ascarids, probably). I wormed her (Valbazen) and started Corid.

    Her weight loss slowed but otherwise she showed no improvement. Her poop was green, fluffy and wet - sorry no photos. I was afraid she might have Marek's - she occasionally shook her head and her aim wasn't good. After 3 weeks, I culled her and did a necropsy.

    She had healthy pectoral muscles, visceral fat and food in her gut. Her liver was tan with red margins and friable. There were hard nodules on the surface of her proventriculus, ileum, and ceca. I thought, O no! Marek's - but her brachial and sciatic nerve plexi looked fine. Her ceca were hard and full of caseous yuck.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG] Upper arrows show nodules, lower arrow label says "not a worm, tissue scrap" I didn't see any worms.
    [​IMG]

    Now I'm thinking perhaps histomoniasis with the tan liver and the cecal cores, although her liver doesn't have the surface lesions typical of blackhead.

    I'm hoping those more experienced will weigh in.

    This is the 15th year I've raised chickens in this coop. I've lost the occasional one or two birds a year, and never seen anything like this despite them eating earthworms and having a wren trying to nest in the coop.

    If this is histomoniasis, how do I protect my peafowl, living at the other end of the yard?
     
    2 people like this.
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I'm not sure if you're dealing with blackhead or not... definitely blackhead if there were lesions on the liver.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for posting.

    MrsB
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    @zeppley , may I send these pictures to the avian pathologist I work with?

    -Kathy
     
  5. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please, please, please! PM me for higher res.
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Can you email them to me? my email is my BYC user name @gmail.com

    -Kathy
     
  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Numerous poultry articles state Heterakis gallinarum are not much of a threat. I'll never understand that persistent repetition of downplaying the problems cecal worms can cause in so many articles. They are certainly a threat in chickens as much as turkeys. I've seen them in pullets as young as 4 months old. They are very small, but can be seen in cecal droppings upon close examination under bright light. Like Coccidia and other protozoa, any type of intestinal worm infestation can do irreparable damage to the intestinal tract which effects the digestion and absorption of nutrients for the life of the bird. The observer will see stunted growth, and may never see birds get to the point of anemic/emaciated appearance unless it is a large infestation. Young birds are more susceptible than older birds. The right anthelmintic does the job no organic remedy can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Also, cecal worms burrow in the mucosa (lining of the cecal sacs). They are very hard to see and take only 14 days to mature, causing thickening of the walls. Cecal strains of Coccidia cause the same problem with thickening of the walls.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  9. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Subscribing to hear more.
     
  10. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Michael,

    That could very well be the initial problem. By the time of necropsy, the cecal walls were paper thin. I read yesterday that a secondary E. coli infection can produce cecal cores, so that may have also been going on as well. I didn't take scrapings from the ceca, but did for the duodenum and jejunum. Nothing found, but that was after worming and a course of Corid. Looking back at my notes, I noticed she was thin last September. I figured that was because she was low ranking so I fed her separately. Poor hen. This is a tough learning curve I'm climbing.
     

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