Is this vent gleet? (Warning: includes pictures)

Rachnicko

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May 10, 2020
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Jet, the black Silkie bantam, is 16 months old. She seems to have a problem with her vent. I have noticed some clear discharge, which turns crusty around her feathers. She seems to often be preening back there, and when she does, her vent squelches (sorry for the detail).

I had noticed this a few months ago but it seemed to clear up by itself.

is it vent gleet? And if so, how is best to treat?

She is fine other than the vent issue; eating, drinking, pooping and laying.

For background;
She has been broody this summer and hatched 3 chicks in June, so she moulted at the time. She is going through a bit of a moult at the moment, but not major. She has laid some lash eggs (soft shelled), but that is going back a while, maybe even last year.
 

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azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
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Sometimes, unless you have a vet that does testing, there's only the drug treatment to diagnose a health issue. If it responds to the med, then you know that's what the issue was.

The only drawback from using this method of diagnosis is that repeated exposure to a particular med may render it less effective over time.

I use this method a lot if I have reasonable expectations that a particular pathogen is causing a health issue. More times than not, this method works out fixing the issue.
 

Rachnicko

Songster
May 10, 2020
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UK
Thanks again for your help @azygous

I have started her on metronidazole this morning (it just happens that we already had some as my mum has a bowl condition that means she is on a constant cycle of different antibiotics).

Just to check my maths... she is around 750g in weight, and we are using 400mg tablets. So I’m giving her just less than a quarter of a tablet per dose? (From the 100mg per kilo on the link)

Should we discard any eggs she lays while on antibiotics?

I haven’t separated her from the flock as I think that will cause her unnecessary stress and she seems fine other than the vent issue. Are there any implications on the others?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
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Vent gleet can be contagious, although in a round-about manner. Rooster mating can transfer the pathogens to other hens, so it's best to keep her out of the mix for a bit. Many of us have a segregation section in our runs for this purpose, so a chicken can remain in the flock yet separate.

Eggs shouldn't be eaten by humans, but you can feed them back to your little patient. She will love that. Feed raw, scrambled, soft boiled, hard boiled or stirred into a hand full of feed.
 

casportpony

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Would metronidazole for any harm if I started giving her this antibiotic and it’s not vent gleet?
Please note that poultrydvm.com is not written or maintained by a vet

That site is a very good resource, and I refer to it often, but most of the medication information is not correct, and in this case, it could be quite harmful because at that level, 100 mg/kg twice a day, can be toxic. It also doesn't mention that metronidazole is banned for use in poultry.

The problem with vent gleet is that there can be many causes and the metronidazole will only treat a couple of them. Is a vet an option?
 

casportpony

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Just to check my maths... she is around 750g in weight, and we are using 400mg tablets. So I’m giving her just less than a quarter of a tablet per dose? (From the 100mg per kilo on the link)
That is way too much. The *max* dose for treating something like necrotic enteritis in 50 mg/kg 1-2 times a day.
 

casportpony

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Let me add that some of the other causes of vent gleet are :
  • Worms
  • Coccidiosis
  • Gram-negative bacterial infection of the repro-tract
  • Gram-positive bacterial infection of the repro-tract
  • Bacterial infection of the digestive tract
  • Cancer
  • Giardia
Metronidazole will only treat some gram-positive infections and giardia, it will not treat anything else.
 

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