Long post on bedding, sinus infections, coughing...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TurtleFeathers, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. TurtleFeathers

    TurtleFeathers Fear the Turtle!

    Jan 9, 2009
    By the Chesapeake Bay
    Hi all -

    I use pine shavings in my hen house. About 6 weeks ago, I used some shavings that I bought from the pet store - and quickly found out the difference between "pet store shavings" and "feed store shavings".

    Right after the bedding change about 6 weeks ago, we had a couple days of rain and wind, and the weather got suddenly cool for Maryland in August. Between the wind and the wet chickens, the bedding in the house got alittle damp, especially around their access door. I removed the really damp stuff, and kept trying to "fluff" the rest with a rake so it would dry out til I time to do a complete change. Within a day or so, I started smelling mildew, and heard a few of my chickens sorta "coughing". It was the longest time before I could even figure out which ones were doing it - I'd just hear this noise, and when I turned around, everyone looked at me like "what?" They were all clear eyed, no nasal drainage, and everyone was eating/pooping normally.

    So, I totally cleaned out the hen house AGAIN, letting it sit empty to dry out all day before putting in new bedding that evening. I even sprayed alittle bleach solution on the floor to kill any spores I couldn't see. I did NOT add DE to the bedding this time, because it just makes things SOOO dusty and dirty, but I DID sprinkle poultry dust on the floor before putting the new shavings down - and I used "feed store shavings" this time. So everything looked and smelled great, but I ran the flock thru a course of LS50 in their water, just to be safe. Coughing subsided within a few days.

    Fast forward 3 weeks. Serama hen had been sitting on eggs in the hen house and hatched out three chicks. She was raising them just fine, until I found one chick had squeezed thru the fence and ALMOST became dog food. So I took the chicks inside and put them into a brooder, and left her to sit on 4 more eggs (figuring I'd grab the babies as they hatched) - well, they never did hatch.

    This past Friday, the little serama hen came out of the hen house for a drink and her right eye was swollen to the size of a marble - I was SHOCKED! I brought her inside, swabbed the roof of her mouth and got a bunch of thick yellowish liquid that looked similar to what comes out of a Vitamin E gelcap, tinged with blood. Figuring sinus infection, I started her on Tylan 50 nasal flushes and injections (.25 cc IM 1x day), and dabbed her head/nares and under her wings with Vet Rx. The rest of the flock are all eating/acting/pooping normally, no eye/nose drainage, no weird smells, etc... I spent a lot of time sitting with them, observing and listening, over the weekend - and other than a couple coughs (and I couldn't even determine who was doing it) coming from the pen that adjoins the seramas, everything is normal.

    Jump to yesterday (Sunday). Serama hen still isolated, but no real improvement in the eye - she was still acting/eating/pooping normally tho. Gave her a third (and final) Tylan 50 injection, swabbed some of the gunk out of the roof of her mouth, and in doing so, accidentally pressed on the affected eye - then suddenly a chuck of something popped out into that cleft. Upon closer inspection, that chunk was a PIECE OF PINE BEDDING!!! So I tried pressing gently on her closed eye again, but got nothing but that yellowish liquid. I was afraid to keep pressing...

    Today: Serama's eye is slightly improved, the chicks that the serama hen hatched are growing like weeds, and appear to be healthy as can be. Sooooo... My questions are:

    1. If that piece of pine bedding was causing this, will the rest of the gunk drain from her sinuses without more antibiotic injections, or should I continue them? Should I keep swabbing and/or using Vet Rx? I'm of the understanding that Tylan 50 is normally a three day treatment.

    2. How can I tell if there is any more pine bedding stuck in her sinus cavity? I hate to keep pressing on that eye and swabbing the roof of her mouth - I would imagine she's pretty sore.

    3. Last night, I took each and every chicken out of the hen house individually and wormed them with Eprinex (did a round of Wazine exactly 2 weeks ago). I checked their feet, mouths, nares, eyes, clipped wings, listened to breathing, etc... for anything out of the ordinary - and found nothing. Never heard any coughing. This morning the weather is cooler and I let everyone out at about 7AM - heard a cough - don't know who did it - stood there for 20 minutes and never heard another. No mildew smells in the house - it is due for a bedding change, but not what I'd call excessively dusty, dirty or OVER due. Any suggestions on coughing?
  2. BluegrassSeramas

    BluegrassSeramas Serama Savvy

    Aug 25, 2008
    Central Kentucky
    I dont have any advice about antibiotics or illnesses, but I cant believe that there were shavings in her EYE!! [​IMG] She is lucky to have someone like you to do such a great job of taking care of her and her flockmates!!!
  3. Hoosiermomma

    Hoosiermomma Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    S.E Ind
    Maybe you could get some terramycin ointment to put in/on the eye. The pine shaving may have caused alot of irritation and possibly and infection and the ointment would help soothe and heal it.
    As far as the rest, maybe you could try switching bedding and see what happens. A few months back I tried using pine bedding in my coop and a few of my hens started having trouble breathing and had sinus issues. I figured it had to be the pine shavings(we even bought these from a feed store) b/c when I cleaned them all out and put down straw again my hens started breathing fine, sinusus were clear etc.
    I hope things get better for your hen. [​IMG]
  4. TurtleFeathers

    TurtleFeathers Fear the Turtle!

    Jan 9, 2009
    By the Chesapeake Bay
    Bluegrass - well, it wasn't actually IN HER EYE - more like stuck in her sinus passage that led to the cleft in the roof of her mouth. Maybe "behind" her eye? And it was only one piece - not real huge, but of course, this is a serama we're talking about, and the mouth is only but SO BIG, so it stands to reason that even a tiny foreign particle could wreak havoc on her sinuses... I couldn't figure it out - there was no nasal drainage, no eye drainage, no wheezing, nothing - just this humongous swollen eye and the yellowish liquid in that cleft!!! Even then, I didn't know the liquid was there til I opened her mouth and stuck a q-tip up there. I just hope there is nothing else stuck up there that I can't see!

    Mom - That's the one thing I forgot to include in that long post about her treatment thus far - Terramycin eye ointment. Been using it in the eye BID since this started. As for a bedding change, I had considered using straw, but doesn't straw get moldy?

    Thanks so much -

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: