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Losing feathers, bald heads and necks, with scaly dry skin. Is this Favus or something else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lilyeti, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

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    About a month ago, my three bantam chickens began developing dry flakey patches on their heads and bodies, their feathers fell out on their head and neck, and feathers on their bodies began falling out in clumps. From the research I did online, I thought it was favus, or ringworm, and began treating them with miconazole cream and spray. We brought them into our vet, who sent a sample to the lab and suggested fluconazole for two weeks while she waited for the lab results.

    Now two are growing tons of new feathers back, and their energy and appetite is much better. But our cochin is still totally bald on her head and neck and breast, with maybe only a hint of what look like tiny white "hairs" coming in. I just called the vet and the lab results were inconclusive. She said it isn't fungus, but she doesn't know what it is and now wants to charge me for a $200 biopsy. We discussed trying antibiotics first, but I'm hesitant to do that if it is some kind of fungal infection or candidiasis because I know that can make it worse. Do you have any idea what this could be? Is there a chance it is still ringworm and the vet/lab got it wrong, since two are responding to the miconazole/fluconazole treatment? That's what my gut is telling me, as even though my vet is an avian vet, she doesn't seem like she ever really diagnosis our chickens with anything. We just pay her a ton of money, leave with some vague suggestions, and then I find the answer in one of these forums [​IMG]

    And just a little more background on the hens in case it's helpful in relation to this problem- we treated them for northern fowl mite about two months ago pretty aggressively by rotating Sevin Dust, Permectrin II, Ivermectin, and Frontline. Wonder if this could be a reaction to all of the chemicals? Also, their coop is located under an oak tree, which our vet worried may have some kind of fungus that could be making them ill. Could that be the case if they are eating some of the acorns maybe? The have also had scaly leg mite for a while, which has been difficult to cure, and currently have a mild case of bumblefoot, which our vet said not to worry about. The girls can't seem to catch a break! [​IMG]

    Also, we don't have a rooster, and it's not feather-picking.

    Thanks for the help!


    Here are some photos:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  2. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

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    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  3. marneypoo

    marneypoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I think it looks like favus from info I have seen online. I had a couple of silkies that had something similar, but not near that bad. Sounds like the meds you are using are helping. It takes a long time to clear up fungal infections. Whatever you apply needs to be done every day and then for a little longer after it seems gone. Be sure to wear gloves and wash your hands well. You can get it on you too. My birds finally got better, not sure what helped since I tried several things. I only raise show silkies. I give them all a bath when needed. With the ones that had the dry heads, I used a medicated shampoo for dogs called Sebozole. I used an antifungal cream with miconazole on them for a while. Then tried Nu-stock cream. Also VetRx. Also I tried just painting their heads with iodine tincture.(uncolored kind). Like I said, not sure what worked or if it was a combination of what all I used. But it finally cleared up and the feathers grew back good as new. Hope you find out what works for you. Also, not many vets are very helpful with chicken problems. I've tried getting help from a couple and found better advice from fellow chicken owners. Good luck.
     
  4. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply marneypoo, super helpful info! I'm glad we're both thinking the same thing- favus. We've continued treating her over this past week and the tiny white "hairs" are a little longer, and there's less flaking, but she's still pretty bald. I wonder what I could do to speed up her feathers growing back. Any ideas?
     
  5. marneypoo

    marneypoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Has there been any improvement? Hope so. When birds are growing feathers they need extra protein. Scrambled or boiled eggs are good. A little tuna, salmon, black sunflower seeds, meal worms, etc, or feeding a higher protein feed for a while helps. There is a Nutrena Feather Fixer feed that is out now. I've heard it's really good. But I have not tried it yet.
    For scaley mites, I soak and wash their legs with a soft brush. Dry, then I take a small amount of VetRx and add a few drops of Ivermectin to it. Mix and paint the legs and toes with it. Use a small paintbrush or Q-tip. The VetRx needs to be repeated several times. New scales will not grow in until after a molt.
    For help with our birds a lot of us get advice from Peter Brown of First State Vet, online. He is very helpful. Good luck.
     
  6. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

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    Unfortunately our cochin still has a bald head and the white scaliness doesn't seem to be clearing up, even though we've been rubbing miconazole on her head for about a month. We just went on vacation for a couple days and it's worse now that we're back, so it's hard to say if the miconazole is actually helping, or just kind of keeping the flakiness at bay by moisturizing it, and she has some condition other than favus.

    I'll try your iodine idea, and the Sebozole shampoo too. Also will add in the feather fixer feed to maybe help her along a bit.

    If you or anyone else has an other ideas as to what this could be, I'd really appreciate it!
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  7. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

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    @marneypoo
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    When I saw your picture, I thought of this thread that I had seen earlier, but unfortunately, the OP did not follow up on how the chicken did in the long run. I would have guessed this was favus also, but you may want to check into a type of mite, such as a similar mite can cause mange in dogs. Here is the thread similar to your pictures: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/533817/help-with-diagnosis-please-head-feather-loss
     
  9. marneypoo

    marneypoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try to get in touch with Peter Brown at First State Vet. I will message you his email if you want it.
     

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