New Hen Respiratory Infection?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fool2Think, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Fool2Think

    Fool2Think In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2011
    Hello, I would like opinions on what this may be and how to treat it.

    We just purchased a Silkie hen and rooster from Craigslist. We planned on picking her up a little over a week ago but the woman said the hen had a runny nose and she would treat her and we could have them in 7-10 days.
    We got them on the 9th day I think. She said at that point that the hen had a little crust on her beak but appeared to be fine otherwise. She also said that she tried picking it off and it bled a little bit. My friend picked them up for me and noticed the hen didn't look right but felt bad for the chickens and brought them home anyway.
    Anyhow~ You'll see in the photo's the "cone" shaped crust over her nostrils. I cannot describe how disgusting the odor was coming from this hens beak. It appears to me that this has been going on for longer than a week, and judging by the odor I would assume there is an infection, whether secondary or not, i don't know.
    It's not letting me post photos

    1) What type of bird , age and weight. Silkie Hen, approx 1lb, yearling

    2) What is the behavior, exactly. Hard crust around nostrils in a "cone" shape, when removed nostrils secreted a puss or yellow mucous

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? I am unsure how long she has been like this,We have had her for 3 days.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? She came to us with a Rooster but he is not exhibiting any symptoms

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. There is also some bleeding in the area, after the "crust" was removed, I believe the blood to be from torn tissue.

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. I'm assuming poor conditions contributed to the illness. Both chickens were discolored and odorous.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. We are giving her a mix of scratch grains, and layer pellets. Water is mixed with Sulmet

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Her feces looks normal but may be becoming soft.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Sulmet in water, antiseptic wash on the affected area. (Should we use neosporin?)

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? We would like to treat ourselves if possible. Otherwise, Cornell is our only other option.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. Photo's attached

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use, She is in a large wire dog crate with her rooster, the bedding is hay, not straw, hay.

  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    If I were treating a respiratory issue, I would use a Duramyacin/Terramyacin type antibiotic instead of the Sulmet.
    As far as the bleeding from her beak, that is curious, I really don't know what to say about that.
    It's really a good thing you have them in quarantine away from your other birds.
    The problem with these respiratory things is that, depending on what kind it is, it can leave your bird as a carrier for life.
    I sure hope you can get some answers to what's going on with her.
    Try doing a search for Coryza(due to the smell you are smelling) and see if that fits her symptoms.
    Good luck!
  3. I think its INFECTIOUS CORYZA. the signs are
    sneezing, lacrimation, swollen face, and nasal exudates. The nasal exudates are thick clear sticky in texture with a fetid or rotten odor. im no expert, but the foul smelling odor is what caught my attention.

    By Dr. L. Dwight Schwartz, D.V.M.

    Infectious Coryza (IC) is an infectious contagious respiratory bacterial disease of several avian species. The disease is acute to subacute at onset but progresses to a chronic state as the disease works through the flock. Common names for the disease are roup, cold and Coryza. Coryza is characterized by nasal discharge, facial swelling, sneezing, labored breathing and fetid odor of the exudates. Coryza is a disease of the upper respiratory tract--trachea, sinuses and air passages of the head. Coryza occurs worldwide. In the United States, it is predominately found in small noncommercial, menagerie, or hobby type flocks. The causative agent is Hemophilus paragallinarum, a polar staining, pleomorphic, non-motile, gram negative rod that was first described in 1920. There are three antigenic types (A, B, and C) which all share certain antigens. H. paragallinarum requires "V" factor, a special growth factor in the media to grow. While chickens are the primary host of Coryza, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys are also susceptible. It is assumed that other gamebird species will become infected if commingle on a regular basis with chronically infected gamebirds or poultry flocks. Age-wise, Coryza is a disease of juvenile and mature birds or birds 14 weeks of age or older. The incubation period is 1 to 3 days and the course of the disease is 4 to 12 weeks.


    Chronically ill or inapparent healthy carrier birds are the reservoir of infection. The source of the disease is often the addition of carrier birds to the flock. Recovered birds remain carriers and shedders for life. Transmission occurs by direct bird to bird contact, inhalation of infectious aerosols coughed into the air, or through ingestion of contaminated feed and water. The organism can be transferred on contaminated clothing, equipment and fomites. Incubation is 1
    to 3 days with duration of the disease 14 days in the infected individual bird. The slow spread extends the period of sick birds within the flock to several weeks. The presence of other respiratory infections as mycoplasma will increase the duration and severity of illness of sick birds and impact on flock growth and production. Once a flock has been infected, it is a constant threat to other clean flocks. The clinical signs are those of an upper respiratory disease--sneezing, lacrimation, swollen face, and nasal exudates. The nasal exudates are thick clear sticky in texture with a fetid or rotten odor. Sick birds become lethargic, will sit humped, have ruffled feathers, go off feed and water and have swollen faces. Some birds also have sinusitis. The facial swelling is primarily around the eye and not always involving the infra-orbital sinus. Mortality can be as high as 50 percent but usually no more than 20 percent. The course and mortality of the disease correlate with the virulence of the pathogen, treatment, and concomitant infections.


    In the acute stage, the principal lesions are swollen face, watery eyes, rhinitis, nasal exudates that become crusty on the beak around nostrils and cheesy in nostrils and sinuses. Eyelids stick together by the exudate or an accumulation of cheesy exudate in the conjunctival sac. Early exudates are copious, grayish-yellowish, thick and sticky. Other lesions include tracheitis, bronchitis and on occasion air sacculitis. The exudates in the trachea produce raffling (rales). A presumptive diagnosis can be rendered on the flock history, progress of the disease and the lesions. When present, the fetid odors of nasal exudates are diagnostic. Confirmation requires laboratory diagnostic work up with isolation and identification of the organism. The pathogen has special growth media requirement; therefore, the bacteriology laboratory must be alerted to the diagnostic suspicion of infectious Coryza (H. paragallinarum). The organism can be demonstrated in a gram-stained smear of the nasal exudates. Cultures should be made from nostrils, eye, cleft and trachea plus lung or air sacs if lesions are present. Flock treatment should be started based on presumptive diagnosis.


    Flock medication with a sulfonamide or antibiotic is recommended. Various sulfonamides -- sulfadimethoxine (SDM), sulfaqumnline (SQ), sulfamet hazine (sulmet) are all effective; however, sulfadimethoxine is the safest and the one prescribed as treatment of choice. SQ and Sulmet are more toxic and require intermittent administration. Therapy in the drinking water will give more immediate response and reduce the severity of the disease. Feed administration of the sulfa or antibiotic does extend the period of treatment for better control. A combination treatment approach is advisable. Administer medication in the drinking water until medicated feed can be provided. Antibiotics that are beneficial include tetracycline, erythromycin, spectihomycin and tylosin. All are safe and approved for use in poultry. Control cannot be accomplished with drugs alone. Management is equally important. A bacterin is available that can be used in a control or eradication program. The bacterin requires multiple injections to be effective which makes it costly and cumbersome for commercial flocks. Control requires attention to flock sanitation, biosecurity, preventive medication, clean and sanitary premises, and disease-free replacements.


    Prevention requires eradication of the disease (depopulation if necessary), good husbandry, strict biosecurity, all in-all out program, raise own breeder replacement, and do not mix ages or species. Most outbreaks occur as a result of mixing flocks. If you have an outbreak, segregate birds by age, etc., properly dispose of dead birds, medicate to stop the spread of the disease and initiate eradication procedures. Do not save recovered birds for breeder replacements. Premises should be vacant for 30 to 60 days after cleaning and disinfecting before repopulating or onset of the new season. Breeders should be replaced from a Coryza-clean source.

    man i hope this helps you:)and this is my first post so please let me know. best of luck to you

  5. Fool2Think

    Fool2Think In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2011
    Thanks so much for the rapid response. I have read a little about Coryza and Mycoplasma(I think thats what its called) and am leaning toward either of those two things at this time. The Sulmet says that it is used for control of Infectious coryza, what exactly does that mean "control"? Is that because it is not able to be cured? This hen probably won't ever be able to be mixed in with our existing flock? Right now I have the silkies in my garage, our flock lives a couple of miles away. I have photos of her but cannot attach them yet.

    Last night we gave her .5cc of a thing called nutri-drench, it is a vitamin and nutrient booster. We have been treating with Sulmet for 3 days now, since we got her. This morning the "crust" on one nostril had gotten taller and softer. My first thought is that the meds are working and she is draining the fluids from her beak, and that caused the crust to grow higher, but i'm probably wrong.
  6. Chronically ill or inapparent healthy carrier birds are the reservoir of infection. The source of the disease is often the addition of carrier birds to the flock. Recovered birds remain carriers and shedders for life. Transmission occurs by direct bird to bird contact, inhalation of infectious aerosols coughed into the air, or through ingestion of contaminated feed and water. they never really get over it. it just lies dormit in their bodies anr can get your whole flock sick.
  7. Fool2Think

    Fool2Think In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2011
    Thank you for that information. She is exhibiting several of those symptoms, but not all. The odor is what makes me think it is Coryza as well. It smells like rotting flesh.
    Unfortunately, I am becoming fairly certain that she does have Coryza and that our only option may be to put her and her rooster down.

    Over the past 12 hours she seems to have become more lethargic and "sleepy" looking. I am so disappointed that this lady sold us these birds in this condition. I have yet to contact her, I am waiting to cool down about it, i'm so mad.

  8. im currently battling the same thing. i dont want to cull my whole flock, but now i cant sell/ buy any new birds , which breaks my heart. im trying to see if there is a vaccine or anything i can do for them. i picked it up from a chicken auction, must have carried it home on me. i feel so bad that i didnt catch it in time. i am new to raising chickens, my first year, and love my birds very much. hopefully some one will have more advice for us.
  9. there may be a vaccine called Avi Pro 101-Coryza Gold that will protect the rest of your floc. a vet has to vaccinate for it

  10. Fool2Think

    Fool2Think In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2011
    Quote:The whole flock has to be vaccinated correct? I wonder how expensive it is. We are most likely going to make an appointment at Cornell, or at least get some info from them in the morning. I will ask about the vaccine.

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