One of my chickens has developed a lump on her beak

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sdmorris, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. sdmorris

    sdmorris Out Of The Brooder

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    One of my chickens has developed a lump on her beak - not the white bits, they are cottage cheese, which she loves.

    She has been on antibiotics and vitamins for the last week, because she was very lethargic. She is much more chirpy now, but she is not eating very much. I think the lump hurts when she tries to eat.

    Any ideas what the cause is and the treatment?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    it looks like it might be an abscess and that black spot would be where an opening would or could be. keep in mind that it could be contagious and wear gloves . or possible she has something in it that has become infected. same treatment, keep doing what your doing. a warm wet rag could help with pain or to help it drain. this is only a opinion.
     
  3. Beaky Buzzard

    Beaky Buzzard Chillin' With My Peeps

    wow, that is unusual.... just bumping this for you... Sorry I don't have any advice.... =(
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I think it's possibly an abscess, and possibly in need of careful draining and disinfecting... But, I'm not sure, and a few things make me think it's more complicated than that.

    Also, if she's showing positive signs of responding to antibiotics, I wouldn't drain it, necessarily. It could be painful enough to put her into shock, and she seems weakened already, so that'd be less likely to end well than if performed on an otherwise healthy bird. If it's shrinking, and/or she's showing signs of recovery, possibly best to just support her (through diet, medication etc) as her body does the work, but it's possible that it's beyond her immune systems' management (otherwise chances are it never would have reached this point).

    It also may be a symptom of a disease. I would check her all over very carefully for other lumps. There are a few contagious diseases which many birds can carry without visible symptoms which cause tumors, abscesses, etc.

    Another theory is that it could be a spider bite (which I would reckon likelier if there are two distinct scabs on the lump, but absence of that sign doesn't guarantee no bite) --- or there may be a foreign body in there, perhaps a treated wood splinter. The reason I suggest that as a potential cause is that I've seen tiny splinters of treated wood, specifically pine, cause raging fevers, excruciating pain, multiple organ damage and gangrene in both animals and humans. Sometimes, I think, they really overdo it on the arsenic and cyanide related chemicals they treat the wood with. Don't know if that's what they use in your area, but I've read some serious warnings printed on wood planks which dispels my doubts that a tiny splinter could do such a damaging thing. Otherwise I'd just think, surely, it's just introduced bacteria, or something like that.

    I think it's very likely there's a deeper issue because she seems quite ill, almost unreasonably ill for a bird with a simple abscess. I've seen finches getting around with abscesses on their heads that are equal to the sizes of their heads, looking nonetheless healthier than her. Some of those were caused by disease too (avian pox, etc).

    From the look of the bird, she feels poisoned; the way her eye is sunken and partially lidded and the way the feathers are fluffed, i.e. the ones on her head standing 'on end', generally indicates that the animal feels nauseous. Another symptom that reliably indicates that the problem is attacking major systems is that her facial skin shows a combination of dull pink skin which shows congested circulation, and patches of pale facial skin. So I would theorize that her liver and cardiovascular system's under burden.

    An abscess can do this, but it's more likely if the abscess is a symptom of a disease or carries additional toxic or venomous qualities like an insect inflicted wound or a splinter of treated wood. Then again it could be something as relatively simple (yet detrimental) as another bird pecking her and staph (for example) getting introduced into the wound and then moving into the rest of the organism via that.

    Ok, I'm know I'm not being very helpful, sorry, but there's a lot of potential causes, and treatment differs depending on what it is. So if it's shrinking or she's getting better (even if it's not shrinking) I would be hesitant to cut into it or lance it. Even if you decide to drain it, picking off the scab is better than making a fresh cut or hole into flesh that may not be exposed to the contaminant or contents of the abscess. It's possible her body has isolated something very nasty in there. Topical treatment of the lump as well as whole-body treatment via diet etc may be wiser than opening it. I don't know, because I don't know what's caused it.

    I would check her for other lumps, check the lump for anything distinctive (does it have two scabs like a bite?), and just note anything that may help diagnose. Does she have a fever? (That may come and go). Does she drink and eat normally? Also, when you say 'more chirpy' do you mean that she makes an unusual amount of noise?

    Sounds to me like she's craving calcium and magnesium which is generally what animals are seeking when they show obvious preference for dairy foods, especially while unwell. This is generally craved when the animal is in pain as that takes a lot of calcium out of an animal. If there's any sugar or any form of highly processed added sweetener in that cottage cheese I'd stop giving it to her as it would feed the infection. White sugar causes inflammation throughout the whole body. A healthy body doesn't notice but it can be the straw that broke the camel's back for a compromised organism. I'd look at other ways of getting her calcium needs met, in that case.

    Raw, freshly minced garlic contains many compounds which have medicinal purposes. It contains Allicin, a potent antibiotic, which being dynamic rather than static is something bacteria etc can't easily become immune to unlike man made antibiotics which are the same every time, standardized and static.

    Allicin is a compound in garlic that's made up of the enzyme interactions caused by cutting or crushing garlic, and dissipates over hours or days, so best fed fresh. Garlic is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and a lot of other great things. But, though I've been unable to find a proven case, it is of course always possible that it could interact with other medications, so only use it if you think it's a good idea. Another thing is that if her liver's under load already (as it would be with infection) she may refuse garlic as it is high in sulfur, which is generally something an animal or human with a compromised liver hates the smell and taste of, as it is something best processed by a healthy liver. It could still help, but she may refuse it. Sulfur is also anti most bad things in terms of disease, infections, bacteria, parasites, etc and it speeds healing, when administered in a natural form the body can process without damage.

    Anyway, best wishes, hope you find what's wrong.
     
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  5. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    wow ! chooks for life, awesome post !
     
  6. sdmorris

    sdmorris Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks very much. So much information!
    As a newbie, this is all a learning experience, and your post really helps.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Thanks, I hope there's something helpful to someone in all that. :)

    Quote: You're welcome. Best wishes with your bird. I'm still a newbie myself in many areas. Nobody knows it all, there's just too much to know and new things being discovered all the time.

    Just today I was taking pics of someone's birds, to post and ask a question about; they have lumps on their beaks in the same position as yours but much smaller, hard, and white. Not sick otherwise, at least not in any way I can see. But I've seen threads on this lump before, which was what I was searching for when I found your thread, and before nobody knew what it was and it seemed that it was possibly an injury from sticking their heads through mesh.

    But now I'm pretty sure it's a symptom of disease. No cut, no blood, no scab, just a hard white mass that sticks out at the junction between skin and beak on top of the upper beak. It stays the same size in all of them, and some have lost their lump and it's left a hole without a scab or bleeding.

    I believe it may be related to avian pox, perhaps. It appears contagious, having shown up in birds all of about the same age your bird is, which is also the age of the first bird I saw with this issue on these forums; yet older birds in the same cage don't have it. I hope to find some proper information on it soon. It may be a new disease or a new form of a current one. Your bird may have a more virulent strain if she does have what they have, and if it is as I guess, a contagious disease, but I hope it's just something simple and treatable instead of something really bad.

    Best wishes. Sorry for any worry caused, this is all just speculation on my part. Tomorrow I will upload some pics if I can and make a new thread asking about it. I'll link you to it and maybe you can recall if you've seen such a lump on any of your birds in the past.
     
  8. Brenda mc

    Brenda mc New Egg

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    [​IMG][ does anybody know what this could be
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. It looks like one of the common beak bumps that many people here ask about. The first thought is it could be a papilloma from a virus that may fall off eventually, or a cyst. Some chickens can get an injury from a sharp feeder or piece of fencing. I would just watch it to see if it gets larger, if more spots appear, or if it disappears. Here is some reading about other similar bumps:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/494097/wart-like-growth-on-beak
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/852553/what-is-on-my-chickens-nose
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/246282/wart-or-growth-on-beak
     
  10. Brenda mc

    Brenda mc New Egg

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    It got larger there is some in the corner of his mouth and one on his.
     

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