Please help, nasty eye worm


6 Years
Sep 23, 2013
Hello, one of my laying hens has got what appears to be a nasty eye worm for almost a month now. I had a bit of luck looking after it with essential oils like Eucalyptus and Citronella in the beginning but the eye had gotten a lot worse during our absence in the last few days. We can't get Vetrex here (as Im writing from Belgium) and the only over the counter solution I have been given by the pharmacist (as that's how it works here apparently... Feed stores won't sell medicine) was a tube of antibiotic eye ointment. I have been applying it three times a day for three days now but despite the initial effect, today, her eye looks even worse, swollen to the point where she can't close her eye anymore. She looks overall active and not so ill looking but it I really want to do somthing to get rid of the worm as she seems to bother her more now too.

As it would cost almost 80 euros to even get a consultation with the vet here, our choices are quite limited.
What will happen to my chook if I just carried on putting anti-biotic ointment into her eye three times a day?
Is there a drop-dead solution to this problem? (i.e trying to squeeze it out by ourselves without any anesthetic?)
If so, can anyone post a step by step instruction that we can follow? We have watched the Youtube video but we are quite nervous to try it out just looking at the video. Thanks!
You can actually see the eyeworm in the chickens eye and the bird will be constantly scratching the eye. Constant scratching of the eye causes blindness when dealing with eyeworm. If you dont see the worm(s) and your bird isnt scratching the eye, you're most likely dealing with some type of respiratory problem. Your other birds will eventually get eyeworm because eggs are deposited onto the soil via feces and birds peck the soil picking up the worms eggs, completing the worms lifecycle.
Here's pics of eyeworm(s)

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If in fact it's eyeworm, the easiest way to treat it is to purchase a small bottle of liquid albendazole from a vet/pharmacy (if you can get it in your country).... mix equal parts albendazole and water and flush the eye with it. Then give all your birds including the infected bird 1/2ml albendazole orally undiluted. Then repeat dosing again in 10 days. This will stop the worms lifecycle. But keep in mind that infective eggs are on/in the soil. You will need to maintain a regular worming schedule afterwards to prevent reinfection over the long haul with whatever wormers are available to you.
If in fact it's a respiratory illness, you'll need an antibiotic to treat it unless it's a virus. Otherwise I recommend that you cull the bird. Respiratory diseases will easily spread to other birds.
I've watched that youtube video you're refering to: They removed a plug of infection either due to a respiratory problem or eye infection due to scratching the eye or some other injury. They did NOT treat NOR eliminate the eyeworm problem, if that's what it was.
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Thank you for your kind reply Dawg. I have taken a picture of my poor chook's eye to ask for your opinion whether what she has is indeed eye worm. Though it looks like there is a worm looking thing in the right corner of her eye in the top picture, it doesn't look like that in real life. (she just has this gooey white stuff as you see in the picture below. Think it might a camera flare of something.)
How would you dignose the difference between the eye worms and the infection?
She seems to be eating well and yet has no other abnormalities that I have noticed. I have 8 chooks all together and others seem to be fine.

Thanks in advance.
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Thanks Michael. I really hope I could get rid of the vile thing. She is really a good-natured chook... :(
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