Scabby Face inhibiting sight

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by eenpintje, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. eenpintje

    eenpintje New Egg

    Sep 7, 2010
    Hello, I'm desperate for help. Our rooster, Sarko, was diagnosed with scabby leg mites. He was treated for this for the past month and is still healing after a lot of visits to the vet, antibiotics, creams, vitamins and finally, descaling his legs by the vet and he seems to be getting better in this area. The mystery seems to be that the mites or some sort of skin affliction as transferred to his face. The swelling has gone from tender spots to hardened skin and scab. His comb and waddles are fine, but this hardened skin on his cheeks has expanded over his entire face, slowly shutting his eyes until he has minute pin hole sized openings for him to see out of. I am cleaning the eyes three times a day, and putting terramycine to keep the eyes and skin moist. In the morning, it seems worse and throughout the day seems to be slightly better and he's able to see enough to eat and drink. The vet is completely stumped about what could be causing this or if it will get better. If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciate. I don't want the little guy to suffer, but if he can't see, he can't eat. Our hens, which are completely different breeds, have no problems.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Actually, a blind chicken can eat just fine. You have had him at the vet so, to me, it's his problem.

    If a human doctor can't diagnose your problem, he is supposed to find someone who can.
  3. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    It sounds like mites...very well could be he still has them. I will find a thread I was just reading about something similar and post it here. The mites leave scabs, but you can't see them. Let's get him treated right away.

    A blind chicken will waste away to nothing if he/she cannot see to forage for food. They need their eyesight to eat.
  4. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

    Oct 1, 2008
    Quote:That wasn't particularly helpful. As you well know, however well meaning some vets can be, they don't always know the best treatment for chickens.

    eenpintje: Antibiotics and vitamins won't help a mite problem. You need to smother the mites with vaseline, oil or something similar. If you do a search on mites here you will find a lot of useful information. A bath in a flea/tick shampoo would be helpful as would ivermectin. While they are a pain to get rid of, I would suggest you cease vet treatment, save yourself some money and use some of the methods suggested by BYC-ers who have had experience in this area. Good luck.
  5. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    Quote:For your scaley leg mites, just slather his legs in Vaseline. It drowns them out. For the mites on the face you can give him a flea/tick bath (so I read), use Sevin dust. And if he has the mites, your girls will get them, too. I read to spray oil (WD-40, canola, vegetable oil) all over the roost/coop to kill the mites in there also. Research the Sevin dust, some people say it is safe to eat the eggs your hens lay after using Sevin, some wait a month or more. Act fast and get him cured!

    A side note...I can't imagine a vet using antibiotics on a parasitic case. I'm wondering if the oil would also work on the face (veggie/canola). At this point, I would try anything to help your little roo out! Keep reading through old posts...there are lots of people who have had a similar situation. Good luck.
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Please remember that unless your vet has a speciality in avian medicine in his/her repetoire, he/she is shooting in the dark.
    I have never heard of antibiotics and vitamins helping with scaly leg mites, only to perhaps treat an underlying problem.

    I would suggest you answer as many questions as possible in the Emergencies section sticky note and post some pics. The link is below.
    Most BYC members are experienced with chicken ailments and will be more than able and willing to help. [​IMG]
  7. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    The common term is "scalley leg mites". The treatment is oiling the legs to smother them, as mentioned. Treatment should be anykind of oil and once a week. Be sure to oil the roost as mites hide in cracks in the wood. In about a months time, the leg scales will look a lot better.

    Never seen lice/mites cause that kind of problem with the eyes, I would suspect pox, even though the comb and wattles are clear. Pox will run it`s course over about a months time. If you see any symptoms appear on any other birds, there is a vaccine available at most feed stores.

    To check for lice/mites, pick one or two off the roost at night and, using a good flashlight, check around the vent and under the tail. You should see tiny bugs scurrying for cover, if they are present.

    I agree to discontinue the vet visits. Must be costing a fortune and the vet obviously doesn`t know what he`s doing. Ask all the questions you want. Folks are here to help........Pop
  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I knew I had just read about this in the last couple days. It appears that scaly leg mites can infect the face as well called scaly face. More common in caged birds, but can affect chickens.

    Hope this helps.


    BTW-I googled something like mites on chicken face
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I have had "scaley leg and face mites" on my parakeets (years ago). The bird store told me to get scalex and apply it to all patchy areas daily; gradually, over about a week the patches came off, leaving clear skin underneath. Scalex is made for bird mites; an oil base with an insecticide.

    In retrospect, I would have used bath oil diluted ivermectin (once) and bath oil (daily). That is how I treat scaley leg mites, although I first soak the birds' legs in water and once softened, scrub off as much gunk as possible. Then I daily apply oil.

    For your rooster, give him a bath in a dog or cat flea/tick shampoo that contains an insect growth regulator. Then apply about .25 ml ivermectin to the skin in his wingpits. Then dilute another .25 ml ivermectin with an equal amount of bath oil and apply to his scales on his face with a swab.

    I do believe that whenever a bird is being treated it needs an extra nutritious diet, so I would suggest continuing the vitamins. What antibiotic did the vet prescribe, and did he say why? Is this a general vet or an avian vet?
  10. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Can you get a picture of his face? When i saw your post title, like Pop, first thing i thought of was Fowl Pox. i've never seen scaly face mites, but i suppose it's possible. Generally the mites like to gather around the vent area. But i have seen them run for the face when i am treating my chickens. i use the ivermectin topical on the back of the neck, then poultry dust the chicken all over. If they go to the face, i break open a Vitamin E capsule and gently wipe all around the face. The mites hate it and it won't harm the chicken.

    Sounds like Sonoran has a good treatment to get all the mites, including those scaly leg mites. i use the Adams Flea and Tick Spray with IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) on my pens and nest boxes. It's a little perfume-y, but not too bad.

    You also want to treat your pen and all of your chickens. Mites are so hard to get rid of and really take a toll on your birds. You may not see them on your other birds, but that doesn't mean they don't have them. Those things are so tiny.

    i hope your rooster gets better.

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