scratching face, shaking head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Thechickenchick2, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Thechickenchick2

    Thechickenchick2 Songster

    398
    290
    116
    Mar 15, 2018
    Rhode Island
    Hey guys
    I went out earlier to collect eggs and I noticed that our 1.5 year old RSL is shaking her head and scratching her face quite a bit. There is no discharge coming from her eyes, her nostrils are not blocked (clear "snot" was going everywhere as she was shaking her head). There was really no sneezing or anything else abnormal going on. Her comb is standing up wonderfully but a little pale in color but that's to be expected as she laid a lash egg over the summer so we know her time could be up at any moment and hasnt been laying.

    Does this seem like a respiratory infection? I fortunately have never had any such issues so I'm not exactly sure what to be looking for. The 11 other girls she is with are fine and not showing any issues at this point. 6 out of my 12 are laying now that they are out of their HARD molt.


    We changed bedding yesterday and have a pretty well ventilated coop. Although its insanely beautiful today after the crazy cold snap we just had they will he kept in their coop. We have a hawk and fox that have picked off 8 of our girls already so until their run is built they're "trapped". Their coop is plenty big for the 12 girls and as I said they have good ventilation ....


    Thanks so much!

    Edited to add that she doesn't look uncomfortable by any means . She was up roosting and had a comfortable and natural stance. Bright eyed. She wasnt hunched or lethargic et.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    26,042
    32,752
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Did you hear sneezing or not?
    Was she doing anything like eating when you notice the shaking of the head?
    Look in her ears to make sure they are clean. Check her closely for lice and mites.
    Photos of your hen and your housing may be helpful.

    Since it's a really nice day, open your coop windows if you have them to let it air out more. It's possible it could simply be irritation from adding new bedding. Since she has Salpingitis, she could also be immune compromised or possibly be having a relapse if Mycoplasma or Infectious Bronchitis is the cause of her illness.

    I would give her a good going over. Watch to see that is she is eating/drinking. If the head shaking and discharge from the nostrils continues for several days or worsens and you have checked everything, then you may want to consider treating her with antibiotics.
     
    staceyj likes this.
  3. Thechickenchick2

    Thechickenchick2 Songster

    398
    290
    116
    Mar 15, 2018
    Rhode Island
    No, there was no sneezing. I realize I wasn't very clear about that. Zero sneezing. Excessive head shaking and scratching.

    Thanks so much. I'll go out in a few after I get my kids settled to take pictures and see if its continued
     
    Wyorp Rock and staceyj like this.
  4. Thechickenchick2

    Thechickenchick2 Songster

    398
    290
    116
    Mar 15, 2018
    Rhode Island


    Here is a video
    It shows exactly what's going on


    She was not eating or drinking when it all began and I noticed it. Just roosting. She was at the feeder when I went in there just now but wasnt truly eating. Her crop feels normal and no abnormal smells.
     
  5. Thechickenchick2

    Thechickenchick2 Songster

    398
    290
    116
    Mar 15, 2018
    Rhode Island
    Also, still no sneezing. Just head shaking and face scratching. Her ears and feathers look good .
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    26,042
    32,752
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Have you looked inside her beak really well for obstruction, canker, lesions or plaques - be sure to look at the roof of the beak and tongue too.

    She is mucousy. It could be infectious Bronchitis, Mycoplasma or similar respiratory illness.
    I would definitely check the crop to see if it's empty in the morning before she eats/drinks - sounds like she is pretending which is not good. If the crop is not empty, then you will need to address that too.

    That much mucous, I would be inclined to try antibiotics to see if she improves. You can find Tylan50 at Tractor Supply. Dosage is .25ml per pound of weight given orally 3 times a day for 5 days.
    Keep in mind, if it is a respiratory illness, antibiotics aren't a cure. IB is a virus so antibiotics will only treat secondary infection. Mycoplasma is bacterial, so it responds fairly well.
     
  7. Thechickenchick2

    Thechickenchick2 Songster

    398
    290
    116
    Mar 15, 2018
    Rhode Island
    Thank you so much!
    Okay, so I went out ONE more time and tried to do a better once over. I'm alone with my two kids so I've been trying to keep my trips short but as thorough as I can. We live on 10 acres and the coop isn't that close.

    I observed for a few and she ate maybe 4 bites of her food. For real bites. I was able to grab her again and her crop was by no means full. Basically empty. I opened her mouth again a bit better this time (I pulled on her wattles a bit) and on her bottom right it looked like a very very minor canker sore that a human would get. Not raised and hard or large. Very much like a mild canker sore that my 4 year old gets with his viruses. It was mildly white and as I said very small and NOT raised. Is this the beginning of canker?

    Edited to add - it was RIGHT next to her tongue. Her tongue almost covered it at times. It was all flush with the rest of her mouth. Also, everything else looked completely fine in her mouth and smelt normal as well. Checked her ears AGAIN as well and they were normal
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  8. Thechickenchick2

    Thechickenchick2 Songster

    398
    290
    116
    Mar 15, 2018
    Rhode Island
    Looks much like this except on a much smaller scale and not as white and noticeable I tried to take a picture but failed.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    25,758
    7,552
    706
    Nov 27, 2008
    Glen St Mary, Florida
    It sounds like the start of canker. I recommend that you get her started on Metronidazole 250mg, give her one tablet orally each day for 5 days. Keep in mind that canker is contagious to other birds via waterers and infected chickens will be carriers. Acidified copper sulfate at a rate of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water for 3 days straight once a month will keep it in check.
    Here's where you can get the Metronidazole:
    https://www.revivalanimal.com/product/fish-zole/all-pet-supplies-medications-bird-fish-antibiotics
    Acidified Copper Sulfate:
    https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/acidified_copper_sulfate.html
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    26,042
    32,752
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    X2 what Dawg said:)
    Canker can spread quickly, so I would begin treatment as described in his post.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: