Severe swelling of head and comb...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bullwinkle, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Nebraska
    Hi Folks:

    I have a Delaware hen called 'Skids' that has had a severly swelled face/head/comb for about 3 weeks now.

    I took her to two different vets. The first One thought it might be a sinus infection. He started her on an antibiotic. After a few days with no change (or getting slightly worse) I took her to our regular vet. She thought it was: Mycoplasma gallisepticum (for more info see: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/203402.htm). She placed her on two different antibiotics and a pain med. After looking at some pictures, I felt pretty certain this was what she had.

    She completed all of her antibiotic meds and did not improve. The swelling was worse (worse than in the pics below) so I talked with the vet about trying to drain the swelling.
    When the vet did the surgery, she said there was no pus or sign of infection! So she believes her diagnosis was wrong (I though she was correct since the pictures I found on the internet looked very similar to her swelling).

    The vet told us to stop the meds until she could figure out what it is. It has been 5 days since the meds were stopped and she still does not have an answer. The swelling has reached the point now where poor skids can't see out of either eye.

    I'm struggling with what to do, but considering having her put to sleep this evening. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

    Info on skids:

    Born: Feb. 2010
    Free ranging during the day (now she is in the house away from the other chickens of course).
    Was on laying pellets, bugs, etc.
    Went from normal to 'swelled up' in about a two day period.
    There are no open cuts/wounds.
    She (as well as the other chickens) have been vaccinated for Mareks (at McMurray), New Castle, Fowl Pox, Cocci (at McMurray), and Infectious Bronchitis.

    Here are some pics. There are links for bigger versions of these three below them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are the same pics but larger:

    http://mom4jesus.com/skids3.jpg
    http://mom4jesus.com/skids1.jpg
    http://mom4jesus.com/skids2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    First of all, I would never have taken the chicken to a regular vet! Generally, that is just a waste of time.

    As to the diagnosis of mycoplasma: antibiotics would most like have not helped anyway.

    I would have guessed Coryza which is generally not fatal. In your case, I would have culled the chicken because it has already gone too far.


    Here's what you need to do:
    1. Start putting Bleach in your drinking water for your birds at the rate of 1 oz per gallon. If your waterers are metal; get rid of them now and switch to something plastic.

    2. Completely clean out your coop and spray with bleach/water at the rate of 1 cup: 1 gal.

    3. In the future, isolate any sick birds immediately. You should notice more sick birds during the fall and spring; espcially when it starts to rain. By the way, if your isolation is where the sick bird can see the other birds then it is too close.

    4. Once isolated, start them on Oxytetracycline. I use the injectable, but give it by mouth. 1 ml day one, 1/2 ml day2-5. You should notice near immediate improvement.

    After one week on the bleach/water; you might want to discontinue it for 4 days and put Sulmet in there water. Once the Sulmet is finished in 4 days go back to the bleach/water. Do that from this day forward.
     
  3. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Nebraska
    Hi Saladin:

    I checked with several vets around here.... none really have much experience with Chickens (I guess most folks just cull instead of taking sick chickens to the vet).

    Skids has been isolated (in the our house, not the chicken house) from the other chickens for about x3 weeks now. We have been watching the other chickens closely and have not seen any others that show any signs of infection.

    My wife takes care of skids, while my kids and I go out to take care of the other chickens (so that we don't care the infection from her to them). So it looks like we caught the infection before it could spread to the rest of the flock (about 140 other chickens), but now even if we can cure her, I'm a little leery about ever putting her out with the rest of the flock again.

    I've past on the link to this post to my vet (she is not an expert at chickens, but she is more than willing to research areas she does not have experience in). I'm meeting with her this evening so hopefully she will have read more on Coryza before then.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  4. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I am by no means a chicken expert. In fact I am very new to chickens but do you think a steroid can be given to atleast try to help reduce the swelling until it is known what it is exactly? She just looks like it would be very painful for that amount of swelling and if a steroid could help reduce that and at least bring her some relief???

    Please keep us posted on your girl and I hope you can figure it out soon!!!

    Forgot to ask.... Is it affecting her ability to breath or swallow yet?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  5. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Bull,

    Trust me: it is on your place and the other birds have it (even if not Coryza). With Coryza, most birds have it and we can never tell; thus, they are carriers. There will be periodic outbreaks. Mortality is extremely low (5-10%). More than likely, less than 10% will ever show signs like this one. Of the ones that die, very few will show any sign of the disease; you will just find them dead. The old name for Coryza is 'one-eyed cold.'

    Ask your Vet to give you some Baytril (oral-liquid). ONLY use it on the VERY, VERY sick: like this hen; otherwise use the Duramycin which you can get at the feedstore.

    If this hen dies; or you decide to cull her. You can take/send her to the State Vet for a necropsy just to be sure of the disease. That will cost you around $30. Which is probably less than you have already paid. BUT DON'T SEND HER ALIVE TO THE STATE VET; ONLY THE DEAD ARE ACCEPTED.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010

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