Sick chick - abscesses or pox? (includes pics)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dot123, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. dot123

    dot123 New Egg

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Hello,

    I have searched all over the forum for hours trying to figure out what to do for this poor girl. I am now surrendering and posting. Your help is much appreciated.

    She is a 5 week old alley chicken. A few weeks ago, I noticed a little tiny bump on her beak and a little scab on it. It didn't seem to progress at all, so I figured it was just a little deformity or small injury and would heal.

    Then I noticed she was getting picked on by an aggressive rooster chick. She is the runt for sure. (She wasn't the only one, said rooster has been removed from the group). I separated her by putting her into a pet carrier inside the chicken tractor so she can see her siblings and mom. I put Neosporin on the head and beak wounds daily.

    Over the past few days, they have all grown into bumps. The beak bump is huge and I saw fresh blood around it- it looks almost like the beak is cracking. The inside roof of her mouth looks bruised near the bump. The bump around her eye appeared without evidence of a previous injury, though it does have a tiny scab on it.

    She runs around, eats, drinks, poops normally. She is not phased by the bumps or me touching them. They are firm.

    I put a little ointment on them before these photos were taken. That is why they look wet. They are normally very dry looking.

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    So... are they abscesses? or avian pox?

    I started her on terramyacin in water today in case they are abscesses. I didn't want to lance them unless I know they are abscesses and not pox. And... if they are abscesses, how should I lance the one on her beak?

    If they are pox, nobody else seems to have it, though we do have lots of mosquitoes around. I read how to deal with that.

    Thanks!

    Dot
     
  2. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    I don't think it is Pox..normally Pox appears on featherless areas, such as combs or wattles.
    slight possibility it could be wet Pox..
    but the chick has been pecked, it is more likely an infection has set in..
    sometimes AI can cause similar looking lesions.

    and I don't think terramycin will handle it..

    I think you should be wearing protective gloves whenever you handle her..and wash carefully..keep chick strictly quarentened.
    keep close eye on others for any symptoms.

    maybe something like Pen-G procaine injectable..
    possibly Tylan 50..Baytril, or Cephaloxin (a form of Cipro)..
    possibly an antiviral..

    clean areas with saline, then apply diluted betadine, and neosporin for the head sores..
    for the beak..you might need something like terramycin eye ointment, or some other safer ointment so close to the mouth..Peter Brown at First State Vet Supply has other ointments.

    is the chick eating? is she able to drink?
    do you have poultry vitamins on hand?
    make sure you are keeping her hydrated by giving water by drops on uninjured area of beak...
    get some Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins..Enfamil brand if possible..give 2 drops a day on beak..using a needle-less syringe.
    moisten some feed with plain yogurt, or just warm water to make it easier to feed..not soupy, just puffed up....give her some scrambled egg..

    are there any other symptoms?
    any mucus? any rattling in the chest?
    check her over well and look for any other marks or sores..
    describe droppings..color and consistency..

    if you possibly can..you might want to contact Peter Brown at:
    firststatevetsupply.com

    there is a small fee..unless you have a local vet..

    others might have suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  3. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Oklahoma
    I think that it's time for a vet to take a culture to see exactly what you are dealing with as it doesn't exactly match anything that I have been able to find. Until you can find out what it is please take bio-security measures and let noboby else anywhere near the chick.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  4. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    I agree..a culture would be the way to go so you know what infection it is and treat properly.
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Reading your story and then looking at the photos (the eye in particular) it does appear as though they are abscesses and not pox although if this is solely from a pecking injury it is the worst case of abscessed head injuries I have ever seen ... I can see the "dot" of the original injury from the peck at the eye one).
    Abscess must be "drained" manually although I am totally unsure how to proceed with the beak.
    (Can you get a photo of what is going on inside the mouth?)
    Do not leave her in the chicken tractor (especially if their are mosquitoes as you mention > I am unable to view the injuries on the top of the head sufficiently to rule out any possible complication/pox in that area which is entirely possible... applying iodine to the lesions you are unsure are abscess and might possibly be pox will do no harm) Separate this bird to an area where there are no mosquitoes ... clean dry and temperature stable.
    I too am curious as to what Peter Brown would advise you about the beak and I suggest you email him
    [email protected]
    (be sure to leave your telephone number)I really feel he may have more useful advice on the beak injury as I have no concrete info on how you should proceed with that... put in your subect line "abscess emergency >referred by dlhunicorn" (so he knows which email it is as I imagine he gets so many > I too will send him a note and ask him to watch for your email > I dont believe he will charge you for this) and give him a link to this post so he can see the photos...
     
  6. dot123

    dot123 New Egg

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I have called and emailed Peter. I am trying to find a vet here that will see her as well. She's still eating and drinking. She's been fully quarantined since last night. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Dot
     
  7. dot123

    dot123 New Egg

    7
    0
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    Aug 20, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Hello everyone,

    Just thought I would post a little update.

    Amelia is still eating, drinking and active. She is totally quarantined from the others. The bumps look the same.

    I spoke to Peter this morning and saw a vet yesterday.

    The vet tried to squish the bump on her beak and then told me he thinks it is avian pox not abscesses. He had no explanation as to why the others did not catch it during the few days they were near each other in the yard. He thought if it was an abscess he would have been able to get something out of it. He's not a poultry specialist, though.

    Peter said if it is pox, then it is the weirdest case of pox he had ever seen. He said the whole thing was very unusual. He said that it is normal for pox to enter after a break in the skin has occurred (she had been pecked by her siblings). He's seen worse cases, but not cases that look quite like this.

    He suggested that it could be genetic- permanent deformities that would eventually need to be removed by a vet. They would need to be removed if the one by her eye starts to affect her vision or the one on her beak affects her ability to eat and drink.

    He also briefly mentioned the possibility of canker, but wasn't convinced enough to take further action on that end.

    He did not seem to think it was an abscess and did not recommend we try to open it or anything like that. He was very clear that we should leave the bumps on the back of her head alone. He simply suggested iodine on the bumps, especially if they get worse. If the one on her beak gets much worse, he suggested even swabbing a little on the roof of her mouth. Hopefully we won't have to do that.

    In the end, he suggested we wait and see, keeping her carefully quarantined, of course.

    Sammi, Thanks so much for your advice and concern. She's on vitamins and electrolytes, scrambled egg, yogurt, etc. as per your instructions. I haven't gone for the antibiotics since Peter didn't think they would help. She is eating and drinking normally (a lot, actually) and droppings are normal. She seems pretty energetic, so hopefully she'll be OK.

    Thanks again. I will post pictures if anything changes.

    All the best,

    Dot
     
  8. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    I hope she gets better.
     
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    The only one I saw in the pics that looked like a definitive abscess was the one by her eye ... the beak did not look abscessed but like somehting else was going on there.
    If you live in Arkansas, Mississippi or georgia I know they have a very good poultry diagnostics lab connected to the university... it might be a good idea in this odd case to write one of the vet professors there and send photos (get better close ups of the bumps on the head) ... be sure to include the basic info including how long this has gone on (when it first appeared) and you might want to take more recent photos to show any new developments. They will often reply when they see something of a very unique nature.
     
  10. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Those photos make my zoonosis flag go up, they kind of scare me with those bare human fingers right next to the lesions. I don't know what those are, but they do not look like pox or classic abscess. I would not handle that chicken anymore without a good set of gloves on. As harsh as this sounds, I think you should cull the bird humanely and send it you your state lab, and find out what you and your flock has been exposed to. Or take it back you your vet and have them do the deed, and pack it off to the lab. Makes me think of mycobacteria (tuberculosis), but those lesions are usually on the inside, not the outside.

    If you do not want to cull and get your for sure answer that way, I highly recommend strict quarantine- gloves/mask, no handling by anyone but you, & have your vet snip a piece off- send it to their lab for culture, histopath and special stains. This will tell you if it is some weird tumor, bacteria type if it is bacterial, fungal infection, ect AND if keeping this bird and doctoring it is a risk to you, your family and the rest of your flock.
    Please let us know the outcome.
    jess
     

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