sick turkey: seeking diagnosis (with picture)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ShadyHoller, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    Hello all. Brief intro: my wife and I consult BYC very, very often, but have never had the need to overcome our chatroom shyness until now. Unfortunately, we just came home from a week on the road and discovered one very, very sad Bourbon Red turkey. His head is covered in blue/black leathery scabs. He is lethargic, somewhat dazed and his butt smelled extra fetid. We did not see any poop in the yard that looked abnormal. He doesn't seem to have any parasites. The sickness seems to have come on in the last 7 days as his head looked normal last weekend. Our initial googling suggests that the disease named "blackhead disease" is a bit of a misnomer, and it doesn't actually cause a black head. He is 4 1/2 months old. We have 8 turkeys total and none of the other birds are exhibiting any symptoms as of yet.

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone have any answers to the following questions:

    1. what is causing this?
    2. is it treatable?
    3. is it contagious, and, if so, is it too late to isolate him from the rest of the flock, or has he already exposed them to it?

    Thank you all for your help (in advance). We will take the time to introduce ourselves more fully once we respond to this crisis.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    casportpony likes this.
  2. Gerbil

    Gerbil Oh, Crazy!

    Jun 24, 2010
    I don't know, is he eating/drinking?
    Hoping you get the answer you need. [​IMG]
     
  3. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shadyholler - I would quarantine this guy and then I would ask a mod to move this to the Turkey thread or to Emergencies and Diseases (you can do this by "reporting" your own thread using the report button and asking them to move it to the appropriate section. There are several knowledgeable individuals over in the turkey thread that may have seen this before. If you don't get a response - I would PM a couple of them - it wouldn't take but a look at a couple of threads to find a person that you could communicate with. I hope you find your answer - you should keep pursuing it in case it is developing in the rest of your flock. There are some poultry diseases that you can get out in front of in a flock by vacinating the remaining birds if necessary. Good luck to you and welcome to BYC.
    Jenny
     
  4. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Is it possible it is just bottom of the pecking order and got beat up badly by other turkeys. I have tried blending turkeys of different ages, or adding a new bird to a flock and the victim has ended up with thick scabs like that, maybe not covering so much of the head, mostly behind the top of the head, and down the neck. The stress of assimilating into a new pecking order can cause them to miss out on food and water from bullying and get really dehydrated which would complicate the dry skin on the head and cause such stress that they can get sicker than they normally would. I would try to isolate the bird and give it fresh water and the best food you can and best temperatures you can provide.
     
  5. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Appears that this is Fowl Pox. It is a highly contagious disease but is readily dealt with. It will go away on it's own in a couple of weeks. You can get some Povidone Iodine at any local drug store and use a q-tip and coat the sores with it. This will help dry them out. Clean out their pen area the best you can. Watch for any others to show the scabs and treat with Iodine as needed. Treat the sores on the birds at least once a day if not twice a day. This will pass readily between your other turkey's but will not pass between turkey's and chickens. It is strain specific. If it should move into their mouths then it becomes what is known as Wet Pox which can cause the birds to die due to suffocation or dehydration. This disease by itself is not deadly just ugly and it goes away on it's own in a couple of weeks.
     
  6. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    Thank you for your prompt reply. It would be a huge relief if it turned out to be curable and non-fatal!

    I have a follow-up question, though. The pictures I found of fowlpox and turkeypox online show individual black dots on the comb and wattles of the birds, but the skin on our afflicted turkey is puffy, raised blackish, and it's all one big leathery surface, not little dots or individual lesions. Is that just because it's in advanced stages? It looks like someone pasted his head with black plaster or dried mud.

    Any more thoughts or advice on this is greatly appreciated!
     
  7. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    I have reported the thread I accidentally started in the meat birds topic (turned myself in!) and this thread now combines the responses to both of the threads I originally started.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010

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