Swollen comb, ears and head?


In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2015
Brunswick, ME
I have a 3 month old roo with a severely swollen comb and ears? Even his head appears swollen. It's been getting worse since I noticed a few days ago. I took a few pics this am. Anyone have any idea what this is and how I can help him?!
Has anyone seen this before? His head is actually swollen too there is a crease laterally behind his comb from the swelling. He is drinking constantly and pecking at food still. The pullet that was his mate died a few weeks ago from what appeared ultimately to be something neurological maybe, tracking her head from one side to other. Is there any anti inflammatory I can get for him OTC? Or antihistamines? Can you even use those for chickens?
Thanks for any help!
I'm no pro, but it looks maybe like coryza, a respiratory illness that causes swelling (google it for pictures). Does he have any nasal drainage or a funky smell? Might wanna isolate him if you have other chickens, until you know what it is and if it's contagious. I hope he gets better soon. Good luck!
Thanks for replying. I was thinking it might be that too :( although he has no smell about his head and no discharge. He is seperated and we're going to start them on tetracycline and corrid and clean out completely and bleach the pens tonight. I don't know what else to do, whatever it is they've all been exposed to it for weeks now. They've also been on Tylan, tetracycline and one was on clavamox over the past two months. Each one showing completely different symptoms of illness, I've lost 3 :( I've also dewormed them.
Holy cow, sorry you're going through that and that you lost 3 birds despite everything you've done. Very perplexing that they all have different symptoms! Hopefully someone with more knowledge will be able to give you better advice. I'm a new chicken owner and only know about coryza because I have a couple pullets with it. Do your birds have any sneezing or loud/gurgly breathing? It's strange that Tylan hasn't helped, it seems like that's the #1 recommendation for coryza (and a lot of other illnesses). I've read somewhere that you can give a small amount of children's benadryl to chickens, but please don't quote me on that. I'd look into it more before trying it.

My birds only symptoms were raspy breathing noises and a runny nose that lasted only about 1 day. And they just sorta smelled off. They really didn't smell all that bad, they just smelled... different than my other chickens. I put them on 2 weeks of Duramycin-10 and their symptoms went away, but just a day or two after I stopped the meds, one of them had a swollen droopy eye. Not that that's much help for you other than the fact that duramycin didn't really help.

I really hope someone who knows more than me will chime in. Sorry you're having to deal with sick chickens, it's really not fun.
It is weird, I'm wondering if the coryza virus just hit them in different ways? The first one it was a swollen eye like yours, no respiratory or other symptoms, no smell. Then second just didn't seem to thrive so I would seperate her and bring her back to health but the last time she just didn't make it. The pullet I just lost, suddenly became lethargic, only two days and she died. No other symptoms like respiratory etc. I have another roo who became gurgly and raspy that's when I treated them with Tylan and tetracycline over a month ago, he quickly recovered and has been fine ever since. Last night we spent 4 hours shoveling, raking, scrubbing the barn. Sprayed all surfaces with vinegar and water, replaced sand and limed everything, we called the farm vet and they said if we used bleach we'd have to keep chickens out x2 days. Lime will kill a lot of viruses, fungi etc. It has been very hot and humid here last few weeks. We also put fans in barn for better circulation of air. I hope this helps knock down whatever is going around. Your chickens with Coryza, they are ok now? Thanks for your input, it's always helpful to hear others experiences, it seems like chickens are so hard to diagnose and treat sometimes no matter how hard we try.
I agree, they're very hard to diagnose! It sounds like you guys are working really hard to keep it from spreading. We need to do that too. My two chickens are doing surprisingly well. Neither of them ever had very severe symptoms. We're going back and forth about whether we should treat them with Tylan or just cull them. The thought of having to cull them really breaks my heart, but we have four other birds and I really don't want it to spread to them. I've read that even if you treat them with Tylan, they'll be carriers for life and can spread it to the rest of the flock and have symptoms return throughout their life. I'm just not sure it's worth it to be continually treating sick chickens. I've also read that the symptoms can be more severe in adult birds, which might explain why my birds (and some of yours) have had less severe symptoms. My birds are ~11 weeks old. So I'm not sure what we're going to do yet, it's a tough decision. Especially because they don't appear to be super sick. The one that had raspy breathing on the day we brought them home doesn't seem to have any symptoms anymore, and the other one just has a droopy eye. But they still have the smell.

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