swollen eye, lethargic, laying rubber eggs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KristenFree, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. KristenFree

    KristenFree In the Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2018
    Hey guys—I have a ~2 year old chicken who has had a swollen eye since May. It hasn’t progressed worse on the outside or spread to any other chickens. Other than that her behavior has been normal (energetic, laying great, dust bathing, eating).

    We introduced a new girl a month ago and since then her eye has gotten a little more swollen (I assume stress induced) and now she has been laying around a lot more and since introducing the new chicken she’s been laying soft eggs at night below her roost. They’re never in tact when I go to clean up the coop.

    We are all natural and have just been letting nature take its course. There’s isn’t a chicken doctor around here anyways. Do you have suggestions on what it could be or what to try that isn’t antibiotics?
     

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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    First of sll, I would try to squeeze out andclean out the thickened pus from her eye socket. There is infection from a sinus infection, probably mycoplasma (MG,) or coryza if she smells bad. I would have treated with Tylan50 antibiotic from the start, but since you do not want to do that, at least, get the pus out. You may use saline or Vetericyn eye gel (non-antibiotic) into the clean eye twice a day. She will probably be a carrier of whichever respiratory disease she has for life. Those can be chronic infections, and may reappear whenever there is stress, such as molting or cold weather. Here is a very disturbing and graphic video or two of how to express the pus:


     
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Have you tried, at any point in this hen's illness, to flush the eye with saline or try to remove the pus buildup?

    I agree with @Eggcessive that you need to treat it however you're able or it's probably never going to heal. I recommend you do as much of what has been recommended as possible.

    Trying to treat infections without using antibiotics assumes that the patient's own immune system can conquer the bacteria. At some point, though, there's a danger that her immune system will be overwhelmed by the bacteria and she can continue to fail as the bacteria lays claim to her body.

    If you try to express as much of the pus as you can, then flush the eye each day with saline, she might have a chance to recover. For the soft egg, it can mean that she's having reproductive issues due to the infection or not. When I have a hen lay a soft egg or shell-less egg, I treat with calcium citrate until the eggs become normal again. Your hen could also benefit from Poultry Nutri-drench, a powerful vitamin supplement, to boost her immune system.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    I agree with Azygous to use some calcium, and the kind with vitamin D (such as Caltrate or similar) is helpful. I forgot about the rubber egg issue. I had a hen who was injured, and a few who had infectious bronchitis, that had egg issues with rubber or thin-shelled eggs.
     
  5. KristenFree

    KristenFree In the Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2018
    Thank this is helpful—there doesn’t seem to be puss though—it’s rock solid and I am not seeing a head of sorts. I don’t feel equipped to lance it if I don’t know where it’s coming from. This feels a bit over my head as you can imagine. How do I know it has puss in it?
     
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  6. KristenFree

    KristenFree In the Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2018
    Thank you! I guess I should mention I’ve been putting oregano oil in their water since May. Giving her a serving of Nutri Drench a few times a week. Washing out with saline solution. Putting neosporin around the tissue..
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    I guess those of us that read these threads every day know it is puss, just because it happens with sinus infections. I haven’t experienced this with my chickens before, but there are plenty of experienced folks here that will tell you that pus in chickens becomes very solid and hard, like cheese. If you try squeezing, you may express some of it without having to dig it out. There are more videos of these conditions. Here are a couple of good threads about this:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/nasty-eye-infection-pics.1071718/

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...e-sinus-lump-swelling-cure-treatment.1156995/
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    It's good to know you have been treating the eye. Yes, chickens form a kind of pus in their wounds that is solid like wax. They're weird that way. But it makes it easier to remove since it's more cohesive than human pus.

    Try not to be squeamish. Study the video and give it a try. It's amazing what you can do to a chicken's eye socket and not hurt anything.

    There's a very slim possibility that eye worms are causing this. Just wanted to warn you that pus may not be the only thing in that swollen eye. If you do see worms, they will be and inch long and very slender. Remove them as you do any pus then flush well with saline and treat with the ointment.
     
  9. KristenFree

    KristenFree In the Brooder

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    Okay—if I squeeze and nothing comes out would you suggest poking a hole or lancing it? I’m obviously paranoid to add injury to injury—not a farm girl here haha. Just a city girl loving her chickens and eating their eggs. I feel so bad for my girl.
     
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  10. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Do you have a friend who could come over and give you moral support? Or a friend that's a nurse or nurse's aid? I had a nurse friend come over and help me with a necropsy one time and I not only learned a lot, but it was so much easier with someone there that found it all very normal and interesting. And you will find it easier to have someone hold your hen still, wrapped tightly in a towel to confine her legs and wings while you work on the hen.

    The pus will not respond to lancing, and you don't need to do any cutting or puncturing to remove the pus. Did you watch the videos yet? It's just a simple matter of putting pressure at the outer edges of the swelling to force the pus out of the eye. You'll know when all the pus is out when the eye settles back into its normal shape. Your hen is going to feel a lot better after you do it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018

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