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Swollen Face, No Apparent Injury or Pus (Has Pics)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by echosrevenge, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. echosrevenge

    echosrevenge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I went out to check for eggs this morning, and saw this:

    [​IMG]

    I brought her inside to get a better look, there are no apparent injuries to the area (other than the beard plucking, but that's something that the whole flock has been dealing with for weeks and weeks...finally found the culprit, she is up for sale or she'll be dinner soon). The inside of her mouth looks fine, though she seems to be having trouble closing it and also is drooling a bit, clear but a bit stringy/sticky/thick for saliva. No pus, she seems happy and alert. The swelling feels a bit warm to the touch, but not overly so and neither very hard nor very soft. Her eyes are clear and breathing is fine (a little quick and stressed from being wrapped in a towel and wiggled around so I could get photos, but otherwise OK). The other side of her face is fine, and the swelling does not extend to her eyes or sinuses - it's definitely isolated to the area under her beak on the one side, which doesn't seem to fit with myco or coryza.

    My sister was watching the whole flock for me a couple of weeks ago while we were moving house, and when I brought them to the new place I noticed some sneezing and raspy breathing (more than could be accounted for by the weather/dust), so I put them on Oxytetracycline in the water, of which today was the 8th day of treatment at 1tbsp/gallon of water. I also treated them for the few mites & lice I saw crawling around, by cleaning the coop thoroughly, dusting the birds & coop with permethrin, and mixing cedar chips in to the sawdust on the coop floor. Also added some permethrin dust to their dust bath, and sprayed the brand new roosts with a liquid permethrin spray. Since we just moved, the flock has been confined to the coop so they can re-orient to a new home space, so it's not anything she encountered out and around.

    This is not anything I've ever seen before, anyone got any ideas? Here are more photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "while we were moving house, and when I brought them to the new place I noticed some sneezing and raspy breathing (more than could be accounted for by the weather/dust),"

    Is this a new building they are in now or is it one that was there? I'd like to know more about the circumstances before I even attempt a guess at what this could be.
     
  3. echosrevenge

    echosrevenge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's an existing building, a greenhouse-type shed semi-attached to the house via a breezeway, that the landlords kept chickens in several years ago, but it hasn't had any birds in it for at least 4 years. About 16' by 8', long side oriented to the south with a large, open-air window on that side covered with hardware cloth and a slanted glass roof for solar gain (so REALLY good ventilation). Before putting the birds in, I scrubbed the crap out of it and sprayed everything with permethrin twice, seven days apart. The floor is dirt, but it had a good ice layer on it due to somewhat poor drainage, so we laid down several bales of orchard grass hay left over from our goats before putting sawdust on top of that (this is a temporary fix until the gravel pit thaws enough for us to put 6-8" of gravel in the bottom, and sawdust on top of it...I don't like to use hay in the coop, but it was what I had on hand).

    Here's a photo I just took from the living room window, this is the south side of the coop with the large window. The part with the door you can see is blocked from the chicken's access by an interior wall of 2x4 and chicken wire, about 1' in from the door frame:
    [​IMG]

    Edited to add: My sister had mentioned hearing some chicken sneezes before I moved them, but she didn't seem to think it frequent enough to worry about (she's had chickens for years longer than I have, but I am beginning to realize how much she DOESN'T know about them despite all her "experience"....kicking myself for listening to her for a couple of reasons). It's my opinion that whatever respiratory thing is/was happening started before we moved them to the new place. I'm hearing a LOT less sneezing today and over the last few days than I was the first couple days they were here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  4. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Birds will sneeze, just like we do. It's the other symptoms you have to watch for. The face swelling could be nothing or it could be a sinus infection or it could be one of the disease that chickens do sometimes get. Now does your sister still have chickens? Are they symptomatic? Better yet, were they ever? Did your birds actually go to her house to be cared for?

    Sorry to be blasting you with questions but it helps to 'know' what led up to this. Pictures are great by the way! They help a lot!
     
  5. echosrevenge

    echosrevenge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This was a good deal more than "normal" amounts of sneezing - hanging out in the coop with them (19 birds total - 18 hens, 1 roo, all but six hens are Salmon Faverolles), I counted 10 sneezes in under a minute. A couple of them were breathing open-mouthed and sounded very "snotty" as well (those ones came inside for an overnight stay next to the wood stove, sounded better in the AM so went back with the group). This was about 10 days ago, it took me a day to coordinate a trip to the feed store and get the right antibiotics, today was the 8th day of treatment with water-solube oxytet 280.

    All of the chickens are mine, it's sort of a weird thing where my sister was living with us at one rental house, then we found another place but had to move in to it ASAP to keep the pipes from freezing. Sister stayed at old place for the same reason (it's still COLD at night here, and both houses are wood-heated so someone has to be there to keep the fire going and the pipes nonfrozen), and we left the birds with her while we got to a point where we were sleeping at the new place and had the coop all sorted out. She doesn't have any chickens of her own at the moment. So the chickens stayed at the place where they were raised, until they came here. Both properties (where they were raised at the old house and where they are now at the new house) have had chickens on the land before, but in both cases it had been several years between the exit of the last flock and the entrance of mine.

    No worries on the questions! Trying to figure these things out over the internet is always extra challenging, and you can't know which little bit of information will be the "A-HA!" piece of the puzzle until it comes out. I did a thorough check on everyone this morning, and while there are a couple of grimy bottoms no one else is showing swelling anywhere, no lice or mites in evidence (that coop is probably 50% permethrin at this point, I went a bit...overboard...after seeing a single mite on an old hen I culled for the soup pot a month or so ago), heard only 2 sneezes in the 15-20 minutes I was in the coop doing the health check (and one of those was the hen kicking up a minor dust storm in their bath box, so....) No one has the snotty, raspy breathing I was hearing the first few days they were here, either. All eating well, coop is full of normal-for-chickens poops. Flock is drinking about a gallon a day of water.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It sounds as though they have one of the respiratory infections. Tetracycline will treat MG (mycoplasma,) but if your hen with the swollen face seems worse, I might pick up some Tylan 50 (around$12 at the feed store) which is best to give by injection for 3 days (1/2 ml. into the breast muscle once a day.) It can be given orally in water, but the dose isn't accurate since you don't know if she is drinking enough. It is difficult to tell one disease from another--MG, IB (infectious bronchitis),coryza(usually has a bad smell), and others all can cause cough, sneeze, swollen face, eye and nasal drainage, but most of them are never cured. The chickens can recover, but may get sick again when they are stressed.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    FYI...some diseases chickens can get will stay viable for years after the last chicken was housed there. Now if they seem to be getting better with the antibiotic, I am assuming this is a 10 day course, then I would wait and see for now. The one with the swollen face needs to watched, hard. It would seem to me that if it was going to respond to this antibiotic, it would have by now. You may want to think about the Tylan as Eggcessive suggested for that one. If you do a search on BYC for Tylan, you will find there are dosing instructions for giving the stuff without injection. All you need do is get their mouth open and give it so it doesn't go down the wrong tube. Easy right? Lol, from what I've been told it is, I've just hadn't had to do it myself yet. Dawg53 seems to be the go to person for this info.

    Now there are a lot of threads right now about swollen eyes and stuff on BYC. You also might want to check them out. One thing I can offer is this. 2 tbls of vaseline add 1-2 drops of betadine and mix well. You can use this on the lump near the eye. As the betadine sinks into the skin it will kill and draw out the infection. 2 xs daily and I would clean the area with a warm, wet tea bag. Chamomile, green or black, doesn't matter. The tea has some antibiotic properties and will also sooth the area as well as clean.

    Now, if this is a MG or Coryza that is a mild case, it will stay with your flock forever. It can be passed through the eggs of these birds as well although most of the eggs will not hatch. Good thing! You shouldn't sell, trade, nothing with these birds or their eggs until you know for certain what you are dealing with. Another thing just in case it is one of these, you might want to think about giving them some heat at night. For some reason birds as carriers or actively fighting it seem to be able to survive if they are kept fairly warm. I'm not talking 70 degrees, just around 40 degrees. Just like humans who get a chill, these birds will become symptomatic and even succumb to the illness if they get too cold.

    edited because my fingers were moving too fast
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  8. echosrevenge

    echosrevenge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read through most of the threads regarding swollen faces, they all seem to have more swelling by the eye. Her eye and the surrounding area is not swollen at all, it is entirely localized UNDER her beak/jaw. There is no snot drainage or mucus-y sound when she breathes.

    I have hatched several batches of eggs from these chickens, with great success. Fertility in the eggs is running 90-95% and my last hatch was 29 live healthy chicks out of 32 eggs. The chicks are doing great in the brooder, not sneezing or anything.

    Heat lamps at night are not an option, we live off-grid with very limited power (most of which goes to my incubator, and my husband's showers before work). A heat lamp would completely drain our batteries in about ten seconds flat. I can grab swollen face and bring her inside over night, but that is not an option for the whole flock.

    So if whatever they may or may not have, may or may not stick with them for the rest of their lives, and may or may not live in the soil indefinitely, what is the solution? Culling the whole flock won't do much if the next batch will just pick it up from the dirt. What's the solution there? Just don't have chickens?
     
  9. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is an option but not one I'd recommend. Some would and have very good reason to do so. If these birds are for your use only, they are laying and fertile...I wouldn't. If you planned on selling them or something along these lines, then yes. Culling and a major cleaning would be about the only options you had. IF this is in fact one of the diseases like MG or the others. If you think this just may be something from being picked on, the vaseline with the betadine mixed in should get rid of it. Should, but might not. It really does depend on what's causing the swelling. You may find out it's an ingrown feather. The sneezing sounds supicious and that's why I brought up the respiratory diseases. If in getting things ready to move you stirred up a lot of dust, the sneezing could have been from that. I don't know, I wasn't there, lol. You have to answer that.

    The ground can be treated with wood ash. Just spread it around where they will be going out to range. Another thing that can be used is lime. I don't have all of the answers and for the most part, this is an individual decision that you will have to make. I hope you can find out it's absolutely nothing to worry about. I love a happy ending!
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain Premium Member

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    What does the inside of her mouth look like?
     

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