Swollen head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kadjain, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Does anyone know what is causing this? It does not appear to be an injury, must be an infection .. ? I'm going to treat w antibiotics today.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    I'm not sure what that is. It could be an infection. Does it seem to be causing the bird pain?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  3. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    She seems fine but is having labored breathing .. .
     
  4. Sgzik993

    Sgzik993 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes it is probably an infection
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It could be swollen head syndrome (avian pneumovirus) which can affect chickens, turkeys, and guinea fowl. Infectious coryza can sometimes cause swelling of the head as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  6. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks
    And this can be treated w antibiotics I hope?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    There is no treatment for swollen head syndrome, but coryza can be treated with sulfa drugs, such as Sulfadimethoxine and Sulmet. Tylan 50 injectable may also be used in conjunction with sulfa drugs. It would be important to get the chicken tested, since coryza can make carriers of the flock for life.

    Swollen Head Syndrome

    Synonyms: Facial cellulitis, thick head, Dikkop, SHS
    Species affected: Chickens and turkeys are the known natural hosts. Experimentally, guinea fowl and pheasants are susceptible but pigeons, ducks, and geese are resistant to the infection. SHS does not presently occur in the United States, but is present in most countries of the world.
    Clinical signs: In chicks and poults, there is initial sneezing, followed by reddening and swelling of the tear ducts and eye tissue. Facial swelling will extend over the head and down the jaw and wattles. Adult chickens have mild respiratory disease followed by a few birds having swollen heads. Other signs include disorientation, twisting of the neck, and a significant drop in egg production (see Table 1).
    Transmission: The infection spreads by direct contact with infected birds or indirectly by exposure to infectious material.
    Treatment: There is no proven medication for swollen head syndrome. The disease is caused by a virus classified as a pneumovirus. A disease closely mimicking SHS is caused by a mixed infection of respiratory viruses and specific bacteria. Antibiotic therapy may be helpful against the bacterial component.
    Prevention: A commercial vaccine is available. Swollen head syndrome is considered an exotic disease and a live vaccine is not approved for use in the United States.
    Infectious Coryza

    Synonyms: roup, cold, coryza
    Species affected: chickens, pheasants, and guinea fowl. Common in game chicken flocks.
    Clinical signs: Swelling around the face, foul smelling, thick, sticky discharge from the nostrils and eyes, labored breathing, and rales (rattles -- an abnormal breathing sound) are common clinical signs. The eyelids are irritated and may stick together. The birds may have diarrhea and growing birds may become stunted (see Table 1).
    Mortality from coryza is usually low, but infections can decrease egg production and increase the incidence and/or severity of other diseases. Mortality can be as high as 50 percent, but is usually no more than 20 percent. The clinical disease can last from a few days to 2-3 months, depending on the virulence of the pathogen and the existence of other infections such as mycoplasmosis.
    Transmission: Coryza is primarily transmitted by direct bird-to-bird contact. This can be from infected birds brought into the flock as well as from birds which recover from the disease which remain carriers of the organism and may shed intermittently throughout their lives.. Birds risk exposure at poultry shows, bird swaps, and live-bird sales. Inapparent infected adult birds added into a flock are a common source for outbreaks. Within a flock, inhalation of airborne respiratory droplets, and contamination of feed and/or water are common modes of spread.
    Treatment: Water soluble antibiotics or antibacterials can be used. Sulfadimethoxine (Albon[​IMG], Di-Methox[​IMG]) is the preferred treatment. If it is not available, or not effective, sulfamethazine (Sulfa-Max[​IMG], SulfaSure[​IMG]), erythromycin (gallimycin[​IMG]), or tetracycline (Aureomycin[​IMG]) can be used as alternative treatments. Sulfa drugs are not FDA approved for pullets older than 14 weeks of age or for commercial layer hens. While antibiotics can be effective in reducing clinical disease, they do not eliminate carrier birds.
    Prevention: Good management and sanitation are the best ways to avoid infectious coryza. Most outbreaks occur as a result of mixing flocks. All replacement birds on "coryza-endemic" farms should be vaccinated. The vaccine (Coryza-Vac) is administered subcutaneously (under the skin) on the back of the neck. Each chicken should be vaccinated four times, starting at 5 weeks of age with at least 4 weeks between injections. Vaccinate again at 10 months of age and twice yearly thereafter.
     
  8. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for that info.
    I have never seen this before in my birds and the bird affected is an Oriental that was hatched from my flock of Ukokkei that I have had for 1 yr. I have not introduced any new birds to that flock since I got them as chicks. I'm really wondering where it could've come from and since she has been in direct contact w them since she was hatched is it most likely that they all are carrying it now???
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Be aware that insect or tick bites can cause extreme swelling around the head and face. You could give (only one time) a 1/2 a children's benadryl dose which is 12.5 mg, to see if the swelling decreases. With most infectious diseases you will see other symptoms such as sneezing, nasal drainage, or runny eyes. If you aren't seeing that, then I would suspect a bite or even a peck wound. Fowl cholera is another common poultry disease that can be carried by other farm animals, mice, and ticks. It should have similar symptoms of coryza.
     
  10. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    The swelling is very even all around the head and I don't see any type of injury to her head that would make me think she was pecked.
     

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