Swollen watery eyes - Need help to identify


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 13, 2012
Central North Carolina
My 3 month old Brahma pullet has been looking like me on a particularly bad allergy day. The first time I noticed was about 6 days ago. She was breathing through her mouth, shaking and constantly scratching her head. She had swollen watery eyes, runny nose, and was slightly drooling. All fluids were clear, poop looks normal, and she is eating, drinking, and acting normal. She is not sneezing or wheezing at all. My first thought was a bee sting. (She is my Great White Hunter - nothing craws, flies, or twitches in her run without a serious attempt to eat it) I saw no stinger in her (figured she had scratched it out). I gave her 0.5ml of children's Benadryl and some antibiotics just in case. Almost immediately her symptoms improved and she was perfectly fine the next day. I stopped the antibiotics and assumed all was well.

Two days later, the same symptoms reappeared. I gave her the Benadryl and antibiotics again. Symptoms cleared up within 30 minutes again. This time I decided to keep the antibiotics going for at least the next week, just in case. She has been on the antibiotics since then and has been fine. Today I noticed once again, the same symptoms are coming back (minus the runny nose and drooling so far).

She is one of only two chickens in my coop at the moment. The other one has been perfectly fine through all of this. I find it hard to believe that she is getting stung or bitten every other day. Yet the Benadryl works every time. If this were some sort of respiratory disease, would Benadryl ease the symptoms? Does anyone have any other thoughts? I am very new to raising chickens and would appreciate any info or advice from the good people at BYC.

Well Benadryl is an antihistamine so it will usually improve the symtoms. You can take benadryl for a cold and it may hide the symtoms, but not the underlying disease.
Anyone else have an idea? I went out to feed her this morning and one eye was stuck shut. I used a warm wet rag to wipe her down, and a wet Q-tip to help open her eye. I also put neosporin on both eyes. Her eye was filled with a clear, foul smelling liquid (no pun intended). Other than that, she is still active, eating, drinking, chirping, and acting normal. At this point, it seems more like an inconvenience to her than a life threatening illness. But it needs to be remedied before it gets any worse. I would appreciate any help.

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