Tuberculosis in Chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Brahmadarma, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Brahmadarma

    Brahmadarma Songster

    Aug 13, 2008
    Is it possible?
    I treated two pullets for some horrible respiratory problem a while back, I had to eventually cull them both, they were terribly sick and would probably have infected the other birds.
    I have just tested positive for TB for the first time in my life, hence the question. It seems far-fetched, but I don't know.

  2. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    check out Histoplasmosis. It could be that. Make sure your Doc knows you have chickens.

    Several people on this forum have been diagnosed with it and it's similar to TB only much more curable.

    Good Luck,

  3. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    It is not uncommon for people with Histoplasmosis to be mis-diagnosed with TB.
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Testing positive for TB just means that you have been exposed to it, not that you have it. Lots of people test positive. See your doctor and get checked out. (If you haven't already)

    & tell your Dr. about the above posts. Your Dr. may not be aware.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  5. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Are you having symptoms or was it a scheduled TB test?

  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    when i worked in health care alot of my co-workers that came from Jamica and Haiti...tested positive for TB(we all had to be tested yearly)...but they didnt actually have it...i guess they give them the titer over there?..(i think)...i'm sorry you are going through this! wishes, Wendy
  7. Brahmadarma

    Brahmadarma Songster

    Aug 13, 2008
    Well its a complicated story. At the end of October (3 months after starting to raise chicks) I was diagnosed with optic neuritis in one eye and possible MS.
    The short story is - $17000 later, after exhaustive tests (I don't have ins.) they still don't know what caused it and my eyesight has not improved. I am otherwise in perfect health and every single test has come back negative, apart from TB, but that wasn't very clear so I am having another one done.
    I checked out Histoplasma and it sounds like a possibility, except that optic neuritis is different, it doesn't start with the retina and macula, although both have become affected by the optic nerve being inflamed for so long.
    The latest MRI shows improvement in the optic nerve, so I am praying the eye will also get better. I now wear a mask when I am cleaning out the coop - stupid not to in the first place. I understand it is the combination of droppings and soil that harbors the hostoplasma though, not droppings alone which would be the case in the coop.
    If anyone has further insight here I would appreciate it as the doctors are still scratching their heads and seem determined to put me on a massive dose of steroids, even they don't know what I have got.
  8. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Quote:Just make sure your doctor knows about the chickens and that you didn't wear a mask. I read that steroids will make Histo worse and the course taken should be with an anti fungal.

    I hope you will keep us posted.
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Birds/poultry can get TB.

    Make sure your Dr knows what species you keep and their health history.

    If you have multiple ill birds, so ill you have to cull, it would be a great idea to have one or more sent to the state lab for testing. Most states do this for no cost or low cost if you can get them the bird. They have great interest in detecting diseases that impact human health as well as industry heath. You can sometimes get good answers to what ails your flock, sometimes not- but can often be of great benefit, and usually less money for the info than lots of OTC meds from the feed store. Worst case scenario, something might get detected that gets the state more interested in your place that you really wanted- but my take on that is- if there is something creepy at my house that can get me sick, or severely impact my county's farm industry- I want to know. Worms, cocci lesions, mareks, CRD/mycoplasma, histoplasma ect- they don't care- not specifically zoonotic. TB would be of interest to them. Avian flu- overseas version- would be in interest. Exotic newcastles would be of interest. Chlamydia as well.

    Histoplasma is in the soil, it is more of an environmental contaminant, people can get it as well as chickens (and other mammals). Not really zoonotic, as we get it from the same source. We can get exposed in areas this fungus is around, because it likes to grow & sporulate in chicken poop. I think it is mostly a mid-west issue for people and animals.

    Some will even pick up via local poultry extension agent. Call your state vet's office if you want more info. Call local vets and find one who sees exotics/birds- they can also assist you in cull & packing and sending if you do not want to do it yourself.

    Hope your Dr can sort this out, and you feel better soon.

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