Update re: Fowl pox? Any other supportive measures? (Post 8)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RedStarDaddy, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. RedStarDaddy

    RedStarDaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2009
    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Red Star pullets (plural). Age is 23 weeks. Weight (guesstimated) is four pounds.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Behavior is normal -- they come running to see poppa and beg for treats. Egg-laying is a little off, though; I had a couple of 12-egg days but now am down to five to eight.

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    Possible comb-pecking. Possible mosquito or gnat bites.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    I know of no definite cause to the situation

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    Well water, 16% layer from Orscheln's, 9% wild bird seed incorporating BOSS, cracked corn, and red millet as scratch, and all the greenery they can stomach from my yard when they are out.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    At least one's poop is a little runny but within the range of "normal" at the poop site.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    None yet. Seeking information for supportive measures.

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    Keep them content while the virus runs its course if it is fowl pox.

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    The lesions look remarkably like these.

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    I have an 18 x 32 foot chicken house on my property. Of that I am using an 18 x 22 foot section to house my chickens. Easily 320 ft^2 of the total 396 ft^2 is available to the birds once I remove the roost, nest boxes, and feeders from the equation. Bedding is pine shavings in a modified DLM environment in that the floor underneath the shavings is actually poured concrete rather than earth.

    Of my twelve birds, four have greenish-white lesions on their combs and/or wattles with a black scab in the center. Up until today I assumed that the black scabs they had were mosquito or gnat bites or punctures from the blackberry canes behind the barn because they lacked the white halo; now I am not so sure.

    I intend to go get iodine and electrolytes for general supportive measures, and am wondering if there is anything else I should get while I am out. Would gamebird feed, at 22% protein (vs the 16% the layer feed has), be a worthwhile investment? Is vaccination at this point pretty much futile? Is the right iodine to get the tincture, in an alcohol base, or is betadine more along the lines of what I should get to treat the lesions?

    RSD
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Houston
    Quote:Hello there Rsd! Yep, sounds like pox. Your plan sounds good. I'd only get the gamebird feed if you can get gamebird breeder or layer which is about 20%. Extra protein really won't matter. In fact, what I would do is make sure that their diet contains at least 90% the laying feed, decrease all the other grains, etc, to less than 10% if they aren't already. It's as much about vitamin D and phosphorus as it is about protein, etc.

    We use 20% gamebird layer/breeder her (though I'm not breeding at the moment) for my laying hens, though I've fed 16% which is fine as long as you're feeding no more than 5% of the diet in anything else including good grains. I like 18%, too - but 20% seems to be a really good protein level without compromising the cal/phos/vitamin D balance.

    You'll want laying feed at that age.

    Also vitamins/electrolytes help. If you're doing a whole flock, you can do water vitamins. It might help as you probably have asymptomatic birds in there. If I get individuals, I sometimes do polyvisol in the beak or in a quickly eaten wet treat.

    Vaccination time is lost now - your birds will be vaccinated by nature now. [​IMG] If you're having a lot of comb lesions or facial lesions and just don't want to deal with pox with new birds, you can vaccinate them after hatch (a few weeks - the exact age escapes me at the moment).

    I have had pox nearly every year I've had chickens, as I'm in the South, lightly. I've never vaccinated but it's never been a problem as there were few lesions, all on the combs, none on the corners of the mouth or eyes. However this year a couple had comb changes (slight) and the turkeys just got hammered - so from now on I'll be vaccinating all young birds here.

    But once they get pox, they're done forever with it. YAY! It takes about four weeks to overcome; the scabs will losen at that time (and look lighter in color at the edges) and then within a couple of days they just seem to disappear. Where they fall, they stay and are infective. So if you can, clean out the bedding after they're done.

    Otherwise, take a deep breath, treat the scabs with iodine, monitor them for anything that is near the mouth/eyes. If you see any lethargic birds (scabs or not) check the interior of their mouths for the cheesy stuff at the roof of their mouth which might indicate the diptheric form of pox. It's not very common fortunately.

    My turkeys (who looked like lepers) were horrible, so bad that I started to worry that maybe they had some sort of necrotic skin disorder I didn't know about - and then one day instead of brown headed turkeys, I went out and all their heads/faces were pink and clean like the freshly scrubbed faces of little kids. [​IMG] In one day - gone. Like it had never happened.

    Please let me know if you have any questions, or ask here for others to give their input as well. [​IMG]
     
  3. RedStarDaddy

    RedStarDaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2009
    Thanks for the response, Threehorses. I thought I was on the right path just making sure my birds were as strong and healthy, modulo fowlpox, as possible.

    Quote:No gamebird feed. Check.

    Quote:It looks like two more have developed scabs since this morning, so I suspect -- strongly -- that I do have a flock problem.

    Quote:After the new scabs I found this evening I figured that that question had been overcome by events.

    Quote:So in a month my burn barrel will be working overtime. Or would I be better off taking the infectious litter to the landfill instead of burning it? (I sure don't plan to put it in the compost heap after this.)

    Quote:Plain old tincture of iodine, or more povidone-iodine?

    RSD
     
  4. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    I think we have it as well. One girl is real bad! I have been using triple antibotic cream. Should i use iodine instead?
    I share in your pain~
     
  5. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Houston
    RSD: I just used regular betadine though I got tincture towards the end of the problem (just never used it). Since it's not going very far, not in a wound really.

    And I've been trying to figure out about the burn barrel versus throwing something away - probably the burn barrel since it's the scabs that are infective. Mine don't leave my place, so it wasn't a problem for us.

    Sillystunt: Iodine is better for a one-time, or twice, or once a week. You can use Neosporin inbetween but it's not necessary...*unless* you have any that look like they might get infected, or any near the eye/mouth. Then honestly I'd mull over the through of penicillin injections to treat from the inside to prevent eye-loss, or the bird not eating. But that's not likely in 99.99999% of pox cases. Mostly the iodine to keep a secondary bacterial infection from happening helps. Then immune boosting.
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    Since it is primarily spread by mosquitos, I recommend spraying a repellant such as you would use on yourself around the coops every night. The automatic sprayers such as country vet fly spray are another option (as it kills and repels mosquitos, too). You can use the Lysol/Airwick sprayers with the country vet spray, but you'll have to change the button on top of the can.

    I also prefer to separate birds who have lesions from those who do not.

    If a bird gets any lesions in its mouth or throat, swab with listerine.
     
  7. RedStarDaddy

    RedStarDaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2009
    Thanks for the words of wisdom, Threehorses. Povidone-iodine and burn barrel it is.

    Quote:Half my flock has the lesions and they sleep in a clump on the roost. I suspect the only reason the other half doesn't have lesions is they haven't yet emerged.

    Quote:I'll keep that in mind. I hope it doesn't come to that, but thanks for the tip.

    RSD
     
  8. RedStarDaddy

    RedStarDaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2009
    Okay.

    I saw a rather large lesion on one pullet's wattle Thursday -- and it appears to be gone now. Looks like the fowl pox may have run its course in my flock; still, I believe I will wait a little while longer before I declare my little flock free of the pox.

    RSD
     

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