Urgent advice needed for watery swollen eyes and gasping in chicks!

smott

Chirping
Apr 15, 2020
108
82
60
Ok guys, I need some urgent advice. Long story, please read it all before commenting!

I have 4 (was 5) chicks in the brooder inside my home that are 4 weeks old. I had to get my husband to put one out of its misery for me this afternoon, and I am heartbroken that I was unable to heal it. I am desperately looking for answers so I don't lose any of the others.

Symptoms started last week. First chick had watery eyes, appeared to have mild respiratory distress for a day or two, but it got better and has had no more symptoms. A day or two after her symptoms started, I noticed some sneezing here and there among the others, and then noticed that one of them had a swollen eyelid (looked like the pink inside of the eyelid was swollen and showing). Progressed to all the remaining 4 with watery and or swollen eyes, and sneezes. Around Thanksgiving day or so one started breathing hard, which progressed over several days to the point where she was gasping and unable to eat or drink without choking. I finally gave up on helping her and couldn't watch her suffer any more today despite all my efforts. This evening, I notice that 3 of the others are shaking their heads with nasal discharge, and beginning to have respiratory distress. I do NOT have the heart to watch all these babies smother to death. The original sick baby remains symptomless.

Things I have tried: I have used VetRx on them. I have put vitamins in their water. I have put tylosin soluble powder (Tylan) in their water for almost a week. I have used triple antibiotic ointment, and then Terramycin ointment in their eyes. Today, grasping for straws I bought some Duramycin (oxytetracycline) at TSC, diluted the heck out of it, and injected the remaining 3 sick babies with it.

Back story, all my outside flock has been battling fowl pox for almost 2 months now. (The babies I have in the house are eggs I took from a broody mama and hatched inside to try to keep them from getting the pox. ) Pretty much all 30 outside chickens have had it, some very mild scabs just on the comb and/or waddles. A few had it really bad, with their eyes swollen and crusted shut. I exhausted myself taking care of those, and all are recovering at this point. A few weeks back, I noticed a few with watery eyes and sneezes, even one with bubbles in his eyes. Wasn't sure if it was related to the pox, or a secondary infection, so I treated the entire flock with the Tylosin water, and none of them are currently ill, although a few still have some dried scabs on them. I'm really unsure if there are two issues going on, pox and something else? I had not seen anything that resembled pox lesions either externally or in the mouths of these babies until I saw one little red bump on one of their faces this evening. I thought I was being super careful and tried so hard to make sure I didn't contaminate the inside babies with the pox virus... only to have them taken out by something else?

Any suggestions? Will attach pics below and video of the baby we had to cull today.
59015B97-5197-477D-B7BA-695C52C419D7.jpeg
F7B2D23F-6CFA-43D5-81E9-2B23D315FEDE.jpeg
 

smott

Chirping
Apr 15, 2020
108
82
60
Are they eating and drinking as of now? What are they being fed?
These are still eating and drinking as of right now. (The one that “died” yesterday had been trying to drink but kept getting choked and hadn’t eaten in a couple of days.)
They are eating Purina medicated chick starter. This morning I added a little ACV and garlic to their water.
 
Last edited:

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
57,552
48,609
1,202
southern Ohio
Sorry about your troubles. It sounds like you have had a bad bout of fowl pox go through your flock. Mycoplasma gallisepticum or MG can be a common disease in some backyard flocks. Pox, when it gets around eyes can be a good setup and environment for MG to cause conjunctivitis, sinus infection, and illness. MG can spread to hatching eggs and is a disease that remains in a flock forever until all chickens are gone. Other fowl can carry MG as well. Recovered chickens can be carriers for their whole lives, and may have damage to air sacs and organs after recovery.

Fowl pox is something they are immune to after an outbreak. But the MG can sometimes come back if they are stressed, such as during a molt or extreme weather. It would be good to close your flock to any new birds in the future, and no birds should be given away or sold. Eggs for eating are just fine, but hatching eggs should not be sold or given away. The best way to get rid of MG is to let your flock remained closed and when they all are gone, one day you can replace them with healthy chicks from a hatchery. Some may cull sick birds. MG only stays alive on equipment and in the environment for several days. It may remain alive in frozen droppings for a bit longer.
 

smott

Chirping
Apr 15, 2020
108
82
60
Sorry about your troubles. It sounds like you have had a bad bout of fowl pox go through your flock. Mycoplasma gallisepticum or MG can be a common disease in some backyard flocks. Pox, when it gets around eyes can be a good setup and environment for MG to cause conjunctivitis, sinus infection, and illness. MG can spread to hatching eggs and is a disease that remains in a flock forever until all chickens are gone. Other fowl can carry MG as well. Recovered chickens can be carriers for their whole lives, and may have damage to air sacs and organs after recovery.

Fowl pox is something they are immune to after an outbreak. But the MG can sometimes come back if they are stressed, such as during a molt or extreme weather. It would be good to close your flock to any new birds in the future, and no birds should be given away or sold. Eggs for eating are just fine, but hatching eggs should not be sold or given away. The best way to get rid of MG is to let your flock remained closed and when they all are gone, one day you can replace them with healthy chicks from a hatchery. Some may cull sick birds. MG only stays alive on equipment and in the environment for several days. It may remain alive in frozen droppings for a bit longer.
Thanks for info! I have read about MG and thought this may be the case, so that is why I treated with tylosin. It got rid of the sneezes and watery eyes in my older chickens however it hasn’t helped the babies at all. I wasn’t sure if it would cause such respiratory distress as they are having. Sounds like the airway is sticky, not really wheezing if that makes any sense.
 

Saaniya

Crowing
Aug 31, 2017
2,326
7,223
482
New Delhi India
Ok guys, I need some urgent advice. Long story, please read it all before commenting!

I have 4 (was 5) chicks in the brooder inside my home that are 4 weeks old. I had to get my husband to put one out of its misery for me this afternoon, and I am heartbroken that I was unable to heal it. I am desperately looking for answers so I don't lose any of the others.

Symptoms started last week. First chick had watery eyes, appeared to have mild respiratory distress for a day or two, but it got better and has had no more symptoms. A day or two after her symptoms started, I noticed some sneezing here and there among the others, and then noticed that one of them had a swollen eyelid (looked like the pink inside of the eyelid was swollen and showing). Progressed to all the remaining 4 with watery and or swollen eyes, and sneezes. Around Thanksgiving day or so one started breathing hard, which progressed over several days to the point where she was gasping and unable to eat or drink without choking. I finally gave up on helping her and couldn't watch her suffer any more today despite all my efforts. This evening, I notice that 3 of the others are shaking their heads with nasal discharge, and beginning to have respiratory distress. I do NOT have the heart to watch all these babies smother to death. The original sick baby remains symptomless.

Things I have tried: I have used VetRx on them. I have put vitamins in their water. I have put tylosin soluble powder (Tylan) in their water for almost a week. I have used triple antibiotic ointment, and then Terramycin ointment in their eyes. Today, grasping for straws I bought some Duramycin (oxytetracycline) at TSC, diluted the heck out of it, and injected the remaining 3 sick babies with it.

Back story, all my outside flock has been battling fowl pox for almost 2 months now. (The babies I have in the house are eggs I took from a broody mama and hatched inside to try to keep them from getting the pox. ) Pretty much all 30 outside chickens have had it, some very mild scabs just on the comb and/or waddles. A few had it really bad, with their eyes swollen and crusted shut. I exhausted myself taking care of those, and all are recovering at this point. A few weeks back, I noticed a few with watery eyes and sneezes, even one with bubbles in his eyes. Wasn't sure if it was related to the pox, or a secondary infection, so I treated the entire flock with the Tylosin water, and none of them are currently ill, although a few still have some dried scabs on them. I'm really unsure if there are two issues going on, pox and something else? I had not seen anything that resembled pox lesions either externally or in the mouths of these babies until I saw one little red bump on one of their faces this evening. I thought I was being super careful and tried so hard to make sure I didn't contaminate the inside babies with the pox virus... only to have them taken out by something else?

Any suggestions? Will attach pics below and video of the baby we had to cull today.
View attachment 2433793 View attachment 2433794



Sounds like Aspergillus so treatment will be great
Medicine used in this

• Doxycycline + Neomycin Sulfate
• Baytril
• Sulfamethaoxizole
 

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