Very swollen eye and sudden death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by wooded acres, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. wooded acres

    wooded acres Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2015
    north country NY
    My 7 month old hen has a swollen eye and we can't figure out why. It's been like this since the 24th (Dec) and we've been flushing it but it's showing no improvement. We thought maybe another chicken or the rooster had pecked her but I thought it would show signs of healing by now. Does anyone have any advice?
    What's even more concerning is that this morning we found one of the 2 roosters dead laying on the floor of the coop. He was what I would have called a runt; he never really blossomed like his brother. He was small and scraggly and would never have amounted to much but he was sweet natured and didn't bother the hens so we kept him. He didn't show any signs of illness that we noticed and he wasn't bloodied or battered so we are clueless as to what killed him.
    Our other young hen has very ruffled feathers and is doing a strange yawn-like gasp, raising her head up high. She doesn't sneeze or wheeze, there is no strange noise, but this is something she had just started doing.
    The other 5 older hens and 3 guineas look and act normal.
    Can anyone offer any advice or information??? Please let me know, thank you in advance!![​IMG]
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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    A swollen eye like that may be from a peck wound to the eye, an eye infection, but also could be from a respiratory infection such as mycoplasma (MG,) or coryza. Clean any pus out of the eye with cotton balls and saline, and apply some Terramycin eye ointment from a feed store, or use bacitracin or plain neosporin ointment twice a day. If you are seeing any wheezing, sneezing, gasping, or nasal drainage, then get Tylan 50 injectable, and give 0.2ml per pound orally twice a day for 5 days. If you lose any more, I would recommend getting a necropsy done by your state vet.
     
  3. wooded acres

    wooded acres Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2015
    north country NY
    There was some debris in her eye when we flushed it, it looked like scabbed skin and it rinsed away, another time the was a pine shaving, but there has been no puss that we've seen. It doesn't ooze at all and she doesn't wheeze/sneeze/cough at all. We can hold her and flush her eye with no problem, but we have not tried to squeeze it at all.

    Can the Neosporin just be rubbed right onto the eye? It won't affect her vision?

    Just to be clear the hen that is doing the yawning thing does not have anything wrong with her eyes, and neither did the rooster that died. We have had no visitors for at least 3 weeks. The chickens free range if it's nice out. They've been out on milder days when the snow melts, but more in the coop lately. I have specific chicken boots for the coop that I don't take out; my husband occasionally wears his boots when he runs into town.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I am one of those who has used plain neosporin ointment for a pecked eye in my chicken. Bacitracin is similar, without the neomycin, which people can sometimes be allergic to. Ideally, sterile ophthalmic drops or ointment from a vet would be best, but in an emergency, I use the neosporin. Terramycin ointment which is the antibiotic oxytetracycline, has been available in feed stores, and very good to treat mycoplasma related eye infection. I am not sure if the recent removal of over the counter antibiotics has affected Terramycin, but when I visited my TSC before the end of 2016, they had removed everything except injectable Tylan 200 from their shelves. For some reason, they never carry Tylan 50, which is more suitable for chickens. Sorry this is long, but then there is also Vetericyn Eye Wash and Eye Gel, and there are generic versions of those, which are good for eye infections. Sterile saline is usually available in pharmacy eye care and cold aisles. It can be made in your kitchen as well.
     
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  6. wooded acres

    wooded acres Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2015
    north country NY
    Hello again! Today we brought her into the warm garage and had a nice close look. There is absolutely no oozing of any sort. The eye is warm to the touch and hard. Her actual eye is below the swelling toward the cheek. We felt around the eye and there is no hard cheesy substance either, just all chicken. After flushing with saline we applied some neosporin. We took better pics, there is a small black line to the left front of the eye, it looks like maybe it was a cut/peck?
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    My aunt happened to be taking her dog to her farm vet today so she took my picture and the vet said he suspects it's an infection and told her an antibiotic to use. (She already had some on hand so she's sending me a little.). We found Vetericyn at TSC so we picked that up and applied it for tonight.

    We also found that the flock has lice (at least that's what I think it is based on looking at pictures). We checked 3 hens around the vent area and saw the bugs crawl away into the feathers. I'm looking for the most natural solution as we try not to medicate unless absolutely necessary. I've read mixed reviews about de being used; positive bc it's all natural, negative due to worries of causing respiratory problems. I've read that lice only live on the birds, so would dusting the birds (but not the coop/nest boxes) be considered safe?

    Also, would a lice infestation be a probably cause of death in the rooster? Another possibility offered up was a cock fight that led to a heart attack. I've only had chickens for 1.5 years now, and I've only started experiencing issues this season. Any help would be appreciated!! Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  7. wooded acres

    wooded acres Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2015
    north country NY
    Well unfortunately yesterday was a 'holiday' so there was no post, which means I won't be getting that medication until tomorrow [​IMG]. We applied the vetericyn gel to her eyes last night and this morning it looked to be covered with yellowish scabbed skin. I applied more this morning and tonight when I closed them in... Hopefully the mail arrives tomorrow and the antibiotic helps her out.

    Did anyone have any thoughts on the DE use for lice or the probable cause of unexplained death of the rooster?

    Thank you all for your input!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    DE won't treat an outbreak of lice or mites. Mites can kill a chicken, but lice are more of a nuisance. Permethrin dust or spray is very good to treat lice or mites, but needs to be used at 7 day intervals until they are gone. Permethrin 10% spray is good for use on the chickens or the coop, which will also require treatment. It is pretty safe to use on chickens.
    That eye, whatever the cause, looks to probably have a large plug of pus inside the eyelid. Removing these pus plugs takes a lot of squeezing and cleaning out, before the eye will heal. Look up inside the beak to see if you can spot any pus in the roof of her mouth.
     
  9. wooded acres

    wooded acres Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2015
    north country NY
    This may sound silly, but how am I supposed to look inside her mouth?

    Is the permethrin a chemical dust/spray? We try to stay as all natural as possible, although if it means saving my flock and it's safe I would make exceptions.

    I was just reading an old post where someone used (warmed) coconut oil and sprayed the chickens rumps to kill lice and eggs; said it takes 1-3 days but it worked perfectly. Have you ever heard of anything like that? We use coconut oil in our house for just about everything from eating to beauty and first aid.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Have some hold her while you look up inside her mouth with a flashlight. Coconut oil is supposed to be good for applying to lice eggs to help in their removal. Neem oil to roosts and daily dusting with wood ash has been used by those over on the natural chicken thread to help in mite removal, but it is pretty labor intensive. Permethrin is pretty innocuous. It can be harmful to bees apparently, but it only lasts for about 30 days around your coop. One can try natural or get rid of the problem with the least harmful treatment, and go for prevention later.
     

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