Wet Pox

Phisch

Songster
Oct 3, 2018
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Help! First time dealing with this. One of our girls has what once was dry pox and is, as of today, wet pox. The pox on her left eye is not a dry scab anymore but lots of liquid is building up in the eye and she can't see out of it. How do I treat it? Iodine is one solution I found plus anti-bacterial spray or Neosporin (not pain-free kind) for poultry. What should the dilution for iodine be? Or should it be straight? Unfortunately, while we were trying to catch her, she scratched at her eye cutting the bottom lid a little. Poor thing.

She's almost 7 months old and is separated from the others. She's also got probiotics, extra vitamins, raw honey, raw apple cider vinegar and garlic in her water. Her feed has some water added so it will get mushy and easier to eat (not sure if there are poxes in her throat).

We've dealt with dry pox before but this is the first time it's turned into wet. Is there anything else, besides vaccinating and not stressing her by chasing her around the yard, that we can do to help her? We've never lost a bird to this and I don't want to have a first time!
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
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May 31, 2019
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Is she eating and drinking normally? A couple of my birds went through wet pox and while it's definitely not fun to watch, they did remarkably well. My hen that had a couple of pox on her eyelids has a tiny bit of scarring but I don't mind and I'm sure she doesn't either 😂 Would you be able to apply the iodine without it getting in her eye?
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
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In the eye or on the eyelid?

A picture would be helpful to see how close it is to her eye, and how large it is. You really want to try not to get any medication in the eye unless it's actual eye medication.

The GOOD news is that it's probably NOT wet pox YET. Wet pox attacks the wet areas (i.e., mouth, lungs, mucous membranes) where it's usually breathed in. A dry pox sore that becomes infected isn't the same as wet pox. Keep her separated all the same, check her mouth and throat, and if it's still just the eye, get us some pictures.

If it's in her mouth and throat, you really should call a vet. Even if they don't treat chickens, they might be kind enough to tell you which medications to go buy. (If she's eating, probably no sores yet.) Let me go dig through the books I have and I'll see if there's an old school treatment.
 

Eggcessive

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Wet pox is only inside the beak and throat, as evidenced by yellow material or plaques. If the eye is getting watery or gunky, there is probably a secondary infection of dry pox. Get some saline or Bausch and Lomb eye wash, and clean the eye twice a day, and apply a bit of Terramycin eye ointment into the eye. If you cannot get that, use plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment. Betadine 10% can be painted on dry pox scabs to help dry them up, but keep it away from the eyes. It is not necessary to do anything to fowl pox scabs, but ones around the eyes can make it hard for them to see food and water.
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
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Okay the answer is literally fire and brimstone.🤣

First: Iodine in the drinking water for everyone - 4-6 oz. iodine/gal (30–50 ml/L) stock solution, metered at 1 oz./gal (7.8 ml/L) of drinking water. (Put 4-6 oz of Iodine into a gallon of water, then add 1 oz of that mixture per gallon of their drinking water.) Keep that going until everyone has recovered/no signs of pox in the flock.

Quarantine anyone with crusty poxes or open sores and clean the dickens out of their living quarters as often as possible. (The virus can live in the scabs that fall off for years, and breathing in dander/coop dust is how wet pox gets started.) Disinfect everything regularly as well.

(Fire) Add some wood ash to their dust bath, do not let them dust in it if it's wet. (There's science behind this treatment, but if I explain it, someone will eventually go get the wrong chemical and hurt themselves, so let's leave it at this.) (As standard procedure, I add 4 shovels of ash from my firepit and 4 cups of DE to mine every quarter. My chickens' dust bath is 2.3 cubic feet.)

Leave the eye pox be. The eye may swell shut, but once the lesion has gone through its cycle (gets crusty and black and falls off) things should go back to normal with the eye. Irrigating or putting salve on an open lesion may spread the virus, if you treat it, make sure everything is disposable and be mindful of cross contamination. (A large bottle of plain saline solution is cheap for an irrigant, and also good for getting blood out of clothing.)
(Brimstone) 2 TBSP Sulfur powder mixed with 8 TBSP petroleum jelly makes an effective salve for treating the lesions, but again, I don't recommend it for the one on the eye.
 

Phisch

Songster
Oct 3, 2018
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111
Is she eating and drinking normally? A couple of my birds went through wet pox and while it's definitely not fun to watch, they did remarkably well. My hen that had a couple of pox on her eyelids has a tiny bit of scarring but I don't mind and I'm sure she doesn't either 😂 Would you be able to apply the iodine without it getting in her eye?
Straight up iodine?
As far as not getting it in the eye, I’m not sure it’s possible. She clawed through her bottom eye lid.
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
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Straight up iodine?
As far as not getting it in the eye, I’m not sure it’s possible. She clawed through her bottom eye lid.
If she clawed through her eyelid, I'd use triple antibiotic ointment. I definitely wouldn't use iodine that close to the eye. Personally, I didn't treat anyone just provided supportive care and kept a close eye on everyone. I did keep everything as clean as possible and cleaned much more often than before, especially when the scabs started flaking off. Any chance you could get a picture of her eye to share with us?
 

Phisch

Songster
Oct 3, 2018
99
70
111
Got a chance for a photo finally.

1632949958668.jpeg
 

STACEYH

Crowing
Jul 14, 2021
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Sorry she's having a rough go. I hope she gets better​

Simple Wound Salve for Chickens​

What you will need:​

  1. 2 glass jar – quart size recommended but pint can work too.
  2. quarter cup of each of – Oregano and dried dried plantain leaves, and a quarter cup of one of the following dried floral herbs-choose from calendula petals, Nasturtium, chamomile, wild violet,or dandelion petals
  3. olive oil, sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil
  4. mesh strainer
  5. 1/2 ounce beeswax
  6. 1/2 ounce coconut oil
  7. tea tree essential oil
  8. vitamin e oil
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
184
433
116
West Texas
Got a chance for a photo finally.
Okay, that's not horrible, you can work with that. If the eye needs cleaned or it's too dry, just irrigate it with saline and keep her quarantined until the pox nodules subside. If it needs some ointment to prevent a secondary infection, use one of the ones that @Eggcessive recommended.

I've done this with a parrot but never a chicken....you might pick up an elizabethan collar for a small dog to put on her to keep her from scratching at it. I think I saw some at Tractor Supply a while back, or maybe Petsmart. Or you could make one out of cereal box cardboard. Just make sure it doesn't completely block her view from the other eye, or make sure her quarantine cage is closed in on the left side and maybe half of the top so she doesn't get anxious. (The parrot chewed it up, but it kept her busy enough that she didn't mess with her eye, and she kept exercising the eye by trying to focus on the collar to chew it. She did have a few choice words for me about it though. Chickens don't have shearing jaws, so probably not an issue.)

It likely bothers you more than it bothers her, so make sure to let her out to scratch and dust bathe every other day or so. The wood ash in the dirt will help clear up the virus, and if the black crusts fall off in there, it's easier to dig up a small pit of dirt and remediate it than an entire run.
 

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