What's wrong with this bird's eye?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kittybethaustin, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. kittybethaustin

    kittybethaustin Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    What is wrong with this bird's eye? It started off like conjunctivitis but rapidly got worse. It looks like a tumor. It's a solid mass and there's no eye anymore. Another bird is getting it now and his whole head seems squishy/swollen. I was going to cull them and send them off for necropsy, but thought I'd ask here in the meantime.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Is there a bad smell around the face that could indicate coryza? It looks like coryza, but MG can also cause swelling of the eye. Where did you get this bird, and have you added any new birds lately? Coryza can infect other birds showing symptoms within 1-3 days after exposure. Culling for a necropsy is up to you, but it would be good to know for sure what it is. If these birds have been around your other chickens, then you can assume that they all may be carriers. Sulfadimethoxine and Sulmet can be used to treat symptoms of coryza, but won't cure it. Here is a link for your state vet and another for symptoms of respiratory diseases:

    http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  3. kittybethaustin

    kittybethaustin Out Of The Brooder

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    No new birds in three months. This is an EE I have in with some meat birds. The other sick one is a broiler. Luckily they are completely separate from my laying hens. They all came from a hatchery this summer and are four months old now. The broilers are ready to be processed, should have been a month ago but I've been sick for several weeks with sinus. I didn't notice a bad smell but then my nose isn't working very well. Can coryza lie dormant for several weeks? I lost one of the EEs in August. Found it dead in the pen. I thought it had been trampled by the others. I've actually had several birds die on me from various things, including nothing at all. Several got a "cold" in late spring when they were about eight weeks old. I lost three of 20. The vet said it was a generic respiratory illness and treated with Tylan. This is my first year as a chicken keeper and it's been harder than I thought it would be, but then I probably shouldn't have ramped up as quickly as I did. Just didn't know they could die in so many ways! I'm hoping for next year to be calmer now that I know more of what I'm doing.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Since they have had some respiratory disease in the flock since they were 8 weeks old, I think there is your answer. Both severe strains of MG and coryza can cause the severely swollen eyes. These are both chronic diseases. Coryza especially does not go away, causing flare-ups. One of the old fashioned names of coryza is "cold." If I were you I would contact your state vet to find out where to get one tested, either by a blood test or nasal swab, or by a necropsy, to find out the exact illness. It's important to know for sure what the cause is before doing anything drastic. It is possible for a chicken to have 2 or more respiratory diseases at one time, because of secondary infections. I would close the flock to any new birds going in or selling any since the whole flock should be considered carriers, including other types of poultry. The only way to rid a flock of chronic respiratory disease is to start over with all new birds after cleaning, disinfecting, and waiting a few weeks for safe measure. Here is some info on coryza from the link above:

    Infectious Coryza

    Synonyms: roup, cold, coryza
    Species affected: chickens, pheasants, and guinea fowl. Common in game chicken flocks.
    Clinical signs: Swelling around the face, foul smelling, thick, sticky discharge from the nostrils and eyes, labored breathing, and rales (rattles -- an abnormal breathing sound) are common clinical signs. The eyelids are irritated and may stick together. The birds may have diarrhea and growing birds may become stunted (see Table 1).
    Mortality from coryza is usually low, but infections can decrease egg production and increase the incidence and/or severity of other diseases. Mortality can be as high as 50 percent, but is usually no more than 20 percent. The clinical disease can last from a few days to 2-3 months, depending on the virulence of the pathogen and the existence of other infections such as mycoplasmosis.
    Transmission: Coryza is primarily transmitted by direct bird-to-bird contact. This can be from infected birds brought into the flock as well as from birds which recover from the disease which remain carriers of the organism and may shed intermittently throughout their lives.. Birds risk exposure at poultry shows, bird swaps, and live-bird sales. Inapparent infected adult birds added into a flock are a common source for outbreaks. Within a flock, inhalation of airborne respiratory droplets, and contamination of feed and/or water are common modes of spread.
    Treatment: Water soluble antibiotics or antibacterials can be used. Sulfadimethoxine (Albon[​IMG], Di-Methox[​IMG]) is the preferred treatment. If it is not available, or not effective, sulfamethazine (Sulfa-Max[​IMG], SulfaSure[​IMG]), erythromycin (gallimycin[​IMG]), or tetracycline (Aureomycin[​IMG]) can be used as alternative treatments. Sulfa drugs are not FDA approved for pullets older than 14 weeks of age or for commercial layer hens. While antibiotics can be effective in reducing clinical disease, they do not eliminate carrier birds.
    Prevention: Good management and sanitation are the best ways to avoid infectious coryza. Most outbreaks occur as a result of mixing flocks. All replacement birds on "coryza-endemic" farms should be vaccinated. The vaccine (Coryza-Vac) is administered subcutaneously (under the skin) on the back of the neck. Each chicken should be vaccinated four times, starting at 5 weeks of age with at least 4 weeks between injections. Vaccinate again at 10 months of age and twice yearly thereafter.
     
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  5. kittybethaustin

    kittybethaustin Out Of The Brooder

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    I was afraid of this after you suggested what it might be. I googled images for coryza and found others that look exactly like my sick ones. The vet had said that wild birds could bring in respiratory illnesses and that it was impossible to protect against 100%. I've tried to practice good biosecurity but I didn't know all I know now when I started so it's possible I brought in a carrier and didn't even realize it. Now my main concern is that I gave my Dad five of the EEs a month ago. None are sick but I don't feel good that he has them potentially exposing his other birds. They haven't been combined with his regular flock and they stick together and away from the others when they free range. I'll send the two sick ones off to the state lab for necropsy and tell my Dad to keep the ones he has away from his other birds until I hear from the vet. I think I'll get those birds back from him and buy him some new ones and have them delivered directly to him. Needless to say, I'm definitely closing down the flock. Depending on what the necropsy says, I may let my layers live out their prime laying life and then start over. Or not.

    So how on earth do you operate a small flock for income purposes and not end up with catastrophic illnesses in your birds? This is a learning endeavor for me at this point. I want to gains the skills I need to do this when I retire for some extra income. I'm in the surburbs right now, but will be moving to land in a few years. Land already paid for but I need my city income for now.
     
  6. kittybethaustin

    kittybethaustin Out Of The Brooder

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    I just read your last reply more thoroughly and it explains some of the issues I've been having. As in I really thought I should be getting more eggs than I have. I've only had about 30 to 50% of birds laying on any given day. I have good laying breeds so they should be doing better than that. So it's probably worth it to cut my losses and start over.

    I'm also seeing that I really need to start vaccinating my flock. The hatchery I order from doesn't recommend it for backyard birds but phooey on that. And I need to do a full month of quarantine before adding new birds instead of just two weeks.

    Called my vet to see if she could test first. Then I can go the necropsy route. I send off directly myself because the vet charges about four times as much. I wish the vet had of mentioned the potential need to close the flock when my birds first got the "cold". Would have saved me a lot of grief down the road.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Coryza is one of those things that can be brought in by a new chicken, or from buying chicks from some other person that has all different aged birds on his property. MG is much more common in wild birds, but it also doesn't spread like wildfire, and there are some mild strains that have very few symptoms. Some vets are taught in school that almost any backyard flock has had some MG exposure. I haven't treated either disease, but coryza is one I would definitely cull birds for. As for vaccinating, most hatcheries will only offer Mareks, and sometimes the coccidiosis vaccine for chicks. It's best to read a lot about live and dead vaccines before you start giving them to chickens. It's complicated, and some live vaccines are thought to cause the disease in other chickens. In fact in certain states they will not permit vaccinated chickens to be entered in shows for fear of spreading the disease. Here is some info on vaccines that might interest you:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps030
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/377/small-flock-vaccination
    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou..._poultry/vaccination_programs_in_poultry.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/03/answers-from-chicken-vet-on.html
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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  10. kittybethaustin

    kittybethaustin Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for offering a possibility on the other end of the spectrum! I have a vet appt for Saturday morning for them to take a swab for diagnosis and to find out if she could be treated or if I should cull her. The gunk in her eye is totally hardened. I didn't know it could be removed until you sent that link! I really thought it was a tumor until I read about pus from the sinuses filling the eye and how it hardens. Eww! I'm pretty immune to gross stuff but this is a new level for me. [​IMG] Hoping for a non "catastrophic" outcome but best to be steeled against the possibility. I took a look in her mouth this morning and didn't see any pus in the open area in the mouth. I'd read that both eye and mouth had to be cleared of pus each day for this type of illness to heal. I've had enough seemingly random deaths that I'm thinking there is something up that's more involved. Also one bird was severely stunted in growth and then just fell over one day at six months old. I thought I got a bantam by accident until she dropped dead. Didn't see any signs of respiratory illness but she may have been asymptomatic.

    Leaning towards Mycoplasma based on what I've read so far. Especially since I noticed a hen with a swollen ankle last week and read about Mycoplasma synoviae last night. Saw some photos of affected feet and that's what my bird looks like. She limps a bit but hasn't show any other signs of illness. I thought I might have hurt her stepping on her foot. They get under foot and don't always move when they think I'm handing out a treat.

    This is kind of my practice flock I guess. It's good I learn the hard lessons before I think about getting into anything rare or expensive! I got birds from several sources because I wanted to "try out" various breeds. I stuck with trusted sources and not random people on Craig's List but evidently you never know what might happen. And someone else may not have known they had a problem yet, like I didn't.
     

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