Why is the eye white?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hotspur, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. hotspur

    hotspur Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2008
    What does this white eye mean?

    The hen's right eye has been shut for ten days. No sign of external injury. She free-ranges; so I don't know the cause.
    The eye has been swollen-out the entire time. The bulge of the eye (through the closed eyelid) appears to be more forward-located than the healthy left eye.
    In the last few days, the hen has been opening the injured eye very briefly, now and then, usually when she hears the other hens and rooster nearby.
    However, all that is visible when she opens the eye is WHITE.

    Is there a way to determine whether (a) the cornea has gone opaque (white), or (b) the white that I see is the nictating membrane ("third eyelid") protecting the swollen eye, (c) something else?

    For five days I've been treating the left eye with erythromycin (broad spectrum antibiotic) ophthalmic ointment - to help against surface infections (of the cornea), if any. When I pry the eyelid open, the gap I can create is tiny, so even the ointment isn't getting applied to much of the cornea.
    I've kept her in a separate small cage, to guarantee that the other hens and rooster don't peck the injured eye. At this rate I expect to keep her separated for a week or two longer to give the eye the best chance to heal, as she would be vulnerable while free-ranging out in the open with the sight of one eye missing.

    Also, I've ordered some soluble Terramycin-343 powder to put into her drinking water, in the hope of getting that to the internal parts of the swollen eye. I know it's late to be starting with the Terramycin.

    I cannot afford to take her to a vet.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  2. Farmer Benjii

    Farmer Benjii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    Vic, AUS
    this happened to our rooster, he got attacked by a fox...but he was still in the corner of the coop....?
    well anyway we had some water and dabbed it on the eye, that way the chicken would feel wet and open.. go on try it, what do u have to loose...?
  3. hotspur

    hotspur Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2008
    this happened to our rooster

    Did your rooster's eye look all white when he first opened the eyelid, or when you pried the eyelid downwards/​
  4. OhMyItsAndyy

    OhMyItsAndyy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2009
    West England
    Sounds liek the third eye lid to me, my rooster stopped opening his shortly before he died. (Not sayin your hen will, mine was dying already - fox)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by