Young Silkie with Crusty Eye and Open-Mouth Breathing--what is wrong?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MLBFettes, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. MLBFettes

    MLBFettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    Hi all,

    I have had two older laying hens for a year and have never had a single issue so I don't quite now what is happening. Yesterday, I brought home a 20-week old Silkie hen. I realized today she has one eye completely crusted shut, and she has mites on her head. The part of the feather shaft nearest her skin on her head is thick and white.

    I gently wiped across the eye with a warm wet washcloth and it loosened some but did not open. While holding her, she opened her mouth slightly each time she took a breath.

    She is not laboring to breathe, and she is relatively active and calm. She has eaten some of the layer pellets I offered since she has been home, but not a whole lot. (Of course, I could just be judging wrong, since I have two other hens who eat a TON of food and are very grouchy.)

    What could this be? And what can I do to help her out with the eye and the mites?
     
  2. BunkyB

    BunkyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Keep up with the eye washing with warm water a couple of times a day. You can try and wash the eye first and try to open the eye gently. Eventually the crusties will subside. If you have some mineral oil rub that over the eyelid as well. It will help soften the crusties.
    When cleaning keep an eye on the corners of the eyes to see if there is any white, solid puss. If not, great. It would be helpful to pick up some louse powder or similar stuff to rid the bird of the mites and sprinkle some in the nesting boxes as well.
    Hope things go well and there may be other answers coming your way from other members... chin up and give it a few days to see any changes... Steve
     
  3. MLBFettes

    MLBFettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks for your reply! I have put a drop of Ivermectin under each wing to de-worm and help with mites, and have wiped the eye with a warm washcloth twice. I will try the oil, too. There doesn't seem to be much gunk on the eye and the area around it is not swollen. She is not eating a tremendous amount of food, but she has oatmeal, layer pellets, and electrolyte solution available in addition to clean water. I dusted her head and neck with (food grade) DE and left some in her crate.

    This morning, she was whistling very softly while breathing out. No funny smells, poops are normal, no coughing or sneezing, no nasal discharge.

    My main concern is whether or not the hen is sick. Since she is a new bird, she is in quarantine. I bought her to be a broody hen to hatching eggs, so if she is going to be a carrier or some kind of respiratory disease, she will need to find a new home with someone who just keeps chickens as pets. I sell my hens' eggs.

    Thank you for any help and advice! I really do appreciate being a part of the helpful BYC community.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    I'm glad you have her in quarantine. Crusty eye(s) can be a symptom of a respiratory disease as well whistling... keeping in mind that there are various strains of the many different types of poultry diseases. Some strains are mild, others are killers. Your silkie may have a mild strain. I would NOT give her to someone else, she would infect another persons flock....that would be unethically and morally wrong. I'd cull her. FYI; ivermectin pour on should be put on bare skin in order for it to soak into the bloodstream to be effective, preferably on the back of the neck. Mites can weaken a birds immune system opening the door for all kinds of diseases to invade their system.
     
  5. MLBFettes

    MLBFettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    Thank you, dawg-- she only whistled for about twenty seconds this morning, and now has no open-mouth breathing or whistling. She is eating more, and only one eye is shut, the other is open and clear. No discharge and no swelling.

    And I was mistaken about the medicine, my husband did it this morning and actually, she got Wazine in her water and dusted with Sevin dust around the head and neck, under wings, and near her vent.
     

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