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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23800
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My year old golden laced wyandotte has been suffering from

Customer Question

My year old golden laced wyandotte has been suffering from and illness for a few months. At first it started with diarrhea, which the whole flock had, but everyone got over it except her, so I thought she might have some kind of bacterial infection so I put her on antibiotics. She also stopped laying eggs and started to pluck the feathers off of her rump. I've been doing warm compresses and giving them extra calcium in case she's egg bound and needs to pass an egg, but it seems like the eggs are coming out in a liquid form, because her butt is covered in yellow and white liquid. I don't know if this is possible, though. She acts entirely healthy otherwise.
Any suggestions?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

You're correct to suspect an infectious diarrhea. It's important to note, however, that both viral and bacterial diarrheas are seen in chickens. Either infectious agent can ascend up the oviduct and cause a salpingitis (oviduct infection) which then damages the "egg gland" - the area in which shell building occurs. This hen may have a persistent salpingitis or has recovered but the damage is irreversible. There are two main considerations at this time. The first is that a viral infection persists. Viruses don't respond to antibiotics. The second is that a bacerial infection persists and previous antibiotics haven't been effective against this particular bacteria or were effective but not given long enough. An avian vet (please see here: can culture this hen's cloaca (vent) in an attempt to identify the specific bacteria present and the very best antibiotic to prescribe against those bacteria.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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