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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23745
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My chickens have one eye swollen shut and infected, what can

Customer Question

my chickens have one eye swollen shut and infected, what can I do for them?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: they are about 5months old and they aren't eating well or moving arund
JA: What is the bird's name?
Customer: they are domickers and white leggorns
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your bird?
Customer: 2 have died
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 14 days ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 14 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your chickens. When an infectious conjunctivitis arises concomitant with deaths, a respiratory infection that has become septic (widespread) needs to be considered. It's important to recognize that in any case of respiratory illness, it's important to know if you're dealing with a viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic disease. The treatment for one disease may be ineffective or even harmful for others. To make a diagnosis, an avian vet (please see here: will perform several tests including bacterial cultures of the airways, blood tests, and necropsies of dead birds if they're available. Dead birds should be refrigerated - not frozen – until they can be necropsied. Microscopic evaluation of affected tissues is helpful and can be performed at a diagnostic laboratory such as a county animal disease diagnostic laboratory if you're fortunate to have such a laboratory in your county. A veterinary school patholoogy service is another good resource. A fecal test for parasites also should be done. Attempts to isolate virus may be required. Respiratory infections in poultry have several causes but outward signs may appear similar to the flock owner.

If you don't have an avian vet avialable to you, it would be prudent to initiate broad spectrum converage with the antibiotic tylosin in the for mof Tylan-50 available in many feed stores. The Tylan-50 is usually injected into the breast muscle once daily for 5-7 days at a dose of 20-30 mg/lb. It can also be given orally by it's quite distsasteful. Infected eyes can be dosed with over the counter Terramycin ophthalmic ointment (please see here: which is carried by some pet/feed stores and can be found online as shown. Dosing is a "dab" of ointment into each eye thrice daily for a minimum of 10 consecutive days.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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