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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28009
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have two bantam hens, an Old English and a Rosecomb. After

Customer Question

I have two bantam hens, an Old English and a Rosecomb. After returning home from a xmas vacation I noticed that both hens have developed a partially charcoal gray coloration or mold like appearance to their comb. I live in south Florida and have never seen this before.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the bird?
Customer: I can send pics but this system won't accept them. Could use normal email if I had an address.
JA: Where does the bird seem to hurt?
Customer: The bird does not seem to hurt and is active and has a good appetite. As I said the birds come have either a fungus or the combs are turning dark gray.
JA: OK. No obvious pain. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: The birds are two bantam hens, They oast and Gladys. They are about ten mos old.
JA: How old is Gladys?
Customer: 10 mos.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Gladys?
Customer: No.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

I would very much like to see their combs. You can upload photos by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see that icon) or you can use an external app such as dropbox.com/

***@******.*** or http://ww2/justanswer.com/help can help you if need be.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Pictures attached
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. Please give me a moment to take a look...

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Pretty hens! The pics indicate the dry form of avian pox virus. The lesions are found on non-feathered areas of chickens, most commonly portions of the head or neck. You might see transient decreased weight gain and egg production. The scabs desquamate in the environment and so are infectious to other birds for many months. Transmission also occurs via cannibalism and vectors such as msoquitoes and so good insect control is important. Treatment is supportive; affected birds should be isolated from the rest of your flock. The great majority of birds will remiss unaided within a few weeks. The attention of an avian vet is rarely necessary.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What do you mean by remiss and how long should they be isolated.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Remiss = go into remission; isolating for a month from the onset of symptoms is prudent

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Are meds required and can pigeons catch this disease from them, or possibly have contracted it from them?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

No meds are necessary nor effective. Yes pigeons (and nearly every species of birds) can carry and be infected by poxviruses.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I obtained three pigeons about 3 weeks ago and I suspect they may have carried the disease. what symptoms do pigeons show.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

The same as in chickens. The dry form that you're currently seeing and the wet form which causes similar lesions but in the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and trachea. Occasionally a mixed (dry/wet) form arises.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin