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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23811
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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In a of two days a laying hens eyes are swelled with

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In a period of two days a laying hens eyes are swelled with leaking of pus, She is weak and losing feathers....could she have been stung by yellow jacket or injested something of the sort. Will not eat or drink, but has not lost weight ..Pox maybe none of other hens are affected.
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Pox is readily identifiable by the characteristic round and raised lesions which appear on the head and occasionally on the legs. Your hen is most likely suffering from either mycoplasmosis, fowl cholera (sudden death more common), or chicken coryza (Haemophilus paragallinarum /Bordetella avium). Her swollen eyes indicate underlying swollen sinuses.

Quarantining was just the ticket and because she's not eating or drinking and so antibiotics placed in feed or water won't be ingested in sufficient amounts to treat her, please consider injecting her with enrofloxacin daily for ten consecutive days at a dose of 10mg/lb. Do you have a vet who is willing to dispense this antibiotic to you?

A hypersensitivity reaction to a flying insect isn't likely in a bird with such profound symptoms. 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, your vet can perform several tests including bacterial cultures of the airways, blood tests, and necropsies (post-mortem exams) of dead birds if they are available (refrigerate - not freeze - their bodies until they can be brought to the vet or your county health officer).

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does what you described just appear suddenly? None of the flock has been acting weird and seem their usual happy bird-self. I live on an isolated farm with one acre exercise pen for these chicks. I know they have eaten several tomatoes from the garden(organic) and some apples. This is one reason I thought she may have gotten hold of something that was bad for her...but again , no one else affected. I will continue to give what am giving now..will not use chemical treatment or injections...Do you further ideas/information on how to make her more comfortable?

Yes, in fact sudden deaths are relatively common in birds who were clinically normal just 24 hours earlier. This is to the benefit of birds who would otherwise be attacked if acting ill. Hence, our birds are often critically ill by the time we notice illness in them.

We recognize the ingestion of toxins (aflotoxins, mainly) to be a significant problem in our birds but reactions to foods are uncommon. Keeping her sequestered (stress free) and warmed to 90F and cleaning away discharge from her eyes and nose regularly as you've been doing should suffice. Birds can recover from the infections I mentioned above untreated.

Please let me know if any other birds break with symptoms. I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I'll speak to you soon.

I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
May I have an update, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, I lost her on Sat. She had began to breath better and drink a little water, but I guess she was too weak to pull through. Thanks for your advice. Am keeping a close eye on rest of flock at this time. I have also given them an antibody in their drinking water just in case, and added some vitamin mix to their feed. They get plenty of exercise space, sunlight, shade and treats. Our animals are our family and it always brings a little sadness when you lose one....we are all coping and trying to do it all a little better. Again, thanks. Diane

Thank you, Diane, for taking the time to let me know. Unfortunately once birds act ill they're already critically ill. I believe that you've placed Duramycin in their drinking water? If so, that was a prudent thing to do .

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