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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20578
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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My young new chickens eyes are runnie and tere breathing is

Customer Question

my young new chickens eyes are runnie and tere breathing is rough
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Now if she has respiratory changes as well as runny eyes, then we do need to tread with care. This is because both signs together suggests that we may be facing a respiratory infectious agent that could spread through all your birds.
Therefore, if you haven't already, consider separating any birds showing signs from asymptomatic birds. This will allow you to be able to better monitor/support the affected birds and decrease the exposure risk to the rest of your birds. As well, strict hygiene (dilute bleach for cleaning, handling infected birds last, etc) would be prudent here as well to control what sounds to be the start of a respiratory disease outbreak in your flock.
Now the upper airway/ocular signs they are showing can be seen with a number of respiratory agents. Those agents we need to consider here are Infectious Coryza, Acute Fowl Cholera (Pasteurella multocida), Influenza, ILT IRT, infectious bronchitis, Chlamydiosis, and mycoplasma (Mycoplasma gallisepticum).
In this case, if you want to pinpoint the causative agent and increase your treatment success then it would be ideal to narrow the differentials for respiratory disease in this flock. Ideally, you want to get your avian vet involved. Respiratory secretions can be cultured to tell you what agents are causing disease and what treatment will actually clear them +/- fecal exams can tell you if parasites are playing a role (directly or via compromising the immune system). As well, they can guide you further on barrier nursing techniques for your set up (since this likely airborne and really we should be trying to decrease spread of the agent at the same time as treating it).
While doing so, you might consider a broad spectrum treatment to try and tackle as many of the bacterial causes as possible. Since we have the potential for mycoplasma and coryza, you might consider erythromycin, oxytetracycline, or macrolides. Other options may be tilmicosin, tylosin, or spiramycin.
Furthermore, if the eyes are discharging, you can flush them with sterile saline (ie OTC first aid eye wash, plain contact lens solution). This will reduce irritation and flush out any bacteria present. If very pus-y, then you can check your local feed store for Terramycin drops for her eyes.
Finally, while treating, you will want to monitor this bird's appetite and drinking habits. If there is any lapse in either, then hand feeding any supportive care would need to be considered. Especially since dehydration can weaken a bird and contribute to worsening illness and cause additional issues.
So, do monitor her water intake (which should be about ½ a cup daily) and check for signs of dehydration (skin tenting or sunken eyes). As well, keep an eye on her appetite. If she isn't keen to eat, then make sure to offer favorite foods. You can also get Nutrical paste to supplement her diet (either mixed in food, water, or via syringe) which will provide extra calories or nutrition. Offer fresh foods, high in nutrition and water content like cucumbers, Romaine, grapes, melon, oranges, etc. Hard boiled eggs mashed shell and all are extremely nutritious and delicious to birds. Cous cous and cooked brown rice is good for them too. And for anorexic birds, syringe feeding with a bird specific feeding paste may also be necessary.
Overall, there are a range of agents that can be to blame for the signs you are seeing. Therefore, you need to consider taking diagnostic steps to determine which is to blame to make sure you treat as effectively and economically as possible. Otherwise, broad spectrum antibiotics can be tried and supportive care coupled with strict hygiene are important to get this bird through this and protect any other birds you have in contact.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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