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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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My rooster"s (leghorn) wattle and comb ends are dark, they

Customer Question

My rooster"s (leghorn) wattle and comb ends are dark, they have been gradually getting worse. He is 5 months old and the comb and wattle are very large and floppy. My hens combs are all floppy so I didn't know there was a problem until it started turning dark
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Added a file that shows where the chickens stay and one of the rooster, I have more angles of the rooster if you would like to see
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.

​Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds exclusively for many years.​

I am sorry no other expert has taken your question. We all come online at different times, I have just logged in and saw that you have not been answered. I hope I can still be of assistance.

More photos are always good.

At first glance it looks like these spots may be from flies or other biting insects. What is your geographic location and local weather?

Do the hens peck him?

Any lumps around the mouth or face?

They can also have sunburn, parasitic diseases, nutritional issues associated with comb problems. If circulation is impaired for any reason, the tips of the comb can turn dark and eventually drop off. This can also be an indication of serious systemic disease.

For right now, clean the comb with sterile saline, and apply a small amount of fly repellent (avoid the eyes and the open areas); you can find it in the equine section of feed stores, spray some on a wash cloth and wipe his head and neck. If you can convince a pharmacist or vet to sell you 1% silver sulfadiazine cream, apply it twice a day to the lesions. Do not use anything else.

Can you tell me more about the bird?​

How long has this been going on?

How long have you had him?

Where is he from?

Any accidents or trauma?

Interactions with other birds/pets/children/guests?

What is the usual diet? has it changed recently?

Has the bird gotten into anything? Does he poke his head through the fence?

If you feel comfortable with it, examine the bird thoroughly, using gentle restraint via washcloth or hand towel: do not restrict the chest or hold around the body. Check the eyes, nostrils, mouth and beak if possible, having a good look in there for mucus, redness, masses or anything else unusual. Palpate the tummy for pain, fluid, lumps or anything else. You can take the temperature gently with a rectal thermometer. Anything above 105F/40C is significant. Check all the joints for swelling, pain, and mobility. The feathers should be parted to view the skin, muscles and skeleton below; this can be done using a q-tip with isopropyl alcohol or KY gel. Look for bruising, lacerations, injured feathers.

I know it is expensive, but you may not have many home options, because the first thing you need a vet for is to find out what is going on. Treatment is only as good as the diagnosis. If you call around, you may find a vet to work within your means.
She needs to see an avian/poultry-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check click on "find a vet"

for members of AAV in your area.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the answer, Here are the answers to your questions:Do the hens peck him? Not that I have ever seen, they run from him mostlyAny lumps around the mouth or face? No his face is pretty clear, didn't see anything around his faceCan you tell me more about the bird?​ I got him when he was a few days old from the 4H leader in our area. Never had any problems up until now. He doesn't act like it bothers him or he is sick... He appears to be developing normally from what I have read, he enjoys the hens and is quite noisy :)How long has this been going on? I guess I noticed a few spots a couple of weeks ago and looked into it, they were also on the hens. They appeared to be avian pox so I just kept the coop clean and kept watch on them for any respitory issues or them getting worse.How long have you had him? Since he was a few days oldWhere is he from? Not sure what hatchery they came fromAny accidents or trauma? No accidentsInteractions with other birds/pets/children/guests? We have 7 hens, no kids or guests that get in the coop or run. He mainly interacts with me and my husband. I feed and take care of them.What is the usual diet? has it changed recently? He is eating the layer pellets, he does eat a lot of my garden produce that we have leftover. Watermelons, cucumbers, cantaloupes, tomatoes are their favorites. Some pasta but mainly just veggies and layer pellets. He has been getting some milo lately, that is a fairly recent addition but the "pox" were there before they got the milo.Has the bird gotten into anything? Does he poke his head through the fence? I haven't seem him poke his head out but the hens do frequently, the run/coop area used to be a kennel many years ago not sure if they would/could have any bacteria or germs that they could have gotten.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is no avian vet even close to our area, only at the Zoo in Memphis. I can check to see if she is available to see others.
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 2 years ago.

Check with the 4H to find out who they use as a vet. I was a 4H vet and know that for shows they have to have health exams.

How long have the lesions been there (total)?

Flies may be making them worse. You can use fly repellent to help that.