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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30363
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 26 year old Plymouth Barred Rock hen and I have

Customer Question

I have a 26 year old Plymouth Barred Rock hen and I have noticed that she has been closing her left eye often and today observed that it there was clear discharge on it with a few tiny bubbles. I have four other hens. All are healthy. This has been going on for some time and I have no vet who treats chickens in my area. I need advice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is otherwise healthy
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

26 years old?! You're certainly caring for Brave Heart well. The foamy appearance in that eye is usually associated with either chicken coryza (Haemophilus paragallinarum) or avian mycoplasmosis and both of those infections can remain in a carrier state in spite of administering the proper systemic antibiotics to our chickens. If Brave Heart has remained otherwise well, I would see how over the counter Terramycin* ointment administered to both of her eyes thrice daily for a minimum of 10 days affects her. Terramycin contains oxytetracycline - an antibiotic of choice for addressing either of the infections I mentioned.

* or you might find it in your nearby pet/feed store

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
26 weeks old!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Ah! Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I already have Tobrex and Tobradex...would they work?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How did this happen? I have them on minced garlic every day and apple cider vinegar in their water
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is the best way to apply it? Will she keep her eye open if I am lucky enough to catch her?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Tobramycin isn't a drug of choice for these infections and the Tobradex contains a steroid (dexamethasone) which is contraindicated in the face of those infections. Minced garlic and apple cider vinegar have no prophylactic effects against infectious agents contrary to what you may have read. These infectious agents are endemic in poultry and are likely to be contracted at a very early age. They then can become symptomatic to various degrees and then establish a carrier state in our chickens.

You might need help. Someone to restrain her and someone to part her lids and instill a dab of the ointment thrice daily. Perhaps confining her in a small area for the next 10 days would be best.