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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29711
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a chicken that has two very red swollen eyes, very

Customer Question

I have a chicken that has two very red swollen eyes, very runny clear liquid drainage, her nose also looks stuffed up. One eye is totally closed and the other is not far behind. This has happened to my birds in the past, must be contagious. I need to know how to stop this. And I want an official diagnosis. Is it viral or bacterial? Remedy if any and how to eliminate this from my coop. These chicks are less than 3 months old. But I've lost 2 other chickens with this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Connie, in order to determine which infectious agent is present you'll need to have an avian vet (please see here: perform bacterial cultures of the airways, blood tests, and even necropsies of dead birds if they're available. Remember to refrigerate - not freeze - the carcass). The outward signs of these agents may appear similar to a flock owner.

It's most likely bacterial - chicken coryza (Haemophilus paragallinarum) and avian mycoplasmosis would be my primary concerns. The viral respiratory agent herpesvirus (infectious laryngotracheitis) often causes death as the first clinical sign and infectious bronchitis (corona virus) usually causes coughing. Both of the bacterial agents will respond to tetracycline or tylosin and alleviate signs of disease but they don't affect the carrier status; in other words, they can't remove the infectious agent from your flock. An avian vet can also discuss vaccination against chicken coryza. Serotype-specific (A, B, or C) vaccines should match the serotype of the infecting bacteria otherwise vaccine failure may be expected; hence the need for bacterial culture and speciation.

Depopulation to remove any disease carriers is necessary. Cleaning and disinfection should be followed by a period, typically 3 weeks, where no poultry are allowed on the premise. It's important to restock with paragallinarum-free stock. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.