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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28426
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I only have 3 pet hens. One is 8 years old & the other two

Customer Question

I only have 3 pet hens. One is 8 years old & the other two are 4 months old. One of the young ones is exhibiting a condition like one of the symptoms of Newcastle virus. Other than the twisted neck at times & inability to go over a small incline to get out of their cage she seems perfectly normal. I'd hate to put her down if it isn't Newcastles.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your 4 month old. You're correct to consider paramyxovirus (one type causes Newcastle) but her twisted neck (torticollis) can be caused by quite a number of infectious organisms including bacteria, fungi, and other viruses such as herpesvirus (Marek's disease), West Nile, and equine encephalomyelitis. She's too old to consider "epidemic tremor" caused by a hepatovirus. Practically speaking, the expense of testing your hen doesn't make sense as she'll need to recover - if possible - from a viral infection on her own although you can force feed her if she stopped eating and drinking. Possible bacterial infections can be addressed presumptively with Tylan-50 available in your local feed store or online dosed at 20-30 mg/lb once daily intramuscularly or you can give the injectable solution orally - it tastes awful, however.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
As this might possibly be a virus, is there any possibility it could be transferred to puppies we have?
Should we still eat the eggs?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

No, the puppies won't be affected by these viruses. It would be prudent to not eat the eggs at this time if for the only reason we don't know if an infectious agent is bacterial. While the viruses won't infect you, bacteria can. Please continue our conversation if you wish.