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I have s flock of meat turkeys that that have been dying.

I have s flock...

I have s flock of meat turkeys that that have been dying. They are 4.5 months old, showing signs of URI, foamy discharge from the eyes, swelling around the head and eventually paralysis. From sign of first symptom till death is usually 3-6 days. We have lost about 7 turkeys in the past months

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bird?

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Answered in 3 hours by:
9/16/2017
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,248
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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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 situation, and wanted to help.

Now given the reported signs, we do have a few concerns. Disease processes that can cause what you have described include Pneumovirus (Swollen head syndrome), Pasteurella multocida, E.coli, Riemerella (less likely in this species) or Newcastle's disease (this one tends to be the most likely to cause true paralysis where the others can make them weak). Now with these in mind, you do have 2 options. If you have one bird currently affected, you may want to have the local vet assess it and test for the above concerns so we can pinpoint which is present and treat the whole flock to head off any more losses. Else if you have had one just died, you could consider submitting it for an autopsy. If you speak to the vet, they may be able to perform the autopsy in the practice. Alternatively, if you live near a vet school, vet lab, or agricultural college, they too likely can help you in this manner.

If the vet performs the autopsy, they can check the body for disease specific signs. If they cannot find an obvious visible cause of her death, then they can collect samples to submit to the lab for the pathologists to evaluate. The pathologists will be able to examine the tissues under the microscope and determine the causative agent that lead to their deaths. As well, for those bacterial or viral causes we are suspecting, these can be cultured to determine what is present and what treatments will effectively clear them. Finally, if you do want to have an autopsy done on any birds, I would just make one wee note to prevent you from missing the opportunity to do so. Since the passing of the birds cannot be predicted, if one were to pass when the vet wasn't open then you will want to put any bodies into a cold area (ie fridge or possibly a cellar/garage depending on the local weather just now) until the vet is open tomorrow. Do avoid freezing bodies, as this can cause damage to cells and make microscopic evaluation difficult (if not impossible).

Overall, your birds' signs do raise a few different infectious worries. Therefore, I would advise taking the above steps here. This will help you know what is threatening the whole flock. And once you know the causative agent, you will be able to protect them effectively.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,248
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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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you There are no vets in the area that will see birds but I might be able to send one off to the state lab if another one dies.
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Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,248
22,248 Satisfied Customers
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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