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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30284
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Second opinion] I have s flock of meat turkeys that that

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second opinion] 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
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bird?
Customer: Not really

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

I reviewed your discussion with Dr. B. We can eliminate swollen head syndrome caused by a pneumovirus because it isn't seen in the United States. Paramyxovirus is most likely to cause paralysis but avian influenza is more likely to cause the rest of the symptoms you mentioned. Turkey coryza (Bordetella avium) will cause respiratory signs including foamy ocular discharge but deaths rarely occur with that infection. Avian mycoplasmosis can look like turkey corzya but, once again, deaths aren't common uness secondary bacterial infections exist. There may well be more than one infection in your flock.

I'm going to run this problem by my friend who is a specialist veterinary pathologist with a special interest in birds. She usually gets back to me within a couple of days although last we spoke she was in Switzerland on vacation. I'll return to our conversation as soon as I hear from her.

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
Thank you I will look forward to info you can pass along.

You're welcome. I'll be back! Meanwhile take Dr. B's recommendation to have a necropsy performed on a sacrificed very ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen). See if your county has an animal disease diagnostic laboratory or a county poultry extension office that can do the necropsy for you.

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
We have one at The state level. I worked in vet medicine for 26 years but with small animal and horses. My equine vet will submit one for me but they will not do anything else for the birds. Thanks again

Sounds good. Talk later.

Here's what the pathologist had to say: "My thoughts on these turkeys would be paramyxovirus for sure, but also Erysipelas is fairly common and affects the joints. Even histomoniasis comes to mind in the later stages of the disease, but I would expect some diarrhea with that. A necropsy or exam on a sick bird would relatively easily differentiate these."

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
Thank you I will look into these and if/when another bird show signs I will send it into the state lab

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 29 days ago.
I will thank you again

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
far we have not lost any more Turkeys so I have not had one to send for pathology. I looked up the diseases you mentioned and keeping a close eye out for early symptoms. Thank you again

That's good to hear...certainly better than having to send off a carcass for necropsy. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I will let you know if there are any changes

I appreciate it.