sick hen with bubbly eye and very smelly breath

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cathyhawes
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Joined: 07 Jun 2014, 21:57

sick hen with bubbly eye and very smelly breath

Post by cathyhawes » 07 Jun 2014, 22:18

Hi, I'm new to this forum, although I've kept hens for many years. My current bunch (buff orpingtons) are all 8 yrs old and have never been sick or suffered from any parasites (i only keep a few, always completely free range in the garden and have been incredibly lucky with their health and avoiding the local foxes), but I adopted a little brown hen from a neighbour last year. The rest of her flock were killed by a fox so I took on the sole survivor to join my old ladies. She was great and settled in very well (once I had dealt with her mites) until about a month ago when she came down with an infection - one bubbly eye (but other eye ok and no discharge from nose), hunched up, standing on one leg and loss of balance, beak growing wonky (so the upper and lower are crossing over at the tip) and really, really smelly breath. After a week of this, I took her to the vet who didn't know what was wrong but prescribed 10 days antibiotics. This helped a little and she was running around and eating ok (hand fed bits of catfood) but still with the bad breath and one bubbly eye. Now the antibiotic course is over, she is getting worse again. I've isolated her in the garden shed and the rest of the girls seem ok, but I don't know what to do. I don't want to cull her (I couldn't do that myself and she's my son's favourite), but I can't let her carry on suffering. Can anyone advise what it might be and whether there is a solution?
Many thanks for any helpful suggestions.

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Diane
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Re: sick hen with bubbly eye and very smelly breath

Post by Diane » 08 Jun 2014, 13:12

This could be it - from the Poultry Club of Great Britain.
MYCOPLASMA IN POULTRY: WHAT IT IS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Introduction
Mycoplasma in poultry is not a new disease. There is mention in the old books of similar symptoms from about 100 years ago but it has generally been called roup or a common cold. Treatment tended to be by culling only.

The disease acquired the name mycoplasma once the causative organism had been discovered. Mainly the respiratory system in poultry is affected and the disease may be becoming more common, spreading with increased travelling of stock, or it may be that we are hearing about it more with improved communications. The incubation period before clinical signs appear can be as little as a few days - it is very infectious. It appears to thrive in the bird when other pathogens are present, such as E. coli or infectious bronchitis (IB is certainly now more common in free-range flocks) or if the birds are stressed or debilitated. Debilitating factors include nutritional deficiency, excessive environmental ammonia and dust and stressors such as changes in the pecking order or exhibitions.

Cause and clinical signs
The organism is neither a bacterium nor a virus in size, but part way between, having no cell wall but with a plasma membrane. Four out of the known 17 species of mycoplasma are pathogenic in poultry:
Mycoplasma gallisepticum: signs can include foamy eyes, sneezing, nasal discharge, swollen eyelids and sinuses, reduced egg production and gasping in chickens, turkeys and pheasants, swollen sinuses in waterfowl. This one is the main culprit in backyard flocks.
Mycoplasma synoviae: signs include swollen and hot joints in chickens and turkeys and/or respiratory signs as above.
Mycoplasma meleagridis: signs include poor growth in turkey poults and lowered hatchability in turkey breeders.
Mycoplasma iowae: signs included reduced hatchability in turkey breeders, twisted legs in turkey poults.





When nasal discharge is evident, feathers become stained with this as the bird tries to clean its eyes and nostrils. There is a particular sweet smell associated with this discharge which to the sensitive nose is immediately apparent when entering a hen house.

I think the usual treatment is Tylan - from the vet - injectable is best apparently.

cathyhawes
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Joined: 07 Jun 2014, 21:57

Re: sick hen with bubbly eye and very smelly breath

Post by cathyhawes » 08 Jun 2014, 21:23

Thanks very much for your rapid response. I'll speak to the vet tomorrow and see if I can get her some tylan.
Many thanks.

nickyc
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Re: sick hen with bubbly eye and very smelly breath

Post by nickyc » 15 Jun 2014, 09:05

Just a note here - Tylan works well on suppressing the symptoms and your hen will recover and appear well. HOWEVER, when Myco manifests itself, it cannot be eradicated by Tylan or anything else - antibiotics control the symptoms only and the disease will still be there. You need to bear that in mind if, while you have this current flock, you consider bringing new birds into the flock because they will end up infected too.

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