chicks with infected eyes

Posted by: D. Roy

chicks with infected eyes - 01/04/06 02:49 PM

One of our broody hens hatched a group of 10 or so chicks, combination of different breeds, even a few Bantams came out of this nest, used by at least 4 hens. Now 3-4 weeks old some have developed an eye infection; first 4 came down with it, one eye swollen shut, or almost shut, forming a crust, and leaking. Because of the cold weather, we had them in a small pen with a towel on the floor.When we noticed, their feet were getting poop caked on them, then they would scratch at their eyes (maybe the cause???). Cleaned them good, isolated the sick ones, moved the rest to a tractor. Treated the sick with salve that vet had given us for our dog who by coincedence also had an eye infection. Also put terramycin in their water (2 tsp/ Gal.) after a few days, they all cleared up, & were also moved to the tractor. Now 4 different ones are infected- one eye only. Two have one eye swollen shut, one has a crust covering it's eye, the other one's eye is shut, & leaking, 2 have what appears to be a swelling of the upper eyelid, similar to a boil. Three days since we isolated these, & no improvement. Same treatment,in addition to a nasal saline solution. Did a search on eye infections, not much help. One of the "healthy?" bunch died, didn't appear to be infected. Can our dogs problem be related? Wife says it's pink eye, (whites of eyes are red) one vet said no, thought it was eyelashes under lids, second vet didn't know, both know even less about poultry, but both said they didn't think the illnesses were related. Dog doesn't appear ill, just the red eyes. One vet perscribed a salve which helped, but then redness came back. Thourghly confused, don't have any idea how to treat, & worried this may spread to rest of flock.
Sorry for the long, rambling post, but trying to give as much info as I can. Thanks for any help/suggestions.
Posted by: Fowl Lover

Re: chicks with infected eyes - 01/05/06 11:01 AM

Sounds like maybe you didn't continue the antibiotics long enough. When you get antibiotics from your doctor it is usually for 10-14 days and you must continue to take them until they are gone, even though your symptoms will disappear after only a couple days. The same principle applies to animals. You have to give the anitbiotics for a time long enough to kill all the bacteria (10-14 days is usually sufficient) or they get a sample of it and learn how to defend themselves against it. This is how anitbiotic resistant diseases are created. Try putting the Terramycin in the water again for a full two weeks and give it to everyone, not just those who appear sick. Otherwise at this point you may just keep chasing the bug from one group to another. Also, I can't remember the exact dose on Terramycin but if you look at the package there will be a dose for prevention and a dose for treating an illness, use the higher dose. Something makes me think that's 4tsp per gallon but I haven't used it since last spring so check to be sure. Hard to say if the dog and chicks problems are related but it is possible. Do be careful using meds prescribed for one animal on an animal of a different breed unless you know it is safe. As an example, Frontline for dogs will kill a cat. Good luck, it's always hard to see those babies sick.
Posted by: D. Roy

Re: chicks with infected eyes - 01/07/06 08:55 PM

Thanks for the comeback, Fowl Lover, we haven't stopped with the Terramycin, & it is being applied to all the flock @ 2 tsp./gal, which according to the pack, is the bigger doseage. Lost another chick yesterday, & wife found another one of the "tractor chicks" with another boil-like growth on its eyelid. Bought a copy of "The Backyard Flock", by Mike Strecker, & from what I'm reading, symptons point toward Fowl Pox, but they are also sneezing now & then.