Monday, 3 December 2007

Eye Infection

This comment comes from subscriber Michael Breder's personal experience with an eye infection in one of his flock - it may prove helpful to other chicken folk.

"One of my 4 hens was not being herself when I came home from work and I found her in one of the nest boxes with her eyes gunked up. I immediately got her a bed in the nearest dog kennel quarantined on my porch and started calling my chicken support group. I spoke with one of my vet friends after hearing from many others that I should just dig a hole or eat her. My vet buddy said I had to get her eyes cleaned out with a warm wash cloth and get some neosporin in her eyes. He said to save the 15 bucks for terramycin at the feed store....turns out neosporin turned out just as good. Next day her eyes looked much better and she was on her way to recovery. I kept her in the dog kennel until she got her bearings and her appetite back. She is now back with the flock and it's a month later with no further problems. What looked like a possible sick chicken turned out to just be an eye infection...she is the rowdier of the flock and I think she just ran into something and hurt her eye. Just thought I'd share the story about the neosporin and getting her eyes cleaned out."

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I had one of my hens get her left eye pecked by another and I was wondering what to do about it. She kept the eye closed and it puffed up a little but then looked like it was going to be fine , so , being a "typical" man, I decided to wait and see, it did get better and then glazed over and I am sure she can't see out of it but she gets along as well as any of the others. I will surely do your method next time.

DuckRaiser said...

I am so cheap I don't even use name brand tripple antibiotic, but use the store brand which saves even more. I buy the big tube, because I have ducks, dogs and a cat who all share 1 tube, LOL. I have had to apply it to at least 3 ducks over the last 2 years and I m amazed at how quickly it works. I was scared the first time, but within 2 days my girls eye looked better (she was by far worst case, as a coon had gotten in and she was the only survivor). The other 2 have healed within a day, I applied it before I was gone for the day and when I got home you couldn't tell there had been a problem! GLad you have put this out there for more people to use :)

Anonymous said...

I just read a post from DuckRaiser from 12-07 about triple antibiotic ointment use. He mentioned he uses it on fowel, dogs and a cat. Just a heads up, my vet said that there is chemical in it that can cause seizures in cats. Dogs are fine, though, and I'm just learning about fowel.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an idea how many times the neosporin should be applied?

We noticed one of our hens had her eye closed for the better part of a day, and we suspected that she had been pecked. By nightfall, she was doing worse, and appeared to be unsteady as she tried to balance on the roost. We followed the advice given here, and applied the warm wet cloth and neosporin. She appears to be a bit better this morning, as her eye is partially open and she is much more alert.

So, my question is do I continue applying the ointment, or is once enough? I don't want to overuse the product for fear of causing additional damage to her eye.

Anonymous said...

i dont believe that over use will cause damage. you should see improvement in the apearance of the eye and then decrease use accordingly, extra moisture for the eye could only be good in my opinion.

Chook girl said...

I have a chicken with both eyes infected but one eye worse than the other. I have been washing it out by drizzling boiled cooled water over the eye and then wiping it with a clean piece of cotton wool. She doesn't seem to like this treatment but afterwards she perks up a bit. I have notice that one of the other chickens is pecking at the first chicken's eye! I am in Australia so don't know if we can get this N...sporin product here I will try

Gina said...

The Neosporin was initially an alternative (in Mike's particular case) for tetromyacin. 'DuckRaiser' has also successfully used a non-named brand tripple antibiotic cream and so the brand itself is probably not important. The situations where applying the cream have appeared to be most successful seem to be have been primarily where an eye infection has ocurred as a result of a peck or poke to the eye (or perhaps a piece of debris). If the swollen eyes are a symptom of an actual illness/virus then that larger root cause would also need to be assessed and treated (preferably by a vet). It is usually best to keep any sick/injured chickens seperate if you can to prevent attacks on the weak/injured and give them a chance to heal (and minimse spreading if there is a larger underlying cause).

Janet Harris said...

A few weeks ago I had a chicken that was laying on its back when I went out to feed. I up righted her went up to feed my horse came back and once again there she was on her back so I picked her up and brought her down into my husbands work shop. For about three days we had to constantly turn her over, since I work with a lot of men that have had chickens all their lives they have said they never heard of this but on the third day she started to walk(?) There were no sores on her feet but she soon developed a bad eye infection that scabbed over. I used an over the counter triple antibiotic on it and it is all cleared up now. She is doing well now and is still in the work shop till I find out what this was so my other hens do not get this.

Gina said...

The short answer is that I don't really know what might have happened to your chicken.

The bad eye infection may or may not be related. As far as I know any diseases that include paralysis as a symptom would not run their course in only three days (and would probably have other additional symptoms). It may be possible that she had eaten or drunk something which affected her. Food that has gone mouldy and chemicals used in gardening are common hazzards for chickens but there are many more and because they do not necessarily eat all the same things in the same amounts it is sometimes hard to pinpoint things like that if it is something along those lines. General under the weather behaviour can also sometimes be attributed to things like lice, mites and worms so those are also worth checking for on a regular basis as they can severely drain a chickens resources. Another cause of sudden illness is an un-noticed wound which has become infected (unlikely in this case as the problem sounds as though it righted itself and an infected wound probably wouldn't).

Anonymous said...

I have a chick who seemed to have an eye infection and followed everyone's advice. I applied ointment twice, but now I'm a bit concerned that I should have used opthalmic Neosporin drops. Can someone explain why the tube says *not* to use in eyes and how it is safe for my sweet little silkie's eyes? Now I feel anxious that I made the wrong choice and hurt the little baby. :(

Gina said...

Neosporin is an over the counter antibiotic for humans and so the instructions are given for humans not chickens. Leaving an eye infection untreated is likely to have a negative impact. Obviously a trip to the vets would be the ideal thing, but some people can't find a vet who will treat their chickens. I'm not a vet, but there seems to be a lot of annecdotal evidence from people who have used neosporin (or similar) with their chickens eye infection and it has helped. If your chick seemed to have an eye infection and after using neosporin now doesn't, then it seems to have worked, but if you are worried then perhaps you should take her to see your vet.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gina. I'm not sure yet if it helped. The eye does seem clear, but it is goopy around the eye from the ointment, so I can't tell for sure. I did feel compelled to treat sooner than later. I learned last night that there is also opthalmic ointment, so I found myself wondering if that's what everyone meant. Based on price, it doesn't seem to be the case. I'm still wondering why it is not safe for eyes. My biggest concern is that I burned the poor thing's eye.

Anonymous said...

I had an eye infection and my ophthalmologist told me to use polysporin was safe to use in my eyes but to never use neosporin. I use the same advice for eye problems with my chicks. [Just to be on the safe side.]

Anonymous said...

My one and a half week old chick has gotten an eye infection where the others pecked at him, i've been cleaning it 3 times a gay with boiled water that i've left to cool down, it takes me half an hour every time i do it. He's still running around playing and eating with the others just his eye is really gunked up. I've just ordered some of the oinment you've all been saying to use so i'm hoping that will work, do i just have to smear some over his eye? I hope he gets better as he is to be my breeding male as he is a chocolate orpington and ever so pretty!

Gina said...

With most eye ointments I believe you usually just let a drop fall onto the eye and then the natural blinking will automatically spread it around as required.

Anonymous said...

My 2 month old chicken was sick as a chick - she stopped breathing through the night a few times and then laid in the corner for 2 days just barly breathing - she also had a large hemmorage just below the skin on her bum, she also had diarrhea at this time.
She made a miraculous recovery (maybe from the antibiotics in the food?) and has been keeping up with the others for the last month and a half. The last fwe days she has been acting funny and keeping her eyes closed a lot.
Today I noticed that her eyes are bulging and red and the eyelids seem to shut on their own...
Does this seem like an infection? Should I treat with topical antibiotics?
I'm afraid to touch her eyes to apply the antibiotics because they look like they'll pop... they're bulging so much!

Gina said...

Sorry I don't know what medications (if any) would be appropriate in your chicks particular case. There are several illnesses that can include issues with swollen / shut eyes. A vet diagnosis would obviously be the ideal thing to know what kind of infection/illness you needed to treat for (and whether or not the others would need treating aswell if they are not being kept seperately).
Fungal and bacterial infections can be caused by dirty and damp litter. Keeping their coop/brooder sanitary and well ventilated is important as high levels of ammonia in the coop can lead to eye problems such as conjunctivitis. Vitamin deficiencies can also lead to eye problems so a poultry / chick vitamin supplement might be helpful (and possibly beneficial whatever the cause).

Anonymous said...

I have a hen whose eye was closed shut, then it opened but was seeping. Now it's to the point where there's just a solid mucus spot on the pupil. I've tried Sulmet, given orally and I've tried the new product that's out...Vetericyn. Nothing is working. Should I try the neosporin?? I only have cream, so do I just put it in her eye???

Gina said...

Hi, I am not a vet so I can't give veterinary advice. As far as I know sulmet is only prescribed for use in certain diseases. People who have successfully tried neosporin (or similar) triple antibiotic cream on their chickens eye infection by applying the cream directly onto the eye seem to have been treating injuries caused by something like a peck or poke to the eye. Best Wishes, Gina.

Anonymous said...

I read through most of these and noticed that no one had mentioned CRD chronic respiratory disease. Chickens waking up with this will have thier eyes puffy and sometimes they will be stuck shut and bubbles coming from the eyes too. I used Duramycin, or tetracycline which you can get very cheaply at any Farm supply store. I totally wasted a week putting Neosporin in one of my chickens eyes and now a week later half of my flock has this chicken CRD.

deVoll Fisher said...

I too have a major problem with eye disease in my chickens. I have a number of individual breeds in separate cages and lately I have had an outbreak of sever eye problems. The eyes start to swell up and eventually are huge with yellow pus and crusted over. The birds get very listless and die. Now I have had one bird die in a pen with several others that remeained healthy and birds in cages located at some distance come down with the same malady. any advice for treatment ?

Gina said...

Hi, I think you would need to see a vet (and perhaps get a necropsy done) - it sounds bigger than just an eye infection. Best Wishes, Gina.

Anonymous said...

Questions have been asked regarding the safe use of triple antibiotic, e.g., neosporin ointments in the eye. According to my vet, the only difference from ophthalmic ointment is that it's not pH neutralized. If the pH is off it may sting a little, but it won't cause any damage.

Stephanie W said...

I went on vacation and left my hen with my aunt. When I came back her eye was swelled up the size of a shooter marble and had a crusty scab over it. She said that her vet told her to get VetRX from the feed store and put it in her water, which she did. I softened the scab with some warm water and when it softened up it exploded almost like a pimple and a bunch of hard white stuff came out of her eye. Any suggestions as my vet is out on vacation and I don't want to use my aunt's vet.

Gina Read said...

Several have found that the triple antibiotic like neosporin added to the eye as mentioned in this post have helped eye infections so in the absence of vet help that might be worth a try. It might still be worth trying at your vets though as he probably has arranged cover and so another vet may be able to see you on his behalf.

Daniel Sifuentes said...

I hope this thread is still open. Going to try the neosporin on my stag that has an eye infection. He's eye is glazes and foggy looking. Some puss has came out and I don't think he can see from it. Is this because of the infection or should I expect him to be blind in the eye? Will use the neosporin and get back to this thread with the results

Daniel Sifuentes said...

Also, I am giving my chicken tylan 50 injections because I believe it to be a respiratory issue that's causing the eye infection.