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 Post subject: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Fowl Pox (dry)
Also called – avian pox, cutaneous pox, sore head.
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Common in late summer in Australia, especially in warmer areas that get a lot of mosquitoes.

Incubation period 4 – 14 days. Lasts for 3 – 5 weeks in affected birds. Can be transmitted through skin wounds such as insect bites, dubbing, fighting, or injury. Can also spread by means of feathers and scabs from infected birds. Can spread slowly from bird to bird, but usually spreads quickly when lots of mosquitoes are present.

Symptoms: The bird usually gets a bit quiet, sometimes shows respiratory symptoms, perhaps loses its appetite, then a few days later you might notice the pox lesions. They occur mainly on unfeathered areas like the head (including comb, wattles and occasionally beak, vent, and possibly legs). The sores begin looking like a blister or a pimple which fill with fluid and then pus. Then they burst and a crust or scab forms over it.

Treatment is just supportive care. Make sure the bird is in uncrowded housing; remove scabs around mouth and eyes so birds can eat. Put an antiseptic like betadine on the sores. Rickets diet can be helpful. Sometimes the pox lesions can cause them to be blind, so you need to make sure they can find their waterers and feeders. Reduce stress.

Be aware that secondary respiratory infections can occur which require antibiotics. [33 mg oxytetracycline (Terramycin) per gallon of drinking water for 3 days followed by vitamin supplement in water - recommended by Gail Damerow in The Chicken Health Handbook.] A probiotic after antibiotics can also be helpful.

Birds naturally recover in 2 to 4 weeks and are immune, but some remain carriers and may become reinfected during times of stress. Thoroughly clean housing after outbreak to remove all infective scabs. Deal with the mosquito population.

Quite often books show heavy lesions on combs like this:
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Most of the time I see fewer such as this: Pox on Comb
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Flatter Pox lesion actually under lower beak. It's fairly unusual to see this.
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At first glance this looks like an infected eye from respiratory infection, but it is actually a pox on the swollen conjunctiva. The tissue which is normally small and tucked into the front corner of the eye is swollen and covering part of the eye ball. The pox is developing on that tissue. The eyeball itself is never affected:
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Vaccination:
It is possible to vaccinate for pox, and vaccination can be done at any age. Two treatments are usually required and the vaccine is give with a two prong needle into the flap of skin on the wing. You need to watch the site and see if a small pox develops to be sure of a ‘take’.

Vaccines are usually sold in very large doses (eg. suitable for 1000 birds), and also have particular transport requirements that make it expensive to obtain them. Possible sources of vaccine information:
http://www.intervet.com.au/species/poultry.asp
http://www.allfarm.com.au/index.php?pag ... t=vaccines

Some local hatcheries will vaccinate birds for backyarders at a small costs at the same time as doing their own, so it is sometimes worthwhile contacting them to enquire.

It is worth noting that many breeders choose not to vaccinate for a variety of reasons.

More pics of pox
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Recent pics put up on Poultrymed showing pox on the feathered parts of the bird. This looks like a very severe case to me.
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These looks slightly different but show how pox lesions can look in some instances. Taken from viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7973744&p=248482&hilit=chicks+fowl+pox#p248482
angry ant wrote:
We have these 4wk old frizzle chicks 8 of them who have these lumps on their face one has it on its leg.
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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:19 pm 
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Golden Pekin
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Thank you, that is extremely helpful and detailed.

Do the lesions remain visible after recovery, or do they disappear?

I ask because one of my hens has several small black spots in her comb, exactly like the smaller spot on the rear end of the comb on the black bird in your photos. They are not crusted, more like a raised, black mole. She had them when I got her as a POL pullet (and has always been healthy since, as has my other hen).

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:45 pm 
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No, the scabs drop off the healed pox sores. They often leave scars which make a bird unsuitable for showing.

If your bird has had the spot on the comb for a long time, try softening it with a bit of vaseline for a few days to losen the scab. Then treat the sore with Betadine. I have found that clears up spots on combs better than anything. I have also seen combs with recessed black spots, that I would treat the same way.

I don't know what your black spots are, but Betadine won't hurt them.

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Thanks very much - I will do what you advise.

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:27 pm 
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Wow - fantastic information and pictures, Chicken07. Many thanks. I hope this is linked in the A to Z?? :lol:

NellyG

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Thanks Nelly, yes it is linked in the A-Z. I noticed a few people were starting to ask about pox again, so thought I'd add a link to a post that had a simple explanation and a few pics. It might be helpful to someone.

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:11 am 
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Thank you so much for the information, it is very helpful.

Annie&clarabelle


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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:56 pm 
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Quote:
If your bird has had the spot on the comb for a long time, try softening it with a bit of vaseline for a few days to losen the scab. Then treat the sore with Betadine. I have found that clears up spots on combs better than anything. I have also seen combs with recessed black spots, that I would treat the same way.


Chicken07, just wanted to let you know that I did what you said to do and the spots are now gone. Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Good to hear, Rach. We used to laugh at my mother in law for always dabbing Betadine onto every injury. Now I think she knew something we didn't know. It's marvellous for chickens anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:12 pm 
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I had suspected fowl pox in my chicken run. It got worse in warm humid weather. Didn't look like classic fowl pox though. Rather than discrete lesions, my birds had more like a sooty black "mildew" on their combs which didn't become crusty or lumpy like classic fowl pox lesions. Also in some birds the comb just went greyish or black in splotches. The cocks were more affected than the hens. Under stress, eg introducing new birds or changing accommodation, the signs got worse. I have looked and looked and decided it's just plain old fowl pox. I believe that my birds are largely immune from it, and become susceptible to under stress.
I had 2 cocks fighting each other day and night; their combs became black and scabby and it looked like dried blood or advanced fowl pox. I separated them first, which was a good thing; within a few days the blackening of the comb lessened. I swabbed each of them with dilute Betadine and isolated them into clean new accommodation. I have since sold one bird (1 week after separating them) with a clean bill of health - he looked fabulous. The other, whose comb and wattles were nearly completely black and scabby, is now almost 100% about 3 weeks after first isolating him. He is now glowing with health. I believe that it was fowl pox combined with the stress and physical damage of fighting that caused both cocks to look so terrible.
I think that I've probably had fowl pox to some degree in my flock for 3 years. I have only ever seen signs of it in my birds when under stress. Even at the worst, it has never affected the laying or general health of my birds; at worst (apart from the 2 cockerels I've just mentioned), I had a few birds with small black scabs on their combs. Otherwise, comb colour, sheen, interest in food, laying, general vitality and all the other signs of good health have been fantastic.
My overall conclusion is that Fowl Pox is a storm in a teacup. Keep your birds well and stress-free and they will live with FP as well as any human carrying the cold sore virus. The idea of culling a bird because of fowl pox is quite upsetting to me as it is such an over-reation.


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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:22 pm 
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I find these Medical information threads very useful when they have photos.

It's great to see the sorts of things that 'might' crop up (no pun intended) when I've never had chooks before. It makes me feel a little more confident with each new thing that I read about in here & see pics of, that I'll manage to stay calm & relaxed with my birds if I ever have to pop online to report something I'm unsure of.

It also gives me a good idea of what to have close to hand in case of general things that might occur... betadine will now be added to that list.

I think I'll make up a Visio workflow (or maybe just an Excel spreadsheet) with a summary of chookie issues for me to refer to when required:
- Visible symptoms
- Possible causes
- Possible illness / injury
- Treatment options (for individual affected; for flock; for coop & run)
- First aid issue or Vet issue?
- How long until improvement should be noticed?
- Followup actions required
- Recipes for electrolytes & for (eg.) Rickett's diet

Goodness knows when I'll get around to it, but I'll certainly be printing off all the BYP threads in here that I can to get it going !

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:40 am 
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Thanks Chicken07 for that great information and photos of fowlpox. That is so helpful, especially to see the different types of the lesions. :thanks:

And Betadine is great stuff - antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral - I use it for everything!

Cheers, Onyx


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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:20 pm 
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A few extra photos for the collection here. These are for those that have never seen wet pox.

The lesions look slightly different in wet pox. I've tried to take shots down his throat and it's hard to get the flash to work. You can probably see roughly where the throat lesions have developed and the colour changes.

This boy is fighting for his life. He's a bag of bones. Wet pox is nastier than dry pox. His brother died within a few days. This fellow has hung on for a week and a half and had a course of Tylan, and now he's dropped so much weight he's being crop fed. I think the throat lesions are putting him off eating.

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:41 pm 
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Mr Toes, my Brahma roo with pox.
So far he and the indian roo are the worst but both are eating drinking and breathing fine and have not lost weight. I did loose my indian hen. She copped it big time.

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belgian rooster (his comb was damaged in a fight not from the pox)

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 Post subject: Re: Fowl Pox
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Great! More pictures. It's good to be able to show how it can look so different in different birds. It's also seems to hit in two ways - either really bad early on and they just drop dead in the first few days (quite rare), or otherwise they battle on and it becomes a matter of supportive care so that they get through the 3 or 4 weeks and have a chance to pick up again.

I'm glad your birds are holding their own. I've only had two cases here this year and they've been quarantined very early. I'm hoping it doesn't spread, but we still have mosquitoes so who knows?

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