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Help! Eye infection, any ideas

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Hi There,

Our White Star, Vanilla has a nasty eye infection, her eye is now closed and the side of her face is swollen.

I have bathed it with some salt water and been to Pets World, (only place open on a bank holiday) to see if they have any eye drops for chooks, (or any animal that might help). They don't.

She has laid today, is eating fine and drinking fine, she is a little quieter than usual, and although she dosent object to being handled usually, she was happy to sit on my knee for about 25 minutes without complaint.


I suspect she may have scratched it, but she keeps closing her other eye, which is more worrying if it is something more serious, and also may be something the other girls could catch?


I have scrubbed out the eglu and the run and feeders/waterers, and added some poultry spice to their food.


Any suggestions or advice.

Typically happens on a bank holiday weekend when you can't get hold of a vet!

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You vet will provide an emergency service if you feel your girls needs seeing. Just phone their normal number and you will be provided with a number for whoever is handling out of hours calls. I would just be a little careful as an eye infection + facial swelling could be an associated sinus infection or something a little more involved that a bog standard eye infection. You can gently bathe it in cold tea (no milk) which is soothing but I would be inclined to pop her to a vet.

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Oh I hope not!

I have just been reading up on it.


Have checked her nostrils and they seem clear so I am hoping it isn't respiritory, her other eye is OK too (fingers crossed) I think I was just getting a bit paranoid.

Have cleaned it again, she continued to eat, drink and pick on pepper up to bedtime, so she isn't suffering.


Have made the fatal mistake of reading up on it on the internet, could be a scratch or could have to put the whole flock to sleep!


Will see how she is in the morning, I think the vet is open tomorrow,except we are all supposed to be in Manchester :anxious:


Fingers crossed!!

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Sorry, didn't mean to worry you. :anxious:


Taking her to the vet is the best bet to be honest, they should know whats wrong with her.

I had a cockerel with Mycoplasma, and he is still with us and doing good. :D


Is it swollen a lot? any bubbling in the eye/ discharge from the eye?


She could of got dust in it,if you use shavings or straw, which causes irritation.


Let us know how she gets on. :)

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Thanks Mollie,


No "bubbling" or discharge from the eye or nostrils, which is why I am a little more optimistic that she has just scratched it.

There may well be dust in there the way they throw it about, and Vanilla is the only young lady who really tucks her head under her wings when she takes an afternoon nap, not that that is relevant.


We have been with our vets for about 30 years with various dogs and rabbits, but have no idea if they are any good with chickens - it seems to be a bit hit and miss reading various postings, I suppose there is only one way to find out.


The forum seems to be full of poorly chickens at the moment though......it feels awfully depressing.

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I wouldn't wait too long before seeking help. If it is an injury it will need treatment as damage to the surface of the eye can become infected quickly and if untreated the results are very unpleasant. Sore eyes are painful which is why she is closing it (remember how it feels to get an eyelash in your eye or how awful it is to have conjunctivitis)

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Thanks Everyone,

Unfortunately was stuck in Manchester all day, but I have rung the vet and will take vanilla at 9.40am tomorrow.


On a positive note, I had 10 minutes in the house this evening and vanillas eye has opened again. Her face is still swollen, but it was very reassuring after all of the scare stories I had read on Friday!


Interesingly, I rang the vet, and asked if they did "chickens", the girl was great, and advised me that she didn't think that they specialised but would check with the vets and if they didn't know enough they would recommend someone else. They have agreed that they have a poultry vet who can deal with common ailments, but I was reassured that they understood that a chicken isnt just extra revenue.

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Excellent news! Vanillas eye is open again and the swelling has virtually gone.

The vet has given her a good look over and checked her for scratches but can't find anything nasty. It just seems to be a bit of infection probably caused by getting something in it.

She has given us some eye drops that are for conjunctivitis.

She was a very good girl at the vets and behaved impecably!

Thanks everyone!

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