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Swelling of the Eye Sinuses
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I get many phone calls and emails through out the year describing peafowl
that have swelling of the eye sinuses. The
severity of the swelling can range from just some puffiness below the eye to an
eye that is so swollen that it is on the verge of bursting.
I would like to use this article to help peafowl breeders treat this
problem and more importantly prevent it from happening in the first place.
I have helped fellow breeders with this problem during all seasons of the
year but late summer and fall seem to be a common time for peafowl to have this
illness. My own experience was
during the late summer. A friend of
mine was keeping some of my surplus breeders at his house. In the pen next to the peafowl were a dozen guineas.
The guineas were on a cement floor with straw bedding.
Guineas love to scratch through their bedding and they generate a lot of
dust. Within a couple weeks the
first peacock showed signs of swelling in the soft tissue below the eye.
A second peahen had swelling the next day.
Both of these birds were isolated and given medications in their drinking
water. Two different medicines were
given and neither medication reduced the swelling.
A week had passed for the first peacock and his eye sinus was now swollen
to about half the size of a ping-pong ball.
The peacock also would cough and shake his head to try to get rid of
excess mucous in his beak and throat.
I decided to try Tylan 200 on these birds since Tylan 200 has proven to
be very effective for me in treating any respiratory problem.
Both birds were given 2cc in the breast muscle using a 3 cc syringe and
an 18 gage needle. Within a day the
swelling was gone in the peahen and the swelling was almost gone in the peacock.
A second shot two days after the first shot brought the peacockís eye
sinus back to normal and cleared up the excess mucous.
I chose to treat this problem as a respiratory illness because of the
swelling in the eye sinuses and the excess mucous in the throat.
I also observed that a second pen of peafowl, in a separate building away
from the guineas and the dust, never were affected.
Once I determined that the illness was being caused by the dust stirred
up by the guineas, the guineas and peafowl were placed in separate buildings.
The dusty pens were completely cleaned out and disinfected with Tektrol.
The pens were allowed to dry out for a day and clean straw bedding was
placed in the pens. I have kept
peafowl in these pens without any further illness problems.
I have made it a standard procedure to spray down all pens with Tektrol
after all of the old bedding has been removed.
In the years that have passed since my own experience with this illness,
I have helped dozens of peafowl breeders treat birds with the same symptoms.
The common thread between all of these breeders has been that the peafowl
were being kept in a dusty environment. The
excess dust can be caused by guineas, chickens, too many peafowl in a given
space, poor ventilation, moldy bedding, and fine, dusty feed.
The dry, dusty conditions of late summer and fall in many areas seems to
make this illness more prevalent as well.
There are several diseases that can cause similar symptoms in peafowl and poultry. There is an excellent listing of diseases and their symptoms on the UPA web site www.peafowl.org. If peafowl donít respond to the treatment described earlier, I would take the birds to a vet. Baytril is another drug that is very affective for respiratory illnesses but it has to be prescribed by a vet. I chose to use Tylan 200 because I have had excellent results with it and it can be purchased over the counter. Tylan 200 is a cattle antibiotic and it is not labeled for use on peafowl so use it with this understanding.
If the eye sinuses are severely
swollen and have been for several days, you may have to have a vet lance the
swollen area once the swelling goes down because the fluid has hardened and will
not go down completely to normal size.
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