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Thursday, 24 April 2014
 
Home arrow Diagnostic guide arrow Digestive System
 
Index
              
            

 
 

Organ or tissue involved

Key symptoms

Possible Condition

Associated symptoms; diagnostic aids

Digestive system

Crop

Sour crop; cheesy ulceration; “yellow buttons” of necrosis

Trichomaniasis

Lesions also present in liver; disease most common in pigeons and wild doves; microscopic examination of lesions

 

Dropped crop

Genetic, Hot weather

 

Preventriculus

Swollen

Fish meal contaminated

Usually associated with heavy feeding of poor quality fish meal

Gizzard

Erosion

Impaction; Vitamin deficiency or decomposed feed

Loss of weight

 

Presence of nails, wire and other foreign material in gizzard

Foreign bodies may protrude through gizzard wall

Bird usually emaciated; possible peritonitis

Duodenum

Thickened wall; white streaks on outer surface

Intestinal coccidiosis (E. acervulina)

Some diarrhea; emaciation if condition of long duration; seen in older birds

 

Inflammation; gut filled with mucus

Capillaria; Round-worms; tapeworms

Presence of worms in intestine; diarrhea; unthriftiness; microscopic examination for capillaria suggested.

 

 

Hexamitiasis (turkeys only); rare condition

Jejunum also affected; intestine filled wit watery contents; microscopic identification of protozoa in intestinal scrapings and fees

Pancreas

Swollen; white areas of necrosis

Avian Monocytosis (Nonspecific Infectious Enteritis; Bluecomb)

Hits pullets in early production; usually follows hot weather spells; head parts turn blue’ kidneys and ureters filled with urates

Jejunum and ileum

Swelling of middle third of intestine; mucus spotted with blood

Intestinal coccidiosis (E.necatrix)

Loss of appetite; chronic diarrhea; emaciation; mortality may be high

 

Lower half of intestine swollen; lumen filled with pink-tinged mucus

Intestinal coccidiosis (E. maxima)

Blood-spotted diarrhea; loss of appetite; emaciation; disease runs short course

 

Rectum and ceca inflamed

Intestinal Coccidiosis (E. brunetti)

Diarrhea; emaciation; some deaths

Ceca

Swollen; yellow core; cheesy exudates; ulceration

Pullorum

High mortality in chicks 1 to 3 weeks of age, marked depression; diarrhea;  chicks huddle for warmth; nodules may be present in liver, heart and gizzard; white plaques on outside of intestine

 

 

Paratyphoid

Symptoms similar to pullorum; mortality may be high at 4 days or 10 to 12 days; no other lesions may be evident

 

 

Blackhead (Enterohepatitis)

Liver lesions also present; sulfur-colored droppings; darkened head parts

 

 

Hexamitiasis

Watery, foamy stool; stiff, awkward gait; disease affects turkeys only

 

Swollen; filled with blood or blood clots; cheesy, blood-tinged exudates

Cecal Coccidiosis

Bloody droppings; loss of appetite; ruffled, unkempt appearance; high mortality, unless checked

Miscellaneous

Fluid in abdominal cavity (ascites)

Lymphoid Leukosis

Liver enlarged with tumors

 

 

Marek’s Disease

Nerve involvement

 

 

Gas leak brooders

Edema and ascites

 

 

Heart disease

Heart is enlarged or the heat sac is filled with caseous material; round heart

 

Hemorrhagic intestine, lymphoid areas

Velogenic Newcastle disease

These lesions usually associated with other findings and symptoms of respiratory distress

 

Thickened membranes over heart (pericarditis); abdominal cavity (peritonitis); and air sacs (airssacculitis)

See also Mycoplasma gallisepticum

 

 

Enteritis; diarrhea

Blackhead

Predominant cecal and liver lesions; sulfur-colored diarrhea

 

 

Hexamitiasis

Affects young poults; foamy, watery diarrhea; birds may die in convulsions

 

 

Typhoid

Swollen liver and spleen; sudden deaths

 

 

Erysipelas (turkeys)

Hemorrhages in muscles and other tissues; snood and caruncle swollen in toms; septicemia in hens

 

 

Cholera

Liver swollen. Light-colored, has necrotic spots, breaks apart easily when handled; high mortality rate

 

 

Avian Monocytosis

Chalky white, pasty urates in kidneys; ureters, and other serous surfaces; affects young pullets about to start to lay

 

 

Overdose of laxatives or chemicals

History  of faulty use of drugs

 

 

Tuberculosis

Deep ulcers filled with caseous material in intestinal tract; hard nodules (tubercles) in other organs of body

 

 

Hemorrhagic Disease

Bloody droppings; hemorrhagic areas in muscles of legs, breast and heart

 

 

Internal Parasites

Diarrhea; unthriftiness; presence of parasites I intestine

 

 

Staphylococcosis

Sulfur-colored diarrhea; variable mortality; joints swollen, painful, filled with pus; liver may be green

 

 

Necrotic enteritis

Swollen intestine with necrotic lining (coninious lesion, mostly of posterior intestine)

 

 

Ulcerative enteritis

Inflammation of middle to lower intestine with ulcers (discrete lesions); may be yellow areas on liver

Liver

Yellow color; small gray-white areas of necrosis; presence of small nodules

Pullorum

High mortality in chicks 1 to 3 weeks of age; marked depression; diarrhea; nodules also may be present in lung, heart and gizzard

 

Slightly swollen, light-colored, “cooked” appearance; small gray-white sports of dead tissues (necrosis)

Fowl Cholera

Many birds die without warning; high morality rate

 

Swollen; light gray to white nodules (tumors with soft centers)

Lymphoid Leukosis or Marek’s Disease

Spleen, kidneys and other organs also may be involved

 

Swollen; large hard nodules

Tuberculosis

Bird emaciated; “razor” breasted; deep ulcers filled with cheesy exudate found in intestine; acid-fast stain, test entire flock within avian tuberculin

 

Greatly enlarged, friable (breaks apart easily); greenish-bronze color; gray-white sports of necrosis

Fowl Typhoid

Swollen spleen; comb and wattles pale; sudden deaths, birds may react to pullorum stained-antigen test

 

Round depressions or ulcers

Blackhead (Enterohepatitis)

Cecal walls thickened and ulcerated; yellow-green exudates; dry, cheesy core; sulfur-colored droppings

 

Enlarged; small areas of necrosis (gray-white sports of dead tissue); membrane over the liver

Ornithosis (Psittacosis)

Air sac involvement; enlarged spleen; lesions quite often missed; laboratory testing of blood samples recommended

 

Enlarged; greenish-rose in color

Synovitis (M. synoviae)

Swollen spleen; presence of pus in inflamed joints and extending along tendons

 

Swollen; yellow color; small areas of necrosis

Pullet Disease

Disease usually affects birds first starting to lay; “hot weather” disease; white, chalky deposits in pancreas, kidneys and ureters

 

 

Staphylococcosis

Swollen, inflamed joints; acute form of disease characterized by sudden deaths and no apparent symptoms; isolation of causative organisms in laboratory will confirm diagnosis

 

Enlarged; hemorrhagic areas pinpoint in size and larger; areas turn yellow in color

Hepatitis (inclusion-body)

Affects young birds and pullets in production; low mortality; marked drop in egg production

 

Enlarged; covered with hemorrhagic areas

Duck Viral Hepatitis

Sudden onset; high mortality (90%) in ducklings under 4 weeks of age; kidneys appear mottled

 

Swollen liver

New Duck syndrome

Respiratory symptoms; nervous symptoms (incoordination); thickened membranes over heart (pericarditis); air sac involvement

Spleen

Swollen, dark-mahogany colored, often with fine gray-colored streaks in a netlike arrangement

Vibrionic Hepatitis, Acute Lymphoid Leukosis or Marek’s Disease

Spleen also swollen; bone marrow usually gray colored or dark red and watery

 

Swollen

Pullorum

High mortality in chicks 1 to 3 weeks of age; nodules or necrotic areas in liver, heart and gizzard; white plaques on outside of lower intestine

 

 

Typhoid

Primarily a disease of older birds; liver enlarged; bronze-mahogany color; many sudden deaths, high mortality

 

 

Synovitis

Liver swollen; greenish-rose color; pus in swollen joints and extending along tendons

 

 

Ornithosis (Psittacosis)

Liver enlarged; necrotic areas in liver; air sac involvement

 

Swollen; hemorrhagic

Erysipelas (turkeys)

Hemorrhages found in other tissues; snood and caruncle swollen; deaths may be sudden with no apparent symptoms, higher incidence of infection in toms

 

Swollen; presence of hard nodules with gritty centers

Tuberculosis

Similar lesions present in other organs; bird emaciated; ulcers filled with cheesy exudate found in intestine; flock should be tested with avian tuberculin

 

Swollen; presence of tumor-like masses with soft centers

Lymphoid Leukosis or Marek’s Disease

Liver and other organs infiltrated with similar lesions; fluid in abdominal cavity (ascites)

 

Swollen

New Duck Syndrome

Respiratory symptoms; nervous symptoms (incoordination); thickened membranes over heart (pericarditis); air sac involvement

 

Swollen, dark-mahogany colored

Acute Lymphoid Leukosis or Marek’s Disease

Liver also swollen; bone marrow usually gray colored or of a dark-red consistency

 

Swollen; spotted

Spirochetosis (turkeys, chickens and ducks)

Liver swollen

 

 

Any septicemic disease

 

 

 

 
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Malabsorption syndrome: Comparison of normal 18-day old chick and stunted infected chicken (on the right) of the same age
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