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Pictures of Fowl Pox, Avian pox symptoms in male chickens.

Avian pox is a slow-spreading viral infection (disease) in chickens, characterized by proliferative lesions in the skin that progress to thick scabs or cutaneous form and with lesions in the upper respiratory tracts or diphtheritic form. Fowlpox is seen worldwide.

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Avian pox signs

The cutaneous form of fowl pox is characterized by nodular lesions on various parts of the unfeathered skin of chickens, comb and on the head. The lesion is initially a raised, blanched, nodular area that enlarges, becomes yellowish, and progresses to a thick, dark black scab. Multiple lesions usually develop, often coalesce. Lesions in various stages of development may be found on the same chicken. Localization around the nostrils may cause nasal discharge. Cutaneous lesions on the eyelids may cause complete closure of one or both eyes. Only a few birds develop cutaneous lesions at one time.

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avian pox in chickens
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fowl pox signs in chicken

see also : Infectious Bronchitis in Chickens

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wet pox in chicken

In the diphtheritic, wet pox , lesions develop on the mucous membranes of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, and trachea or fowl diphtheria. Caseous patches firmly adherent to the mucosa of the larynx and mouth or proliferative masses may develop. Mouth lesions interfere with feeding. Tracheal lesions cause difficulty in respiration cause respiratory signs. Laryngeal and tracheal lesions in chickens must be differentiated from those of infectious laryngotracheitis, ILT in chicken, which is caused by a herpesvirus. In cases of systemic infection caused by virulent fowlpox virus strains, lesions may be seen in internal organs. More than one form of the disease, ie, cutaneous, diphtheritic, and/or systemic, may be seen in a single bird.

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wet pox in chicken with respiratory symptoms

see video of symptoms of pox in male chickens


Prevention and Treatment:

Chickens should be vaccinated with a live embryo or cell-culture-propagated virus vaccine. The most widely used vaccines are attenuated fowlpox virus. In high-risk areas, vaccination for male chicken with an attenuated vaccine of cell-culture origin at days 23-25 of life.  Because the infection spreads slowly, vaccination is often useful in limiting spread in affected flocks if administered when <20% of the birds have lesions. Passive immunity may interfere with the multiplication of vaccine virus; progeny from recently vaccinated or recently infected flocks should be vaccinated only after passive immunity has declined. Vaccinated birds should be examined 5-7 days later for swelling and scab formation (“take”) at the site of vaccination. The absence of “take” indicates lack of potency of vaccine, passive or acquired immunity, or improper vaccination. Revaccination with another serial lot of vaccine may be indicated.

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See also: Viral Diseases Symptom in Chickens