Fowl Cholera

Fowl Cholera is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida. It affects chickens, turkeys, and water fow.
It infects through mouth and nose and is spread through nasal exudate, faeces, contaminated soil, equipment, and people. The incubation period is usually 5-8 days.

The bacterium is easily destroyed by environmental factors and disinfectants. However, it can stay persist for a long time in the soil.

Signs

  • Dejection.
  • Ruffled feathers.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Coughing.
  • Nasal, ocular and oral discharge.
  • Swollen and cyanotic wattles and face.
  • Sudden death.
  • Swollen joints.
  • Lameness.

Post-mortem lesions

  • Sometimes none, or limited to haemorrhages at few sites.
  • Enteritis.
  • Yolk peritonitis.
  • Focal hepatitis.
  • Purulent pneumonia (especially turkeys).
  • Cellulitis of face and wattles.
  • Purulent arthritis.
  • Lungs with a consolidated pink ‘cooked’ appearance in turkeys.

Treatment

Sulphonamides, tetracyclines, erythromycin, streptomycin, penicillin. The disease often recurs after medication is stopped, necessitating long-term or periodic medication.

Prevention

Biosecurity, good rodent control, hygiene, bacterins at 8 and 12 weeks, live oral vaccine at 6 weeks.

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