editorial board
past issues
contact us


2007, Vol 2 No 2, Article 20


An Outbreak of a Haemorrhagic Syndrome in Poultry


K. A. Shah1 & S. Qureshi2


1 Laboratory Officer (Poultry), Disease Investigation Laboratory, Institute of Animal Health  & Biological Production, Zakura, Animal Husbandry Department-Kashmir, Srinagar, Kashmir, India

2 Assistant Professor, Division of Veterinary. Microbiology & Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry (SKUAST-K), Shuhama, Alusteng, Srinagar, Kashmir, India



An outbreak of a haemorrhagic disease was noticed in 5-week-old chicks at a poultry farm in Srinagar. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus were isolated from morbid material following culture.
Administration of Cephalexin and a haematinic tonic and homeopathic medicines Ficus religiosa Q, Arnica montana 200 in combination with Ascorbic acid therapy controlled the mortality within 6 days limiting it to 15%.


Haemorrhage, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, Poultry


Poultry birds are prone to blood dyscrasias which are manifested as haemorrhages in muscles, internal organs, skin and sometimes changes in bone marrow. Immunosuppression of young chicken by diseases like infectious bursal disease and coccidiosis as well as other conditions of acute stress, also prolonged use of sulfa drugs, deficiency of Vitamin K may predispose to such syndromes. (Calnek et al., 1991, Gove Hambidge, 2004).
Meager information is available on the incidence of such syndromes in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The present study elucidates the clinico-pathological studies and management of an outbreak of a haemorrhagic syndrome in poultry birds.


Heavy mortality was encountered in 5-week-old chicks reared on deep litter system at a commercial poultry farm having flock strength of 2500. Management practices, clinical signs and mortality patterns were noticed. Tissue pieces from visceral organs were aseptically collected during post-mortem examination and subjected to culture sensitivity testing. 


The birds exhibited signs of dullness, drooping, ruffled feathers, closed eyes, incoordination and weight loss which is in accordance with findings of Chowdary et al, (2004). The overall mortality was 15% and consistent lesions noticed at necropsy were bursal atrophy, deep scattered haemorrhages on pale and anaemic muscles of thigh, leg, breast and skin, besides punctate haemorrhages on ochre coloured liver, anterior chamber of eye, intestines and pericardial sac. The femoral bone marrow exhibited paleness. Focal haemorrhages were evident on spleen, kidney and pro-ventricular junction with gizzard.
Escherichia coli and Staphylococcal organisms were isolated from the morbid tissue material collected. Antibiograms of the isolates revealed resistance of the organisms to tetracyclines, amoxycillin, ampicillin and gentamicin whereas sensitivity to norfloxacin, cephalexin, cefadroxil, sparfloxacin and amikacin was observed with maximum zone of inhibition for cephalexin and amikacin and minimum for ciprofloxacin.
The affected flock had been reared on a damp litter with inadequate ventilation besides, an above normal ammonia level. The flock had also a previous history of coccidiosis outbreak. It may be presumed that such stress conditions could have caused a certain degree immunosuppression, predisposing the flock to the haemorrhagic syndrome.
Changing litter and providing adequate ventilation and floor space did revival of managemental practice. Homeopathic medicine Ficus religiosa @ 3 drops/lit of drinking water in morning and Arnica montana 200, @ 10 drops /litre in evening were prescribed for 3 days. This therapy was followed with cephalexin 500mg/lit in combination with 10 ml of haematinic, Haem-up (containing ferric ammonium citrate 160 mg, cynacobalamine 7.5mg, folic acid 0.5mg, cupric sulphate 30mcg/15ml) and 50mg of ascorbic acid/lit of drinking water for 4 days. Mortality was controlled within 6 days limiting it to 15%.
Ficus religiosa mimics the action of coagulating factors whereas Arnica montana increases phagocytosis thus mobilising blood clots and haematomas. In young chicken, biosynthesis of ascorbic acid is limited and its requirement is increased greatly during stressful conditions (Kutulu and Forbes 1994, Ravinder, 2004). Ascorbic acid plays a vital role in functioning of folic acid and cyanocobalamine to maintain normal haemopoiesis in bone marrow and elsewhere in body. Apart from maintaining capillary functions it also increase immunity under stress conditions (Brander et al., 1982, Ravinder, 2004) .In view of these reports and present finding it may be safely inferred that the cumulative action of homeopathic medicines and haematinics and ascorbic acid therapy might have brought the outbreak under control.


  1. Luna, L.G. Manual of histological staining methods of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.3rd edition. McGraw Hill Book Company. New York, Toranto, London, Sydney. 1968.

  2. Klopps, S., Rosenberger, J.K., Krauss, W.C. Diagnosis of inclusion body hepatitis and haemorrhagic anaemic syndrome in Delmara broiler chickens. Avian disease, 1975;19: 608-611.

  3. Brander, G. C., Pugh, D. M., Bywater, R. J. Veterinary Applied Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 4thedition-English Language Book Society and Bailliere Tindall, London. 1982, p242-258.

  4. Calnek, B.W., Johnbarne, H., Beard, C.W.and Yoder, H.W. Diseases of poultry, 9th edition, Wolfe Publishing Limited. 1991, p690-98.

  5. Hofstead, M. S., John, B.H., Calnek, B.W., Reid, W.M. and Yoder, H.W. Diseases of poultry 8th edition. Prima Educational Book agency India1992: p 634-47.

  6. Kutulu, H. R.and Forbes, J.M. Self-selection for ascorbic acid by broiler chicks in response to changing environmental temperature. British Poultry Science, 1994;35: 820-21.

  7. Chowdary, C.H. Anaemic dermatitis syndrome in poultry. Poultry Planner. 2004;5 (10): 11.

  8. Gove-Hambidge. Diseases and parasites of poultry, Biotech Books, Trinagar-Delhi. 2004, p234-35.

  9. Ravinder Kumar. Dietary supplementations of ascorbic acid in poultry. Poultry Planner. 2004; 5 (10): 12-13.

Copyright Vet Scan 2005-2006

All Right Reserved with VetScan and www.kashvet.org
ISSN 0973-6980


Home | e-Learning |Resources | Alumni | Bird Flu | Oasis | Disclaimer


powered by KashmirPages