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
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
Haemorrhage, Escherichia coli,
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
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
MATERIALS AND METHODS
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
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
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
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
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
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.
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