Q: Fowl Pox (Wet) Overview
A: Fowl Pox (Wet)
Fowl Diphtheria, diphtheritic pox, ILT
Common, but less so than Dry Pox
General signs -
Scabby bumps on face, eyes.
Cardinal or diagnostic signs -
Pox inside mouth and throat. Mortality runs at 50% or so for adult birds, which is significantly higher than dry pox
Avipoxvirus. This is the same family of viruses that causes dry pox, however in the case of wet pox, it invades the windpipe/trachea.
Very communicable, but spreads slowly via blood from scratches, wounds or other injuries. Also spread by mosquitoes and mites, in which case the spread may be quick. Passes from hen to chick in the egg.
Wet pox can appear on comb and skin, as well as inside the throat and trachea
Communicability to humans -
No, humans cannot be infected with this virus. (Pox in humans is caused by a different virus.) However you can carry the virus to your birds on shoes or equipment, so be sure to thoroughly wash and sanitize hands after handling birds or equipment, and be sure to sanitize equipment.
Incubation period -
4 to 14 days
Occasionally some birds can become carriers and shed virus during times of stress
Yes, but especially common in flocks crowded into small areas, such as large commercial flocks or small pet flocks staying in the coop during winter
Home treatment and/or prevention -
Prevention: Vaccinate. Practice good biosecurity. Quarantine any birds showing signs of respiratory infection.
Treatment: None. Still, making sure the sick birds are not subject to other stressors can reduce mortality. For instance, make sure sick birds have access to an area that is sufficiently warm (or cool). If scabs interfere with eating and drinking make sure to remove.
Veterinary care - A vet may prescribe antibiotics to stave off secondary infections while birds recover, however no medication exists for the fowl pox virus itself
Recovery - Most birds who recover will do so in two to four weeks
Other conditions, illnesses and/or diseases with similar signs:
Can be mistaken for other respiratory infections or conditions like Coryza or Laryngotracheitis.
Also consider browsing through this list of other chicken illnesses with respiratory symptoms.