If your hen lays a lash egg (something you won't soon forget--they're pretty gross!), you can be pretty sure that she has Salpingitis, meaning her oviduct is infected. This is really bad news for your hen and may be fatal, and she could continue to be a carrier even if she recovers! Read more to find out more about this disease:
Inflammation of the oviduct, infection of the oviduct
No or mild signs in adult birds, including lethargy, loss of appetite, drop in laying, yellow poo, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, discharge from nares or eyes, or other general signs that a hen doesn't feel well, such as staying away from the flock or in the coop.
Cardinal or diagnostic signs:
Lash eggs. A lash egg is less an egg than an egg-shaped exudate (a mass of cells and fluid that has seeped out of blood vessels or an organ, especially in inflammation) consisting of thickened pus and other materials.
Salpingitis is not itself caused by one specific bacteria. It is a condition that can be caused by other systemic bacterial diseases, including Fowl Cholera, MG (Mycoplasma ), E. coli, or Salmonella when they occur in the oviduct.
Yes, in the sense that the bacteria causing the infection is communicable (see specific entries below). However, a hen with salpingitis from Salmonella will not necessarily communicate the ovarian infection even if the Salmonella is communicated.
Communicability to humans
Some bacterial diseases that cause Salpingitis---Salmonella, for instance---can be communicated to humans.
Depends on the bacterial cause. And in fact, if a hen is ill with E. coli, it may be some time before the infection passes to her ovaries---or never.
Dependent on the bacteria causing the condition. For instance, with Fowl Cholera (Pasteurella) and Mycoplasma, recovered chickens can be asymptomatic carriers.
Home treatment and/or prevention
Prevention: As for the individual illnesses, there is no way specifically to prevent those illnesses from resulting in ovarian infection, but prompt veterinary attention when you notice a hen is ill is always a good idea so the illness doesn't progress or communicate to others.
Treatment: No home remedies
Your vet will be able to make a firm diagnosis and recommend treatment options based in the specific infection your hen has. Contact your veterinarian for more information.
Salpingitis producing lash eggs is usually a fatal condition. Recovery is rare, and because in some cases hens can be carriers for life, recovery can even present problems. Please consult with your vet about your hen's chances of returning to health, and being able to safely return to the flock.
Other conditions, illnesses and/or diseases with similar signs:
Salpingitis shares general symptoms with many illnesses, but the lash egg is diagnostic of an ovarian infection.