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Cutaneous Mucinosis

Cutaneous mucinosis is a skin disorder that occurs in certain strains of brown-egg laying chickens. It is characterized by the development of excessive amounts of hyaluronic acid (HA) (formally called "mucin") along the inner skin layer of affected chickens.

Cutaneous mucinosis has previously only been described in humans, dogs (particularly the Chinese Shar-Pei dog breed), and sometimes cats. In it's vesicular form, the syndrome manifests as the development of small, translucent, blister-like bubbles (technically referred to as vesicles) on the skin of the legs, shanks, and feet of affected chickens. These vesicles are fragile and as such are highly susceptible rupturing and leaking out a sticky substance, which is the hyaluronic acid. This weak skin barrier makes affected chickens more susceptible to bacterial skin infections.

Symptoms

Feather loss on the head, neck, keel and thigh
Scaly, dry skin
Weight loss
Decreased egg production
Skin may have a slight green tinge
Reduced feed consumption

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests
  • Necropsy

Treatment

There is no reported treatment

Prevention

Scientific References

Age Range

Adult, brown-egg laying hens are most at risk.

Risk Factors

  • Rhode Island Red cross breed