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Salpingitis

Salpingitis or inflammation of the oviduct, is one of the most frequent causes of death in commercial egg laying hens. Although its associated with a wide variety of infectious pathogens, it can also develop secondary to other reproductive diseases affecting the ovary, such as a neoplasia (tumor) present, cystic ovarian disease, and oophoritis. The bacterial organism most commonly found is Escherichia coli, and less frequently, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Salmonella spp. and Pasteurella multocida. Salpingitis can be septic or nonseptic, where the nonseptic form is often a chronic condition. Onset of salpingitis often leads to egg yolk peritonitis and an oviduct impaction.

Clinical signs observed in hens with salpingitis differ depending on whether the condition is septic or nonseptic. When it occurs in its septic form the bird gives the typical 'sick bird look', where nonseptic signs of illness are a bit more vague. The signs seen in both forms are nonspecific and associated with a number of different reproductive conditions affecting hens. These include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Ruffled or fluffed feathers
  • Abnormal or malformed eggs - irregularly shaped, soft shelled, or blood-streaked.
  • On occasion there may be cloacal discharge present
Varying degrees of abdominal distension is usually present, especially if there is an association with an impacted oviduct or cystic ovarian changes.

Clinical Signs

Malformed or abnormal eggs - irregularly shaped, blood-streaked, and soft-shelled)
Lethargy
Depression
Reduced appetite
Weight loss
Cloacal discharge
Fluffed or ruffled plumage

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasound
  • Laparotomy

Treatment

NameSummary
Antibiotics
Hormone implantsSuprelorin® (deslorelin implants) to stop ovulation (egg production) in hens.
Salpingohysterectomy (spaying)Surgical removal of the hen's oviduct.
Supportive care

Prevention

Scientific References

Age Range

Salpingitis is most common in adult hens, however it can also occur in younger birds.

Risk Factors

  • Chronic egg laying
  • Overweight
  • Impaction of the oviduct
  • Inappropriate treatment for egg binding
  • High egg producing breeds

Case Stories