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Salpingitis or inflammation of the oviduct, is a serious reproductive-related emergency frequently seen in hens bred for high egg-productivity (especially ex-battery hens). It is often associated with a wide number of infectious pathogens, although Escherichia coli is the most common infectious cause. It may also involve Actinobacter, Corynebacterium, Mycoplasma, Pasteurella, Streptococcus spp. and/or Salmonella

Salpingitis can be septic or nonseptic, where the nonseptic form is often a chronic condition. Salpingitis can also occur as a secondary complication to other reproductive-related diseases or a tumor. It can lead to egg yolk peritonitis and/or an impacted oviduct.

Clinical Signs

Hens with salpingitis often present with nonspecific signs which may be confused with many other disorders or diseases. Clinical signs may include:
  • Abnormal or malformed eggs - irregularly shaped, soft shelled, or blood-streaked.
  • Cloacal discharge
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Ruffled or fluffed feathers
  • Distended abdomen

Clinical Signs

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


  • History
  • Physical exam
  • Ultrasound
  • Endoscopy
  • Cytology of samples from the oviduct
  • Culture and sensitivity
  • Coeliotomy - will allow for a definitive diagnosis.


Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
AntibioticsChosen based on the specific bacteria.
Hormone implantsSuprelorin® (deslorelin implants) to stop ovulation (egg production) in hens.
Salpingohysterectomy (spaying)Surgical removal of the hen's oviduct, may be indicated if the hen is unresponsive to medical treatment.
Supportive care



Hormone implants: Suprelorin®,(deslorelin implants) to stop ovulation (egg production) in hens.

Scientific References

Risk Factors

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

Case Stories