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Other Names: Infected Cloaca, Cloacitis, Pasting
Cloacitis, commonly referred to as vent gleet, is the inflammation of the chicken's cloaca. It isn't a specific disease but more of a gastrointestinal condition that can be caused by a number of different reasons, including many types of organisms (fungi, protozoa, parasites, yeast, and bacteria). Cloacitis can even be brought on by stress, often associated with egg laying, bowel infection, or a hormonal-related uterus issue. Stress causes an increase in pH levels which predisposes chickens to developing infection in the cloaca and nearby organs including the rectum and uterus.
Early signs of cloacitis in chickens include:
Pasting of the feathers near the vent
The presence of a soft (bloated) abdomen
Sudden dull appearance of feathers
A decrease in egg production
The presence of excess gas
Loose, watery droppings
The key to successfully treating a chicken suffering from early stages of cloacitis is to properly identify the initial cause and to counteract the effect of stress by reducing the pH level of the cloaca.
Signs that chickens are suffering from advanced stages of cloacitis include:
Isolate 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.
Keep the cloaca area clean and free of built-up feces
Using warm, soapy water, gently clean any fresh or dried build up of feces off of the chicken. Using an oral syringe filled with a saline-solution wound wash, gently rinse out and massage the cloaca area. Apply an iodine-based antiseptic (Betadine) Repeat as often as needed for the next 3 or 4 days in order to make sure that the cloaca area is kept clean Provide vinegar-water for the chicken to drink (add at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water)
Provide 100mg tablet per kg of body weight twice daily for 4 days