Veterinary advice should be sought from your local veterinarian before applying any treatment or vaccine. Not sure who to use? Look up veterinarians who specialize in poultry using our directory listing. Find me a Vet

Cloacitis (vent Gleet)

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.

Clinical Presentation


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:
  • Slimy (often bloody) droppings
  • The presence of a foul odor
  • A hard (solid) abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inflammation (red, swelling) of the vent area
  • The chicken is straining to defecate

Clinical Signs

Soiled vent feathers
Decreased egg production
Dull appearance of feathers
Presence of gas
Watery droppings
Soft (bloated) abdomen
Slimy (often bloody) droppings
Foul odor
Hard abdomen
Loss of appetite
Inflammation (red, swelling) of the vent area
Straining to defecate

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical Exam
  • Fecal culture

Treatment

NameSummary
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.
Keep the cloaca area clean and free of built-up fecesUsing 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)
MetronidazoleProvide 100mg tablet per kg of body weight twice daily for 4 days
Antibiotics

Prevention

  • Reduce exposure to stressful conditions
  • Feed a balanced diet

Scientific References

Good Overviews