Press Bulletin No. 9.
October i, 19o1.
Florida Experiment Station.
Epithelioma contagiosum (Boliunger.)
(SYNONYMS: POULTRY POX, SORE-HEAD, WARTS.)
BY CHARLES F. DAWSON, M. D., D. V. S.
In all warm countries there prevails a poultry disease
which attacks fowls, turkeys, pigeons and geese, the
younger animals being most susceptible. (This disease is
quite common in the Gulf States, and is somewhat of a
scourge in Florida. It is characterized by the appearance of
wart-like bodies, which form upon the head, eyelids, neck,
beak and nostrils, where they attain their largest size.
These warts or tumors may, in mild cases remain local-
ized, or they may spread to the comb, wattles, feet and
wings, the latter being particularly the case in pigeons.
after one or two weeks development, 'the warts burst and
discharge a fluid which is at first watery, but which later
becomes viscid, yellow and malodorous. In mild cases
where the disease remains local, thb warts dry up, form
crusts which fall off, and the case ends in spontaneous
recovery. This is the exception, however; the rule being
that the bird dies of exhaustion, especially in those cases
where the disease invades the mouth and nostrils.
It being a contagious disease, the introduction of a
single case is sufficient to infect the whole premises. An
infected fowl roosting beside another'may cause the dis-
ease in the latter by simple contact. Poultry-men state
that the disease results from the bites of insects. This is
likely true to a certain extent; but we go a step further
and claim that fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, lice or flies may
be the agency through which the disease germ is inocu-
lated into the fowls, as is the case of the dissemination of
yellow-fever, malaria, Texas fever, anthrax and probably
other diseases of man and animals.
"Sore-head" or "warts"' is caused by a parasitic
fungus belonging to the group known under the name
BLASTOMYCETES. (The most favorable conditions for an
outbreak of this disease are .over-crowded poultry houses
in which excrement is allowed to accumulate, dampness
caused by leaky roofs,hbad drainage and wet seasons;
it being most conimon in poultry hatched late. Hence,
an important phase in its prevention is cleanliness and
perfection in the poultry-house. Excrement should be
removed frequently and the floor sprinkled with lime.
Leaky roofs should be repaired. Frequent purification of
the interior by white-washing is advisable. Old- nests
should lie removed and burned The shelves and feeding
troughs also should be regarded with suspicion and
drenched with scalding-hot water. The affected fowls
should no longer stay with the well ones, but should be
confined, fed well and treated medicinally.
Treatment consists in the use of germicidal oint-
ments or solutions applied directly to the warts. There
is a long list of such agents to choose from, and any one of
the following should be effective: Carbolic salve; glycer-
ite of carbolic acid; sulphate of copper, in 2 per cent. so-
lution; spirits of turpentine tincture of iodine applied
with a camel's hair brush, so'as not to get the iodine into
the eyes or nostrils. Creolin may also be used. In em-
ploying this remedy, it is- necessary to slice off the end
of the wart, and touch it with a drop of the remedy
daily for several days. Mr. Jefferies of the Horticultural
Department, claims to have used the petroleum product,
axle-grease, with good results, in mild cases.
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