A standard approach to poultry disease investigation

Page last updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2018 - 9:17am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Additional samples according to disease syndrome

For each of the following disease syndromes, the associated samples should be collected in addition to the base sample set. This will give the laboratory the best opportunity to diagnose the disease condition.

Note that Amies transport medium and VTM should be routinely stocked by most veterinary clinics. Mycoplasma media is less commonly stocked but can be sourced through your DPIRD Field Veterinary Officer or the Animal Health Laboratories.

Early chick mortality

  • yolk sac swab in Amies transport medium
  • coelomic swab in Amies transport medium
  • consider chilled whole chicks or collect fresh samples and then fix the whole chick and submit whole.

Diarrhoea

  • impression smears of intestine
  • intestinal swabs in Amies transport medium.

Illthrift

  • feed samples in a plain sample container.

Anaemia

  • blood film
  • fixed tibia, cracked or halved (bone marrow)
  • ectoparasites.

Respiratory disease

  • Ante-mortem

    • oculonasal discharge swab in Amies transport medium.

  • Post-mortem
    • oculonasal discharge or sinus exudate swab in Amies transport medium (+/- mycoplasma media)
    • pulmonary/tracheal parasites in a plain sample container
    • fresh and fixed trachea
    • fresh and fixed nasal sinus
    • fixed air sac
    • fresh tracheal exudate in a plain sample container.

Ocular discharge

  • Ante-mortem
    • oculonasal discharge swab in Amies transport medium (+/- mycoplasma media)
  • Post-mortem
    • oculonasal discharge or sinus exudate swab in Amies transport medium
    • fresh and fixed trachea
    • fresh and fixed nasal sinus.

Leg weakness and paralysis

  • feed samples in a plain sample container
  • ventricular/intestinal content in a plain sample container
  • fresh and fixed tibia, tendon and skeletal muscle
  • fixed sciatic nerve (can be submitted with muscle)
  • fixed brachial plexus
  • fixed thoracolumbar vertebrae/ spinal column.

Nervous signs

  • feed samples in a plain sample container
  • ventricular/intestinal content in a plain sample container
  • fresh and fixed tibia, tendon and muscle
  • fixed sciatic nerve
  • fixed brachial plexus
  • fixed thoracolumbar vertebrae/spinal column.

Poor feathering/skin conditions

  • ectoparasites
  • skin scrapes
  • fixed skin
  • fresh skin or skin swabs in Amies transport medium.

Sudden death

  • feed samples in a plain sample container
  • ventricular/intestinal content in a plain sample container.

Egg drop

  • feed samples in a plain sample container.

Facial swelling

  • fixed nasal sinus
  • fresh nasal sinus and/or sinus swabs in Amies (+/- mycoplasma media)
  • subcutaneous swabs in Amies transport medium.

Contact information

Emily Glass
+61 (0)8 9363 4054