Fowl Pox

Fowl pox is a viral infection that affects chickens and turkeys. It is slow spreading. There are 3 forms of fowl pox: Cutaneous (dry pox), Diphtheritic (wet pox) and Systemic. Fowl pox is world wide, but more prevalent in warm, high humidity areas and areas where there is a high population of mosquitoes as they are a vector for transmission. Outbreaks usually occur in winter and spring as mosquitoes tend to over winter in chicken houses.

Cutaneous (dry pox)

This is the most common form of fowl pox and presents with proliferative lesions on the skin that develop into thick scabs. When lesions are small they can be difficult to distinguish from fighting/pecking injuries. Can turn into wet pox.

Diphtheritic (wet pox)

Lesions form in the upper GI tract and respiratory tracts. These lesions are caseous (cheese like) that can block the tracts affecting breathing and eating/drinking.


Caused by virulent strains. Lesions form on internal organs.


  • Lesions on the face, head, wattles, feet and legs
  • Nasal discharge
  • Decreased egg production
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy


  • There is no specific treatment for fowl pox as it is viral and needs to run it’s course, which can take weeks.
  • Iodine may be dabbed on dry pox lesions to help speed the healing process up and assist with possible secondary infection
  • Vaccination may help to lessen symptoms and prevent further spread, but only healthy birds should be vaccinated



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