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Other Names: Wing Rot, Red Leg, Clostridial Myonecrosis, Gangrenous Cellulitis, Avian Malignant Edema, Gas Edema Disease, Blue Wing Disease
Gangrenous dermatitis (GD) is a serious bacterial skin infection of chickens. It usually occurs in commercial broilers and Cornish breeds who are kept in overcrowded, highly stressful, unsanitary living conditions. Following a skin injury, GD occurs as a secondary bacterial infection with Clostridium perfringens Type A, C. septicum, and/or Staphylococcus aureus.
Early signs of GD in chickens are the appearance of small pimples or bloody spots on the skin, which progress to large patches of dark reddish to purple and green discoloration. These are most often on the abdomen, breast, wings, and/or legs. Gas or gelatinous fluid may accumulate under the skin, resulting in a “spongy” feel when touched. This gas is produced by the Clostridium bacteria.
Treatment mainly involves excision of all devitalized tissue in conjunction with aggressive antibiotic therapy with a combination of penicillin and clindamycin or tetracycline, which appear most effective. Hyperbaric oxygenation may be a successful adjunctive therapy