Gout In Poultry: Signs, Causes, Control And Treatment
Gout In Poultry: Signs, Causes, Control And Treatment; This is a very common metabolic disorder, and it involves accumulation and precipitation of uric acid crystals in the joints, peritoneum, viscera, and kidney; this will lead to increased mortality.
The formation of uric acid represents the end product of purine and protein metabolism in birds. These end products are normally extracted via the kidney. The uric acid is an insoluble substance. It cannot be converted to any water-soluble substance called Allantoin since birds do not have Uricase. Such further conversion takes place in mammals.  In birds, the uric acid binds to certain proteins in the kidney’s proximal tubules to bring about solubilization and prevent crystallization in the kidney.  The uric acid may, however, get accumulated in the blood if it is produced more than the body or there is renal failure. This will lead to hyperuricemia.
Gout In Poultry: Signs, Causes, Control And Treatment
Death – due to kidney failure

Nature of the disease

•    Gout in poultry cannot be referred to as a disease condition, unlike the other conditions already mentioned above. It is more or less a clinical manifestation of severe kidney dysfunction.
•    This condition shows the presence of high concentration of uric acid in the blood
•    Urates are also deposited on the surfaces of joints and internal organs; the joint most affected is the hock joint.
•    Kidney failure is the major cause of death    
•    This condition is common in birds if they are fed with high amount of calcium, and it is common in laying hens
•     Gout presents in two forms, which are articular gout and visceral gout.

Causes Of Gout In Poultry

•    Kidney dysfunction causes hyperuricemia.
•    Prolonged treatment using sodium bicarbonate
•    An electrolyte deficiency or excess
•    Mycotoxin and Urolithiasis
•    Infection in young chicken caused by infectious bronchitis virus
•    Ingestion of excess quality o table salt
•    Excess consumption of protein 
•    Deficiency of vitamin A
•    Calcium: phosphorous imbalance due to excess dietary calcium
•    Dehydration
Gout In Poultry: Signs, Causes, Control And Treatment
1. Deposition of urate salts as a white chalky coating on organs
Gout In Poultry: Signs, Causes, Control And Treatment
2. Deposition of urate salts as a white chalky coating on organs
Gout In Poultry: Signs, Causes, Control And Treatment
Affected leg joints


Clinical symptoms

•    The joints get swollen in articular Gout. There is also deposition of chalk-like material in large quantity. The leg and wing joints can be affected.  
•    The birds thus affected end up dying of starvation since they cannot move
•    Male birds experience articular gout more than any other bird. Both the male and female birds experience visceral gout


Gross lesions

•    The tissue that surrounds the joints appears white in articular gout due to the deposition of urate.
•    The kidneys are congested and swollen in visceral gout, and they look greyish white.  Chalk-like crystals also get deposited on the serous membranes of internal organs, like lungs, proventriculus, heart, peritoneum, and mesentery, aside from deposition on the kidney.
•    The urate deposit has chalky white appearance on the organs.


Control and prevention

•    Do not feed the birds with foods rich in calcium to quicken sexual maturity
•    Reduce the protein content of their meals
•    Formulate their feeds and increase the maize in it.
•    Add electrolytes to the water you give them.


Treatment Of Gout In Poultry

If only one bird has gout, you can afford to ignore it. It is, however, important to follow prescription if there are acute cases of gout mortality.
•    Provide adequate drinkers and plenty of water
•    Avoid giving them feeds rich in protein more than the protein level recommended per breed and age. Give the birds a diet with low protein for up to five days based on the severity of the condition.
•    Review the IB vaccination program for the birds.  If the IB is endemic in an area, you should vaccinate the birds using nephrotropic strain for four days.  In broilers, you can use the beak dip vaccination, which has been shown to be effective after day one treatment.
•    Urine acidifiers are also helpful. You can adopt any of the urine acidifiers highlighted below:
o    Ammonium sulfate 2 ½ kg/ton feed for seven days
o    Ammonium chloride: 2 ½ kg/ton feed for seven days
o    Potassium chloride: 1 gram in one liter of water for 24 hours
o    Vinegar: Up to 2 ml in one liter of water for 24 hours
•    Give them adequate vitamin B complex, A, D3 and K  in their diet
•    Avoid the addition of excess sodium bicarbonate more than 2kg/ton in their diet
•    You can control mortality by adding electrolyte to their water
•    You should also give them jiggery 5g in one liter of water for about five days and broken maize for about three days 


•    Give them 0.6% methionine hydroxyl analog free acid and add 3% of calcium to it in their diet.


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