Merck Manual

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Professional Version

Diuresis Syndrome in Poultry


Rodrigo A. Espinosa

, DVM, DACPV, Aviagen

Reviewed/Revised Jan 2024
Topic Resources

Diuresis syndrome is poorly understood and difficult to solve. Other names include urate vent scalding and vent gleet.

This condition is seasonal, increasing in spring and summer because of heat and humidity (see ). Diuresis syndrome is typically observed from the onset of egg production.

Diuresis syndrome can lead to cannibalism, peritonitis, and salpingitis.

Mortality rates can increase to 0.5%–1.25% weekly, and dead hens are typically in production.

Affected laying hens have problems managing metabolic acidosis as they consume excess crude protein, energy, and minerals based on requirements for maintenance and egg production (see ).

Usually, heavier hens with feathering issues are more affected and may exhibit the following:

  • excessive amounts of sodium and potassium urates being excreted

  • low rectal temperature

  • respiratory acidosis, either from increased ventilation (panting) or heat loss (feathering issues)

  • change in blood pH to acidic and urine pH to alkaline (opposite)

Prevention of diuresis syndrome includes improving pullet flock uniformity before housing; balancing electrolyte levels in the breeder diet; adjusting house temperature, particularly in summer; and following breed requirements for calcium, phosphorus, and potassium when formulating diets.

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