Viral Arthritis in Poultry

Small and Backyard Flocks May 05, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Written by: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Viral arthritis is caused by reovirus. This illness is also referred to as reovirus infection and tenosynovitis. The virus is spread through respiratory secretions and feces and through mechanical means. It can also be transferred from a hen to an egg.

Clinical Signs

Birds suffering from viral arthritis exhibit lameness and swollen hocks, reduced feed consumption, and reduced weight gain.


There is currently no treatment available for viral arthritis.

Prevention and Control 

Maintenance of strict sanitation and a rigorous biosecurity program are the most effective ways of preventing an outbreak of this disease.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.