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Paralysed feet

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Since last weekend, I noticed that my two year old Thuringian hen was crouched down quite a bit but I didn't think too much of it, she was still acting normally, running to meet me and eating and drinking. Then on Thursday I noticed she was struggling to walk. Over the weekend, her right foot has become completely curled up and paralysed and her left, whilst not as bad is also a bit useless. She shuffles about on her elbows. She's still alert, eating, drinking and chatting. I've separated her from the rest of the flock and started giving her vitamin b in her water. There's no sign of injury or bumblefoot. Has anyone any idea what this could be? What else can I do? She's a lovely, friendly girl, I'll be really sad to lose her. 😢
post #2 of 8

Welcome to BYC. How old is she? Do your Vitamins contain riboflavin? Unfortunately she could have Mareks disease, but try the riboflavin (B2) for a couple of weeks to see if it helps. Have you added any new birds to your flock in the last month or two?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi Eggcessive, thank you! Dorothy is about 2 years old. Yes, I got two new hens probably about three months ago from my friend who is a breeder. I've asked her and she doesn't think it is Mareks, due to how well Dorothy is in all other ways. I completely cleaned and disinfected the co-op at the weekend just in case. The vitamins do contain b2. How long should I give her until I should see an improvement if it's going to happen?
post #4 of 8

Riboflavin deficiency is best treated when symptoms first start, and you should see improvement within a week or two. I hope that is the problem.  Here are some articles about Mareks to read, and the second article includes diseases that can look like Mareks:

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Very interesting reading, thank you. I'll be keeping a very close eye on the others for a few weeks.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Sadly, Dorothy didn't make it  :hitI'm totally gutted, she was such a sweet little girl but I couldn't let her continue to suffer in the hope that in a few weeks there may be some improvement, she couldn't even sit up straight in the end and it all happen soooo quickly, literally in the course of a couple of hours, she suddenly went downhill. 


Having done loads of reading on Mareks, I think that there is a real likelihood that this was the problem.  I've disinfected the coop as best I can, I did this last weekend when I first separated her from the others, I realise that as my girls (and Ken) are free range then the virus is likely to be everywhere, but is there anything else that I can do now to help those remaining?  I would like to replace Dorothy at some point, but obviously not going to do it for a while under the circumstances, how long is safe to wait?  I'm amazed at how many posts on here are similar to mine, this horrible virus is obviously very common and perhaps I've just been lucky up until now that I've not had a problem. 

post #7 of 8

Your state vet can do a necropsy on a chicken to look for Mareks if the body has been refrigerated (not frozen.) In a few states, they are free. Hopefully she did not have Mareks, but if you suspect it in any other chickens, make sure that any new chickens in your future be vaccinated for Mareks, and kept away from any contaminated area for 2-3 weeks until they are fully immune. I'm sorry for your loss. Here is a link or two about necropsies:

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you Eggcessive, really helpful as always!  I will do some more research around the necropsies, I am in the UK so unfortunately those listed on the attachment are not going to be accessible to me, but I will make some enquiries with my local vets to see if they can help. 

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