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Possible Mareks Diseasep paralysis- Seeking Advice- Please Help!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I have a flock of 5- 3 year old Barred Rock hens. About 1month ago one of our hens Millie was experiencing symptoms of a sour/impacted crop. We were able to successfully treat this and she began to gain some weight back as she had gotten fairly thin over the course of a few days. We put her back in with the rest of the chickens and she began being harassed by the other hens and getting picked on. (We suspect it  was due to her weakened condition). Then about a couple of days later Millie began limping. We thought that she may have been attacked by another chicken and injured her leg. At this point she was significantly smaller in size then her sisters. We then separated her to allow her to heal and gain back some weight. However, within a few days of separating her, her limping became progressively worse until she became completely paralyzed. She had now been paralyzed for just over one week and we have been thinking that it is possibly Mareks disease. Over the course of the week she began at first not that interested in food, we were giving her mealworms, grapes, and eggs. Over the past few days her eating has begun to improve and is now eating some of her regular chicken food. He poops are typically very runny but have also begun to firm up. We have been treating her with a vitamin B supplement made for chickens as well as a Rooster Booster supplement as we thought it could also possibly be a vitamin deficiency. Her demeanor seems pretty good aside from the fact that she cannot move and has diarrhea. I am wondering if you could give me advice on what you think it could be or if you agree with our suspicion of Mareks or if it could possibly be something else?  For now our other hens seem happy and healthy, all have been laying eggs, behaving normally, and are at a healthy weight. Millie has been in quarantine since she started limping. Is there a chance that her condition can improve? If so can she ever be reintroduced to the others? We are trying to treat this on our own and any help or guidance you can share would be so greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 9
Three years is pretty old to show Mareks symptoms so that wouldn't be my first thought. She certainly could have things like tumors pushing on her spine causing paralysis, or other internal problems.

Botulism is another thing that will cause paralysis, usually gotten from consuming moldy feed or maggots that have fed on a carcass. I would check around under feeders and around the environment. You will more than likely lose her, but I don't think you should worry about it being contagious if no other birds are looking sick.

Sorry, it's rough having a sick bird and not knowing what to do.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response! I am also questioning Marek's disease especially there age and their isolation from other flocks of chickens (we live in a suburban area with no other livestock nearby). We did feed her live mealworms from the pet store since she enjoyed the dried ones so much and we were trying to bulk her up, so maybe that's where we went wrong. Also, there is a possibility of moldy food in their coop since we had such a wet spring and they always spill so much. Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent this in the future? We are trying to make her as comfortable as possible. Would you suspect that she is in pain?

post #4 of 9
A wet spring could definitely cause moldy feed, otherwise perhaps someone near you sprayed something like weed killers, or things like rat poisoning picked up by a bird could cause neurological systems. I have read eating too many meal worms could lead to kidney failure, but so far it was only one article I read on that, so I don't think that contributed to it.

Most times you will never know without a necropsy. If it were my bird I would cull it to end it's suffering. Most sick chickens die. It just seems to be the way of poultry.
Edited by oldhenlikesdogs - 5/27/16 at 2:15pm
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

A wet spring could definitely cause moldy feed, otherwise perhaps someone near you sprayed something like weed killers, or things like rat poisoning picked up by a bird could cause neurological systems. I have read eating too many meal worms could lead to kidney failure, but so far it was only one article I read on that, so I don't think that contributed to it.

Most times you will never know without a necropsy. If it were my bird I would cull it to end it's suffering. Most sick chickens die. It just seems to be they of poultry.

My thought on the spray is, if that were the case wouldn't there be more than one sick bird? Not saying it couldn't happen, but it just seems to me it would affect more than one. 

 

I would put the bird down, too, if it were mine. I have tried in the past to save a sick chicken, and in the end only ended up prolonging their suffering. I'm a little quicker now to make that call. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #6 of 9
I was just throwing that out there as a possible reason for neurological problems in birds, I would agree that more than one would show symptoms though.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the input. She is still paralyzed but is certainly more alert and her appetite is returning. She is also wiggling around more in her cage and we have noticed some signs of movement in her legs which is promising. We have begun to think it could be malnutrition or a vitamin deficiency? What we've read shows it can cause paralysis and can take weeks to recover. Since she was so underweight prior to this all happening and considering that no one else has showed any signs of illness so far it kind of makes sense. Any thoughts?

post #8 of 9
Keep at it then, sometimes they can get over botulism too, and certainly vitamin deficiencies can sometimes be reversed. Did you check your feed tag? Sometimes the bags are old, though again you would think it would affect all.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #9 of 9

Although Mareks usually presents much younger.....

......it's pretty prevalent and can be carried asymptomatically then flare up when there's a suppression of or stressor on the immunity system.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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