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Does my chicken have Marek's? Help!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
6 days ago I found my 12 week old Aricauna lying on the ground with her neck limp. When I picked her up she couldn't lift her head. I separated her immediately and helped her drink some water and gave her some food. She picked at it. I was sure she would die overnight but the next day she was able to lift her head but she staggers around when she walks. She stays mostly in the corner of her crate but occasionally ventures out into the grass inside a small outdoor enclosure I made her. She seems bright eyed and alert, Is it Marek's? None of the others her age appear to be sick.
post #2 of 7

Try to rule out dehydration or heatstroke as possible causes first. Give her poultry vitamins with electrolytes in her water. Feed it with a dropper if she won't drink. When she is drinking, then offer her some chopped egg. Make sure that there are multiple water pans in the shade available in hot weather. A limp neck can be a sign of Mareks, botulism (usually with paralyzed legs and wings also,) and other illnesses. 

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggcessive View Post

Try to rule out dehydration or heatstroke as possible causes first. Give her poultry vitamins with electrolytes in her water. Feed it with a dropper if she won't drink. When she is drinking, then offer her some chopped egg. Make sure that there are multiple water pans in the shade available in hot weather. A limp neck can be a sign of Mareks, botulism (usually with paralyzed legs and wings also,) and other illnesses. 
I'm dealing with a sick chicken also. 4 months old found on her back (silkie) in the run. Isolated her, she was not eating or drinking. Puffed up in corner of cage. Started droppers of electrolytes and concentrated dose of corid. Huge improvement, she's now alert and will eat and drink on her own. But her right wing is hanging down and she can't walk straight. When she tries she stumbles and falls around like her right side is not working. Can you treat for botulism?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the electrolyte advice, I was at a loss of how to help her. I'll try the chopped egg also.
Edited by LauraFaux - 6/8/16 at 2:39pm
post #5 of 7
I'm going through the same issue with a 11 week old RedStar. Noticed a couple weeks ago that she was walking goofy where she would lift one foot up awkwardly and walk, almost like she had something on her foot. It was one of the first times she had been outside and the run was wet so I thought she hated the wetness. A few days ago my daughter noticed her unable to keep balance and unable to stand. She can sit up on the back of her legs (I guess it's her knees) but very unsteady gait and so forth. Everything else about her is good.
Of course I'm considering Marek's and have quarantined her. I just can't believe botulism is a reality considering the feed is never wet and such. I see that a Vitamin B deficiency presents with almost identical symptoms of Marek's with regards to the alleged paralysis and so forth. So, I'm going to try a regiment of B and if I don't see any improvement by Saturday it might be time to go to the big coop in the sky under the assumption it's Marek's.

Thoughts?
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyNala97 View Post

I'm dealing with a sick chicken also. 4 months old found on her back (silkie) in the run. Isolated her, she was not eating or drinking. Puffed up in corner of cage. Started droppers of electrolytes and concentrated dose of corid. Huge improvement, she's now alert and will eat and drink on her own. But her right wing is hanging down and she can't walk straight. When she tries she stumbles and falls around like her right side is not working. Can you treat for botulism?
I think you are doing the right things treating for possible dehydration and coccidiosis first, since those may cause symptoms similar to Mareks. With yours showing right sided weakness, that really could be Mareks, but keeping treating her. Botulism shows up as sudden paralysis of BOTH legs then wings, then the neck, followed by death. It looks very different from Mareks. Coccidiosis and eating moldy feed can cause similar symptoms to Mareks.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by epatullo View Post

I'm going through the same issue with a 11 week old RedStar. Noticed a couple weeks ago that she was walking goofy where she would lift one foot up awkwardly and walk, almost like she had something on her foot. It was one of the first times she had been outside and the run was wet so I thought she hated the wetness. A few days ago my daughter noticed her unable to keep balance and unable to stand. She can sit up on the back of her legs (I guess it's her knees) but very unsteady gait and so forth. Everything else about her is good.
Of course I'm considering Marek's and have quarantined her. I just can't believe botulism is a reality considering the feed is never wet and such. I see that a Vitamin B deficiency presents with almost identical symptoms of Marek's with regards to the alleged paralysis and so forth. So, I'm going to try a regiment of B and if I don't see any improvement by Saturday it might be time to go to the big coop in the sky under the assumption it's Marek's.

Thoughts?
That doesn't sound like botulism. Moldy feed can cause aflatoxin poisoning which can look like Mareks. I would try some Corid just in case it could be coccidiosis, or you could get a vet locally to test her droppings for that. The vitamins given orally could be used to try and help in case of deficiency. It could unfortunately turn out to be Mareks, but several things should be ruled out first. If you decide to cull, then it would benefit you to get a necropsy done to know if it was Mareks, since that can affect all chickens you every have.
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