6 mo. old RIR pullet with Marek's like symptoms holding her own with Hypericum, has anyone experienc

polkaredoreomar

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
5
0
7
Hello to all and so many thanks for the helpful threads I've found here. It brought me to joining the forum yesterday with the intention of paying it forward. Meanwhile, I have a 6 month old RIR pullet in a small flock of four (noone else has symptoms but her, she has been isolated, getting the royal treatment for a month now) with Marek's like symptoms. The floppiness and paralysis have worked their way down her body, with muscle control slowly returning to neck, wings etc. Her feet seem to afflicted now, but with Hypericum 30ch (2 pellets) three times a day in a dropper, she remains bright eyed, with a normal crop/comb/digestion/appetite/weight. Have any of you ever seen a hen go through Marek's and recover progressively like this? How long should I hang in there? She can't really walk, but she scoots in her own way and doesn't seem to be in any pain, I'd feel terrible euthanizing her if she isn't suffering? Many thanks for any thoughts!
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
Have you seen the other thread on treating Marek's with Hypericum? Apparently some users found success with that and their birds made complete recoveries.


Here's the thread with Hypericum (St John's Wort) being used to treat it:
Quote: This thread has general Marek's info and should be educational:
Quote: Edit: found another thread where the same treatment was used. A good point made in this thread is that while symptoms are enough for us to make a diagnosis and start treatment, any successful treatment can be dismissed out of hand as anecdotal if you don't have a proper test result proof of correct diagnosis. Not a direct point anyone made but very relevant to those testing new therapies.

Hypericum treats neurological issues in general, even depression, so it's able to treat many things that look like Marek's but possibly aren't. Nevertheless, in the first thread I linked you to, there was at least one person who did get a veterinary diagnosis of Marek's, so it's reasonable to state that Hypericum can work for Marek's too. Not that it guarantees 100% success but basically no treatment does anyway. Another great point made is that we need followups to see if it worked. So please, success or failure, give a follow up a year from now if you are at all able.
Quote:
Best wishes with her.
 
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polkaredoreomar

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
5
0
7
Thank you very much for all of this information, it brought me back to threads I had found earlier. I was able to find a vet who took a blood sample and sent it to Texas A & M to see if it's Marek's, meanwhile he gave her a B complex shot as well as a steroid shot. He said her eyes are normal, and she doesn't seem to have tumors when he feels around. He was as confused as I was that she's still here after 6 weeks, eating, digesting, just struggling to move. He was very negative about the Hypericum but I'm going to continue until I get results, I can't seem to give up on this sweet little girl, she coos and enjoys being with her friends so...........will post the results of the test early next week, thanks again!
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
Thank you very much for all of this information, it brought me back to threads I had found earlier. I was able to find a vet who took a blood sample and sent it to Texas A & M to see if it's Marek's, meanwhile he gave her a B complex shot as well as a steroid shot. He said her eyes are normal, and she doesn't seem to have tumors when he feels around. He was as confused as I was that she's still here after 6 weeks, eating, digesting, just struggling to move. He was very negative about the Hypericum but I'm going to continue until I get results, I can't seem to give up on this sweet little girl, she coos and enjoys being with her friends so...........will post the results of the test early next week, thanks again!
Thanks, looking forward to seeing how this pans out for you. Hope it works for yours and the bird's sakes.

Of course the vet was negative about Hypericum, it's not officially accepted, but did he have any valid points to make against it? I'd guess not, as it's proven in treatment of neurological disorders in humans as well as other health problems. Still, I guess it's kind of in his job description to try to convince you to stick to the accepted methods (even when they're not working).

I personally use a lot of cures vets frown on, but I use them to save cases vets can't, so each to their own, says I, lol! Good to hear you won't let the vet's negativity prevent you from trying to find something that works.

Best wishes.
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,078
312
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you very much for all of this information, it brought me back to threads I had found earlier. I was able to find a vet who took a blood sample and sent it to Texas A & M to see if it's Marek's, meanwhile he gave her a B complex shot as well as a steroid shot. He said her eyes are normal, and she doesn't seem to have tumors when he feels around. He was as confused as I was that she's still here after 6 weeks, eating, digesting, just struggling to move. He was very negative about the Hypericum but I'm going to continue until I get results, I can't seem to give up on this sweet little girl, she coos and enjoys being with her friends so...........will post the results of the test early next week, thanks again!
Let us know the results of the Marek's PCR testing!

I have been going in circles over research since my roo had confirmed Marek's last year, and died from it. I have done a lot of research regarding the hypericum, and have been overall very skeptical because it is touted as a homeopathic remedy, which is dubious at best. However, I have also found some research that considers it may be a natural therapy, which is a whole different thing than homeopathy, and one study to the best of my knowledge was done with it. A group of chickens were intentionally infected with a retrovirus and then one group was given hypericum and found to have had a slightly better recovery rate-- now, this virus is DIFFERENT than Marek's, and is NOT fatal to chickens, but has some similarities, and so there might be something to it. Despite this, the differences were not amazingly profound, even in this other virus, and it is hardly a miracle worker. In reality I suspect that confirmed Marek's chickens that are given hypericum that go on to recover from Marek's symptoms probably would have anyhow, but the hypericum MIGHT help that along. So, try it if you'd like, just be careful with dosages.
Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384280/

I do want to mention that most birds in backyard situations that die from visceral Marek's don't show the ocular form, and tumors tend to be internal on major organs and can not be felt from palpation.

I hope it is not Marek's and is something you can treat more readily.

I have more information about what other disease look like Marek's, and also some other holistic treatments you can try, in my FAQ: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

I recently updated it as I found mention that cranberry might help. I honestly can not say if it is true or not (I keep a healthy skepticism on these things) but at least cranberry is something that can not harm them so it won't hurt to try.
 

polkaredoreomar

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
5
0
7
Thank you for so much wonderful information, I have some to offer. Since I've never read a thread where a chicken suspected of having Marek's lived long enough to have a blood sample tested, I wanted to say that the results came back for my RIR and she tested negative for Marek's. I'm going to hang in there and continue the TLC. I added cranberry which they all go crazy for, very popular food item, thanks for the tip! The vet says to continue oral B complex and add a steroid treatment over a few days to see if it helps. What an amazing patient little Red has been, her patience and sweet demeanor has really inspired me. It's been a really long six weeks, and I've learned great gobs about caring for chickens. I hope to be able to help in the future when someone asks for advice, I'm so grateful for your answers during this ordeal.
 
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