ARGH!!!! More sick chickens! Marek's again or something else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Leihamarie, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    75
    91
    Jul 28, 2016
    San Diego
    I'll tell ya, I am so tired of having sick chickens! I had a Marek's outbreak in October. 2 of my 14 week old pullets died, leaving my favorite girl as the only survivor. I got a confirmation of Marek's (but not how viral it is) through a necropsy. Once it looked good that my survivor Mabel was gonna make it, I got her 3 vaccinated same age flock-mates. It's been 15 weeks now that they've been here. My survivor started laying at the same time one of my vaccinated EEs did (Dec 17th) but then stopped a week later and hasn't laid since. My EE has laid daily since Dec 17th.

    A couple weeks ago, I started seeing symptoms of possible respiratory issues. It's been REALLY rainy here in SoCal and their run got soaked. I dug it out, closed the run in and made sure the run was dry soil. My survivor, Mabel started having REALLY loose stools, puffed up and was generally listless. my two EEs started sneezing. I started treating for Coccidiosis (it's day 4 today) with Corid and confirmed with a fecal. There's been no improvement in the diarrhea of the survivor yet, but I'm aware that it might be a secondary infection and it's possible that the stress of getting to POL could have caused her to succumb to Marek's.

    Today, my layer EE started limping and walking off balance intermittently. She also has an intermittent droopy wing. Her stool is just fine. They both are eating and drinking. I've separated both sickies and I'm wondering what I do now? Is Corid making my EE (who might not have Coccidiosis) sick? Is it a nutrient deficiency? What is going on with my poor chickies?!?!?

    Age: both 31 weeks

    Weight: Both 4lbs

    Symptoms: Mabel- Diarrhea, puffed up, hunched over and confirmed coccidiosis

    Tillie- Limping and droopy wing intermittently. When she takes a step all of her toes curl under her foot. Also started pulling feathers from other chicken's vents about 4 weeks ago (not sure if it's a symptom. she does it intermittently)

    Feed: Scratch & Peck grower feed milled to fine mash and moistened overnight (in fridge) to make sure they get all the fines. Oyster shell is provided free-choice and grit is available in the run free-choice and in the yard.

    Supplements: 1/4 clove crushed garlic for each chicken daily coated in probiotic yogurt for the last 10 days (since resp symptoms started) and 3-5 drops of food-grade oregano oil in feed.

    Last time wormed: Never. Have Safeguard Goat Dewormer which I was planning on using after Corid treatment

    Last egg layed: Mabel- Dec 24th
    Tillie- This morning

    They are both eating and drinking water.

    Do you guys think this is another Marek's outbreak or is it botulism, nutritional deficiency, worms, something else?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,212
    3,270
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Anything is possible, and you already understand your flock may have lowered resistance to other infections because of the Marek's, which is in your flock and is not ever going to go away. You are stuck with a flock that is carrying this virus. Even if you culled the entire flock, the virus can live in soil for years and years. It is impossible to eradicate it.

    The only way to have Marek's-free birds is to get baby chicks and have them vaccinated before they are exposed to the virus, wait an interval for the vaccine to deploy immunity and then move them in with the flock.

    The EE Tillee is showing classic symptoms of Marek's. I don't believe there's anything you can do, but you might try B vitamins and vitamin E and selenium. There's a small chance it might help. You'll need to do a search for the correct dosages to treat neurological symptoms.

    Treating for cocci shouldn't make chickens sick. It does block thiamine, but it shouldn't affect overall nutrition.

    It's possible your flock also has one or more of the common respiratory illnesses. Antibiotics are the best way to treat it, but the chickens will be carriers from now on. The disease may return. There are vaccinations for these respiratory diseases.

    All the heavy rain you guys have been getting doesn't help. But Marek's is going to do its number no matter what. It can affect the immune systems of some birds, making them susceptible to other illnesses. I sympathize. My flock carries a similar virus, and I'm dealing with sick chickens, too.
     
  3. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    75
    91
    Jul 28, 2016
    San Diego
    Thanks @azygous It has to be a recurrence of Marek's. The crappy thing is that Tillie is VACCINATED!!!! That was the point in getting replacement birds, I got them at 16 weeks when they'd been vaccinated as day-olds with HVT and given the proper immunity time frame.

    I must have a very virulent strain or something, cause it's the classic presentation of Marek's and it's the same type that killed my original unvaccinated flock... except she's vaccinated. I suppose it's possible that she was improperly vaccinated.

    I've decided to give in to the crazy and use homeopathy. The alternative is to cull and I will if the homeopathics don't work. It's just that one of my sick girls is my FAVORITE chicken (of course) and the other one is my only layer. I've also ordered some Doxycycline for the resp issues and I've got both my original survivor (coccidiosis case) and my Marek's patient (Tillie) inside and separated from the coop.

    I'm not real hopeful, but what do I have to lose? I've been through this before and I just hate Marek's.

    I'm sorry you're dealing with a similar virus. sick chickens are just so freaking heartbreaking!
     
  4. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    6,019
    238
    316
    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    There is a HUGE problem with vaccinating birds for Mareks, RESISTANCE! The virus has morphed into a resistant strain for the vaccine we have now. ALSO once they have it it is passed vertically to the offspring. And it is possible that stressors can set it off (and I have seen this happen) The birds that had Mareks were they from the same hatch/or place or breed? This answer will help trying to pinpoint where it is in the flock. I would strongly advise NOT TO hatch any eggs from the affected birds :(
     
  5. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    75
    91
    Jul 28, 2016
    San Diego
    Everything I've researched on Marek's has all maintained that it CANNOT be transmitted vertically and while it's true that there are now very virulent strains, the vaccine is still moderately effective when properly administered. Maybe I haven't read the source that you have? Could you please point me to where you read that? I'd love to do more reading, especially if I have inaccurate or outdated information! [​IMG] thanks @froggysheins!
     
  6. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    6,019
    238
    316
    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA

    PLEESE share this information about NOT being passed vertically. Shoot all my birds SHOULD BE dead by now if it is THAT "catchy"
    AND: all the offspring that have Mareks where is it coming from if only one set of offspring from ONE hen is passing it??
    CONCLUSION: you cannot always believe everything you read. Must live it to know :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    23,605
    1,320
    396
    Jul 24, 2013
    I've never heard of Marek's being passed vertically, as in the virus infecting the growing embryo because its mother had the disease. It wouldn't surprise me, though, if a kind of pseudo-vertical transmission happened. Dust or other microscopic particles from the environment an egg was gathered in could contain the Marek's virus, adhere to the egg, survive the incubation process, and then infect the chick right after hatch. It would then appear that the virus was transmitted vertically, but really, the chick wasn't infected until it hatched and came into contact with the harbored virus.
     
  8. vasher

    vasher Chillin' With My Peeps

    160
    16
    81
    Sep 11, 2015
    Seattle
    The vertical transmission issue is specifically Marek's Disease, and of the google searches ("vertically transmitted diseases in poultry") and links you provided, only one actually lists Marek's Disease as being associated with vertical transmission, and this is only potentially (and in the context of budgerigar lesions).

    An article on poultry diseases states (http://www.oie.int/doc/ged/D9316.PDF):
    Quote: Merck's veterinary manual:
    Quote: A review of MDV articles in Cancer Research:
    Quote: Article in Veterinary Research:

    Quote:
     
  9. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    6,019
    238
    316
    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA

    WELL then WHY does it happen? And believe me it does...as I get lots of questions for help for this very reason :(
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by