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Avian Lymphoid Leukosis-Not good news!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gabby3535, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, my adventure in keeping chickens is rapidly coming to an end........................
    Since I started with 4-5 week old pullets in May.........I have lost 5 birds, to "unknown causes"! One after the other.
    Essentially they just started looking poorly, or standing off by themselves, all fluffed up.........and then dead the next time I saw them.
    The 'time-frame' of each one beginning to look poorly until their deaths, was probably about a week or so............
    I've lost 5 young pullets since the 1st of May...............that's 1 death every 2-3 weeks or so.
    This last one...........my beautiful Splash Ameraucana............started having difficulty breathing last weekend.
    Brought her to my vet last Monday, and to end her suffering, it was felt it was kindest to her to put her to sleep, and as this was my 5th sick chicken..........to send her off to the NJ Dept. of Ag. for a necropsy.

    Well, the results that came back were quite disheartening, to say the lest!
    I spoke with Dr. Weinberg down in Trenton today............about her necropsy report,
    and it is not very good news at all....................................................
    How it will all play out is currently up in the air unfortunately...................................................:-(

    The official dx is that she died of Avian Lymphoid Leukosis.........................a virus very closely related to Marek's.
    The reason she was having trouble breathing was that there were 3 huge tumors inside her.........one of which involved
    her air saks......restricting their movement. One which was occluding 70% of her stomach. And one in her gullet.
    It 'may' have been the cause of the other 4 pullets deaths here as well...........tho' their symptoms were not the same, the tumors may have been in organs other than their lungs.
    It may effect the birds I have left, and if not, they are now carriers of this virus..................
    They are not sure if the initial mode of infection (beside the 'known' modes of close contact, feces, feathers, contaminated food, etc) is not transmitted thru the egg wall to the unborn chick or not.........but he says this is a possibility. They may have had this virus when they were born..............

    My little flock is now officially closed...................no new birds in, no birds out.
    He recommended not eating the eggs.........although no human transmission of this virus is known, he says "why take a chance".................????
    He said if it were him, he would cull, sterilize, and start over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    When I told him my birds were vaccinated against Mareks.......................there was a big silence on the other end of the line.
    He asked if he could "get back to me", as he wants to do more research before any further comments.

    So, that is where I am today........................not in a very 'good' place at all..........

    My 8 remaining beauties my be culled.....................
    I cannot eat their eggs.................
    They are now carriers of this virus................
    They may be fine, or may all just die..................

    Do I keep them as pets (which they were already anyway, but with the "friends-with-benefits" benefit of eggs!)
    and just wait and see if they get sick as well?
    Or do I cull everyone?
    Not a nice decision to be having to make, to say the least.

    I'm very sad................................
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I am so sorry to hear that and in some breeds like my Spitzhaubens, they are either carriers for life or die from it. It is NOT known to be transmitted to humans and I've eaten their eggs without any ill effects. However it would pass down to offsprings and there is nothing you can do about it. Either we get some new blood imported in the US OR work with what we got which it is in my case. I am hoping someone out there will start importing LLV negative Spitzhaubens. I would not cull, personally but be happy in what you have. Carla from TX has some OLD Spitzhaubens and they are doing well and suffered no ill effects. She is more knowledge and works with the vet closely. Whatever offsprings you will have, keep in mind you will lose some and win some. Those who have survived, they will be carriers. Like humans, with sickle cell disease, we will be carriers and there is nothing we can do to change the outcome.

    I had one Spitz pullet tested and it was positive of LLV and she was from a well known breeder.

    My other Spitz hen from Ideal has NOT been tested for LLV and I will have her tested next year when I have the extra money for blood test results.

    So from the Spitzhauben Yahoo site, Carla from TX has written a very nice forum about LLV and it is tragic that knowingly, almost all of the Spitz in the US may have this disease.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  3. mylittlezoo

    mylittlezoo Poppy Creek Farm

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    I'm so sorry. That must be devastating news. [​IMG]
     
  4. derbygirl1961

    derbygirl1961 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am so sorry for your losses. I am new to chicken raising, so have little real information to offer. But after withstanding your losses already; I could not imagine culling them, "just in case". Unless you eat your eggs raw, wouldn't temperature kill the virus/problem? Just wondering. Again my condolences.
     
  5. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Quote:Really????? I love my Spitzhaubens! They are some of the sweetest, friendliest birds I have in my flock. I adore them.

    I hatched mine from hatching eggs. I was so thrilled to have such a good hatch, too. nWhat does this mean for the rest of my birds?

    Gotta go do my research now.

    Crud.
     
  6. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    [​IMG] I am so sorry. Did you get these birds from a hatchery or somehwere locally?
     
  7. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    You should probably notify the breeder you got them from just in case, but you cannot be positive that it came with the new birds.

    Your older birds could be carriers. Have they offered to test your other birds?

    From what I understand raising chicks that are susceptible to this disease on wire helps to prevent it.
     
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Really????? I love my Spitzhaubens! They are some of the sweetest, friendliest birds I have in my flock. I adore them.

    I hatched mine from hatching eggs. I was so thrilled to have such a good hatch, too. nWhat does this mean for the rest of my birds?

    Gotta go do my research now.

    Crud.

    Now dont get all panicky now LOL! Sometimes in some breeds, even dogs, traits will pop up and it is our responsiblity to see to keep the survivors and weed out the weak ones. All you can do to rest your mind is have your Spitzhaubens tested, a blood test, is all you need to do. You do not need to put your bird down for the tests unless you do have one that is suffering the Merck like posture. If the bird makes it to adulthood, chances are they are carriers and they will be fine and live a healthy life. It is a luck of the draw that is. Carla from TX was just devastated about it since she has sold eggs and chicks and chickens and she just besides herself why her birds are dying. Now she has the answers and she can deal with it herself. We can make informed decisions to buyers that Spitzhaubens may be carriers of LLV or die from it.

    I love my Spitz girls and I am at peace with it. I never had any problems with any new birds or chicks coming in exposure with my Spitz and none of them died except for egg prolapse and botilsium from wet feed they got into. If one die, I will have another that will live a long life.

    I sent an email to Carla (Allenwranch) about this forum and I am sure she will add her experience and information to this link.
     
  9. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Quote:Really????? I love my Spitzhaubens! They are some of the sweetest, friendliest birds I have in my flock. I adore them.

    I hatched mine from hatching eggs. I was so thrilled to have such a good hatch, too. nWhat does this mean for the rest of my birds?

    Gotta go do my research now.

    Crud.

    Now dont get all panicky now LOL! Sometimes in some breeds, even dogs, traits will pop up and it is our responsiblity to see to keep the survivors and weed out the weak ones. All you can do to rest your mind is have your Spitzhaubens tested, a blood test, is all you need to do. You do not need to put your bird down for the tests unless you do have one that is suffering the Merck like posture. If the bird makes it to adulthood, chances are they are carriers and they will be fine and live a healthy life. It is a luck of the draw that is. Carla from TX was just devastated about it since she has sold eggs and chicks and chickens and she just besides herself why her birds are dying. Now she has the answers and she can deal with it herself. We can make informed decisions to buyers that Spitzhaubens may be carriers of LLV or die from it.

    I love my Spitz girls and I am at peace with it. I never had any problems with any new birds or chicks coming in exposure with my Spitz and none of them died except for egg prolapse and botilsium from wet feed they got into. If one die, I will have another that will live a long life.

    I sent an email to Carla (Allenwranch) about this forum and I am sure she will add her experience and information to this link.

    Okay! *deep breath* *deep breath* LOL

    Sorry-just a momentary panic there. Like I said these are some of our favorite birds! They are just about laying age and are beautiful. I guess I was thinking I was going to have a horrid disease run through my whole flock.

    Now I will set about reading up on all of this and see what, if anything, I need to do. I will watch this thread closely. I hope Carla does put in her two cents. Does this mean she doesn't sell Spitz hatching eggs any more?
     
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Carla will not be selling any from her own flock as the last time I got an email from her. Her hens are getting old and they dont lay well at this point but beautiful lawn ornaments!

    However Julie Gabbard has some of her lines in her flock and they are beautiful. If you still want to focus on CarlaTX lines, you can go to Julie for more eggs.

    Another Spitz breeder which most of her lines were from various hatcheries, is Carla from OK and her birds are beautiful too and very vigourous in her chicks. I had very high rates of hatchablity in her eggs and I thought she put in some Miracle-Gro in their feeds LOL!

    Those three breeders I would highly recommend, LLV or not.
     

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