Avian sarcoma leukosis virus

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Etoile2B, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Etoile2B

    Etoile2B New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2011
    We have lost three chickens in our flock since late October. I am not sure if the cause of death was the same, but I am assuming so since all seemed to have the same symptoms. We had two chickens (4 years old) who seemed in perfect health. I discovered our Barred Rock one afternoon collapsed in a heap. She was alive but having respiratory trouble, was weak and could barely move. She was dead the next morning. We had a heatwave so I thought it was perhaps dehydration. It came on suddenly and she was gone in less than 24 hours. Our Australorp seemed perfectly healthy so we added two pullets to our flock. The farm where we purchased the new pullets (and our original flock) had suggested sending our Barred Rock to UC Davis for a necropsy. Unfortunately we had already disposed of her remains.

    Six weeks after our Barred Rock died I found our Australorp in the same condition. Limp, heavy breathing. She was gone, again in less than 24 hours and unfortunately something attacked her in the middle of the night so we were unable to send her in for the necropsy. But the two new pullets were perfectly healthy and growing.

    Eight weeks after our Australorp passed the same thing happened to one of our pullets. When she passed I sent her remains in for a necropsy and we just received the results: Avian sarcoma leukosis virus.

    How can I find out of our last remaining pullet is infected. She seems in good health. We have removed all of the shavings and done a thorough bleach cleaning of the coop but I don't want to add new pullets to the flock if this virus will continue to infect our flock. Is it contagious? How can I prevent this from happening to our remaining and future hens?
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Hi, welcome to BYC! I tried to look for information, a lot of it is very complicated. All I really gleaned from the scientific papers is that it is a retrovirus and is replicated in a way similar to HIV. I was unable to find a clear article on how it is spread. The science I read talked about in-vitro but not necessarily an adult host. If your birds all came from the same source, it's possible they all have it. If they are from different sources, that may indicate bird to bird or airborne spread. Maybe someone with a science degree will chime in and correct me or explain. I would recommend calling the necropsy facility and asking them about it or, an avian vet. Sorry if this is not too helpful but I did try. [​IMG]

    ETA: I'm not accusing the source of giving you sick birds, if their stock does not have this virus, that may indicate spread from wild bird/vector in your birds' environment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  3. Etoile2B

    Etoile2B New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2011
    Thanks! I sent an email to the farm where I got them as well as UC Davis and I am still waiting to hear. The only thing I have been able to find out is that it can be spread from lice bites so we are doing a thorough cleaning of the coop but I am afraid to bring in new pullets, though I want / need to as my precious Rhode Island Red is alone. And I am fearful that she might be infected. And we love that bird. She follows us around like a pet. If anyone knows more any information would be greatly appreciated!
     
  4. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Interesting. I would love to know What UC Davis tells you, I think we all would like to know. Getting it from lice makes sense, a vector from one bird to another.Still wonder if it has airborne capability.
    Please let us know, would really appreciate it!
     

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