Chick with no balance?? Mareks or botulism...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sorya C, May 19, 2019.

  1. Sorya C

    Sorya C Songster

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    8A56BCE2-CFD6-4C74-A828-9C6E5B45B514.jpeg 6F2E4345-AA90-4CC5-B7F0-7E0DC9B6DBF9.jpeg 3530B65F-B9DB-46F2-9B9A-6AAFEAAC3EFC.jpeg Hi, my chick of 3 months is not able to walk, she was fine a couple days ago but now she can’t want and when she wants to get somewhere she tries to walk but ends up losing her balance and falling. She also sits with one leg in front and one in back like splits. We think she might have mareks disease but her eyes are normal, she has no skin pellical under her wings and she can still move her legs. We’ve read about botulism and she has the symptoms. Before giving her anything we want to know what it is, she is eating and drinking fine, everything looks normal. We also have a bigger hen that pecks, can it be a head injury? Anything would be appreciated, what do you think it is?
    And how can we treat it?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Puppy Dreaming

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    Sounds like Mareks unfortunately. We always cull.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Unfortunately she is at the age when Mareks symptoms can show up, but so many others things should be considered first. There are 4 types of symptoms in Mareks, and many do not ever ever have the type that causes the grey eye or blindness. The nerve or neural type is the most common. Injury, vitamin deficiency, poisoning or a toxic substance should be considered. Botulism usually presents with flaccid paralysis of the feet and legs, progressing to the wings, neck, and eyelids, so if she can move her legs at all, it is not botulism.

    I recently had a hen for the first time ever, show severe imbalance, falling backwards or on her side constantly. I thought for a month that she had Mareks, but she never lost strength or movement of the legs, and is fine now.

    So I would give her some time, supportive care by keeping her close to food and water. Chicken slings sometimes are helpful to get them up and in front of food/water. If the time comes that she dies or you decide to put her down, do try to get a necropsy by your state vet. That is the best way to get a diagnosis. Here is a link to find chickens slings, another on contacting your state vet, and another 2 for reading about Mareks:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/

    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm

    https://extension.psu.edu/mareks-disease-in-chickens

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
     
  4. Sorya C

    Sorya C Songster

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    Ok, thank you
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  5. Sorya C

    Sorya C Songster

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    Thank you so much, so I should wait before doing anything?
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

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    Sorya, it does really sound like Marek's. However I would exhaust any other thing it could be. I just can't label Marek's . If she has Marek's , your whole flock has been exposed and carry it. I guess I would cull her because she has sadness ahead of her like starving. You may lose more, or not. Any birds you add need to be vaccinated and quarantined for at least 2 weeks. Sorry you have to deal with this.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I don’t see any reason to cull her right away, but do some research on Mareks in the links given above, and see how she is in the next few days. It is up to you ultimately when to make a move. I usually recommend giving vitamins including riboflavin and others available in B complex daily. Look around for any possible automotive spills from equipment, for other toxins such as lead paint or lead shot in the soil, or insecticides and weedkillers. Here is a link that has most of the state poultry labs where to call about getting a necropsy if or when she dies:
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
     
    cndlou and seminolewind like this.
  8. Sorya C

    Sorya C Songster

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    Thank you so much. Would I be able to vaccinate future birds myself or would I need to go to a vet?
     
  9. Sorya C

    Sorya C Songster

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    Thank you again, is it going to worsen after a while?
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Most people get chicks vaccinated at the hatchery they come from, or order the vaccine from an online store and five them to day old chicks. There are a lot of differing opinions on vaccinating period. Some choose to breed their own chickens in the flock who do not get symptoms. Both @seminolewind and @rebrascora are good to share their experiences with Mareks in their flocks. It is important to get a confirmed diagnosis of Mareks with a necropsy, just in case it is not that. Here is one of several places who sell Mareks vaccine:
    https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail...TqysUY_sdJsKhe4ZlhWy4W9Eu3d2sgIhoClo4QAvD_BwE
     
    cndlou likes this.

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