chicken falling over/paralyzed?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rufflestoo, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Rufflestoo

    Rufflestoo New Egg

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    our 1 12 week old bantam x chicken seems to be paralyzed. she doesn't seem to be able to stand up much and when she does, she tries to balance with her wings, but still topples over and lays down most of the time. she eats, but not much. we are new backyard chicken keepers and got the 4 chicks from a local petshop. this chick has feathers growing upwards too. Anyone know what could be the matter?
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    do you know if they were vaccinated against Merrick's ?
     
  3. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you checked her comb, eyes, breath, poo and feathers? Does she smell differently to the others, and is there any discharge around her eyes, nostrils and vent?
    Discoloured comb, watery, dull eyes, smelly breath, runny, hard or strangely coloured poo and dull, dry feathers are signs of illness, as is any discharge.
    In any case, you should isolate her straight away, as diseases spread, until you know what's wrong with her.

    It could be Marek's disease (Range Paralysis). It's caused by a virus belonging to the Herpes group, and it affects mostly young chickens. The visceral type of the disease causes internal tumors on the liver, kidney, spleen, gonads and occasionally heart. Your chicken is more likely to have the neural type, which causes the progressive paralysis of the wings, legs and neck, usually from lesions on nerve trunks.

    While Marek's disease can progress incredibly quickly and cause sudden death, the lesions can also be eliminated and lead to complete recovery. I would advise you to take her straight to a vet, because you will need to identify quickly whether it is Marek's disease or not, as it is transmitted by inhalation and soon all your chickens could have it. It might be an idea to take the others along too to be checked for signs.

    There is no treatment for Marek's disease. If you think it will go away by itself, then you have to keep the chicken isolated and let the disease run its course. If it seems there is no hope, it would be best to have your chicken put down.

    Good luck, I hope she does get better!
     
  4. Rufflestoo

    Rufflestoo New Egg

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    Thanks for all your feedback. When we bought the 4 chicks from the petstore, I asked about vaccination, but they thought it had probably not been done, but they were unsure. From the little I have read it does fit the profile of Merak's, but will take her in to the vet 1st thing tomorrow morning. I have isolated her and am keeping her indoors as Perth experiences its first really cold night this winter. The other 3 chickens seem fine at this stage, so fingers crossed this won't be the end of our BYC venture. will keep you posted. Lat question: Its not contagious to other animals and people???
     
  5. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Marek's disease can also affect turkeys and ducks, but not humans. [​IMG]
     
  6. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    Quote:I was told it does not affect ducks , do you have a website I can reference?
     
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:I was told it does not affect ducks , do you have a website I can reference?

    According to this reputable source, it doesn't.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    Scroll down to Viral Diseases. Great source to bookmark, and no, there is NO mention of Marek's in ducks.

    "Species affected: Chickens between 12 to 25 weeks of age are most commonly clinically affected. Occasionally pheasants, quail, game fowl and turkeys can be infected."
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  8. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    Thanks ranch [​IMG] I may be dealing with possible mareks in some of my chickens...just got some ducks and didn't want to worry for nothing...good resource [​IMG]
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:I like that source, because it's pretty factual as opposed to panic driven. I worry enough about my birds as it is. [​IMG]

    Keep a really close eye out for mold- even a tiny dab under a feeder can wreak havoc in a flock. Here in the steamy jungle I have to be very diligent. Hope you don't have Marek's in there. [​IMG]
     
  10. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was told it does not affect ducks , do you have a website I can reference?

    According to this reputable source, it doesn't.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    Scroll down to Viral Diseases. Great source to bookmark, and no, there is NO mention of Marek's in ducks.

    "Species affected: Chickens between 12 to 25 weeks of age are most commonly clinically affected. Occasionally pheasants, quail, game fowl and turkeys can be infected."

    The website I looked on said it did affect ducks, which surprised me, but it turns out that it was the only website that said that xD Sorry!
     

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