Chicken Necropsy Results - RIP Nervous Nelly

Thank you for posting the necropsy results. Was there any chance that she could have had lymphoid leukosis virus instead of Mareks? That is also known to cause lymphoma and an enlarged liver. Did Nelly ever have problems walking or standing?

You're welcome.

I really don't know. It sounds like you'd probably know better than me. We never noticed any issues with walking or standing, she was just a normal lady like the others. I'm not sure but I might get a more detailed report in a few weeks when lab tests come back. When I dropped her off at UC Davis I think they said I'd get initial results (which I got) and then more final results in 3 weeks...which would be in 2 weeks. I'll post back on this thread if I hear anything more though.
 

Awakening Forest

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Aug 14, 2020
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You're welcome.

I really don't know. It sounds like you'd probably know better than me. We never noticed any issues with walking or standing, she was just a normal lady like the others. I'm not sure but I might get a more detailed report in a few weeks when lab tests come back. When I dropped her off at UC Davis I think they said I'd get initial results (which I got) and then more final results in 3 weeks...which would be in 2 weeks. I'll post back on this thread if I hear anything more though.
Thank you. I’m very interested in learning what the final report is.
 

kurby22

Crowing
Apr 12, 2021
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Hi, I posted here last week about Nervous Nelly, our sick hen. I thought I would share her story.

We got her as a chick, and she was a nervous little thing. A Plymouth Barred Rock. We got her and 9 others from the same source that vaccinates for Marek's. You can see the direction this is heading.

Everything was fine as far as we could tell until Tuesday of last week. I noticed she was a little lethargic and not as active as she normally is. We decided to leave her with the flock overnight and see how she looked in the morning. In the morning when the other ladies had left the roosting bar, she was still sitting on it. This is when we knew something was wrong for sure. Under her there was a huge water puddle of clear diarrhea, with distinct mustard yellow and green parts to it. Clearly there had been a lot of it, because it spilled off of the manure tray down onto a lower shelf. Poor thing. At that point we brought her inside our house and kept her in a very warm room in a large dog crate that we have. The next morning, Christmas Eve, she didn't really seem much worse, but we did a ton of research and decided to pursue a couple of directions. First, Corid, in case it was coccidiosis. We mixed that with her water. We also were concerned about possible parasitic worms, and got Ivermectin and applied it to her back (Durvet Ivermectin Pour-On).

The next morning, Christmas Day, she had deteriorated. Someone suggested a possible infection so we got Amoxicillin and gave that to her as well. She was breathing heavier than normal, and was very lethargic. Throughout the morning I would say that she deteriorated pretty steadily and in the early afternoon it was becoming clear that she was getting much worse. In the end, I laid my head down on her and she died. It was, naturally, very upsetting. My girlfriend and I loved Nelly and were very, very sad that we couldn't save her.

Monday morning I drove her to UC Davis for a necropsy. We got a report yesterday from them and I thought I'd share the results at the bottom of this thread. It appears, that it was Marek's.

All in all it was a very sad experience for us, but something I suppose we need to get used to. We're very thankful for the UC Davis department that provides this service...it's amazing. They were very professional and friendly, and we're very appreciative.

Photos:

1. Nelly, on her last day. Poor thing was probably suffering and we had no idea.
2. Photo of her feces on a newspaper.
3. Same as above.
4. This isn't a photo we took, but is EXACTLY what her feces looked like 2 days before she died.
5. Her laying in the cage...we hoped just sleeping, but she was deteriorating quickly at this point.

YouTube video of her breathing:

RIP Nelly, you were a sweet chicken and we miss you.


12/30/2020. Postmortem findings suggest that this chicken’s cause of illness was a lymphoproliferative disease, most likely
Marek’s disease. Nevertheless, other lymphoproliferative diseases such as avian lymphoma/sarcoma or reticuloendotheliosis
(retrovirus) cannot be ruled out. Marek’s disease is induced by an alphaherpes virus. Marek’s disease is the most common
cause of mortality in the state and its agent is widely spread, especially amongst backyard chickens. The disease most often
occurs in birds between 2-5 months of age. Because the virus is common in the environment, vaccination of newly purchased
birds is highly recommended. Vaccination has dramatically reduced the incidence of the disease, but not of infection.

The whole body of a 9 months female chicken was submitted. At the time of the necropsy the animal was in a state of good
postmortem preservation.

Integumentary system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Muscular system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Skeletal system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Body cavities: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Respiratory system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Cardiovascular system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Alimentary system: The liver was severely enlarged. There were no other significant macroscopic lesions.
Urinary system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Endocrine system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Reproductive system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.
Hemolymphatic system: The spleen was severely enlarged. There were no other significant macroscopic lesions.
Nervous system: There were no significant macroscopic lesions.

Liver and spleen: Infiltrating, expanding and replacing the normal parenchyma there is an atypical lymphoid cells proliferation
consistent with lymphoproliferative disease.
Brain: There was no significant lesion.
So very sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing her story. Hugs, she was a beautiful girl ❤️
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Jul 1, 2020
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Sending hugs, I'm so so sorry your going through this.
Thank you for posting this story, hopefully more experienced members will be able to give you some insight on which disease caused this tragedy.
I recently went through a very similar situation. Smudge, my beloved pet Cornish X went down hill in (my guess) only a few hours. I found her with leg paralysis, dilated pupils, blindness/bad sight. This quickly advanced to overheating, loss of coordination, craning neck, flapping uncontrollably, flailing, and death. I was there with her in her final moments.
I did a necropsy myself the next day, but still ended up sending her to my state lab for histopathology. My guess based on members following my thread was Mareks, or some type of Leukosis virus.
I got the necropsy results 2 weeks ago, since then I have increased by biosecurity since learning my flock is infected with AVL, Avian Leukosis Virus.
My heart goes out to you, and I hope your able to develop a plan for you and your flock as you work through this. Its tragic, and saddening, but you will adapt with time.
It gets better, I'm so sorry for your loss. :hugs
 
May 28, 2020
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Bonney Lake, Washington
Same thing happened to me, identical.
Mostly same here, also in Washington. We did a PCR test through the vet that confirmed Leukosis on two of our living girls, but the pathologist called and said it was Marek's (despite negative Marek's test with the live girls). I told them about the testing we'd done and they said they present almost identical with the necropsy, so she'd trust the PCR.

How'd things turn out for you @Weeg?
 
May 28, 2020
473
587
186
Bonney Lake, Washington
Sending hugs, I'm so so sorry your going through this.
Thank you for posting this story, hopefully more experienced members will be able to give you some insight on which disease caused this tragedy.
I recently went through a very similar situation. Smudge, my beloved pet Cornish X went down hill in (my guess) only a few hours. I found her with leg paralysis, dilated pupils, blindness/bad sight. This quickly advanced to overheating, loss of coordination, craning neck, flapping uncontrollably, flailing, and death. I was there with her in her final moments.
I did a necropsy myself the next day, but still ended up sending her to my state lab for histopathology. My guess based on members following my thread was Mareks, or some type of Leukosis virus.
I got the necropsy results 2 weeks ago, since then I have increased by biosecurity since learning my flock is infected with AVL, Avian Leukosis Virus.
My heart goes out to you, and I hope your able to develop a plan for you and your flock as you work through this. Its tragic, and saddening, but you will adapt with time.
It gets better, I'm so sorry for your loss. :hugs
Oh no, just read this. I'm so sorry. Feel free to message me if you ever want to chat since we seem to be going through the same thing! We lost our beautiful Mille Fleur two weeks ago to Leukosis. You had it confirmed AVL versus Marek's? I know the latter tends to impact nerves more frequently
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
8,734
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Small town in Western Washington
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Oh no, just read this. I'm so sorry. Feel free to message me if you ever want to chat since we seem to be going through the same thing! We lost our beautiful Mille Fleur two weeks ago to Leukosis. You had it confirmed AVL versus Marek's? I know the latter tends to impact nerves more frequently
The Histopathology results said that cancer cells (I believe) they found showed it was more likely AVL. They gave me the option to do viral testing to confirm, but I didn't feel the need to pay for more testing, wait another 3 weeks, just to determine which viral disease my flock has.
 

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