Chicken virus affecting nerves

laurengeeves

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 28, 2013
205
0
71
England , Kent
One of my girls was hardly moving and seemed to be blind. Took her to the vets and she said that she's got a virus that is affecting the nerves. Which is why she can't see, drink,eat , move around etc. we have been hand feeding her since Monday and Tuesday she ate loads by herself, but now she's not, and we have to open her mouth to feed her and syringe water into her mouth.. She's on metacam ( pain relief and anti inflammatory ) but I don't want to make her miserable as the vet said there's a 50/50 percent chance she will over come it. How long should I wait till enough is enough?
 

Tumbleweed Farm

Songster
11 Years
Jun 17, 2011
1,105
58
246
Benton City, WA
Of course I cannot know for sure but the blindness and lameness point to Mareks (which is a virus). I hope I am wrong. It is most often fatal I'm so sorry to say. Can others please chime in with your thoughts? Keep us posted, ok?

Kathy
 

laurengeeves

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 28, 2013
205
0
71
England , Kent
I don't think she's got that, as the symptoms are slightly different. On Wednesday she was walking away from a distance, Tuesday she started eating in her own ( but she stopped that now) and is was trying to get her to eat and drink this morning and she's eating on her own with help, but I doubt she will find the food to eat unless I'm there. She's very thin, and even the vets pointed that out, she was a ex battery hen about 5 years ago so she's quite old. There are no signs in any other chickens or guinea fowls ( flock of 10 all together ) and Mareks is highly contagious
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
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Western NY
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I don't think she's got that, as the symptoms are slightly different. On Wednesday she was walking away from a distance, Tuesday she started eating in her own ( but she stopped that now) and is was trying to get her to eat and drink this morning and she's eating on her own with help, but I doubt she will find the food to eat unless I'm there. She's very thin, and even the vets pointed that out, she was a ex battery hen about 5 years ago so she's quite old. There are no signs in any other chickens or guinea fowls ( flock of 10 all together ) and Mareks is highly contagious

A virus that affects the nerves is pretty much the definition of Marek's. Marek's has several "forms" and some chickens may not ever show any symptoms, or might only show some of the symptoms. If she is blind, she may simply have ocular Marek's. Many people have birds that live with this for years, as it seems to be the least harmful form overall.
I have Marek's in my flock and 8 of my birds have never shown signs, and they are now 3 years old... many chickens never show signs.
If she is blind you will have to observe her carefully and see what you think her quality of life is. Some birds adapt and figure out ways to find food and water, often by listening to what the other chickens are doing. She may need help for a while. It mattes how much time you want to invest in her.
I do hope she recovers, but if not, you might consider getting her formally tested for Marek's (or, whatever the vet thinks the issue is) so that you know for sure, as it will allow you to plan carefully for your other chickens. For more info, see the link in my signature, "The Great Big Marek's FAQ".

Also after some research it says that she should have been vaccinated for Mareks at 1 day old because she was a battery hen

The vaccine does not guarantee immunity. At best, it is 90% affective-- meaning even in the best conditions, 10% of all vaccinated chickens are likely to get the symptoms anyhow. Because of virus mutations, not all vaccines are even 90% affective anymore. It matters what strain you might be dealing with, if it is Marek's.
 
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laurengeeves

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 28, 2013
205
0
71
England , Kent
I'm willing to put as much time as she needs, I just don't want her to suffer she's only had 2 days where she has managed to eat corn on her own with a bit of assistance, but she's old, very thin, lethargic and I'm finding it hard to constantly feed her and water her more so if I've got to make a paste with layers pellets and open her mouth each time, let alone place 1 bit of corn in her mouth each time. I'm more worried for her she's indoors in an large indoor rabbit cage, big enough that she can stand up without crouching and about a meters length.. I just don't want her feeling like she's back to being a battery hen again, and the others have been picking on her when we sit outside with her
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,144
312
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
Can you try giving her more nutritious foods for now? Things like cooked egg, mealworms if you can get them? Have you considered tube feeding? It would be a way to get an entire meal into her crop in one go. Some people have saved their birds via tube feeding.
 

laurengeeves

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 28, 2013
205
0
71
England , Kent
I'm currently trying to read your post, I have no clue on how to deal with this if it is mareks, when I got my chickens I had one blind one, and about a month ago I had my 1/2 battery hen have a prolapse and infections with ulcers in the vent, the vet said if it didn't heal then it could be tumors, and I would have been more than happy to pay for surgery as crazy as it seems. If it could have been tumors that's mareks all over and now this one aswell
 

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