Could this be early Mareks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Candymom, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Candymom

    Candymom In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    I have two 6 week old americaunas. They are in a wire rabbit cage until they are big enough to go out with my other hens. During the day the cage rests on grass, at night the cage is on a pile of aspen chips. There is also some newspaper in the cage so they don't just walk on wire.
    This morning when I went to move the cage one of the chicks couldn't walk. She could sort of stand but was staggering and stumbling around when she tried to walk. Her tail is pointing down also.
    I examined her and didn't see any lumps or bumps on her legs or feet. No broken bones. As I held her on her back and probed her feet she would use one foot to grab my finger but the other foot did not. It seems like one of her legs just isn't working very well.
    So, now with the leg seeming weak and the tail pointing down limply, does this seem like it could be early Mareks? There is always a chance that she got a toe caught in the wire when the cage got moved - I couldn't rule it out for sure, but it doesn't seem like that is the problem.
  2. Candymom

    Candymom In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    My chick is getting worse. She is always laying down now, kind of slumped over on her side. Her legs move like she wants to get up but she can't actually get up. If she props herself up on her breast, sometimes she tips over frontward. She is still interested in food and water.
    She is breathing fine, her eyes look fine, she seems to be able to control her head well - she shakes water droplets off her beak sometimes. When I hold her I can feel her using her legs to push against my hand.
    Any thoughts?
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I know I've seen posts like this before but can't seem to put my hands on them - hopefully someone will come along soon who can point the way or who has experience with this problem. Poor birds - I hope there is help for them.

    While waiting for others, please if you would ID what diet they've been on.

  4. Candymom

    Candymom In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    All I know is that it was a chick starter, I don't remember the brand and I had it in a different container than the one I bought it in.
    Don't know if there could be a connection, but when I bought the chicks, I bought two 5 lb bags of starter. The first one I opened and put into a jug, the second I set on the counter til I needed it. About 3 weeks after I got it, I noticed that the second unopened bag had a bunch of mold in it. I never even opened that bag but I suppose it is possible that it came from the same batch as the first bag.
  5. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    It could be cocci, but unfortunately I don't know enough about it to answer your question. Have you tried using the search function to look through old posts to maybe find an answer? Hopefully someone can answer your question quickly. [​IMG]
  6. Candymom

    Candymom In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    I read through several pages of threads. That's where I started thinking Marek's. I'll search cocci and see what comes up.
  7. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Worms and Mareks can often show similar symtoms. Severe weight loss, weak legs often just one. Mites can cause severe weight loss too, causing weakness. Anytime a chicken touches the ground they should be started on a worming program. Ivomec will treat many types of worms and mites, but not the ones that cause coccida. That requires amprolium (excuse my spelling). Mareks often starts with one leg losing function, often going from a limp to no real use rather quickly. But I have had worms do this too. A fecal sample from a Vet would be worth narrowing down treatment but if not available I would start treating for worms, since Mareks has no cure, (can only give supportive care.) I would start off with Ivomec, but only give a drop or so on the back of the head or under wing. I'd give a little at a time as not to shock her system with the dieing worms/mites etc. I would up her protein level with scrambled eggs, give yogurt and poly-vi-sol and keep her inside out of weather. Is she thin? Sorry I should have asked that first, but most of the time that goes hand and hand. If no improvement after a few weeks I'd try treating for coccidia.(especially if you see blood in poo) Talk to a Vet if you can to give a better idea of time frame to dose and redose. If no improvement continue supportive care and try to keep them happy.
    I hope the best for your chicky. [​IMG]
  8. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    please describe the chick's droppings...color and consistency.
    if the chick has shouldn't be given extra protein or vitamins..
    can you take a fecal sample to a vet for fecal float (worm and protzoa test)?
    Corid (amprolium) or Amprol..can be given for cocci..
    also Sulmet..

    check the crop...does it have any lumps?
    check the vent..make sure it is clear.

    could the chick have injured her leg?
    did you check the bottom of the foot for sores?

    best to separate the chick..try and keep her upright..if she lays on her side too long, she will die.
    some people make up a little hammock to set the bird in to keep it upright..make sure the vent is clear and the chick can reach feed and water.

    try and get some new not feed any the moldy feed..
    maybe keeping it in a jar isn't the best way to store, especially if the weather is warm.
  9. Candymom

    Candymom In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    Her droppings seem to be of a normal color and consistency - brown with white, a solid but soft lump - not runny or mucousy or bloody.
    The crop has no lumps. It seems to empty regularly. Vent is clear and clean.
    No sign of injury on legs or feet. No sores. Feet have been clean and dry.

    I will try to make her a little hammock to keep her upright.

    I never fed any of the moldy feed. The jug I put food in was in the house in a cool, dry area and it never got moldy or damp. It was the unopened bag that got moldy. I have, in the meantime, bought new feed. Last night I gave her about a third of a scrambled egg and when I checked her later she had eaten most of it. Her crop was quite full at that time. This morning the crop is empty again.

    She seems very alert. I know she is eating. I'm pretty sure she is drinking on her own, but I periodically give her some water from a syringe. She drinks it but she doesn't act like she is thirsty - she doesn't gulp it down, she either just opens her beak a little and takes some or half the time she shakes it off her beak.

    Also, regarding the worming. Can I use a horse paste Ivermectin? When we dosed our pet rats for mites the dose was the size of a grain of rice. The chicken and the rat are similar in weight, would I use that same size amount?
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I could not tell you the dosage but a livestock vet could. Many people use the paste w/ dogs and such. Dog heartworm pills are Ivomec and pyrental(another type of wormer). Check how much Ivomec per Ml is the dosage. I would think if you can give it to the rat you could the chicken but check w/ a Vet.[​IMG]

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