Crookneck, Marek's or Botulism -- please advise!

katecox

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
32
0
22
Quote:I agree Tina, they sell vaccinated chickens in Portland, Oregon, a 2 hour drive south -- next time I WILL make that drive and transport them home. This is such an emotionally draining endeavor so far. I was looking forward to watching chickens in the backyard, retrieving eggs, and having my daughters understand their food paths a bit better. Watching my chickens die these torturous deaths has been horrible!
 

MotherJean

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
774
11
121
San Juan Islands, WA state
I am so very sorry to see Gertie in that condition. Since she has shown no improvement even with steroids, antibiotics, and vitamin therapy (but has obviously declined), I think it's a reasonable assumption that Gertie is not going to recover from this. Only you can make the decision on whether it is more humane to euthanize her or continue to give her comfort care until she dies naturally. Whichever you choose, I hope you'll follow through on the necropsy.
 

katecox

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
32
0
22
An agonizing decision but I just contacted the state vet office and they are going to be coming to take Gertie to the WSU Lab to be euthanized and have a necropsy done on her. This morning she just looked worse -- and is suffering a bit more. I just don't think she'll recover from paralysis and I am afraid she is in more pain -- her back was tipped up and so her face gets pushed down in the pine shavings. Oh I do hope this is the right decision. I will post here the results of the necropsy.

I am gathering too that our Black Australorp is probably suffering from this as well instead of hurting her leg which is what I originally thought...
 

pwand

Songster
12 Years
Sep 10, 2007
1,367
76
221
BC Canada
I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this. Your doing the right thing. How old are the other two birds?
 

babsbag

Songster
10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
726
7
159
Anderson, CA
I am soo sorry for you. I know your pain and my heart breaks. At least I don't have any children involved with my struggle. When I got my chicks I asked the breeder about Marek's and she had never had a problem with it and didn't know anyone that has. There has never been chickens on my property and my closest neighbor is about 1/4 mile away, and I still contracted this insidious disease. It is wretched.

That picture of your chicken shows the classic leg pose for Marek's. Again, I am sorry, but I think you are doing the right thing. Please let us know the outcome.

 

vnploveschickens

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
1,037
3
186
Sonoma County, Northern Calif
Quote:Do not freeze the body. Freezing damages the organs, cells, etc. and can't be used in the necropsy. Just wrap the body in a plastic bag and refrigerate.


I'm so sorry to hear about your Gertie. I lost a few of my chickens too and it is horrible to watch them suffer. I now make sure that any chicks that I buy are vaccinated and any that are hatched are also vaccinated. The 1st time I vaccinated 2 chicks, I was very nervous. But I know that I can do it.

 
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kelar

Songster
9 Years
May 22, 2010
825
13
164
yacolt
I nursed a young silkie with Mareks for nearly a year. He continued to eat and drink with assistance and other than the paralysis, did not seem to be in any distress. I don't think Mareks is a painful disease in many cases and affected birds can continue to live with assistance depending on which organs are affected. However, I finally had this bird euthanized after realizing that 1) he was never going to walk or be mobile and 2) he was shedding the virus and causing a continual source of potential infection for my other birds. This was a very difficult thing to do given the time I cared for and nursed him, but I still feel it was the right decision. I think you've done the right thing with your Gertie even though it's very painful to go through and I'm so sorry for your loss. Washington state now has a wonderful group of caring vets & I have found them to be extremely helpful when I've had necropsy done on birds. Since I started my vaccination program, I don't lose sleep over Mareks anymore & it is a huge relief. If anyone is looking for vaccinated silkies, I live in southwest washington & raise exhibition bearded silkies. Karen
http://www.catdancesilkies.com
 

katecox

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
32
0
22
The doctor with the laboratory called this evening. She was very kind and told me that from his (yes, Gertie who we thought was a her was actually a him!) outward signs upon arrival Gertie had classic Marek's symptoms. But,the necropsy did not show any tumors within the body. So, they have taken tissue samples from about 7 areas including organs and will do a histology on those tissues tomorrow. So the waiting continues...

Our black australorp is hanging in there, her left foot seems almost useless -- she can use it as sort of a support as she limps along. I think with time she'll figure it out.

Again, so many thank you's for this wonderful supportive network -- you have all helped our family through this sad ordeal.
 
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