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Diagnosis: possible mareks, now what?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mickeymousears, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 5year old barred rock hasn't been walking since December. She takes 3-5 stumbly steps and lays/falls down. Maybe 3 months ago she started open mouth breathing on and off all day. She left the flock and became a house chicken in December, which doesn't seem to bother her- she's imprinted.
    We've had extensive blood work, X-rays, and 3 different avian vets look at her (one just looked at blood work and X-rays, not physically at Ethel). We've tried several rounds of meds, the last round being high dosage (I think she said 3times the typical dose), with no change. She then concluded that she believes it's mareks disease but no way to know for sure except postmortem.

    A few times a week, I take a few hours and do (what I think is) physical therapy with her; stretching and massaging her legs, helping her stand for about 5 minutes. I would like to do it daily, but I don't always have the time.

    My questions are what else can I do for her? Has anyone recovered from mareks? Any other thoughts/ideas??

    This chicken has been my feather baby since day 1, I want to help her any way I can.
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Their is no cure for Mereks.
    Once you have it on your property no amount of cleaning will get rid of it.
    Some birds will be carriers, some will show symptoms and others die from it.
    Thats terrible...
     
  3. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No other birds are showing symptoms and it's been at least 6 months, I'm assuming they were effectively vaccinated or are carriers themselves.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Did you ask for vaccinated chicks? Here we pay to have ours Vaccinated for Mereks and Coc.
    I only get the Mereks. Plus it carries into your yard on wild birds, shoes, the wind.
    Not all are safe even if vaccinated.
     
  5. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My other birds are rescues- I have no idea if they've been vaxed
    Ethel I bought from farmsupply, I assumed everyone was properly vaccinated. Hatcheries are usually on top of that stuff, I thought. The vet said it's too late to vax now[​IMG]
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    They have to be Vaccinated as one day old chicks.
    Fingers crossed that is not the issue. Sounds to be, but could be something else?
    Sorry, you will now have to wait and see how the rest of the birds do. A lady I know has it and Culled all her Chickens she was raising and now only has a few for Eggs.
    Best wishes.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Did any of the vets think about a possible reproductive problem, such as internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, or other disease? Vitamin or mineral deficiency can be common. Have you added any new birds in the past year? Mareks would be pretty rare in a 5 year old hen, unless she was exposed by a carrier bird a month or so before she started showing symptoms. Does she have any swelling in her foot or leg joints? I would recommend reading "The Great BigGiant Mareks Faq" by Nambroth if you do a search at the top of this page or Google it for more information.
     
  8. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The blood work and X-rays looked for internal disease- her calcium was (is still?) low and WBC were up a bit, which she got meds for. But that's the only abnormality anyone found. No new flock members, but we moved to the country a year ago- lots of new wildlife.
    I was surprised when she said mareks as well; i ran into one of the other vets and we were chatting, he seemed skeptical but ended with "well, it's not unheard of". The original Doctor did say she's never seen a chicken live this long with mareks, said its prob due to my care....but it made me wonder if maybe there's another explanation...I just have no idea what that would be. I have looked at the big book and so many possibilities I don't even know where to begin- her only real symptom is the walking, which appears to be neurological. (I think the open mouth breathing is from discomfort from laying down all day/night, she stops if I hold her and let her stretch out her legs)
     
  9. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Although there is no cure for Mareks I can say I have found a combination of vitamins and minerals that can help chickens survive it and keep the symptoms at bay. One I use, among a few others is St. John's wort. Most will tell you to cull. I myself have a few rescue chickens, and our chickens are pets, we don't eat them and we get very attached to them. I was losing one chicken a month to Mareks from August to January first. Since doing my vitamin and mineral routine I have lost NONE. But I don't care to get too much into detail here because sometimes people will get into a debate about what you shouldn't and shouldn't try, etc. and I don't have time for that. If you want to try what worked for me please private message me and I will be glad to help you try and save your chicken. Best of luck to you. Losses are hard when you really care about them. I know all too well. [​IMG]
     
  10. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Culling is not an option at my house! I will humanely euthanize if need be, but never will I kill my animals as a precaution; they're part of the family thru sickness and health.
    Anyways, I would love your thoughts- I'll PM you. Thank you!
     

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