Favorite Hen is down... Marek's disease, Vitamin B Defiency??

msiler

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Nov 26, 2018
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Help needed here! What I thought was something simple may be a whole lot worse than I feared.


Who: Our favorite Silkie, she is a Satin Frizzle named Barbie. She's gorgeous, sweet, adorable, and a girl! Let's NOT lose her, I'm going to try everything I can. 7 months old.

What: Sudden inability to stand, getting worse. I noticed it yesterday morning, I thought she was just cold as she was all hunkered down and we just had a particularly cold night. I moved her to another coop that is way more insulated and had heat to it. I noticed she was able to stand on one leg, but she could not hold her left foot down. She kept standing on her elbow. Today she is worse. She stands on both her elbows, has her toes curling, and rocks back. She also have poor balance. The thirty second video next should help:

What else?
  • She is skinny. Nothing left in that crop
  • She is still willing to eat
  • No mites/lice, etc.
  • No new additions to the flock in the last three months
  • They live in luxury lol! Completely covered runs with a coop in it. No overcrowding or anything.
  • I had another chicken in a different coop who is a bit older than her have a limp for several months. She lost most function in her left leg and would constantly have it "pointed" if that makes sense. She had the same kind of limp over the summer, but it healed for a couple months then it showed up again. A few days ago, she suddenly developed major splay leg and she died within twelve hours.

So what do we think?? Any help is accepted and appreciated!!! I'm willing to listen to everything as long as there is a chance of her recovery. :fl
 

Eggcessive

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Start giving her 1/4 to 1/2 tablet of human vitamin B complex tablets crushed into a small amount of food or water given orally. That could rule out a ribflavin deficiency. Unfortunately with her age, Mareks could be a possibility. Was she vaccinated? I would place her in a basket or crate with food and water close to her, and make sure that she is taking some often. Here is some reading about Mareks:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
 

msiler

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Nov 26, 2018
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Start giving her 1/4 to 1/2 tablet of human vitamin B complex tablets crushed into a small amount of food or water given orally. That could rule out a ribflavin deficiency. Unfortunately with her age, Mareks could be a possibility. Was she vaccinated? I would place her in a basket or crate with food and water close to her, and make sure that she is taking some often. Here is some reading about Mareks:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
Ok! I'll pick some up ASAP. Unfortunately I don't have any on hand...

She was not vaccinated.

She is inside the house now in a crate! I just finished taking care of the rest of the animals and her splay looks worse.... and she still cannot get her balance. I'll start by giving her some egg I guess??
 

Docdetective

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Aug 1, 2020
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Have you introduced any new chickens in the flock within the last three weeks? If not then I don’t think it’s Mereks. I have a pullet that did this too, I knew it wasn’t Mereks so I took care of her until she was able to walk again.
I’d wait awhile before assuming it’s Mereks and putting her down.
 

Kiki

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  • I had another chicken in a different coop who is a bit older than her have a limp for several months. She lost most function in her left leg and would constantly have it "pointed" if that makes sense. She had the same kind of limp over the summer, but it healed for a couple months then it showed up again. A few days ago, she suddenly developed major splay leg and she died within twelve hours.
This sounds like Marek's.
 

Kiki

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Are you in the US?
If so, are you aware necropsies are available by state labs...usually for a decent price?
 

msiler

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Alright, here's another video from her in the crate! Every time I move her a little, she instantly throws her head down like she's bracing her self. Both feet are out as you can see, and in the end of the video is a good clip of the "spasm" that she occasionally does.
 

Kiki

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Alright, here's another video from her in the crate! Every time I move her a little, she instantly throws her head down like she's bracing her self. Both feet are out as you can see, and in the end of the video is a good clip of the "spasm" that she occasionally does.
Poor thing.
 

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