Final Diagnosis

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kapy4, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. kapy4

    kapy4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2009
    Healdsburg, California
    I have lost three of my chickens in the past two months....they are all just turning 5 months.
    I sent my last one, Snowball, my Rhode Island White to the UCDavis Lab for a necrospy, and the results came back: Marek's Disease.
    I have one that is ill now..I will cull her..and have 11 left, all just turned 5 months, no symptoms at this time.

    I am still confused about Mareks. The poultry expert at the feed store said 5 months is the prime age for developing Mareks, because they are changing, beginning their laying stage.
    He said you should keep young ones separate for a year. I thought once they got to five months..they would be ok? I am not sure what to do with my remaining flock...do I cull them....heartbreaking..

    Do I wait to see if they come down with symptoms....they are all carriers?

    Thank you for all your help.

    ~Kathy
     
  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Not an expert...sorry for your loss!
     
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Marek's can be contracted at any age. It's just more likely to manifest itself at that age. The rest of your flock are carriers. Most unvaccinated birds are carriers whether or nor they have ever had symptoms manifest themselves. You may have a virulent strain because you had an outbreak. I would strongly recommend that future chicks be vaccinated and quarantined for at least 10 days.
     
  4. kapy4

    kapy4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2009
    Healdsburg, California
    Thank you for your replies.

    Those of my remaining flock that HAVE been vacinnated, are they ok, or are they carriers too?
     
  5. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Quote:Were they vaccinated as chicks before they were exposed to the outdoors or other birds? Were they strictly quarantined for at least 10 days after vaccination?

    ETA: The vaccine has a 95% effectiveness if the chicks are properly vaccinated and quarantined. If it was done right, they should not be carriers
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  6. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    The source of these chicks does not do any quarantine, has mixed ages together, and brings in birds from multiple sources. The seller is becoming well known for having problems with this disease. Even if they were vaccinated at the hatchery or by the seller correctly, the set up at the seller's allows massive exposure. I think any bird from this source, vaccinated or not, sadly has a good chance of coming down with the disease. 4-5 months is prime for showing symptoms, but I have seen/heard of birds several months older than this fall ill. Most are well under a year, but there will be the occasional bird that succumbs later. If these birds reach a year old, and are ok- they will likely be ok. A friend had a bird earlier this year that just kept getting skinnier- no lameness & no eye signs, she was sent out for necropsy when she became to weak to eat- she had classic Marek's tumors on the inside- and she was well over a year old. With viruses, there are no rules in stone. Viruses and cancers play by their own rules. With Marek's disease we have a long lived virus, that is relatively stable in the environment, is transmitted by inhalation of infected feather dander- that causes cancer. It is a rotten disease to have to deal with.


    Quote:Were they vaccinated as chicks before they were exposed to the outdoors or other birds? Were they strictly quarantined for at least 10 days after vaccination?

    ETA: The vaccine has a 95% effectiveness if the chicks are properly vaccinated and quarantined. If it was done right, they should not be carriers
     
  7. CamillaRules

    CamillaRules Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2009
    Massachusetts
    If my hen hatched the eggs herself, in my coop, do I have to worry about Marek's disease? They weren't chicks that came from elsewhere....
     
  8. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Chicks that are vaccinated and not quarantined are more of a threat to spread the disease than unvaccinated chicks because they may have partial immunity. They may have enough protection to prevent the symptoms but are capable of being infected with the virus. Granted unvaccinated birds can also harbor the virus, but partially immune ones can hold more virulent strains to pass around that may have otherwise killed them.
     
  9. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Quote:Marek's is everywhere. However, if you have never had a problem and like using your broodies, I would still do it. There will always be the threat of Marek's though. An old timer once told me, "If you have chickens long enough, sooner or later you will encounter Marek's" It is worldwide and is one of the most common poultry diseases in every corner of the world. It's a herpes virus.
     
  10. NewHobbyForMe

    NewHobbyForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2009
    Missouri
    What are the signs of Merek's? Also, what is anything would get rid of it?
     

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