Has anyone had any luck with Valtrex for Marek's?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SammyBrowell, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. SammyBrowell

    SammyBrowell In the Brooder

    5
    7
    16
    Sep 7, 2017
    Hi all:
    I found one post from a couple of years ago about this, but I wanted to start a fresh thread to see if anyone else has had any luck (or any feedback at all) about using the human anti-viral drug, Valtrex (or Valocyclovir) for Marek's?
    My sweet little EE pullet - she's maybe 5 months- started limping last weekend. I thought she had hurt her foot at first, but after doing some research and her condition getting worse (full left leg paralysis and she's really struggling to breathe,) I have come to the conclusion that it's Marek's. My heart is broken. After more research, and finding out that it's from a herpes virus, I thought about trying Valtrex. I searched online and really haven't found much info at all, other than a post on BYC from 2014, and one TEEENY medical study done on turkeys. Apparently, the drug reduced lesions in the turkeys that were infected.
    I have picked up the Valtrex prescription, along with some red marine algae, and I am going to see if I can help her. The red algae is supposed to be a great anti-viral treatment, that is specifically supposed to help with the herpes virus. The store only had one option, so I hope the algae strains that are in there are the ones that are the best to deal with the herpes virus.
    I wanted to know if anyone has had any luck with this Valtrex treatment (and/or the red algae,) and if so, how and what was your dosage?
    I am thinking of crushing the pills into a fine powder, mixing it with some honey (maybe maple syrup?) and water, and using a little dropper to put it in her beak. I broke open the red algae capsules and put some in her oatmeal, and mixed it with some little cut up chunks of watermelon to give her some options. She's more interested in the oatmeal.
    For now, she's quarantined. I had her in an enclosure in the grass yesterday afternoon, and I put her in a tub in the office overnight where she's been until this afternoon, after I got home from work. I am planning on dosing her and then letting her back outside so she can be in the grass. It seems to make her happier.
    Any and all feedback would be so appreciated.
    Thanks so much.
     
  2. SammyBrowell

    SammyBrowell In the Brooder

    5
    7
    16
    Sep 7, 2017
    I wanted to give a quick update. I got 1g pills and I cut them into quarters. I crushed the pills into a very fine powder, mixed with warm water to dissolve and added a good amount of maple syrup for flavor. I put the quarter pill mixture into a small dropper bottle and gave it to Poppy. I thought I almost drowned her because she is having a real hard time breathing, and gasping, and I had to be careful to make sure she wasn't inhaling while I was dropping it in her mouth. I was able to give her about half of the mixture, then I put her outside in her enclosure in the grass. I am going to give her the other half tonight, and two doses again tomorrow. I'll post more info soon. Please keep my sweet girl in your thoughts. :(
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    39,490
    19,730
    842
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I have not experienced Mareks disease in my flock, but there are plenty of people here on BYC that have it in their flocks. We all would be interested in how your experimental treatment goes. There are many herpes viruses, although most do not cause tumors, so not sure how an antiviral will affect such a disease. Rebascora, Casportpony and many others have posted about Mareks disease on the multiple on-going threads about the disease. Please update us on how your chicken gets along, and good luck to you.
     
  4. SammyBrowell

    SammyBrowell In the Brooder

    5
    7
    16
    Sep 7, 2017
    Hi all! I wanted to give another update on sweet Poppy. It's been a full week since we noticed her limping, and she's had two days, with two doses each of the valtrex/maple syrup drops. She is improving!!!! Her breathing has improved so much that it's actually difficult for me to get the meds into her beak. She is moving around a lot more, and her little chicken demeanor is coming back. She's preening herself, she jumped up on a stair this morning, and her poos are looking normal. I am still giving her electrolytes in her water, along with the red marine algae sprinkled in her oatmeal snack and feed, and she's eating/drinking of those regularly. I kept her in her crate inside all day yesterday, but I put her back outside today in her pen after giving her a little physical therapy on her bum leg, which she didn't mind at all. I am going to keep giving her PT a few times a day to see if we can get her to be able to use that leg again. She wouldn't open her mouth this morning, so I didn't give her any meds, but I will give them to her tonight, regardless of whether she's interested in opening her mouth or not. Apparently, the Valtrex is really harsh on the kidneys, so I don't want to mess anything up if things are moving in the right direction. We are absolutely not out of the woods yet, but I am feeling optimistic and hopeful. Please keep my sweet girl in your thoughts.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: