Help! Sick silkie-- my favorite lady :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HollywoodCluck, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. HollywoodCluck

    HollywoodCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Help! Any advice needed!
    So, my year old silkie is acting very strange. Laying down, empty crop, keeps putting left foot back and right foot forward to lay down/ fall over. Very lethargic. She is eating well though. But, not by pecking-- she's gobbling from the left side of her beak mostly. Weird.
    Also, she had a big hunk of poo stuck to her rear feathers (vent looks fine but not winking much).
    I cleaned her butt up, dried her gently, put her inside under a heat lamp and she's eating well. I'm feeding her a soft boiled egg, probiotic yogurt, honey and meal worms. She seems to only be getting small bites/liquid by using the left side of her beak. Almost like drinking.
    She has had some feather loss recently, but her pin feathers were coming in so I didn't panic before.
    None of my other chickens show any of these symptoms. They're all rowdy as usual. This particular chicken has always been a little slower, etc.
    Thoughts? Advice?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    The splayed leg thing is a classic symptom of Marek's Disease. While 1 year is a bit old for that disease to manifest itself, do you know if she was vaccinated for it as a chick? How suddenly did this come on? I know that Botulism poisoning can cause weakness and partial paralysis (perhaps that would explain her odd eating--if her mouth is paralyzed or something). Could she have gotten into moldy feed? You're doing a good job making sure she's getting enough to eat, even in this condition. If she's just weak, this extra care should help.

    Sorry I can't tell for sure what is wrong with your hen. Hope she recovers!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Can you please post a picture. This DOES sound like classic mareks disease sadly although vaccinated they STILL can come down with this disease. Being vaccinated reduces the chances but according to statics in one of my chicken health books 10% of vaccinated birds still come down with this disease. This does NOT mean your other birds will come down with illness but as I understand it it DOES mean because exposed if it is mareks your other birds can be carriers. Meaning they don't have to show symptoms themselves but can still infect other birds brought on to the property. IF it is mareks your dealing with. Of course we can't be sure but a picture would really help with diagonsis. mareks is a very common HIGHLY contagious air borne disease. These symptoms can be a result of other things too and does not necessarily mean she has mareks. I would defiently get her tested if possible maybe with some bloodwork to confirm or deny the mareks virus. If it is mareks they're is life after mareks and many here on this forum have had it in there flock. Many have done extensive research and can be a big help if that's what your dealing with. Please post her picture and picture of her legs and get some opinions on her condition. As you describe it it does sound like mareks but a picture would be more helpful. This way you can get several different opinions. I HIGHLY recommend you get her tested. Then you will know for certain what you're dealing with. Mareks can actually travel airborne in the wind. Perhaps that's how she picked it up IF it is mareks. Please post her picture.i hope this helps a bit. Im so sorry your girl is ill. Hopefully its not mareks but if it is many here can offer help and are very wise to this disease. Best wishes to you.
     
  4. HollywoodCluck

    HollywoodCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    I laid her on her side and took this pic. The leg isn't paralyzed, it moves, this just seems how she is comfortable sometimes. Currently, she's sitting and eating upright.

    [​IMG]

    I'm wondering if the mold might be the issue. To be honest, in all my reading, I NEVER heard of that. I have a bag of scratch that I just checked and didn't keep dry enough and there is mold on the bottom of the bag. I feel like such a horrible person.
     
  5. HollywoodCluck

    HollywoodCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Another pic of her eating. She's been eating all morning -- and even stood up, but is a bit wobbly and sits back down after a few seconds.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  6. HollywoodCluck

    HollywoodCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Posted a pic! Thank you so much. Let me know what you think.
     
  7. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I've read and experienced, this does sound and look like Marek's Disease, however, a bacterial infection or botulism can't be ruled out (both can cause paralysis). If this came on quickly, such as in a day, I would say bacteria or botulism. If it came on in the course of a week or more, slowly getting worse, it is likely Marek's Disease.
    A Silkie chick I was raising earlier this year with 8 other chicks, over the course of a week, began to walk on its hocks (or "knees"), eventually succumbing to almost complete paralysis in its legs. It would eat and drink, was fed vitamins for possible deficiency and some antibiotics, but nothing helped. Not wanting it to die a slow death, it was taken out of its misery and sent to the vet for a necropsy. She didn't find any traces of disease, such as tumors, so I will never know exactly what caused paralysis in the chick. A few months after, none of my other chickens have had any symptoms of disease and are doing well.
    Silkies seem to be more prone to Marek's Disease, though I'm not really sure why.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, its good that she's eating. It could be Marek's, Botulism, or some sort of infection--all of those problems have similar symptoms, and it is difficult to tell for sure what it is without performing a necropsy. But I suppose you could begin treating for the treatable things, and see if there is any effect. The treatment for botulism is a flush to help remove the toxins from her system. Below are two recipes for flushes:
    Molasses Flush:
    Four tablespoons molasses per quart of drinking water. Give for no more than 6-8 hours. Birds will usually drink it on their own; if not, you can feed it to them by syringe or tube.
    Epsom Salt Flush:
    1 teaspoon Epsom salts dissolved in 1/2 cup of water given for 3 days or until symptoms disappear. You usually have to squirt it down their throat, as chickens don't like the taste of the solution.
    In the case of infection, a good antibiotic to try would be Tylan50 injectable (Tylan50 comes in an oral form, too, but the injectable version works faster and is what I prefer). You can usually find it, or its Tylan200 version (just a more concentrated mixture) at a livestock supply store. The Tylan50 injectable dosage is .5ccs for bantams (like Silkies) injected into one side of the breast once daily for 5 days. The Tylan200 dosage for bantams is .1-.25ccs, injected in the same place but for only 3-4 days. Alternate the side of the breast that you inject into, as Tylan can make the injection area sore. Improvement should be seen after 1-3 days.
    You could also try oxytetracycline (Terramycin, Tetroxy HCA-280, etc.), a slightly weaker, oral antibiotic. The dosage varies depending on the product; I do know that the Tetroxy dosage is 1/2 teaspoon/quart of drinking water given for 7-14 days. Improvement should be seen after 2-5 days. However, make sure to treat for the entire length of time. Do not give dairy products or probiotics during antibiotic treatment. Vitamins are fine, though.
     
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  9. HollywoodCluck

    HollywoodCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I'll see if I can find those antibiotics and give it a whirl. Thanks so much for all the help!
     
  10. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Try the flush and advice given and see if she responds to it.if she continues with the paralysis please get her bloodwork done because she does resemble a bird with mareks. I'm so sorry to say.it certainly won't hurt to try the flush and being that she was exposed to moldy feed they're is a chance that that is the issue. However if you do not get a response from the treatment I would defiently get blood work tested on her. In fact if she were my bird I would try the treatment but do the bloodwork any way to be certain that she does or does not have mareks.its such a highly contagious air borne disease I would want the test for a piece of mind. I really hope this helps and I urge you to consider testing her any way. Just to be certain. God bless and good luck. Please keep us posted on her progress.
     

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