Help! Stumbly female chick. Maybe Marek's? Need advice

NickAndTiffany

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
3
0
7
Background: We have 8 Welsummer hen chicks, they are about 3 weeks old. They are in a "mobile coop" of my own design, right now kept in the laying box on the back, which is 4'x2'x2'

Bedding is pine shavings, water cleaned out twice day, and they are on free choice feed, which is the chick starter from Tractor Supply.

Heat is provided by a 250W heat lamp which sits on welded wire on top of the box on one side so they can move close or away to self regulate.

The chicks are all growing feathers nicely, but still in that awkward ugly stage.

Yesterday we moved all 8 chicks to the main 8'x10' part of the coop so we could clean the bedding as we had done before. One of the chicks suddenly started flapping its wings really hard, and then became completely paralyzed. With one wing straight out.

We let it sit there for a little bit, and it got a little better, but it started stumbling while walking and showing right side weakness. It seemed to want to sit on its butt with its feet straight out. There were no iris changes or problems with feather follicles.

We separated it, and gave it about a third of a dropper of Enfamil Poly-Vi-Sol without iron, and it drank a little water. Late last night it's legs turned purple like if you lose circulation. No sores present.

This morning it is much better, alert, walking around, but it still occasionally stumbles backwards or trips. It is eating and drinking. Legs are still purple.

We gave it one drop of Poly-Vi-Sol this morning. No other chicks show any symptoms at all.

Any thoughts about what it could be or what we can do?

Thanks so much in advance!

Nick and Tiffany
 
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ten chicks

Songster
6 Years
May 9, 2013
3,290
304
208
MB,Canada
I am no expert on Marek's,but from what i do know,i do not think you would see any improvement if it was Marek's. I would be more suspicious of circulatory issues possibly heart related,almost sounds like she had a stroke. Do her legs feel cold? Keep up with the treatment you have been supplying since she appears to be improving. How does her poop look?
 

NickAndTiffany

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
3
0
7
I am no expert on Marek's,but from what i do know,i do not think you would see any improvement if it was Marek's. I would be more suspicious of circulatory issues possibly heart related,almost sounds like she had a stroke. Do her legs feel cold? Keep up with the treatment you have been supplying since she appears to be improving. How does her poop look?

That is exactly what Tiffany had said too, that it seemed like a stroke. Her legs are still purplish and cool to the touch, but she is alert and somewhat active. Eating and drinking a ton. Droppings don't seem abnormal.

I found pictures of Marek's leukosis symptoms on the legs, and they -do not- look like that. She has a few red spots on her belly where the feathers are breaking through, but so do some of the others that are fine.

So far today the biggest symptom is, for lack of a better way to put it, "stomping her feet" when standing still. Really worried about her!
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,078
312
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
Gosh, sorry to hear this! Three weeks old is the absolute minimum age that a bird can show signs of Marek's, so it is possible, but given your description above, I would look to other possible causes fist, I think.
The sudden "seizure like" symptoms and now purplish legs really do seem more like a heart problem, stroke, or neurological issue. I had a cochin chick do this several years ago, before the age when she could have had Marek's symptoms, and the cause was generally unknown and attributed to a seizure. In humans, and in animals (there are few studies on birds, but some on other animals like dogs) there are many causes for seizure, both known and unknown. This is not an area I am well studied in so I won't attempt to get into too much speculation.

I think the supportive care and vitamin supplementation would be all I could suggest, maybe someone with better experiences than I can suggest other therapies!

Does she have any shaking, or tremors at all? Where did the chicks originate from?
 

NickAndTiffany

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
3
0
7
Gosh, sorry to hear this! Three weeks old is the absolute minimum age that a bird can show signs of Marek's, so it is possible, but given your description above, I would look to other possible causes fist, I think.
The sudden "seizure like" symptoms and now purplish legs really do seem more like a heart problem, stroke, or neurological issue. I had a cochin chick do this several years ago, before the age when she could have had Marek's symptoms, and the cause was generally unknown and attributed to a seizure. In humans, and in animals (there are few studies on birds, but some on other animals like dogs) there are many causes for seizure, both known and unknown. This is not an area I am well studied in so I won't attempt to get into too much speculation.

I think the supportive care and vitamin supplementation would be all I could suggest, maybe someone with better experiences than I can suggest other therapies!

Does she have any shaking, or tremors at all? Where did the chicks originate from?

They came from MyPetChicken. Just checked on them and they are all napping. I woke them up and she ran around, stopped, staggered backwards a few steps and then sat down again. Not sure what to do.

I really appreciate all the replies!

Edited to add: what happened to your chicken with seizures?
 
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Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,078
312
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
They came from MyPetChicken. Just checked on them and they are all napping. I woke them up and she ran around, stopped, staggered backwards a few steps and then sat down again. Not sure what to do.

I really appreciate all the replies!

Edited to add: what happened to your chicken with seizures?
If they are not experiencing tremors and you got them from a hatchery (MPC generally sources from Meyer, which is where my first girls came from too), then the chances of Avian Encephalomyelitis are also pretty low, which was something I was thinking of.

My cochin chick passed away within days of experiencing her seizures, but not all birds do pass away, so please don't lose hope!
 
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