ninja333pirate

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Aug 3, 2020
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So I finally got necropsy results in, but for some reason the necropsy didn't include a Histopathology, so I have to pay extra to get that done to actually see what was affecting her.
Here is what they said though about what they found:

"Multifocally and randomly distributed over the skin of the neck are small round dermal nodules measuring 2-3 mm in diameter containing thick pale tan exudate. The face is markedly and bilaterally swollen, with large pockets of thick caseous material similar to that described in the dermal nodules. The swelling reaches the periocular region where palpebrae are swollen shut and abundant tan crusting material extends from the medial canthus of both eyes. Adhered to the dorsal aspect of the oral cavity just to the left of the choanal slit is a slightly raised, tan to yellow, firm plaque with irregular margins measuring approximately 1.0 x 0.5 cm. Focally within the dorsal caudal aspect of the lung is a solitary soft pale tan nodule with a dark red rim, visible from the pleural surface and extending into the underlying parenchyma.

Tissues examined and considered grossly normal include the brain, tongue, trachea, thymus, thyroid glands, heart, esophagus, crop, proventriculus, ventriculus, duodenum, pancreas, jejunum, ileum, ceca, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, adrenal glands, reproductive tract, air sacs, and peripheral nerves."

So all they said after that is it looks like a respiratory infection but they dont know which, they kept trying to contact me to see about more testing but the calls would not go through.

My question is how likely would it be for it to be MG when there was nothing wrong with the trachea or the air sacs? From this description they gave is it still most likely MG and not something like Wet Fowl Pox? I did have a problem with mosquitoes laying eggs in a kiddie pool I had for my dog, as well as a bucket that we have filled with water that was being used to hold down a tarp. still to this day none of my other chickens are having any problems, and several are molting currently so you would think that would be enough stress to kick start an MG attack.

As soon as I can I am going to be calling them tomorrow to get the histopathology done so they can do a bacterial culture to find out for sure, just wondering the opinion of some knowledgeable people here on backyardchickens in the mean time.
 

ninja333pirate

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Aug 3, 2020
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Interesting. Thanks for posting the necropsy results.

The odds favor MG for the simple reason it's the most common respiratory disease afflicting chickens.
Unless she already had it when she came on to the farm, I just dont see how she would have gotten it as they dont free range, and we dont really get other birds in our yard. But who knows. Just not looking forward to having to kill all my birds. It cost a lot of money up till now to collect all my breeders, just dont know how this could have happened.
 

ninja333pirate

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Aug 3, 2020
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So I got a result for the bacterial culture, they said it was a "Mixed bacterial growth" they do test for MG so I would think MG would come up if it was that.
the result comment was "Mixed bacterial growth is consistent with normal upper respiratory flora and/or contamination. No probable pathogens identified."
I was waiting on a phone call from them today but they never called me back so I will need to call them tomorrow to get more details on it. just thought I would let people know what I have so far.
 

azygous

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The problem with those lab results is that with some respiratory diseases, the virus hides in the chicken, causing a vulnerability to assorted bacteria when the chicken is under stress, and there's no way to know, short of a DNA test, what virus, if any, is working behind the scenes to cause the bacterial infection.

There is a lab in Texas that tests blood from your live chicken to determine what virus is present, but getting the blood sample to the lab before the sample becomes too degraded to yield accurate results is a very chancy thing these days with the new postmaster general enacting policies to slow down even express mail.

I can give you the details if you're interested in trying this route.
 

azygous

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There's also a place that does PCR tests for specific respiratory diseases. I've gone this route as the throat swabs do survive the mail trip to the lab. You might get a better reading for MG or not MG this way. Maybe I already mentioned this test earlier in your thread.
 

ninja333pirate

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Aug 3, 2020
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Pacific Northwest, WA
The problem with those lab results is that with some respiratory diseases, the virus hides in the chicken, causing a vulnerability to assorted bacteria when the chicken is under stress, and there's no way to know, short of a DNA test, what virus, if any, is working behind the scenes to cause the bacterial infection.

There is a lab in Texas that tests blood from your live chicken to determine what virus is present, but getting the blood sample to the lab before the sample becomes too degraded to yield accurate results is a very chancy thing these days with the new postmaster general enacting policies to slow down even express mail.

I can give you the details if you're interested in trying this route.
I am still waiting on a histopathology from them as well. And I cant keep waiting on more and more tests. If this lab says she came back clean for MG I am going to believe them. I gave 25 chickens and am going through 2 bags of feed a month, I cant keep them any longer for more testing. If they say all is good then they will be going to an auction. if they say there is a chance then all but a small number of the birds are going to be culled. my chickens are all molting and stressed right now so if they were infected you would think they would actively be showing signs of being sick. And on top of that the silkie that got sick was raising chicks and had taken over some nesting boxes to sleep in and as we all know chicks/chickens poop a lot and with her sleeping in the nesting boxes I would bet she got some poop in her eyes and got sick from just a general infection.

Thank you for all your help and advise though :)
 

ninja333pirate

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Aug 3, 2020
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Pacific Northwest, WA
So I got my official diagnosis from the lab today and the results were very surprising. They said she had Mareks disease and that suppressed her immune system enough that she developed a bacterial infection (bacteria just from the environment) that took her life. So now I have quite a few things to research about my options for this flock. I will not be selling my chickens unless its to people that are breeding for resistance to Mareks in their flocks all ready. I will probably end up culling a good majority of my birds. But I have to decide if I want to cull all my birds and just get out of raising chickens (I would be sad to have to do that though). Or cull down to just a select few egg laying pets. Or cull some but keep my Sebrights and my pet Easter Eggers to breed for resistance in the Sebrights, which would be quite the task but might be rewarding, but that would take years to know if it was working. So yea, I have a lot of research and big decisions ahead of me.
 

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