I need help from the chicken illness sleuths out there, please!

CuteChick369

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
75
2
86
North Carolina
I have a rooster who was perfectly normal until around 5 months old. His symptoms started with the toes on one foot beginning to curl, but he continued to walk and get to his food and water ok. Eventually he lost use of that leg, and at that point I brought him indoors because he wasn't able to get around as well. He quickly went downhill over the next few days, losing control of both legs. He would do the splits, and he would be one leg stuck on top of his head. He also began to lose use of one wing, and even his neck was sometimes out of control. I had to prop him up with towels in a box, and hand feed and water him.
At this point, I thought he had a vitamin B2 deficiency and began giving him an adult human dosage of B100 vitamins each day. He didn't get better so I added Magnesium, Selenium, Calcium and Nutri Drench vitamins. I also brought him to the vet, who did x-rays and ruled out any dislocation or breaks, and suspected Mareks and said there was nothing we could do.
I did some more research on here and at that point added BHT (a pinch or so daily) to his vitamin mix. BHT is Butulated Hydroxytoluene and is a food preservative known to be helpful with herpes viruses.
Amazingly, a few days later he improved, and each day he improved more and more. He began to walk around on his hocks, chase the hens, and he even started to crow! He would preen and dust bathe often. Each day he got more and more of his rooster personality. But then, about a week into his recovery, he started to fall down a lot, and summersault a lot as he tried to get up to walk. This got worse over the next couple days until he lost complete ability to balance. Unlike his first round of symptoms, he didn't lose control over his legs - he wasn't doing the splits anymore and wasn't getting his leg stuck on his head - he simply could not balance at all. I once again had to prop him up with towels. I continued the entire time with the vitamin cocktail, and took him back to the vet.
The vet ran a complete blood panel and everything was perfectly normal. No Leukemia either. Vet still suspected Mareks despite the fact that he had been around many baby chicks over the months, and came from a hatch of about 15, and was the ONLY chicken with symptoms.
It's now been about two weeks since he could get around the yard, and each day he's worse. Yesterday he stopped eating all together. I had been tubing his vitamins into his crop, so (despite my promise not to let him suffer this long) I started tubing baby bird formula into him today. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but he sleeps almost all day.
I cannot figure out why the relapse and why the second set of symptoms. Remember, at first it was loss of control over muscles, and now it's simply failure to balance. So, it dawned on me today that perhaps I overdosed him on vitamins, and espeically on the BHT (which is fat soluble). I've decided to give him distilled water tomorrow, with a bit of sugar or molasses for calories, and if he's not showing any signs of improvement after 24 hours off the vitamins and on just the sugar water, I'll have him put to sleep.
My questions are:
1. Does my plan make sense, or am I going to hurt him even more by taking away nutrients for 24 hours? He's lost a lot of weight this week. He'll get calories, but just from sugar.
2. Any thoughts on what might be wrong with him?
We love him so much, and while it's hard to let go, my main fear is we'll put him to sleep the day before he would have improved. If I knew he had a chronic illness and would never get better, I would have put him to sleep a week ago. But, I don't want to give up on him if he's going to get through this.

Thank you for any help you can provide! (below is a picture of Fletcher today) :(
!
 

CuteChick369

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
75
2
86
North Carolina
Here are some pictures of him when he was much better.

On the couch in his bed.



This evening, his bed was in the wash so he climbed into the dog's bed, and then she carefully did her three circles and lied down next to him! :)




Hanging out with the cat!




Napping with Daddy.

 

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