Injury or Mareks in 2 month old Silkie

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TBrittle, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. TBrittle

    TBrittle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Hi, I know this topic has been discussed before but it can still be confusing and difficult to diagnose. About a week ago my little silkie suddenly flew out of my hands and got tangled in the temporary pen we had for them to be outside in. It looked like she got hurt because she sat around for awhile but eventually got up and ran around as usual. Fast forward to 4 days ago when my husband found her face down in the brooder and couldn't get up! So I took her to work with me and she was so weak. She's been isolated ever since. I got her on VetRx, B vitamins, probiotics, electrolytes etc.

    I got her to eat that night and on Saturday she was making her way around my kitchen and getting upset if I walked away. Her right foot seems to be injured because of the way she stands and walks. I've read that this is a sign of Mareks too though! But, she can grip my finger just fine with it so how could it be paralyzed? She still falls over and squalks until I can come set her back up right. She's only been able to right herself up occasionally. I feel so bad for her!!!

    Today she doesn't really want to be very active. She's eaten a little and I'm still medicating her with a syringe.

    I have a flock of nine that have just started to lay eggs outside but I got 2 Blue Orpingtons and 2 Black Silkies from My Pet Chicken just two months ago. The silkies are not vaccinated because they say they are too small. How could it be Mareks if I have no other cases? I'm so upset so if anyone can help I would appreciate it![​IMG]
     
  2. TBrittle

    TBrittle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    So does anyone here know if a Chicken with Mareks can still grip with the "paralyzed" leg?
     
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    In the beginnings of paralyisis, the bird can often still use the leg. But, if it's Marek's, the leg almost always becomes more paralyzed, and other parts of the body may be paralyzed as well. It's possible that your bird is just in the early stages of the disease.

    It's possible that this isn't Mareks, however. Silkies, in particular, seem to be prone to neurological problems from hitting their heads. If this is the cause, you're doing the right thing giving vitamins and supportive treatment. It's just a wait-and-see with neurological problems.

    Does the leg seem sore, or does she act in pain when you touch it? She could have several things going on with her. The leg could be injured (sprained or strained), and she could also have an internal problem. Inactivity could be caused by not eating enough or by other diseases, such as Coccidiosis, which may strike when the immune system is compromised by another malady.

    To conclude, it's hard to tell exactly what's wrong with her. It could be early Mareks, or a neurological problem, which I think may be more likely. A leg injury could cause her to not walk well, but likely wouldn't cause inactivity, so I doubt that it's the only problem.

    Marek's is basically everywhere, so it's possible that she was exposed to it. Wild birds can carry it, other chickens can carry it (has she been anywhere else or come in contact with birds from external sources), and the enviroment can hold it.

    If you want to read more about Marek's, here is a great thread by someone who has personally dealt with the disease: The Great Big Giant Marek's Disease FAQ

    Best wishes to you and your Silkie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  4. TBrittle

    TBrittle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    She does chirp a lot when I pick her up, it's a different chirp than when she falls over. I can move the leg and have tried my best to examine it. But, when I pull it up tight towards her body she quiets down some. I'm able to get her clam by holding her and sometimes she falls asleep like that.

    When I put her down on the floor she sits more on the elbow of it. My floor is tile so I put something down so she has more grip. She still doesn't try to walk much but I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. I've given her meds three times today and she's eating moistened crumble quite well. Her chirping seems happy so I don't think she's in any pain.

    Yesterday I put her in the brooder for a visit and it didn't take long before the Orpington's knocked her over and she was freaking out! Then, one of them plucked a feather right off of her! She must have been struggling for days before we realized it and I feel like such a bad mommy now!
     
  5. TBrittle

    TBrittle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    UPDATE: yesterday she chirped so loud and seemed to be in so much pain. I've been steady on the supplements and baby aspirin. I decided to see if she had any feeling in the leg so I pinched the skin a bit and she screamed and moved it out of the way! I felt so bad but I wanted to know if it was paralyzed or not.

    So I made her a chicken sling out of a tshirt taped over a box with shavings inside. I cut two holes for the legs and one for her to poop through. As soon as I put her in it all the loud chirping stopped! Sometimes she chirps like a songbird and sometimes she just chatters. Once in awhile I have to pick her up and cuddle and sometimes she just wants to move around a bit. I still can't find the injury but this is certainly working. I'm just so glad she's not in pain anymore and has a chance to heal!

    Does anyone know how long she might need to be in the chicken sling?
     
  6. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're certainly doing all you can for her supportive care. Nice job [​IMG]
     

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