Is it too soon?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Taebird, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Taebird

    Taebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay everyone... In the last 2 months we have lost 2 laying hens to Marek's disease (necropsy & histopath confirmed). Yesterday, I noticed one of the other hens acting funny, hanging around in the coop during the day, and just beginning to display what appears to be symptoms like the other two.

    I have been reading all articles I can get my hands on about Mareks, including the BYC "Giant Marek's Disease Post". I've read that when symptoms are present, the affected chicken begins to shed the virus at a larger rate. None of the chickens were vaccinated, but this is my first go at chickens, and at the time, I didn't know better....

    I am aware that all the girls are carriers now, but wondering if larger amounts of the virus in the environment will increase the chances that the other hens will "come down with" the symptoms.

    Although the symptomatic hen is still eating a little, I have a feeling that it will only be a matter of a few days before she's stumbling around and eventually immobile...

    Do I go ahead and take her to the vet to put her down - for the sake of the rest, or does it matter at this point? I hate to end her life before it's 'her time', but I'm also worried about my other girls....

    Any advice is ABSOLUTELY appreciated!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    At a minimum, I would separate her.
    Perhaps not a bad idea to clean out the coop and ventilate it.

    If the symptoms are the same and she goes downhill there's probably no need for a vet, just cull.

    Good for you for getting a necropsy though. [​IMG]

    Don't beat yourself up though. I've never vaccinated and probably never will.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    That's a decision only you can decide about putting her down. If you feel it's the right thing to do to prevent her suffering then it's the right time. As for the rest I am very sorry to say they have already been exposed and are likely carriers. But it does not mean they will all be symptomatic. But it does mean they can spread the virus to other birds.vaccnation of any new birds is highly recommended. But after vaccination the new birds MUST be kept from exposure meaning kept from outside and adult birds for the very minimum of 14 days while their bodies produce antibodies and Immunity. If this time is not given although vaccinated they can catch the virus before immunity and antibodies had a chance to form.mareks can live on land for years and it's the only defense we have to vaccinate although not 100% the vaccination can save lives. I vaccinate all new birds and give time for immunity before they go outside because Mareks is every where and as you know it's a terrible virus. I want to do what I can to help prevent it. I hope this helps and wish you the best[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. Taebird

    Taebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies... I am not crazy about the idea of vaccinating new chicks, but I'd rather give any new ones the best "fighting chance" possible, now that we know we've got Marek's on-site.


    Does anyone know if it's possible to incubate eggs from my surviving hens? I know it isn't a disease transmitted through the egg, but is there a chance that they could be infected via some virus present on the outside of the shell (that is, before I can vaccinate them)?

    I'll be brooding them in my classroom, so no worries about keeping them inside... :)
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Breeding for resistance is the best defense as realsis said, Marek's is everywhere.
    If your hens don't succumb, perhaps raising chicks from them is the best you can do as they may be genetically resistant.
    Just my opinion.
     

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