Is This Marek's? Eye Pics attached

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KidDynamite, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi folks,

    we have 12 young hens - born late-June which makes them about 14 weeks old.

    Today we noticed that one of our reds (NH Reds) was limping badly - looks like she can't put any weight on her left leg. My wife and I checked her out but couldn't find anything that we could see. She can limp around and follow the flock, but will then sit down and relax. Sometimes while standing up she lifts her bad foot in the air, like it hurts to put down. Again - we couldn't see any obvious causes while examining her foot.

    Doing some online research, my wife gets panicked that it might be Marek's disease (the chicks were vaccinated at the hatchery, supposedly). We noticed that this pullet has a very funny colored eye. Cloudy/misshapen irises are a symptom of Marek's of course - as is paralysis -although our girl has both symptoms, which are usually for two different types of the disease (According to my reading), but may overlap

    anyway, take a look at these pictures - do you think this is 1) an interesting, pretty eye with a funky iris or 2) an iris that looks like it is diseased, possibly Marek's ??

    first, the good eye:

    [​IMG]

    then the "bad" eye:

    [​IMG]

    second pic of the bad eye:

    [​IMG]

    more info: the foot problem doesn't seem like "paralysis" ... it looks just like a bad limp. This just happened today, so I haven't noticed any weight loss, lack of eating, or pooping problems. The foot is the left foot, and the "bad" eye is the left eye. Our hens free range outside during the day. We have 3 BO, 3 Araucana, 3 BR and 3 NH Reds.

    none of the other birds are showing any other signs of having issues.

    I'm not really looking to take this bird to the Vet - rather, to make sure that I don't lose my whole flock by letting a diseased bird run unchecked... I'm not really sure what my options are though - 1) hope she's fine and that we're overreacting about the eye, and hope the leg heals - but that might result in disease spread 2) euthanize her? but I don't want to do that if she's just got a twisted ankle. She certainly doesn't seem to be in dire straits yet and it seems like that would be overreacting to me - but I am just worried about the rest of my flock if this IS Marek's disease.

    Unfortunately, I don't have many options for quarantine - they are all in the same coop in the barn... I don't really want to stuff her in a cardboard box in the basement..

    Take a look at those pics and let me know if you think the eye definitely looks bad, or if it's just a special colorful iris... and from what level of expertise you are speaking!

    thanks a bunch.
     
  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    I am not 100% sure but it does look like "grey eye" ( a symptom of MAREKS) but in its early stage..It gets much more grey looking in time. BUT her pupil does not look warped in a shape thats typical of Mareks. Meaning not circular. The pupil usually has extensions of the black pigment in weird shapes-it is a little ovalesque though...NOW since they were vaccinated I could say certain symptoms will be masked -tumors and such. The vaccine prevents the tumors from growing to a size that leads to paralysis of the legs. I believe there are 5 forms of Mareks. I would just keep a close eye on here. I have a hen that has a grey/blind eye but absolutely nothing else wrong-she had it since she was a chick-little chick-never had any other issue. I think she got it pecked real good because with that particualr hatch I had alot of babies together and alot of picking/fighting was going on until all separated;) She's almost 2 now and still nothing else has ever gone wrong with her..lays her eggs, free ranges etc...oh and nothing has gone wrong with all her coop mates either...good luck and hope you find more out
     
  3. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Out Of The Brooder

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    am I putting the rest of the flock at risk by "keeping an eye on her" though?

    thanks...
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:Yes-you are..BUT they have all been exposed to it by 14 weeks-Remember, they have been vaccinated but this hen might not have gotten enough of the vaccine to prevent the visible symptoms to you -physical to her. If this is true of the others also, they will slowly begin to show the same symptoms. ( if the vaccine didnt inject enough at hatchery) You can cull her now and all other hens as they slowly begin to show signs or you can hold onto her to see if its really mareks. There is no cure and she will not get better, only worse:( Mareks is spread by shedding of the feathers follicals.. Its everywhere in your coop if she has it...all you can do is keep the dust at minimal levels-clean clean clean. The less dusty the better. Keep an eye on her. If she cannot move her leg from her paralysis then I would cull...If you are not getting new birds anytime time soon...and this group is all you have...then watch her...cull as symptoms appear with others. If you plan to introduce others....I wouldn't at this point. If you can house new birds in a facility/coop completely away from them its different-you have a chance. If you start over -clean clean clean--oxine clean....Unfortunately, Mareks is a very common yet very devestating disease. You did the right thing by vaccinating but its not 100% to stop it completely:(
     
  5. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks, sonew123 - that's helpful. I'm not planning on introducing new birds anytime soon, so my plan right now is to keep an eye on her.

    I understand your point about culling her and others if symptoms worsen and spread, and that they've all been exposed to Marek's already if that's what she has - but I'm still unclear on one thing:

    if I don't cull this bird now, am I increasing the chance that the others will "Catch" it? Or are you saying that they've already been exposed and didn't get it, so they probably won't get it?

    thanks again
     
  6. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:Watch her tomorrow--if she appears worse walking wise-cull her. They have all already been exposed for sure-they haven't started showing signs or symptoms yet-and they might never because their immune systems are stronger than this hens. Their bodies built more memory cells up to fight off and ignore what they have been exposed to-like our vaccines...BUT even though we have had vacinations we need boosters from time to time to keep our bodies in fighting mode...Even though she got a dose of the vaccine...It might have been a smaller quantity AND she had a weak immune systom to begin with. Their machinery is very precise-but its machinery and it can screw up [​IMG] watch them all closely. Not all birds die from Mareks-they can live but be carriers...SO if your birds are not showing signs of it..you can bet they wil be carriers-they are healthy but can spread the disease. Thats why I said dont introduce any new birds until you know for a fact its Mareks. A vet can't even tell you it is unless they have a bird that just passed ( freshly culled) and can be used in a necropsy. It is not detected in blood work. Thats the thing that sucks about this disease...If you have this hen pass or be culled and slowly start to see the others following suit-I would bet its Mareks. If she is the only one with this issue then it could be something else too-all though Im guesing Mareks....
     
  7. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Out Of The Brooder

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    the other strange thing is that this hen is the largest of the bunch - not a weakling/runt of any sort...
     
  8. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:I'm sorry.. Stress can also bring it out in them too. While the others have been exposed, they may not show signs..until they become stressed. That will weaken their immune system enough to where the symptoms begin to show. Did anything happen to this hen that could have stressed her out?? Like I said-just watch her-if she is still the same today-walking , eating, drinking and such...leave her as it may just be she hurt her self....The legs on the birds typically will look as if she's doing a split, one leg in front one in back. Or she may just kept her bum leg curled up and not touching the ground-for good...it does only worsen if it is Marek's.
     
  9. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Out Of The Brooder

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    update: a few days later, and the hen's limp seems to be better - definitely limping less if at all. So it's a good thing I didn't "diagnose" her myself earlier last week and cull her.

    The plan for now is definitely to assume it was a physical leg injury and not Marek's disease, but we will keep an eye on her.
     

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