"late" Mareks? Is my flock doomed? I'm devasted, please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fifibreen, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. fifibreen

    fifibreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    2
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    Aug 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Please bear with me, this is long, since this story is still developing even since this morning. I filled out the questioner at the bottom of this post regarding symptoms and environment and such.

    We are very concerned that we may have "late" mareks or something of that nature. I was out playing with, and spending time with our small flock of 5 and noticed my light Brahma hens eyes on 4-19-2012. I was taken back, and thought it was odd. The next day I did a little looking online and this looks suspicious of "late" mareks.

    These are pictures of her eyes. This is Castelli a 1 year+1month old Light Brahma hen who has been eating/drinking/and laying normally so far.(I assume that will all change soon) Sorry, everyone is a little soggy since it was a rainy morning here.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Even more detrimental, was when I went to photo my LB this morning, my SLW Spaghetti, was standing with her eyes closed and is not very responsive to her environment…. Which is a 180 turn from yesterday[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The below two are close ups of here eyes and face.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    I assume my flock is all fully exposed to whatever it is. It is more apparent now that I may not have connected the dots/symptoms sooner in my GLW Spencer who seems to be on death row.[​IMG] I don’t know her actual age since she was adopted three years ago. When I got her she was already mature and laying, so I’m guessing she is between 4-5 years old. She first began having issues around 3-19-2012

    This link/thread is the beginning of my GLW troubles and I'm assuming she may have exposed all of them?
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/640704/egg-without-shell-whats-with-this-egg

    At the time I did not know who was laying eggs with extremely thin shells, but know I am confident it my GLW. She has lost a lot of weight suddenly and is very skinny. Most suggestions/reasons on the forum for a chicken losing weight was to worm them. At the time it did not seem a big problem, and I did take her from the flock. (We have a micro flock of 5 and it causes extra stress to remove and add birds.)

    As soon as I realized she was losing weight, she got wormed with safeguard. She just finished her second treatment 4-19 and is in worse shape them ever. She has gone from our hardest working fattest chicken to a thin and lethargic girl. We have been feeding her extra food like cottage cheese, yogurt, canned salmon, and egg to help her get some weight on. This week she has been losing interest in food. I don’t think she will be with us much longer…. This week I have begun to consider culling her since it seems her comfort level is going down


    ***I have no idea if any of the birds I own were ever vaccinated for mareks.[​IMG] MY GLW was adopted as a mature bird 3 years ago. My BO bought as a pullet from a farm 2 years ago, and three were bought as chicks last spring from Farm and Home 2SW, 1 LB. The GLW is 4-5 years old, the BO 2 years old, and the SLW &LB are 1 + years old.

    I assume this is the end for my very very loved flock[​IMG]

    If so, what will I need to do to prevent this from happening when they are replaced? What do I do and how long?

    If not, what do I do? Cull the birds showing symptoms? IF I add more birds later does that mean my birds that may have immunity will infect my new birds?


    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
    3 wyandottes-2 1 year olds-1, 4+ year old
    1 buff orpington-2 year old,
    1 light Brahma-1 year old


    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    GLW-has become quickly emaciated, losing interest in food, slowing down..
    LB-Notice change in eyes
    SLW-closing eyes, not responsive/alert to endowment


    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    The GLW began with thin eggshells around 3-19-2012
    The LB I noticed 4-19-2012
    SLW noticed 4-22-2012


    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    Not that I can see

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    NO

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Unsure

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    4 birds are eating, drinking normally. They are fed Layina laying crumbles with free choice grit and oyster shell. They are also allowed to free range some in the yard, and get occasional treats.
    -GLW have been feeding extra yogurt, cottage cheese, canned salmon, cooked egg, now losing interest in food altogether.


    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    4 normal to the best of my knowledge….
    GLW- abnormal-mainly liquid, very little poo that can be green


    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    GLW-feeding extra protein wormed with safgaurd.
    They were all wormed last over the winter.


    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I need advice, I am scared that this is the end of my precious flock.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    Posted eye pics

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    chicken tractor, bedding is compressed wood pellets and wood shavings...
    We are religious in scooping the poop out of the tractor each day. This is easily done with cat scooper's and the compressed wood pellets. The tractor is moved around the yard frequently to keep the grass from being completely destroyed. We have screen on the tractor during the summer to keep out pests like gnats. That is why it appears dark in the photo.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thank you for reading, I know this is long!!![​IMG]
     
  2. fifibreen

    fifibreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    2
    101
    Aug 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Anyone? Any ideas to whats taking my flock down? any guidance is appreciated.
     
  3. Davlyn

    Davlyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    686
    12
    133
    Feb 6, 2010
    Pike , NH
    I may be facing the same thing. But my hens eyes are clear & seem bright & normal & her comb is still a nice bright red, but she cannot stand up.
     
  4. fifibreen

    fifibreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    2
    101
    Aug 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Thank you for a reply.

    I'm sorry to hear about your birds too, it is just awful. I'm pretty worried, and don't know what to do other then culling all of them??? So far mine can stand, and there eyes are clear, but the LB has the misshapen irises that is a possible symptom of the "late" mareks???

    Is everyone just stumped? Or do I need to put the questionnaire first instead of at the end to get more response? I will re-paste here with the questionnaire first

    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
    3 wyandottes-2 1 year olds-1, 4+ year old the GLW that is 4+ has quickly become emaciated
    1 buff orpington-2 year old,
    1 light Brahma-1 year old


    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    GLW-has become quickly emaciated, losing interest in food, slowing down..
    LB-Notice change in eyes
    SLW-closing eyes, not responsive/alert to endowment


    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    The GLW began with thin eggshells around 3-19-2012
    The LB I noticed 4-19-2012
    SLW noticed 4-22-2012


    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    Not that I can see, they all are having different symptoms

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    NO

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Unsure, I have not added any birds to my flock for over a year

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    4 birds are eating, drinking normally? They seem to be eating less now.
    They are fed Layina laying crumbles with free choice grit and oyster shell. They are also allowed to free range some in the yard, and get occasional treats.
    -GLW have been feeding extra yogurt, cottage cheese, canned salmon, cooked egg, now losing interest in food altogether.


    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    4 normal to the best of my knowledge….
    GLW- abnormal-mainly liquid, very little poo that can be green


    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    GLW-feeding extra protein wormed with safgaurd.
    They were all wormed last over the winter.


    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I need advice, I am scared that this is the end of my precious flock. I doubt I will be able to afford veterinary care for 5 chickens. All the vets I have been to charge the "exotic" pet price. I will need to treat myself

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    Posted eye pics

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    chicken tractor, bedding is compressed wood pellets and wood shavings...
    We are religious in scooping the poop out of the tractor each day. This is easily done with cat scooper's and the compressed wood pellets. The tractor is moved around the yard frequently to keep the grass from being completely destroyed. We have screen on the tractor during the summer to keep out pests like gnats. That is why it appears dark in the photo.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We are very concerned that we may have "late" mareks or something of that nature. I was out playing with, and spending time with our small flock of 5 and noticed my light Brahma hens eyes on 4-19-2012. I was taken back, and thought it was odd. The next day I did a little looking online and this looks suspicious of "late" mareks.

    These are pictures of her eyes. This is Castelli a 1 year+1month old Light Brahma hen who has been eating/drinking/and laying normally so far.(I assume that will all change soon) Sorry, everyone is a little soggy since it was a rainy morning here.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Even more detrimental, was when I went to photo my LB this morning, my SLW Spaghetti, was standing with her eyes closed and is not very responsive to her environment…. Which is a 180 turn from yesterday[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The below two are close ups of here eyes and face.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    I assume my flock is all fully exposed to whatever it is. It is more apparent now that I may not have connected the dots/symptoms sooner in my GLW Spencer who seems to be on death row.[​IMG] I don’t know her actual age since she was adopted three years ago. When I got her she was already mature and laying, so I’m guessing she is between 4-5 years old. She first began having issues around 3-19-2012

    This link/thread is the beginning of my GLW troubles and I'm assuming she may have exposed all of them?
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/640704/egg-without-shell-whats-with-this-egg

    At the time I did not know who was laying eggs with extremely thin shells, but know I am confident it my GLW. She has lost a lot of weight suddenly and is very skinny. Most suggestions/reasons on the forum for a chicken losing weight was to worm them. At the time it did not seem a big problem, and I did take her from the flock. (We have a micro flock of 5 and it causes extra stress to remove and add birds.)

    As soon as I realized she was losing weight, she got wormed with safeguard. She just finished her second treatment 4-19 and is in worse shape them ever. She has gone from our hardest working fattest chicken to a thin and lethargic girl. We have been feeding her extra food like cottage cheese, yogurt, canned salmon, and egg to help her get some weight on. This week she has been losing interest in food. I don’t think she will be with us much longer…. This week I have begun to consider culling her since it seems her comfort level is going down


    ***I have no idea if any of the birds I own were ever vaccinated for mareks.[​IMG] MY GLW was adopted as a mature bird 3 years ago. My BO bought as a pullet from a farm 2 years ago, and three were bought as chicks last spring from Farm and Home 2SW, 1 LB. The GLW is 4-5 years old, the BO 2 years old, and the SLW &LB are 1 + years old.

    I assume this is the end for my very very loved flock[​IMG]

    If so, what will I need to do to prevent this from happening when they are replaced? What do I do and how long?

    If not, what do I do? Cull the birds showing symptoms? IF I add more birds later does that mean my birds that may have immunity will infect my new birds?
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Do you mean "latent" Mareks as opposed to "late" Mareks?

    The Wyandotte is probably suffering from either Egg Yolk Peritonitis/ Internal Laying or ovarian cancer at her age, especially if she is a hatchery hen. I've lost four hatchery Wyandottes to internal laying and/or egg yolk peritonitis. I seriously doubt it is Mareks Disease that is affecting her. The extreme weight loss is a symptom that she is in the final stages. I lost 10-11 hatchery hens from that, not just Wyandottes.

    Are you sure your Brahma's eyes haven't always been like that? I've seen misshapen pupils that were just misshapen, not Mareks. Mareks is usually a disease of younger birds. A similar disease is Lymphoid Leukosis, which has the same tumors, etc but affects older birds. You may be jumping to an extreme conclusion here. I see nothing to indicate Mareks Disease, but I'm not an expert on that particular disease.


    By the way, you may want to reduce the size of your font. It was very hard to read.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  6. fifibreen

    fifibreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    2
    101
    Aug 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Thank you for a reply. Thank you for the correction. I want to get it right so I make some sense!

    I was hoping/thinking old age on the GLW.

    It caught my eye that something seemed different, and maybe it is since she has aged. Anything is possible. I went and found some older photos. Without these photos having been taken at the exact same angle this may not help. To me, there seems there could be a difference, but am i splitting hairs? Some photos may be a little grainy from zooming in to get a detail of the eye.

    This taken last summer as a pullet 2011
    [​IMG]
    This is taken in December 2011
    [​IMG]
    This photo taken in march. 2012
    [​IMG]

    This photo taken 4-22-2012 of the same side
    [​IMG]


    Here is the other side when she was a pullet last summer 2011
    [​IMG]

    taken last summer as a pullet 2011
    [​IMG]

    Taken 4-22-2012
    [​IMG]





    The for sure mystery is still my SLW who was standing with her eyes closed rather unresponsive to the other chickens. I have not gotten to go home form work yet today to see is her condition has changed yet today :(

    Any more thoughts on what to do, or if I'm being overly afraid and making this worse then it is?
     
  7. fifibreen

    fifibreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    2
    101
    Aug 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Ohh, and sorry about the font size, and thank you, I did not realize it was an issue. We have a large computer screen and the large font size is easier to read, then the small on my end.
     
  8. fifibreen

    fifibreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    2
    101
    Aug 29, 2010
    Illinois
    I found the source of my confusion as far as "Late" Mareks and "Latent" Mareks. One of the sources I looked at refers to a "late" mareks I'm not sure if they have a typo, or if it is indeed another type? It attracted my attention since all my birds are older laying birds.

    Original source is here

    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/node/588
    "Host Range

    Marek's disease is primarily a disease of commercial chickens, but it can also affect turkeys. MD often occurs in 2-5 month-old (sexually immature) chickens but can also occur after the onset of egg production. This form of the disease is referred to as “late Marek's”. All breeds of chickens appear to be susceptible to the virus. Turkeys, quail, and pheasants are also susceptible, although natural outbreaks are uncommon. Most other species of birds appear to be resistant to the virus. There is no evidence that MDV poses any threat to humans."
     
  9. Davlyn

    Davlyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    686
    12
    133
    Feb 6, 2010
    Pike , NH
    To read that you think her hens do not have mareks is light hearting for sure. as I lost a Wyandotte hen 2 months ago, seemed to be just like hers. I got that hen from a GF & she had her for several yrs, the same closed eyes, same look. I now have another hen, about 1 1/2 yrs old. that is showing some of the same signs as Mareks. But her eyes are clear, bright & she alert, comb is bright red, just having trouble standing. Hoping that this is not mareks either.Is there treatment for Lymphoid Luekosis ?
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    As I said in my post, I am not an expert on Marek's Disease and I do hope someone who has actual experience with ocular Marek's or the ocular symptoms of it, will give some input. What I don't want is for anyone to panic and go straight to that diagnosis before others who truly do know (not those who just think they do, which happens often on BYC, unfortunately) tell us what they think.

    As for the Wyandotte, I am fairly positive that her age, coupled with the symptoms and what led up to this, indicate she has either advanced egg yolk peritonitis or ovarian carcinoma, either of which she will not come back from at this point in her life. It's very common in hatchery stock, especially.

    I don't believe there is any treatment for LL, no, but could be wrong. It's a cancer, basically.

    From the Merck Veterinary Manual here: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/203603.htm



    Quote: Here is a good page on viral diseases of poultry, including LL and Marek's: http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/disviral.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012

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