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Leg abnormalities, possible Marek's disease, need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Frankenshine, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Frankenshine

    Frankenshine In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    I am having the worst luck with chicks this time. I have nineteen 2 1/2 week old chicks, nine being pullets I actually wanted, and 10 salmon faverolles (supposed) roo babies that were the packing peanuts. I ordered my chicks with Marek's vax, but I am assuming, from a business point of view, that the peanuts were NOT vaxed. Anyhow, I have never experienced disease in any of my chickens, so I think I've maybe taken more time than I should have to notice a problem.

    When my chicks arrived on the 8th, I had three dead, all pullets. Everyone was apparently normal, no downed chicks or anyone acting sluggish. A little less than a week in, one of the SF babies was not really moving/standing/eating/drinking, so I took him out for a little TLC but he died within an hour. I don't know how it goes when most chicks die, but this guy became really agitated just before death and seemed to be seizuring. The next day, I noticed another SF acting similarly, but this guy had his legs splayed out and was using his wings for balance. He could shuffle on his hocks a bit like a squatty E.T. chick, but could not control his legs well enough to stand

    I thought maybe it might be spraddle leg, so I fitted him with a bandaid splint, making sure not to get tight around his legs so he could grow. This seemed to help - he could hobble around and was holding his own okay in a big group of chicks. But he hasn't really grown since last week, even our runty wyandotte has surpassed him. He has only primary wing feathers and is quite small, he looks a week or more behind his hatchmates. When I last took off his splint, I noticed his hocks are enlarged and spongy like a tumor. I really don't think it was swelling from the splint, because after I saw this, I left the splint off and put him in his own brooder, and the legs have not gotten better. I'm sure not getting repeatedly trampled helps for sure! His hocks are still swollen, but he can stand and walk, wobbly and very stiff-legged from the hip down. He eats, drinks, snuggles, so he doesn't look near death, he just looks NOT RIGHT.

    If pics help, LMK and I'll take a few. I would most like to know if anyone thinks this sounds like it could be Marek's, and what I should do to protect the rest of my birds? In addition to the little chicks, I also have four six week olds (vax status unknown), and although they are housed in my detached garage (the wee ones are in our laundry room in the house), they will eventually be introduced to the other pullets. Plus my daughter and I handle all the chicks - including The Gimp - pretty regularly. Can vaxed birds become carriers?

  2. HighNDryFarm

    HighNDryFarm Songster

    Feb 2, 2011
    Paradise, CA
    I'm bumping this up for you since I'm asking some similar questions and I'd like to see some answers for you. I see this is from a few weeks ago.....do you still have the chick?

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