Mareks Disease: Need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BetsyB0101, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. BetsyB0101

    BetsyB0101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    100
    0
    89
    Oct 30, 2011
    Southwest Missouri
    I am new to chickens and probably about three months ago a chick I had hatched got this weird leg deformity but was still eating and drinking so I separated it from the bigger chicks, put it with littler chicks so it wouldn't get run over and made sure it could get to food and water. Stupid me. The chick has since died but now I know it had Marek's Disease. It was classic, one leg forward, one leg back, ended up dying, was very thin. So since I have lost 4 more chicks, I have another silkie chick sick now. I also have a new bunch of chicks in the bedroom that haven't been outside yet, they are lavender orps that I ordered from RockinPaints. So they haven't been vaccinated and they are about a week and a half old. I also have more in the incubator. I have read a lot of posts here on Mareks Disease. Actually have spent hours researching this on BYC. I have also called my vet who is supposed to call me back today. The little silkie that I am trying to save now doesn't really act like the others did. They all were eating and drinking right up to end (they were paralyzed and I culled them but they were eating and drinking still). This little silkie is about 18 weeks old. She will not eat or drink. She is just sitting. She is not laying on her side like the others did. She kind of bobbs her head around and is open mouth breathing. I have been syringing the save-a-chick solution into her but it is hard to get her to swallow it. I started her on poly-vi-sol yesterday and also gave her a shot of Tylan-50 just in case it isn't mareks. She refuses to eat at all. I have her separated from the other chickens and in a warm place. I don't know if I am doing the right things and she isn't any better this morning. I don't want to make her suffer. I did that enough with the first one that I didn't know what was wrong with it. And now am worried about my whole flock. Most of them have not been vaccinated. I ordered them as hatching eggs from people on here and raised them myself. I didn't even know about Mareks disease or that I should have vaccinated them at hatching. So anyone want to give me words of wisdom? I am just sick because I have worked so hard to take good care of all of them and do everything right and now this. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,705
    100
    213
    May 1, 2011
    I would order the vaccine immediately and vaccinate everyone. All of your chickens no matter the age. Start with youngest and work your way up. .2ccs/mls of vaccine per chicken. Try and keep all your young chicks from getting exposed to the others. You will need to take care of them first, then the others. Then, change all clothes to take care of the younger ones again. Do not mix shoes with the outside/inside chickens. Marek's shows up differently in different age chickens and from chicken to chicken. The next chicken that dies, have it necropsied to get the actual cause of death. Most states have agencies that will do necropsies for no or low cost. Sorry that this is happening to you, it is a devastating illness.

    Once the ones in the incubator hatch, vaccinate them immediately and keep them from exposure for at least 2 weeks...longer if possible...the longer you can keep them separated, the better immunity they will build. Remember, even with the vaccine the effectiveness is only 90%.

    I am planning on revaccinating everyone again and then yearly. Anything to stop this dreaded disease!!! I have lost 24 birds to it and I am constantly on the lookout for signs/symptoms in the others. Marek's can vary in symptoms so much that I actually thought I had several illnesses working at once.
     
  3. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    10,828
    55
    288
    Jan 12, 2012
    I'm so sorry about this outbreak!!! I know what it is like, I dealt with it for half a year, and my room became a chicken hospital.

    I used the regular poly-vi-sol, mixed in water, that's all I used. You said she wouldn't take it, but a quick way to do it (and actually get it in, I learned) is to put the syringe at the side of their beak and slowly drip water at the sides. Sometimes they'd have their seizures and wouldn't drink, results could be they have tumors if it isn't going down.

    One of my roo's went for three days, refusing to eat or drink, and he had the leg out thing and couldn't walk, but one day he was sitting upright and was eating and drinking, so you never know, maybe she'll be one of those miracle survivors.

    There is no cure for Marek's, but there is vaccines, I used them on my chicks one time, but some died anyways. I just recommend having 3 or 4 chicks at a time, when we had Marek's out break we had 6-8 chicks or 10-12.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  4. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,705
    100
    213
    May 1, 2011
    Here is what I'm doing for treatment...

    .5mls poly vi sol daily
    400 ius vitamin E two times a day
    1 capsul crushed multi enzyme probiotics daily
    5 - 10 drops hypericum 30 twice daily

    physical therapy twice daily on paralyzed parts...

    It's a lot of work and I've only managed to 'save' one little OEGB pullet. She still can't walk but is getting stronger and can stand with help. As far as your chicken not eating...I make a mash out of the food, mix in the probiotics and yogurt and feed by spoon twice daily. I make sure that their crop is nice and full each time.

    Good luck..it's a huge job to try and save them, some days, I just want to give up....
     
  5. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    10,828
    55
    288
    Jan 12, 2012
    I joked about putting the chick in a jumper, and those things that make bumper cars move, attach that to the ceiling, so the chick can move around.... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  6. BetsyB0101

    BetsyB0101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    100
    0
    89
    Oct 30, 2011
    Southwest Missouri
    Thank you Leadwolf1. This is so sad and I am so sorry you have lost 24 birds to it. How do you find out who will do a necropsy in your state? My little silkie doesn't look like she will last much longer. I will try the remedy you are using but I can't seem to get her to eat. She just won't swallow. I think she would choke to death if I tried stuffing food in her mouth. As it is, the fluids just run in, she doesn't swallow them.

    I have a really young flock. I have 8 laying and probably 50 not old enough to lay yet. I am just sick over this. Wonder why I hadn't heard about it before? Oh well, nothing like learning the hard way.

    I will order the vaccine and get everyone immunized and pray it helps.

    Thank you!
     
  7. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    How old was your first affected chick? I only ask because it sounds too young to exhibit symptoms...even an exposed chick doesn't hatch out with symptoms....
    Typical symptoms show at 6 weeks and sometimes sooner, I don't think it happens before 30 days old. I don't know what you are dealing with but it doesn't sound like Mareks to me...
    Just my 2 cents..
    You need to consider other factors...if any are outside, access to toxic plants, is their food good(no mold or fungus),
    Straddle leg is also a deformity, not a virus...
     
  8. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,705
    100
    213
    May 1, 2011
    I tried several different vets and they would not necropsy. I picked up a phone book and there, under one of our state universities was a 'poultry lab' number. I called and got lucky. I think you can find your areas cooperative extension and get it from there. Probably the place to start and then call a few vets and see if they know. I actually started with schools that I knew had vet programs. It is a terrible disease and sometimes you can just look at the bird and know that nothing you do will help. I've cried rivers...my flock is young also. After waiting over 35 years to get more chickens, my daughter and husband devised a plan to get them for me last year for Mother's Day. I was thrilled...until Marek's :( I knew about Marek's but no one tells you how many people are getting hit with this disease!!! Hatcheries say not to worry if you have a small flock...so very wrong that advise is!!! Had I known, I would have only purchased immunized birds or hatched myself and immunized. It's too late now...I had wanted to show, my boys had wanted to do 4H..all that is lost....

    Good luck with the treatment and finding a necropsy site...that is very important just so you know exactly what you are dealing with!!!! I have found that silkies, polish and OEGBs are hit hardest by this disease...even if they have been immunized...
     
  9. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    10,828
    55
    288
    Jan 12, 2012
    Marek's usually doesn't occur in chickens over a year old, if any of yours survive after a year, you've got a immune chicken. [​IMG]
     
  10. BetsyB0101

    BetsyB0101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    100
    0
    89
    Oct 30, 2011
    Southwest Missouri
    My oldest hens are three or four years old. The rest are all under a year, around 5 months and younger. The first chick that showed symptoms was probably 10 weeks or so. That one had the classic leg pose, one leg forward, one leg back. After looking at pictures of mareks disease there is no doubt in my mind. The next three had the paralysis. So maybe the older ones will be okay and I have some silkies and Frizzles that I got from a hatchery that were vaccinated and none of them have gotten sick yet. The little silkie that is sick now is one I hatched. She is so pretty and my daughter wanted to show her in 4-H. It is all so disappointing. So I am with you Leadwolf1. It is just not fair. I did call the state extension office and the poultry specialist is out but will call me tomorrrow. And I have a call in to my vet. So maybe I will find out how to get a necropsy done. I really appreciate all the advice and support. I think this should be brought to more people's attention. I was shocked at the pages and pages of posts on this one disease. It has to be more prevalent than people think!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by