Mareks Disease???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sarahschickens4, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. sarahschickens4

    sarahschickens4 New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2016
    Hi I posted a couple days ago but need more info...

    I am concerned my hen may have mareks. She was fine one day and the next she couldn't walk at all for a few days. Over the past two days she has slightly improved and is low standing up again and walking clumsily. She is using both feet but one seems to spasm and stick out while she is standing and is more weak. After it spasms she is able to put it back down and walk on it. She is eating and pooping fine. She is by no means better but she is improving and can walk around a little. Is it typical with mareks to be completely paralyzed and then improving and starting to walk again??? Or does she maybe have something else going on? I have been giving her vitamin water just in case she has a deficiency. Just not sure what to think....
     
  2. sarahschickens4

    sarahschickens4 New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2016
    Any advice out there on if chickens recover from paralysis with Mareks?
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It's possible they can recover or show signs of improvement. Make sure the vitamins you are giving her contain B vitamins -especially B2(riboflavin) (BComplex vitamins). If it is Marek's and she completely recovers she will be a carrier for life.

    Here is some reading information for you:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, it is not uncommon for them to recover from Marek's paralysis. I've had some unable to walk for a couple of days and then be perfectly normal the next day, some take months to recover and others decline completely and have to be euthanized or die. The ones that recover usually have second and even third, usually more serious, attack, weeks or months later and long term prognosis is not good, but quality of life in the interim is often normal. I had a cockerel which had his first attack at about 5 months and was quite lame for about a week. He fully recovered within a few days and was perfectly fine for a whole year and then one day I found him on his side and he couldn't get up. I nursed him for a couple of weeks but he went down hill and eventually I had to cull.

    Keeping them comfortable, well fed and happy and stress free is the key to rehab. Having access to sunshine and grass and the company of other chickens....scattering scratch around them so that they have to compete with the other chickens for it helps, even if you have them in a cage to prevent pecking. I find if you isolate them they give up the will to fight and become depressed. I take the view that the rest of my flock has already been exposed, so I don't quarantine my Marek's birds. That said, the strain I have (I'm in the UK and from speaking to other local poultry keepers they have similar experience to me) is relatively mild compared to the horror stories I read about flocks in the US with it. My broody hens raised 28 chicks last year within the flock that has been exposed to it and only one showed an obvious symptom....she had a dropped wing for a couple of months last October. She has been fine ever since until about 4 weeks ago when she started having problems again. She was still getting about ok but didn't look right. Then one night she wasn't there when I locked up and I've looked high and low and not found her (my flock free range) and I'm guessing she crawled away to die somewhere or has been taken by a predator because she was weak. This year, my hens have hatched 45 chicks so far and no obvious victims yet (touching wood).

    Good luck with your hen.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
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  5. sarahschickens4

    sarahschickens4 New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2016
    Thank you for the replies! You answered the rest of my questions without me even having to ask! My girl is feeling better and walking almost normally and wants to be with the others. I figured if it is mareks they would all be exposed as they have been together since birth.... Can ducks get mareks?
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:

    Glad to hear your girl is improving.

    As far as ducks being affected, it looks unlikely, but you may want to do some research on the subject.


    Marek's Disease


    Synonyms: acute leukosis, neural leukosis, range paralysis, gray eye (when eye affected)
    Species affected: Chickens between 12 to 25 weeks of age are most commonly clinically affected. Occasionally pheasants, quail, game fowl and turkeys can be infected.
    Clinical signs: Marek's disease is a type of avian cancer. Tumors in nerves cause lameness and paralysis. Tumors can occur in the eyes and cause irregularly shaped pupils and blindness. Tumors of the liver, kidney, spleen, gonads, pancreas, proventriculus, lungs, muscles, and skin can cause incoordination, unthriftiness, paleness, weak labored breathing, and enlarged feather follicles. In terminal stages, the birds are emaciated with pale, scaly combs and greenish diarrhea (see Table 2).
    Marek's disease is very similar to Lymphoid Leukosis, but Marek's usually occurs in chickens 12 to 25 weeks of age and Lymphoid Leukosis usually starts at 16 weeks of age.
    Transmission: The Marek's virus is transmitted by air within the poultry house. It is in the feather dander, chicken house dust, feces and saliva. Infected birds carry the virus in their blood for life and are a source of infection for susceptible birds.
    Treatment: none
    Prevention: Chicks can be vaccinated at the hatchery. While the vaccination prevents tumor formation, it does not prevent infection by the virus.

    Reference: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     

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