Mareks or wry neck? Or something else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tabithas, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 8 month old Dark Cornish pullet who is suddenly tilting her head to one side. About a week ago I noticed that her left eye looked strange. The eyeball its self looks fine, but the skin around it was very dry and crusty looking. She was shaking her head a bit, but seemed normal otherwise. She started laying just a couple weeks ago, and hasn't laid an egg for five days now. She was eating/drinking normally and running around with the other chickens until today. This morning I found her standing in the middle of the yard fluffed up and tail drooping. Normally she is kind of hard to catch, but I picked her right up today. Her head is tilting to the left (the side with the eye issue). She can walk fine, but is not very interested in food or water today. I seperated her from the rest of the flock and gave her some ploy-vi-sol vitamins and put electrolytes in her water. I am super concerned about Mareks disease as we have lost two other chicken in the last month. I have not had a necropsy done as I have no idea where to go for that. One of the other chickens had a mass on her wing joint and I just found her dead one morning. The other one had had a host of issues from the time we got her when she was 6 weeks old. She was always small and was picked on by the other chickens. She got very weak and stumbled when she walked. I seperated her and gave her vitamins and oatmeal/egg/yogurt and she seemed to get better. Then about ten days ago I found her laying on her side in the yard. I picked her up, she had a seizure and died in my arms. Does any of this sound like Mareks? I have read a bunch of threads on here about Mareks and wry neck and I am super confused as to what is wrong with my chickens. The other 5 I have outside and the 4 chicks in the garage all seem fine, but so did this bird until today. What do I do?!
     
  2. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    Anyone?

    I just checked on her and she seems a bit worse. Still standing and walking, but her head is deffinately harder for her to control than before. I also just found mites/lice on her! Could this be part of the problem? We treated them with Sevin powder a couple months ago, but I guess we didn't do a good enough job. Suggestions please?! I'm getting desperate!
     
  3. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    nobody has any advice?
     
  4. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    Please...anyone...Help?
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Hi. It really does not sound like Marek's on any of them at this point. I would get her some antibiotics like Tylan for the eye, She may have something like wry neck which I know nothing about. Or some neuro problem. Or, she's leaning like that because she lost her sight in that eye. That may be it.

    How long have you had them, and how many?

    Necropsies can be done thru the county or state, they would have an animal disease lab that you could send a dead bird to. You can call them and they'll give you instructions, and maybe a paper to fill out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  6. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    so it has now been two weeks since she first same up with wry neck. I brought her in the house and started her on poly-vi-sol and force feeding her three times a day as she was unable to eat much on her own. after about a week she perked up when taken outside, and started to eat a mash of oatmeal, layer pellets, scrambled egg and yougrt on her own. I was very encouraged. However, after about three days of doing well, eating and holding her head up some, she now seems to have regressed. She stands all day with her head upside sown, and is not at all interested in trying to eat on her own. She will perk up a little when outside and try to hold her head up and walk around some, but not nearly like she was. I am still doing the vitamins and I am now tube feeding her, as I did not feel like I was getting enough down her just force feeding, and was afraid I was going to cause her to aspirate. Does anyone have advice on other things I could try to help her? How long should I keep going with this before I throw in the towel and have her euthanized? I don't want her to suffer. I can't afford to take her to the vet, and I'm not sure I have the heart to cull her myself. I just don't know what to do! :( Any advice is appreciated.
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I personally feel that if I have to tube feed them, it's time for them to be euthanized.
    2 weeks is a long time. I really don't know that much about wry neck, maybe you could type it in the search. I know a few years ago, I had a good hatch, and at about 4 weeks old, one had his head turned upside down. I euthanized him right away.
    Sometimes you just never know why they get something. It probably has nothing to do with you. I hate the feeling of not being able to help them. It's a hard thing to have to live with, but it comes with having pets. [​IMG]
     
  8. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    So I am still nursing this chicken along. She has days where she perks up a little and days where she does noting but sit with her head upside down all day long. If I syringe food and water onto her beak, she will eat it, but she is not eating at all on her own. I am tube feeding her once a day just to make sure she is getting an adequate amount of nutrition. Before this all started, one of her eyes was a little crusty for a week or so. That eye continues to be an issue, and today I noticed that it seems like she can't close that eye at all. She has no blink reflex and the eye is always open. I am leaning toward euthanizing her at this point, I am just having a hard time figuring out the best way to do it that I can bear. I was just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whats up with her eye? Could she possibly have had a stroke or unknown head trauma? Is there anything else I should try before I go ahead and Euthanize the poor girl? I was determined to save this one. This has been our first year with chickens, and it has been a rough one. I did not realize how many things can go wrong with them. We have lost 6 over the last year for various reasons, and I don't feel like a very good chicken keeper at this point. I am a vet tech by trade, and it is my nature to want to be able to fix things. It is very frusturating to me that I have not yet been able to get one of my chickens over their various issues. Also, if I do decide to euthanize her, does anyone have any suggestions on how to do it? I work in a lab animal facility and cervically dislocate mice all the time, but I'm not sure I can bring myself to do that to my chicken. I don't seem to have much luck in getting responses on this forum when I post stuff, so I am hoping someone will read this and have some advice for me.
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Wow Tabithas, being a vet tech must make you feel even more helpless. I think that maybe her eye is infected because her immune system is low. I truly believe that she needs to be euthanized. You've done everything you can.

    It's also frustrating to have chickens, they can't tell you what's wrong. I usually go by the simplest possibilities . If they're young, I think Cocci. If not, I treat with Penicillin or LS-50. If it's respiratory I treat with Tylan. Other common things, impacted or sour crop, egg retention.

    I had to learn how to euthanize when my chickens and chicks started suffering from Marek's. Now this is really awful, there's times where I get hubby to do it. However, make sure your ax is sharp, and you have a block of wood. I dig a hole and do mine next to the hole. I also put something over their eyes so they have no idea. That's the most fastest painless way for the chicken.

    You are doing everything right, it's just a hard time for you. It will pass. Just love on the chickens you have.
     
  10. Zrcalo

    Zrcalo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried tetracycline? I've had all kinds of illnesses in my birds and whenever I dont use tetra, they always seem to die. The tetra I use is the kind meant for fish. I just put one drop in their mouth in the morning and one in the evening. though... these are full grown bantam birds. You might also want to see if the chick is dehydrated and try go get her eye drops if you want to keep trying.

    The constant use of only one antibiotic causes bacteria to become more resistant to it. so trying different combinations of antibiotics is always the best route. They use the same antibiotics for animals as they use for humans. It's just different doses. If the chick got better, then got worse when outside, I'm thinking it keeps picking up whatever it is outside. keep the chick on antibiotics for a while and see if they get better.

    If you decide to euthanize, I recommend the ax.

    I'm not a vet tech, but I'm a biologist.. so.. I only know what I learned.
     

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