Marek's? Still alive after two+ months? Hen is fine...except paralysis...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by StPaulieGirls, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. StPaulieGirls

    StPaulieGirls Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2007
    Oakland, CA
    Hi folks,

    We found two stray hens. After 6 weeks of quarantine, one started limping with flaccid paralysis in one foot. She seemed to plateau and showed no other signs. Figured it was an injury. Integrated them into the flock. All other birds are fine. They've been together for three weeks or so.

    One week ago, the limpy hen really showed signs of weakness and maybe some paralysis in both legs. She can't stand up for long on her own. She uses her wings to catch herself when she falls over.

    We pulled her out and put her in the hospital coop. Her weight was down, but she's been in decent spirits. Bright eyes. Eats plenty. Drinks plenty. Poops look normal. She gets herself to the nest box and is laying. She clucks to herself. I think that today she's starting to get a little depressed at being isolated and mostly immobile.

    I gave her fenbendazole, in case it was weakness due to a heavy worm load, but I don't think that's really what's going on.

    If she has Marek's (the rest of the flock is vaccinated and so far is looking fine...fingers crossed), wouldn't she be dead by now? Or much, much worse? It's been two months since the onset of signs.

    Not sure what to do with this bird. If we had an assisted chicken living facility, I think she'd maybe keep living like this? She just sits around on the bottom of the coop, under the ramp, with food and water within reach. Eyes open. Clucking.

    I mean, what the what??

    Thanks for any tips...

    Kerri in Oakland, CA
  2. daxigait

    daxigait Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Aug 10, 2015
    SW Missouri
    I don't know much about Mereks, but @Fire Ant Farm does and has one living with ocular Mereks. You might pm her as she gets those messages, but not all tags. You might also want to read about mycoplasma synoviae. If the symptoms match let me know if you have questions since I dealt with it.
  3. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

    May 5, 2015
    South Texas
    I'm not really sure, as I've never had the paralysis symptoms in my girl. There is a pretty active thread right now where we are discussing it with a few people who have had or currently have Mareks in their flock with losses and have more experience. I suggest you post there, you will likely get some good info (the folks on there have experience plus have done lots of research for their own knowledge). Here it is:

    - Ant Farm
  4. daxigait

    daxigait Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Aug 10, 2015
    SW Missouri
  5. jenniferlamar70

    jenniferlamar70 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2016
    Northern California
    Hey I'm the one from the other post about the mareks. My birds did suffer from the paralysis. All the symptoms you just described are what mine went through almost exactly. None died quickly. I learned they died from a secondary infection from being immune compromised. My suggestion is to start your chicken on corid and an antibiotic. Broad spectrum. That will help the secondary infections. My friend is going through the same thing. She left her sick hen in the coop with the other chickens and she stayed much happier and after a few months started to get better. The paralysis went away and her hen made a full recovery. They can recover from the paralysis but you have to protect from the secondary infections. Stress on them makes it worse so the least amount of stress is the best.
  6. microchick

    microchick Chicken Obsessed

    Hi @StPaulieGirls . Sorry to hear about your hen and bless you for taking them in and trying to help them. I've had cockerels and rooster with Neuro problems and currently have one 6 week old pullet that suddenly presented last night with a paralyzed leg and labored breathing/fatigue. I seem to be dealing with a virulent and multifaceted form of Marek's as I'm dealing with ocular also, along with neural and probably tumors also. So far I have lost 6 birds with 7 more showing signs of infection.

    I agree with the advice you have been given so far 100% What I wanted to add though is you said that your flock is vaccinated but do you realize that they have been exposed if she does have Marek's disease? Not much you can do but if I were you I would be sure to only bring vaccinated birds onto your property from now on. Vaccinated birds, exposed, can still shed the virus in their dander.

    Unfortunately at some point you may be faced with the painful decision of whether to put her down or not. Only you can make that call and final decision when the time comes. I would sure try everything mentioned. If she stops eating or drinking, then she has made the decision for you.

    Good luck. So sorry that another member is dealing with this horrible illness.Lots of good support and sympathetic members over on the Marek's in My Flock? thread. You are more than welcome to join us.
    DebiC215 likes this.

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