Marek's testing in living birds

JennyHeidewald

Songster
May 27, 2019
126
209
101
Prescott Valley, AZ
What were your results?
I got two tested in September, they came back positive for Marek's. :.( That was a sucker punch to the gut.
They had symptoms, one had the leg paralysis, the other had ocular and the skin nodules. One got better (astoundingly enough), the other, one of my favorites, died. I didn't do the blood test, just the swab in the mouth and the cloca. I had to get a test sample from one post mortem, she passed a few hours before I got the swabs in the mail.
So now I can't breed and sell project chickens, but I aim to enjoy the ones left. It is an awful disease, every time I turn around it seems another is coming down with symptoms, or has died.
 

PNWskye

Songster
Jun 12, 2018
210
118
111
I got two tested in September, they came back positive for Marek's. :.( That was a sucker punch to the gut.
They had symptoms, one had the leg paralysis, the other had ocular and the skin nodules. One got better (astoundingly enough), the other, one of my favorites, died. I didn't do the blood test, just the swab in the mouth and the cloca. I had to get a test sample from one post mortem, she passed a few hours before I got the swabs in the mail.
So now I can't breed and sell project chickens, but I aim to enjoy the ones left. It is an awful disease, every time I turn around it seems another is coming down with symptoms, or has died.
I felt that gut drop too when reading your response. So sorry. I want to breed and show for 4-H. :hitWhat a horrible virus. The one with ocular mareks, do you have pics of her eye?
 

JennyHeidewald

Songster
May 27, 2019
126
209
101
Prescott Valley, AZ
I felt that gut drop too when reading your response. So sorry. I want to breed and show for 4-H. :hitWhat a horrible virus. The one with ocular mareks, do you have pics of her eye?
Thank you. I did manage to get one photo of that side where she wasn't terribly blurry, you can see how the pupil isn't round, it kind of looks "melted". She also started to have issues seeing out of the eye. The swelling was pretty bad for her ear lobes. She lived quite a long time after I first noticed she was acting off.
IMG_0181 (2).JPG


One of my other sweet girls got one lame leg, and also breathing/eating issues (liquid would come up from her crop when she tried to eat). After a week of nursing her, I had her put to sleep because I didn't want her to suffer. It is aggravating that there are so many symptoms that it can present, but it is probably that way because it can affect the nervous system. There are a couple look-a-like diseases/issues too, like a vitamin deficiency, and I can't recall the other disease off the top of my head.

There is a really great reference here on BYC, The Great Big Giant Marek's Disease FAQ by Nambroth, I go back to that a lot.

The best of luck on your 4-H, that will be really fun. :)
 

PNWskye

Songster
Jun 12, 2018
210
118
111
Thank you. I did manage to get one photo of that side where she wasn't terribly blurry, you can see how the pupil isn't round, it kind of looks "melted". She also started to have issues seeing out of the eye. The swelling was pretty bad for her ear lobes. She lived quite a long time after I first noticed she was acting off.
View attachment 2387653

One of my other sweet girls got one lame leg, and also breathing/eating issues (liquid would come up from her crop when she tried to eat). After a week of nursing her, I had her put to sleep because I didn't want her to suffer. It is aggravating that there are so many symptoms that it can present, but it is probably that way because it can affect the nervous system. There are a couple look-a-like diseases/issues too, like a vitamin deficiency, and I can't recall the other disease off the top of my head.

There is a really great reference here on BYC, The Great Big Giant Marek's Disease FAQ by Nambroth, I go back to that a lot.

The best of luck on your 4-H, that will be really fun. :)
Thank you for the pic. I do see the pupil blending. Sweet little legbar! 💔 I have a pullet legbar named Fionna. She is a good girl! I feel awful for bringing a couple potentially sick hens into the group.

I’ve definitely read that FAQ post and too many others. I plan to do the test because I want to know, and if vaccinated birds don’t have false positives, it’s worth the cost. I just have to ensure I take a great sample, so it isn’t a bad test due to me.

The two in my garage are ready to get out of their quarantine bin and are going a little crazy together. 🤪🤪

4-H is all zoom meets right now, so that’s good for minimizing spread. Thank you for your insight. I’ll keep in touch with an update.
 

PNWskye

Songster
Jun 12, 2018
210
118
111
Thank you for the pic. I do see the pupil blending. Sweet little legbar! 💔 I have a pullet legbar named Fionna. She is a good girl! I feel awful for bringing a couple potentially sick hens into the group.

I’ve definitely read that FAQ post and too many others. I plan to do the test because I want to know, and if vaccinated birds don’t have false positives, it’s worth the cost. I just have to ensure I take a great sample, so it isn’t a bad test due to me.

The two in my garage are ready to get out of their quarantine bin and are going a little crazy together. 🤪🤪

4-H is all zoom meets right now, so that’s good for minimizing spread. Thank you for your insight. I’ll keep in touch with an update.
I contacted the lab, bought the swab/vial kit, and plan to do both for the two birds. Did you do blood and swab for the living bird?
 

JennyHeidewald

Songster
May 27, 2019
126
209
101
Prescott Valley, AZ
I contacted the lab, bought the swab/vial kit, and plan to do both for the two birds. Did you do blood and swab for the living bird?
Sorry for the late response, I just did the swab because I am too much of a wimp to intentionally clip a nail to the quick to get blood. Swab goes in the mouth first, then the vent.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom