Mareks vaccine help with IV bag diluent

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jbs, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
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    I recently bought a Mareks vaccine to vaccinate some chicks that I bought at my local feed store. I thought I had done all the research I possibly could about this, but my vaccine came with diluent in an IV type bag, and I can't figure out where to stick the needle into the bag. All the instructions I've seen online, as well as the instructions that came with the vaccine, describe using a bottle of diluent, not this bag. I tried uploading a photo of the bag, but it went into some sort of community group of photos and I couldn't figure out how to attach to this message. There are two possible openings, one with a hard rubber stopper, but when I stuck the needle in there I couldn't draw anything out. There's a longer opening with a removable blue cover, but when I took the blue cover off and stuck the needle into the bag, it created a hole (duh), and I think I wrecked the entire bag and made it non-sterile. I'm ready to throw the entire thing in the garbage and take my chances with Mareks. If anyone has any experience with this IV bag type diluent, please let me know. I haven't ruined the vaccine itself (yet), so I can order another bag or bottle of diluent and try again.
     
  2. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No help with this type of bag, sorry. Where did you purchase it? I would be calling if you can't get an answer on here real soon. Can you scan the directions and post them here? Another thing to think about, do you know how old the chicks are now?
     
  3. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks anyway for your reply. I decided not to bother with the vaccine. My chicks are almost 2 weeks old now, which most seem to think is too old for this vaccine to be very effective. I'm brooding the chicks in my house, but I have an adult flock outside and I figure I've probably contaminated the chicks by now.

    I've had some issues with my chicks this year, I lost a number due to a shipping problem, and I wasn't really thinking about vaccines when I picked up some replacement chicks at the feed store. I hope the decision to get these new unvaccinated chicks doesn't come back to haunt me later on.

    I think I figured out my IV bag issue. I had a 3 ML/25 gauge needle to mix the diluent with the vaccine, but I don't think it was long enough to reach thru the stopper on the diluent bag. Next time I'll get my chicks from a hatchery and let them do the vaccinating. And hopefully they won't all die in shipping.
     
  4. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry. I have Marek's in my flock due to chicks I bought last year from TS. It's not a lot of fun. How long can you keep them seperate from your adult flock? The longer the better.
     
  5. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, sorry about the Mareks in your flock. You're making me rethink my vaccine. My chicks are two weeks old today or tomorrow and I think I'm going to just vaccinate them and hope that it has some effect. At least it shouldn't hurt them. Plenty of people seem to be vaccinating their chicks under less than ideal conditions, vaccinating too old or after they've been exposed to adults, using needles that have too fine a gauge, etc. Thanks for your post, I'm going to vaccinate and hope for the best.
     
  6. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to have a link, lol, can't lay fingers on it right now, that talked about this in length. There are some experts that think it is entirely acceptable to give the vaccine late, one if birds are known to have been exposed even if they were vaccinated as chicks and one that thought that it was a good idea to do it yearly. Interesting thoughts but not sure about the yearly thing. I'm also of 2 minds about using it now as well. If you had Marek's there already I would say that it might be a good thing to try, but it doesn't sound like you do. Oh, you'd know, maybe not with the first bird affected, but Marek's is like a shovel up side the head. It has a way of getting your attention quick. These chicks have already been exposed to who knows what just by being in the feed store. My local Tractor Supply is getting their chicks in any time now and I will not go into the store and knowingly expose those babies. I have enough to be sorry for without doing that.

    If you are planning to hatch your own this year, you could save the vaccine for use then. As long as it's kept refridgerated it will keep up to the date on the bottle and sometimes even a little beyond as long as it's not mixed.
     
  7. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haunted 55, I read your thread about Mareks as well as just about everything else I could find on the subject and decided to vaccinate my chicks. With them still in a brooder, it seems like it's worth it. I found some articles in PubMed suggesting that the vaccine is a good solution to prevent an outbreak in your flock, but that the vaccine may be creating a deadlier strain of Mareks that we'll all have to deal with in the future. I've read a lot of conflicting things about the vaccine, like that it won't prevent Mareks, only the tumors associated with it - that vs those who say that less than 5% of vaccinated chicks will come down with Mareks. I'm not sure what to believe. I'm going to try to follow your advice of keeping the chicks away from my adult flock for 4-5 months. Not quite sure how we'll manage that, but it seems important for preventing the spread of disease.

    And wow, the vaccinating process was an experience. My husband tried to help me, but he's so squeamish about needles that he had to leave the room. I'm pretty confident about 70% of the chicks that I vaccinated, that I delivered the right .2ml dose under the skin. The other 30%, they definitely got some of the vaccine, but maybe not the whole dose. It would have been a lot easier with the 29 gauge ultra fine needles that I bought, but the instructions from Merial indicate to use a 20-22 gauge needle. I read somewhere on BYC that under 25 gauge will shred the virus and make the vaccine less effective. I called Twin City Poultry Supply and asked about the needle and was told that the 25 gauge was "better". He didn't say I couldn't use the 29 gauge, just that the 25 gauge would work better. What a mess. I think I need a drink!
     
  8. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL!!! Yes, I know how you feel! I was going to vaccinate my 'control group' that hatched in Oct. [from Marek's survivors eggs]. Had everything ready to go, needles, understand I'm with your husband, lol, just drawing and putting the diluent into the bottle of the vaccine and BAM!!! It blew up right in my face. Scared to death of needles or not, I did the drawing and everything else absolutely right. I look at it as maybe divine intervention, lol? Needles to say, at that time of the year, there was no more to be had or I would have done the same as you, I think. Out of these birds, I've lost 1. A roo that had the classic signs of one leg forward and one back at around 10 weeks. He also showed the occular form starting as well. Poor little thing never had a chance. But...the others are doing very well! No signs of it showing right now.

    I really do commend you for what you have done. Even late, there is a chance that it'll be enough to give them the boost they'll need to fight it off and become resistant to it. I am convinced from what I've seen with my own, it isn't the small exposures that cause a bird to come down with full blown Marek's. It's the constant exposure or in one case here, an already compromised bird coming in contact and getting it. The longer you can keep them apart, the better chances you have of warding it off. Please keep this up to date!!! I think this is the type of info needed because it may help someone down the line. If I can ever be a help to you, feel free to PM me anytime.
     
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  9. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry for your experience with Mareks, but posting your details here on BYC may help others - and you certainly convinced me to vaccinate my chicks, even though my conditions were far from ideal. I'm pretty sure my diluent was still sterile, as the bag never went cloudy. I'd be much more comfortable dealing with a bottle of diluent, but reading about your vaccine exploding in your face (!), maybe I was better off with the bag after all.

    Sorry about your little roo, but good luck with the rest of your survivor chicks. I am going to try to keep my chicks separate from my adult flock as long as I can, just hope that doesn't mean keeping them in my dining room until they're 5 months old, ha, ha.
     
  10. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Been there, lol, only in my case it's my livingroom. I am putting up another building away, away from what I have now. We're supposedly coming up to good weather soon, ummm ain't seen it yet, so won't need anything as complex as my other ones. I hope it's enough but it's still an experimant for me. I am going to keep records and write about it all on BYC so others may be able to learn from my mistakes. I hope so, truely, that way it isn't all a waste. Please keep the thread up to date. So many times a really good learning tool, thread, just drops and it can be overlooked so easily when someone is scrambling to find much needed info. Your thread especially could prove to be a help for someone else. Here's something else to think about....I have Heritage turkeys and they freerange sometimes in my yard, the same yard my chickens use. It may be frowned on but I will let you know this, when i started doing this my Marek's birds seemed to get a whole bunch better. The answers I got were that the turkeys were revaccinating them with every contact. Is this the truth? Don't know, but there are quite a few people out there who will tell you to do the same. You run the risk of Blackhead doing this, but that can be treated with drugs. Marek's...not so much. It's a personal choice and someone would have to check with their State Vet to seem if Blackhead is an issue in their area.

    Good luck to you! I hope you never have to worry about Marek's or any of the other little nasties that seem to be out there.
     

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