Medical Mystery, can you help solve?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by krisandken, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. krisandken

    krisandken Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2014
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    Hello,

    I have a 2 1/2 year old buff orpington rooster adopted at 9 weeks old. He was hatched from a backyard flock, so I suspect he may not have been immunized. Ever since about 6 - 8 months of age, he has been staggering, unsteady, and shaking his head. During his molt this year, his condition grew worse. In addition to staggering, he started falling backwards but then he would get back up on his own. He is weak, but he does not sit for long periods on the ground, and he still uses his perch.

    He did have mites, so I gave him a medicated bath and got rid of them a few months ago. I also sprinkle Sevin Dust in the coop every time I clean it (about 3 times/year). I figured he needed extra protein from the molt so I have been giving him a hard boiled egg for breakfast for about a month. Both the bath and eggs have helped, but he still is struggling to walk and shaking his head.

    I have been giving him Poly Vi Sol (no iron), Echinacea, extra vitamin B, vitamin E and for the past few days I have been giving him Hypericum homeopathic treatment in case it is Mareks. I have wormed him with Wazine, but don't rule out parasites.

    He eats well, his eyes are bright, comb and wattles bright red, his appetite and weight are good, he is not depressed or hunched over, and I haven't noticed anything unusual about his droppings. He does not have any respiratory problems, leg swelling or bumblefoot. I have checked his ears and don't see any sign of parasites. He seems perfectly healthy except for staggering, leg weakness and head shaking.

    I thought the two most likely options were Mareks or encephalomyelitis but I'm not positive about either one. He does not have the split legs, dull eyes, wasting, or respiratory problems. This has been a long-term condition, not an acute one.

    I have been reading lots of articles and threads on BYC and appreciate all the great advice and support. Any thoughts about this baffling condition would be greatly appreciated.

    Kris (and Henry, the roo)
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  2. krisandken

    krisandken Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2014
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    [​IMG]
     
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi wish I could be more helpful, but I think head shaking may have something to do with mites in the ears?
    Also, Wazine only targets round worms, and not other types of worms so you may need to re worm with a different wormer that covers more types of worms. Others who are more knowledgeable hopefully will chime in. Sure hope someone can figure out what's going on... He looks like a sweet boy.
     
  4. krisandken

    krisandken Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    Here is Henry shaking his head, and a little bit of him staggering.
     
  5. krisandken

    krisandken Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2014
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    Thanks for the response. He is a very sweet boy, and I am trying to post a video so everyone can see the behavior that is causing my concern.
     
  6. krisandken

    krisandken Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is a link to a youtube video:

     
  7. krisandken

    krisandken Out Of The Brooder

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    Since the video is taking some time to post, you can find it on youtube by searching ken bilderback/henry shaking. Any feedback is welcome. Thank you.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Here is the link for those who want to see it:

    The head "zigzagging or rolling in a circle" certainly looks neurological, but it is not avian encephalomyelitis, I don't think, because those chicks are very sick with tremors when just a week or two old, and they don't recover. Since he wasn't symptomatic until 6-8 months old, I would guess that it would be another problem. Nambroth, Seminolewind, Casportpony and other BYC members have Mareks in their flocks, and maybe could tell you if this is typical. I think it looks more like encephalomalacia/wry neck/crook neck that could be a result of vitamin deficiency or head injury. Wry neck can be just a symptom of brain inflammation or some defect. It's kind of a vague disease sometimes involving the twisted neck, sometimes running in circles, or walking backwards. Neurological symptoms can be caused by vitamin E and selenium deficiency, poisoning from chemicals, lead shot found in the ground, old lead paint chips, and in aflatoxin or mold poisoning in feed. I would continue vitamins, and give him some selenium which is found in supplements, eggs, chopped meat, tuna, salmon, and nuts. He is doing pretty well if it is Mareks, and I would think that others would be affected if they were not vaccinated.
     
  9. krisandken

    krisandken Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for posting a link to the video and for your feedback. He doesn't seem like a sick bird, but there is something wrong I can't figure out. I'll add selenium and keep up with vitamins B and E. He loves the breakfast egg, and I forgot to mention I also give him sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, grapes and small pieces of bread, too. I use the bread as a way to get the vitamins in him. He does not take a dropper well. He is the only one in my small flock to exhibit these symptoms.
     
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I would start with worming him and not just once. He could be suffering the destruction.

    I watched Henry and my roo does that head waggling when his wattles get wet or food on them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014

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