Merek's disease

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LiveInBliss, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. LiveInBliss

    LiveInBliss In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2014
    Denver, Colorado
    Hi all-

    I am suspecting one of my hens (Americauna) has Mereks disease. She is 9 months old and has been super healthy until literally today... Her symptoms include uninterested in food, lethargic, can't balance, rolling around, frightened, feet seem to be slightly paralyzed. Eyes look fine, body has no visible tumors. She is a hearty chicken. I am in shock that she is sick.
    So far I separated her by putting her in a crate with her own water and food (which she is completely uninterested in and she is still in coop just isolated (the coop is a converted shed, very large), turned heat lamp on (we are having the snow storm of the season right now with temps getting below 5 degrees tonight), gave all hens probiotics in their food... Help.. what else can I do until it's warm enough to clean the whole coop out??

    I've read pages upon pages on Merek's disease but still can't figure out if my flock is doomed, if I should cull this hen, or if it's going to pass??

    Any tips to help the hen or should I let nature take its course?

    sad farmer
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    You can't clean Mareks out of a coop, and if that is what she has, the others are probably also exposed to the virus already from her and wherever she was exposed. Try to rule out dehydration or vitamin deficiency, and other problems first. Botulism from eating decayed animal or vegetation can cause paralysis of legs, wings, and neck. Poisons could also cause symptoms. I would offer her water with electrolytes and vitamins, and feed her with a dropper if necessary. There is an excellent article on Mareks her on BYC called"The Great Big GiantMareks Faq" that contains much information of the disease as well as others can can look like Mareks.

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