MG-Mycoplasma Gallisepticum, seeking input

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    i have read through all the MG posts, have talked to my personal vet and to the State Vet here in my region. i know some people have taken drastic measures after diagnosing MG (mycoplasma gallisepticum), others have decided to treat and close their flock. i am just hoping to solicit input on this topic, as i now have a diagnosis on my farm.

    Brought in 5 new birds to my standard pen of 6 chickens, w/o quarantine. i know better, but thought it would be okay this time - it wasn't. Long story short, most all chickens developed respiratory issues (nasal discharge, crusty nose to severe wheezing). After pulling out my favorite hen Penny into the house, the rest were taken to UC Davis to be euthanized and examined. i did this to protect the other chickens i have which are all in separate pens, but within walking distance of the affected pen.

    Several of the newly acquired birds were found to be seropositive for either mycoplasma gallisepticum or mycoplasma synoviae. My State Vet said that it is probably the gallisepticum, based on symptoms. He said it is difficult to test for MG or MS, depending on what stage the outbreak is in. He said that once a bird has it they are carriers for life, and that it can be passed on in eggs to developing chicks. He said there is a vaccine but does not recommend it. i think he said it doesn't keep them from getting the MG, that it only helps to increase egg production (i could be wrong, i take terrible notes).

    The issues i am facing are, how do i test Penny for MG? Wondering if she automatically has it now that she has been exposed. She did go through one day of wheezing and recovered without medication. She seems fine now. The State Vet said the best way would be to put her in with two expendable birds. If they get sick, then she's a carrier. Does anyone know of any other way to accurately test?

    He said that MG is fragile in the environment, so after cleaning up the gross contaminants in that particular pen and letting it sit a while, it should be MG free. Once i noticed a sick bird in that pen i started wearing different clothes and shoes in that pen and the others. But there was about a day or so when i wasn't. Haven't noticed any respiratory issues in the other pens. Can i assume they weren't exposed, or should i assume they have been?

    i'm just hoping to get some down-to-earth advice on how others have dealt with this and what their experiences have been. The friend i got the chickens from is also wondering how to proceed with their flock. In any case, i am currently closing my flock - not the best time since i have a gaggle of pre-pubescent Showgirl roos gearing up for business. Was hoping to rehome a few of them, but can't now until i have a handle on this.

    Also, wanted to provide some information for others. i contacted my State Vet through my State Dept of Agriculture. Although i think this information is listed elsewhere on this forum, here is a link to all state vets: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=0+1301&aid=390 When i called the one for California, i was referred to my regional state vet in Modesto. He was extremely helpful and told me that UC Davis would take the chickens, euthanize, and necropsy for free. (Don't expect your family vet to tell you this!) He also helped to interpret the reports and answered all my questions. Wonderful resource for anyone facing a crisis like this.

    Please offer any advice you have or ask any questions you want. i will share everything i know.
     
  2. tfpets

    tfpets Mmm, tastes like chicken

    Oh I am so sorry to hear this [​IMG]

    I dont have any answers for you, I just want to wish you well. I am sorry you are having to close your flock, you have such an awesome place and such happy birds!

    Thank you for the information about U.C. Davis too...it helps to have all the resources you can...

    Take care, and let me know if I can do anything to help,

    Tina in Chico/Forest Ranch....who loves the chicken family we "share"
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Thank you, Tina. i hope all my silkies and showgirls will be okay. If they contracted the MG i wouldn't be able to euthanize them. They would just live their lives out here.

    On the resource info, i initially took my first sick chicken to my personal vet. They charged me over $100 for the exam and to euthanize, then quoted another $200 for the necropsy and lab work, which i agreed to. Subsequently, when the rest of that flock showed symptoms and the state vet referred me to UC Davis, i found that my personal vet's office had taken that first bird to UC Davis, also. So there was over $300 in charges for something that could have been free.
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Western MA
    So so sorry to hear about your flock.. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Thank you. i was feeling so badly for the hens i put down. But the necropsy showed that one had a malignant ovarian tumor and another one was becoming an internal layer. It made me feel a little less terrible knowing they would have passed at some point anyways.
     
  6. Chickiebaby8

    Chickiebaby8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is your flock doing?
    I had one bird who was here for a week before dying of MG and ILT. I am worried about my other birds who aren't in the same pen. Similar situation. I hope they are okay. Thank you.
     
  7. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    4,256
    36
    274
    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Now, six months later, everyone is fine. All my pens have pen tested at various points, and no mg has been found in any of them. i think it helped that this event happened in winter so all my pens were wrapped in heavy duty plastic.

    Penny, the chicken who was exposed that i ended up keeping, has her own pen on the far side of the yard, next to our goat pen. She has shown no signs of illness since December. But i have separate shoes i wear when entering her pen, just to be safe, and i sterilize her feeder and waterer on a regular basis. i plan on getting her tested at some point, but it hasn't been a priority, as i could never euthanize her. She seems to be happy and healthy and gets along well with her goat friends.

    It was helpful to know that the mg is fragile in the environment. i was told it can only live a few days on a feather follicle or in feces. i let that pen sit idle for six months, then hired someone to go in and clean it all out. We sprayed with a bleach solution and let it sit in the sun for a while. Now i have young turkeys in there. It's good to see life in there again.
     

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