Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) experts needed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ReadyvilleBird, May 11, 2019.

  1. ReadyvilleBird

    ReadyvilleBird In the Brooder

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    So, you may have seen my post before where I explain how my flock inherited MG from a “hatchery” that sold me sick chickens. So far I have gotten the disease under control but symptoms keep popping up in another chicken every time one beats it. I have a few questions on how to proceed from here and I need some critiques on my current treatment practices.
    Let’s start with how I’m treating. I should mention that nearly all of the affected chickens are less than three months old.
    The first birds to show symptoms were isolated from the rest of the flock and treated with doxycycline with impressively rapid results. But since doxycycline is a little expensive locally, I switched to tetracycline for the new cases with less impressive results. I’m not sure if the drug is not as good or I am doing something wrong. The doxycycline tablets were dissolved in water and given as a primary and sole source of water for the affected chicks. The tetracycline, I can only find in an injectable solution which I use 400 mg per gallon of water. I have had a few chicken shake it at a much slower rate and right now I question if they weren’t just getting better on their own because I have one silky that just refuses to get better. Twice a day are use water and a towel to remove the built-up crud around her eyes so she can see long enough to eat but this method is now barely working. I really do not want to lose this silky as she is the sweetest bird I’ve ever had that follows my four-year-old around and snuggles in her lap. Please tell me what I am doing wrong.
    When ever I switched to the tetracycline, rather than treating and isolating the affected birds, I chose to treat the entire flock because I simply do not have the facilities to isolate so many at different intervals.
    So now the big question for me is how do I proceed once the contagion is under control. Since the disease spreads to the surrounding birds as well as new hatchlings, am I forever cursed with a flock of infected birds? From what I understand, this disease is treatable but not curable. Please tell me I’m wrong.
    OK, I’ll except that it isn’t curable but I don’t have the heart to cull my whole flock and start over not do I want to deal with this and antibiotics forever. Is there a vaccine to treat future additions? Is there a simple way to test the current birds in my flock so I can vaccinate them and mark them for future breeding?
    The grand question is how do I get back to a healthy disease-free flock?
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

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    Have you actually had the birds tested to confirm it's definitely MG and not one of the other infectious respiratory diseases? If not, I would do so. You don't need to cull any or anything like that. You can use a company called Zoologix to test for you. You would just get three swabs from the throat of a bird showing symptoms, and mail them to Zoologix, and pay for their poultry respiratory panel, which tests for mostly all of the respiratory diseases.

    Some of the diseases are viruses and can't be treated. One of the diseases they have for a while, then get over within a year.

    And yes, most of them, MG included, never go away. If you have MG or one of those diseases in your flock, you never can get back to a healthy, disease-free flock until you cull all the ones that you have, or until you let them die out. You can treat the symptoms, and close your flock (no birds out, no hatching eggs out, etc) until they pass away naturally, if you don't want to cull. Then you can wait a couple months for the disease to die in the environment, and start again. Or you can cull right away, wait a few months, and start over.

    They will have symptom flare-ups whenever they are stressed and their immune systems are lower. This could include when the temperatures start dropping, when they are coming into lay, when they are molting, etc.

    If you have confirmed for sure that you're dealing with MG, I recommend treating with Denagard instead of tetracycline. MG is much more susceptible to it. This is why it's important to get them tested - you can use a drug that will work much better against a specific disease instead of something broad spectrum. As another example, if you tested and it came back as coryza instead, I'd tell you to switch to Sulmet.

    Actually, after reading your post on how your flock ended up infected with this, I'd be more inclined to suspect coryza than MG, since you said your outside flock had symptoms within days, and coryza's incubation period is about two to three days, whereas MG can take a week to three weeks to show up.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  3. ReadyvilleBird

    ReadyvilleBird In the Brooder

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    That’s some very useful information. The reason I suspect MG is the symptoms that I saw. Of the four birds that I got from the suspected infected hatchery, two wouldn’t open there eyes and a third started sneezing and sounded congested a few days later. The chicks that have shown signs after have all had foaming eyes and then completely closed eyes shortly after. These range of symptoms led me to suspect mg. Does it still sound like coryza and is that curable?
     
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  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    @Pyxis Thank you, you hit the nail on the head with the hammer. i couldnt have said it better.
    Doxycycline is a more potent antibiotic than tetracycline. Mycoplasma bacteria eventually builds resistance requiring a more powerful antibiotic. Baytril is the top of the line when it comes to mycoplasma diseases, and it's not cheap. So where do you go from here?

    You are looking at a lifetime of sick birds that will show symptoms at the drop of a hat. They will not lay eggs when sick. It's entirely possible they can have other diseases going on at the same time, such as mycoplasma gallisepticum and coryza, or mycoplasma gallisepticum and infectious bronchitis as examples. You dont know exactly what your birds have until tested as mentioned.

    Birds do not get over respiratory diseases like mammals and humans. Birds are a different ball game altogether. Depending on what disease it is, they remain carriers for life, typhoid Mary's if you will. These diseases can be carried on your clothing, hands, shoes, vehicle tires etc...

    How many people walk in and out of a feed store from their "contaminated flock" and deposit bacteria, that you pick up and inadvertently infect your soil when you walk into your chicken pen?
    Chicken owners go to chicken shows and swap meets. It only takes one sneezing bird or an innocent head shake that contaminates your clothing, then the person goes home and handles his birds. That person just gave his healthy birds an unknown disease.

    You have two choices: Cull your flock and find out what disease it is. Then find out the course time for that particular disease, then disinfect everything and repopulate after the course time is up.
    For mycoplasma diseases, you can repopulate in as little as 3 days after cleaning and disinfecting. Mycoplasma bacteria can survive only 3 days in the environment. Personally, I'd wait one month. Other diseases take much longer.

    Your other option is to maintain a closed flock. No birds out, no new birds in. No selling or giving away birds nor eggs to be hatched.

    Denagard (Tiamulin) specifically treats mycoplasma diseases in poultry. There is no egg withdrawal, there is a 3 day slaughter withdrawal. There is no bacterial resistance to it.
    QC Supply sells it. It is mixed in water for birds to drink, if sick birds will drink it. It is bitter to taste. I suggest that you use the BYC search box and type in 'Denagard' for dosage information and how sweeten the mixture in order for your birds to drink it.

    Birds with Coryza have a foul odor around the head area and usually with facial swelling. They are carriers for life. Treatment is baytril or tylan in conjunction with a sulfa drug, preferably sulfadimethoxine which requires a script from a vet. SMZ/TMP might help at the 500mg dose. Coryza is a nasty disease=cull.
     
  5. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    What state are you in? I can link your state lab.

    State labs can test a bird or two for you too. It's fairly cheap testing.

    This hatchery...is a major hatchery or some backyard breeder?
     
  6. ReadyvilleBird

    ReadyvilleBird In the Brooder

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    Sorry for the late response but this was more of a backyard breeder that claims hatchery status. It was a decent size farm outside Manchester TN but he didn’t show me the facilities. I’m in middle TN myself
     
    Texas Kiki likes this.
  7. ReadyvilleBird

    ReadyvilleBird In the Brooder

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    I’m glad you mentioned the foul odor because I certainly have noticed that with the chickens that are seriously sick. I almost have all the symptoms alleviated at the moment but I look forward to having a completely healthy flock again. I don’t think I could cull them right now because I put way too much work into locating every special breed that I wanted to have this year. 32 chickens and no more than two of the same breed. I guess I will close the flock until a significant portion of the population dies on its own in which case I will finish up with culling. Should the time come to cull some birds, will either of those diseases make the meat uneatable? I would hate a total waste
     
  8. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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  9. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    Were you able to get testing done?
     

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