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Mysterious deaths, what is left to try??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fraunie, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Fraunie

    Fraunie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Morning,

    I found my 6th dead hen in 8 weeks this morning. All of these have been without warning signs, as in, walking and looking normal at 8am, but found in the pen by 11am dead, no pecks, no injuries, nothing. They have been wormed with Valbazen within the past 6 months after finding tapeworm segments in droppings. I have treated them with Sevin dust and also Ivermectin in the past 2 months due to lice and stick tight fleas, neither were particularly bad outbreaks, just noticed on a few (of 35) and treated the flock.

    What I know:
    Many are molting, and have been missing feathers on their back for a few months. I thought this was due to our rooster.

    Vents look fine, some messy back ends, but nothing that looks unusual.

    I am getting almost NO eggs. 35 hens and I get about 3 eggs a day but they aren't lit and maybe a third are molting.

    My neighbor lost all of her flock to MAREKS this spring. Her deaths were of hens under a year, mine are all 18months -3 years and most have been vaccinated as chicks. Her pen is maybe 60 yards from mine as the crow flies.

    Of the 6 I have lost, I know 4 were not vaccinated against mareks, but the other two could have been.

    The hen that died last night while acting normal, did seem to have a yellowish cast to her waddle and comb, not pale, but orange yellow.


    I decided not to send the bird off for necropsy bc if it's mareks, there isn't anything I can do, really. And I feel I have treated for parasites fairly well...but have I???

    What else should I be doing??
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    You need lab work. You should be sending a freshly dead bird off for necropsy. There isn't anything you can do if it is marek's but of the many other things that could be killing them which it may be, you will know what to do.
    Besides Marek's and parasites, there are about a hundred things that can affect them.
    No one can give you a good course of action without knowing what is wrong.
    Parasites, whether worms, protozoa, lice, mites, etc. will not kill a bird abruptly with no symptoms.
    While you fritter time away guessing at treatments, more birds may die without you knowing what the actual problem is..

    Among other things besides Marek's that can kill a bird suddenly are Lymphoid Leukosis, Anaphylactic shock, botulism, gout/kidney failure, aflatoxicosis, campylobacteriosis, colibacillosis, fatty liver, streptococcosis, cholera, pesticide poisoning, choking, listeriosis, erysipelas, malaria, bluecomb and some other very rare diseases.

    Do you want to guess at treatment for each of those while birds continue to die - or get a necropsy and know what is ailing your flock?

    If I had 2 or more birds die in short order with no symptoms, I'd be hand carrying a bird to the state poultry lab.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  3. Fraunie

    Fraunie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for that advice. I haven't, only because I have to send it off overnight on ice to our university, which last time cost me $150 and they found nothing wrong with the bird. Possible brain tumor. This was 3 years ago, though. I just wasn't sure if there was something they could tell me that would help.

    I still have her and can send her in today.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    That's pretty expensive. What state are you in?
    I paid 80 in MO for a necropsy that turned out to be cancer. But I considered it a bargain since I didn't have to prophylactically treat the rest of the birds for a problem that didn't exist. The fresher the bird, the better chance there will be a conclusive diagnosis. In my case I hand carried the lethargic bird for euthanasia, so it was very fresh.
     
  5. Fraunie

    Fraunie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Elfin Forest
    CA. I have to ship it to Davis which is about 600 miles away. Overnight and on ice per their protocol.
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Necropsies in CA are free (limit two per day). Call and ask them for their Fedex number and overnight her to one of the four labs.
    Lab Locations

    CAHFS is a livestock and avian diagnostic laboratory, not a small animal laboratory. Questions concerning dogs, cats, snakes, and fish should be directed to your local veterinarian.
    The CAHFS Toxicology Section may be contacted regarding any poisoning cases in all animal species at this number: (530) 752-6322.
    Each laboratory in the CAHFS System performs specific tests. If the CAHFS Lab nearest your location does not perform the test(s) needed for your submission, the specimen may be forwarded to the lab in the CAHFS System that does perform the test.
    Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM

    Emergencies only on Saturday and Sunday.

    [​IMG]
    Davis Laboratory

    The Davis facility consists of two laboratory buildings: The John E. Thurman, Jr. Building, and the Kenneth L. Maddy building. Davis is staffed and equipped to provide the full range of diagnostic procedures in the disciplines of pathology, bacteriology, mycology, serology, avian virology, mammalian virology and toxicology for all species of livestock including poultry. It also houses the Equine Analytical Chemistry laboratory, which is staffed and equipped to provide equine drug testing.
    The Davis laboratory also conducts tests on specimens forwarded from the other four laboratories, which have not been staffed and equipped to perform them. As the central laboratory of the CAHFS, it provides professional support and supervision of tests and procedures to be used throughout the CAHFS. Discipline specialists at Davis, working with diagnosticians at the other laboratories, develop standard protocols and provide standardized reagents for use in the CAHFS. They also have supervisory responsibility over activities of their specialty, including both monitoring of testing procedures and the training of personnel in the use of such procedures at the other laboratories.
    The Davis Laboratory accepts AVIAN, LIVESTOCK, and HORSE submissions. Carcasses may be submitted for necropsy. Submissions for livestock and horse biopsies, serology, bacterial cultures and electron microscopy are also accepted. The Toxicology section of the Davis Lab will accept specimens from all animal species, including domestic animals, wildlife, and sea mammals.
    Address
    620 West Health Science Drive
    Davis, California 95616

    (530) 752-8700
    (530) 752-6253 (FAX)
    [email protected]




    [​IMG]
    Turlock Laboratory

    The Turlock laboratory provides diagnostic support for the needs of the poultry industry in the northern San Joaquin valley. It provides diagnostic services in pathology, bacteriology, serology, mycology, and in some aspects of virology. The Turlock Laboratory serves as a point of access to the CAHFS and all of its services except necropsies of large animals. Specimens (except large animals, cats and dogs) will be transported to other laboratories of the CAHFS for diagnostic procedures that cannot be conducted at Turlock.
    The Turlock Laboratory accepts all AVIAN submissions including carcasses, serology samples and bacterial cultures. The Turlock Laboratory now performs the Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) Elisa test on ear notch samples.
    For USPS mail & deliveries, use our PO Box address.
    Address
    1550 N Soderquist Road
    PO Box 1522
    Turlock, CA 95380-2204

    (209) 634-5837
    (209) 667-4261 (FAX)
    [email protected]


    [​IMG]
    Tulare Laboratory

    The Tulare laboratory is located in the facilities of the Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, University of California, Tulare. It provides diagnostic laboratory support for the food animal industries and the veterinarians who serve these industries in the central and southern San Joaquin valley. Services offered on-site include pathology, bacteriology, parasitology, mycology, regulatory serology and certain aspects of virology. The Tulare Laboratory accepts all AVIAN, LIVESTOCK and HORSE submissions.
    Serology and toxicology samples are sent, as necessary, to other CAHFS laboratories for testing.
    Address
    18830 Road 112
    Tulare, CA 93274-9042

    (559) 688-7543
    (559) 686-4231 (FAX)
    [email protected]


    [​IMG]
    San Bernardino Laboratory

    The San Bernardino laboratory provides diagnostic laboratory support for the livestock and poultry industries of southern California, and conducts serological tests required for programs of the Animal Health Branch. It is staffed and equipped to provide diagnostic support in pathology, bacteriology, mycology, milk quality, serology, and some aspects of virology and parasitology. It serves as a point of access for all services offered by the CAHFS.
    The San Bernardino Laboratory accepts AVIAN, LIVESTOCK, and HORSE submissions: avian carcasses and biopsies, livestock and horse carcasses and biopsies, serology and bacterial cultures.
    105 W Central Avenue
    San Bernardino, CA 92408 2113
    (909) 383-4287
    (909) 884-5980 (FAX)
    [email protected]





     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Originally Posted by casportpony [​IMG]

    How to Send a Bird for a Necropsy​

    They need the whole bird, refrigerated, not frozen. If you live in CA, there are four labs that do necropsies on poultry (chickens, turkeys, waterfowl) for free. I know that they do out of state necropsies, but I think they charge for those. You could call them and ask what they charge for out of state "backyard poultry". The lab I use is the one in Tulare, CA. If you are in CA, call them and ask for their FedEx account number, it will save a bunch on shipping charges.

    CAHFS
    18830 Road 112
    Tulare, CA 93274-9042
    (559) 688-7543
    (559) 686-4231 (FAX)
    [email protected]


    The other labs are listed here:
    http://www.cahfs.ucdavis.edu/services/lab_locations.cfm

    If it's Friday, unless you want to overnight for Saturday delivery, I would suggest shipping on Monday for Tuesday delivery. What you need to do, if you haven't already done so, is put your bird in your refrigerator, NOT the freezer! Then you need to find a box, line it with styrofoam (I use the 4'x8'x1" stuff from Home Depot. You can also get smaller pieces at an art store like Michael's, but is way more expensive. Click here to see foam options. You'll also need at least one ice pack. Here are some pictures that I took of the last bird that I sent:

    Box lined with foam on four sides and bottom. Seams of foam taped sealed.
    [​IMG]

    Box, sides, bottom and and top.
    [​IMG]

    Frozen ice pack in ziplock baggie.
    [​IMG]

    Brown paper on top of ice pack.
    [​IMG]

    Hen in ziplock baggie on top of brown paper.
    [​IMG]

    Brown paper on top of hen.
    [​IMG]

    Ice pack on top of brown paper.
    [​IMG]

    Lid on top of brown paper.
    [​IMG]

    Inside the box you should also include a submission form in a ziplock baggie. Do not tell anyone at FedEx that you're shipping a dead animal... that seems to really worry them. Just make sure that nothing will leak.

    Hope this helps!

    -Kathy
     
  8. Fraunie

    Fraunie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Elfin Forest
    OMgosh this is great info! Thank you!

    Three years ago I sent my bird to Davis, but San Bernadino is closer to me. At that time I don't think the accepted poultry. And I had no idea you could ask for their FedEx number!!

    The diagram on packing is helpful, too. Thank you.


    Weird thing is, two hours after I posted this, my neighbor who lives on the other side of the one who had Marek's, called to say she found two dead hens. They were also appeared normal that morning,and came home and they had collapsed and died in her yard. No marks, nothing. She is sending one of hers off today.
     

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