Neurotical Condition lost 2 already

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nursehev35, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Nursehev35

    Nursehev35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Help please! We started with 6 chickens, we lost 2, and another one is sick!

    So it started in the beginning of October. We had a hen that has had an on and off eye infection that just wouldn't go away. We took her to the vet who said it wasn't anything contagious, and gave us eye drops. She seemed like her balance was off, but we attributed it to her eye. We found her lying on the ground half of her body paralyzed and gasping for air. She died an hour later. 2 weeks ago I noticed another one of our EE, Zoey, (26 wks) was acting strange. She was slower than the others, and a bit clumsy. She would just come out of the coup and stand there. So we isolated her. She was eating and drinking initially, but then she could hardly get up. She stopped eating and drinking, she felt as though she had lost a lot of weight (this was before we isolated her) so I started syringe feeding her electrolytes and sulfa meds (our farmer thought coccidiosis). Within a day she couldn't stand anymore and the next day (last Sunday) she was gone. Now I have a RIR that is doing the same thing! She walks really slowly (while the others are running around) and she is off balance. Monday she came out of the coup and just laid on the cold ground, and she was shaking. So we brought her inside. She is eating heartily, and drinking. Her eyes look fine, they are bright and no redness. I looked at her poop, which is soft brown, with white... Looks normal. Her skin all looks ok. I can't see any parasites, but I'm not 100% sure what I am looking for. I know what lice and worms look like & I don't see any. Even in the crate this morning she was standing up when I went to her, but when she went for the food she looked like she got tripped up on her feet. They were all wormed about 2 weeks ago when zoey started to look sick with ivermectin. I've been giving the sulfa meds to all of them now since Sunday for 6 days.
    The other thing I forgot to mention is the red did this thing yesterday where she squatted down like she was going to poop, but nothing came out. She did this twice, while I was standing there? I know she is pooping because there is plenty of it in the crate. This red also seems to be maturing slower than her sister (we raised 2 reds as chicks) they are currently 24 weeks old. Her sister has an almost full red comb, and waddle, but Gerties is hardly there at all. I am afraid we are going to lose our whole flock. We started out with 6, but we only have 3 healthy ones left.
    FYI we feed them natures best organic feed pellets. We let them free range for a few hours 3-4 days a week in our fenced in, suburban back yard (1/4 acre). I clean there coup once a week. When the one in October died, I cleaned and scrubbed the coup, water & feed dishes. Water is from the hose, it's city water.
    I am giving her a sulfa antibiotic, save a chick electrolytes & probiotics and then her regular pellet food.
    Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    So sorry for your losses. Mareks disease is often overdiagnosed on here, but I would really suspect it or something such as moldy feed or lead or other chemical poisoning. If you lose another chicken, I would get it tested for Mareks disease with a necropsy by your state vet. It is important to know if that is the reason, so that any new chicks you get should be vaccinated for Mareks and kept out of this environment for 2 weeks to develop immunity. The eye problem could have been the early signs of occular Mareks. The squatting your pullet did near you could be the normal squatting they do when they are submitting to the rooster for mating--many hens do this near the owners. I would smell and look closely at your feed and scratch grains for any mold. Here are some good links to read about Mareks:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/#/disease/Marek's_Disease
     
  3. Nursehev35

    Nursehev35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2014
    Lancaster, PA
    Thank you so much for your reply! Our hens were all vaccinated for mareks. I checked the feed, it all seems fine. Their bedding is sand with coop clean on top (straw mixed with that volcanic odor neutralizer). The one thing that concerns me is we bought railroad ties for landscaping our yard. I noticed that they were eating dandelions that popped up around them, but this seems too insidious for creosote poisoning, don't you think?
    One thing I did forget to mention was that zoey, the one that passed on Sunday, did have crusty, white poop all down her backside when we brought her inside. This one does not have that though, and neither did the first one that died.
    Another thing is the ones who are sick would drink a ton of water. I would put a fresh bowl out for when the free range. All of the hens would come up to it, but the 2 sick ones would stand there and drink long after the others were off running around. Zoey would drink so much she would sometimes vomit.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Mareks vaccines can sometimes fail, or they could be missed at the hatchery. Since it takes 2 or more weeks to build up immunity after vaccination there still could be a slight risk. The creosote in the railroad ties could be a possibility I suppose. Botulism is another disease that can cause paralysis. One disease that can cause a wide variety of symptoms from great thirst to rapid breathing, silent gasping, to paralysis is aspergillosis, a disease from mold in the environment which can be acute or chronic. Here are some links to read about aspergillosis and botulism:
    http://www.aspergillus.org.uk/indexhome.htm?secure/veterinary/Poultdis1.html~main
    http://poultrykeeper.com/respiratory-problems/aspergillosis
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
     
  5. Nursehev35

    Nursehev35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the articles! If anything, I am learning a lot about various chicken diseases.
     
  6. Nursehev35

    Nursehev35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So Gertie seems a bit better. She's not lying down as much. She is still wobbly, but not falling backward like she was. One thing I've noticed in the past 2 days, while watching her, is when she poops there is this high pitched sound out of her backside, and it's very liquid brown. I wonder if it's from the antibiotics? Otherwise she has no other symptoms. No problems with her wings. Her eyes are still normal and she sees fine.

    I have to say this is a great website! It's so nice to be able to talk to people with similar experiences and knowledge, especially when you feel so helpless!
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I would chop up a few curds of cottage cheese and feed them to her each day to see if the diarrhea lessens. Is she still get probiotics? I would also start some vitmains in her water in case she has a vitamin defiency which could be causing her wobbles.
     
  8. Nursehev35

    Nursehev35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I just wanted to share that Gertie passes, which makes 3 that we have lost. We took her for a necropsy and found she had tumors all throughout her GI tract and ovary. She also had inflammation of her sciatic nerve. The diagnosis was Mareks and a secondary coccidiosis infection. So far our other 3 seem fine (knock on wood).
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I'm very sorry.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    So sorry for your loss of Gertie. It is very interesting that she died of Mareks after being vaccinated as a chick. Did you keep them inside in a brooder for the first couple of weeks when you got your chicks?
     

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