Not an Emergency...Marek's in the Flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Haunted55, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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  2. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Xs 2!
     
  3. hogster160

    hogster160 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She was killed by my dogs, so I'm guessing their teeth.
     
  4. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, from what I have been able to gather about the turkey Marek's...first off, before a year old, most turkey have it. Wild or stock turkeys. They are not affected in the same way that chickens are. This is something they are able to live with symbiotically. Now that being said, there is also something new in the turkey Marek's field coming out of Europe. This one, not so much. It is killing the turkeys in much the same way that chicken Marek's kills the chickens. Mutated form of the regular turkey Marek's? Most probably, but I haven't been able to get a straight answer on that yet. The last I knew, we do not have it here in the US....yet. Although, that link I posted earlier make me pause just a bit. If someone has anything new, please update! I haven't been able to follow up on this as I would like. I did come across something earlier today that kind of gave me pause and makes me wonder where this is all going....Maybe I read it wrong but will have to wait until tomorrow to reread and make sure. I'll put the link up and let you decide.
    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/79/51K43/
     
  5. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I loved the swimming chicken thread! I don't think mine much like water.

    Penny is just not doing great, not bad, but about same. I am starting to think the steroids are/were what might have been helping. Still have her on the b's of course, but seems to do better with the steroids. Today, she is having more balance issues. I don't think she's going to sleep well in the cage, hope I'm wrong. I have her on my lap now. She ate a ton of mealworms, drinks lots of water, eats food.

    I've become quite attached to her having her inside. She was actually not one of my favorites because she was so hard to catch!
     
  6. degroovie

    degroovie New Egg

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    Hello,

    I took Haunted 55's advice and switched from the "Chick with wobbly legs" to "Not an emergency Meraks in the flock" forum.

    I have a pullet, "Amber", that is now seven weeks old. She was acting just like the rest of her flock, but noticeably stumbled on Friday night to having both legs paralyzed by Sunday night. We are new to raising chickens, this brood being our first. Our chicks were not vaccinated, having bought our group of five out of a larger order placed for my daughter's poultry class.

    After learning what could be wrong with her, I assumed a classic Meraks case. She, initially, seemed weakened and wasting away. I imagine she didn't eat or drink much for first two days. We isolated her by Sunday night, gave her electrolytes, fed her yogurt, egg yolks, and softened crumbles. We changed to a medicated crumbles mix by Monday, and started giving her vitamins (B, E) later in the week. We also took her to our vet, hoping he would give us better advice. He didn't have much advice to offer, being a single vet on an island out in the Pacific with little knowledge of chickens. He prescribed a coccidiosis antibiotic for her, and sent her off with well wishes.

    Now, two weeks later, we still have Amber. My three kids (age 4, 6, and 8) love her, and they don't want to put her down. I'm not really writing any of this to get advice on whether to euthanize her or not. I'm fine feeding her four times a day, and listening to her sweet chirps. I am a homemaker and caretaker at heart. Besides the legs, she is bright eyed, interested in the bugs and sights outside, and eats a great deal. If her feathers weren't so matted down, she wouldn't be too much thinner than her old pen mates.

    My question: When Amber sleeps or stands supported she shakes her legs a lot. Haunted 55 thought there could be a vitamin deficiency, since Meraks chickens may not necessary shake their legs. Has anyone with a confirmed Meraks case or suspected Meraks had a chicken with shakey legs like Amber? I'm starting to think that we should have seen some improvement with the vitamin suppliments by now, but even this, I'm unsure.

    Other noteworthy details. Amber's legs lay together when she sleeps, not one out in front or back like a classic Meraks case. Amber can't support herself at all by her legs alone. I hold her up to feed her. When she gets excited, she starts to flap her wings, and takes little steps forward. It's almost like she can move her legs a small bit, but not all the way forward. Her toes are a little curled up, and don't lay on the balls of her feet. Her legs feel tight, but I'm worried I may inflame the legs more by overworking them. If she could only stand and move her legs, I've heard there are chicken shoes to try. She doesn't seem to have the strength to support her legs by herself. No other chickens have come down with anything similar.

    We have learned a great deal about our family and about chickens in the last few weeks. Lots of tears and some laughs, too.

    Thanks for any thoughts you may have.
     
  7. hogster160

    hogster160 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome, and hello from a fellow Whidbey Island Resident (1991-1996)! We too think we have mericks in our flock, new to chickens about 7 months now. I have one girl whose legs do shake, and is very light. She was paralyzed as well.

    My story is in this thread. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/741957/not-an-emergency-mareks-in-the-flock/380#post_11518874

    I have a video of her walking posted here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/741957/not-an-emergency-mareks-in-the-flock/470#post_11562166

    I am still giving the Super B complex daily, all the chickens get it. She does well, but I do notice if the b complex isn't replenished daily, she is very weak in the legs, does lots of shaking, sits on her hocks, and walks with her wings. But she has a full crop several times a day. I am always checking because shes lost so much weight.

    We have not had a confirmation of mericks yet. Waiting on the rest of the results from a necropsy from one that died from my dogs. Initial necropsy says no mericks, waiting on the rest of the blood work which take a week to 10 days.

    I am glad you are enjoying your experience with chickens and the kids, I would have loved to do this when the kids were of age. Military housing said no lol. But I am sharing this with them now and my grand daughter. It is hard tho. My grand daughter was there after my dogs attacked and killed my chicken and we were bagging her up. Shes two, so we just told her she died. No tears, she just asked if she could still collect the eggs tomorrow.

    Anyway, I sure hope what you have is just a vit def. It would make life much easier. But if it is, there is life after mericks. This group of people here on this thread are some fantastic people. The have helped me through so much. I just hope I end up with half of their knowledge so that I too can help others.

    Deb
     
  8. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad you found the thread Degroovie. A lot more of us here and you'll get a lot of info that may help.

    If you remember from your thread, I gave you a link about a bird that 'seemed' to have Marek's but was showing improvement with antibiotics and vitamins. You don't get this with Marek's. As I said before, it might not be a bad idea to try her on an antibiotic to see what happens. Even with a very virulent strain or strains of Marek's, you don't get the paralysis that quickly. That is usually cause by #1, vitamin deficiency, #2 respiratory disease, or #3 poisons. I think we can rule out the last one unless it was an extremely mild case of botulism, but again, she didn't have any other symptoms of that. So unless she is showing some type of respiratory symptoms I would have to say it is vitamin related. For this you need the Super B Complex and a regular poultry vitamin as well. The regular will have your fat soluable in safe doses as well as a few of the Bs, the Super B Complex will have all of them plus C.

    I am not saying your bird couldn't have Marek's...if I knew then, what I know now...I would have recognized some of the earliest symptoms at 2 weeks of age. But still, your's is not showing even the weird ones mine showed, nor the classic ones either. A couple of them almost sound like she either has a defect from birth or was hurt, maybe by being jumped on by another chicken. Both will respond with vitamins, how much...no telling, but you should be able to get her walking again. Therapy is not a bad thing either. You're right, it could cause a bit of pain so if you do start to show her body how to move correctly, rub her thigh muscles especially afterwards. Even rubbing a small amount of Vicks vaporub on them will help. Been there, done that and it's a pain to get into the skin, but what I did get seemed to help. You can also give a baby asprin to her in her water or by syringe mixed with water. I wouldn't go for an adult one right now.

    Again, so glad you came and I truly hope that with all of us working on it, we will be able to help you find out what is going on.
     
  9. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Deb, did I ever ask you if you tried an antibiotic? If I haven't, sorry, but maybe it might be something to try? there are some respiratory diseases that don't always present with the classic symptoms and also there can be underlying issues from....whatever, that may in fact respond to an antibiotic. I'm not a Vet and don't have all the answers, but I will tell you this....In my experiences, sometimes an antibiotic does what nothing else will do. I know others will say you shouldn't do this. Hey with a healthy chicken...I agree! Why add things into the mix you don't need. Deb...let's face it, lol, you wouldn't be here if there wasn't something going on with yours. I would do it and have on many an occasions. You can tell by day 3-4 whether or not it is working or just a waste.

    I have severe back problems...for whatever reason when it acts up and lays me low, a short course of antibiotic will set it right. Don't ask...I can't tell you why and neither can my doctors. It just is. Is there an underlying infection? Not that they can find and they've been checking me now for over 28 years. Mind over matter? Maybe...so tell your bird you are giving her something to 'cure' her, lol. Sounds nuts, believe me, I know, but it doesn't change the affects or the results in the end. Just remember...they 'practise' medicine. The closest I could come to an explaination would be this...when my back acts up, there is a lot of pain and inflamation. The body sends white cells to fight this as well as brain chemicals. Maybe somehow the antibiotic neutralizes some of these affects. No clue and seriously? I don't need one as it works for me. Will it work for your girl? Again, no clue until it's tried.
     
  10. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm getting discouraged with Penny. She really is no better than the day I took her in. Of course, the morning after I took her to the vet, she got really bad, then improved (so maybe that's a big positive).

    Her last steroid was Thursday. I decided not to keep giving them too her because really, I guess i'm not sure.

    I gave her a bath tonight, pretty much her whole body vs just washing her tail end. She was getting pretty smelly. I took her outside for a bit and realized she was holding her wings way open to dry and I thought that might stress her so I blow dried her a bit and we went back outside and then I thought she was cold (doubtful tho, it's nice out). Anyhow, she's been sleeping ever since mostly, even has her head tucked back into her feathers and looks to be breathing pretty heavy. I feel like I shouldn't have given her a bath. I've not seen her sleep like this since she's been inside.

    Continuing with the super b. My chickens don't like treats. She only gets her food and mealworms. They are stubborn about treats. What should I be supplementing with? Since she isn't getting grass and stuff outside.

    Hogster Deb - I saw your video, I think Penny is not walking as well as your ee. which bird died from the dog? so much to keep up with!

    I'm worried about her breathing. going to look that up.
     

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