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

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

  1. genilou

    genilou Out Of The Brooder

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    Yep, she's always been a bugger of a chook. She had a hormone implant last Friday to stop her laying (she was laying around 10 a week & having real trouble getting out the 3 or 4 soft ones ) so the last she laid was Monday or Tuesday - not soft but very thin. She's had yoghurt & scrambled eggs this week. She's usually outside all day and the last few I've had her by the window in the sun, although yesterday was overcast so I moved her to a warmer spot. She gets kale & brassica leaves , very very occasionally spinach and nothing on the banned list. I'll take so ve pictures and post them up.
     
  2. genilou

    genilou Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]w
    You can see that we have to back her up against something to keep her upright or she rolls onto her side. Her left eye has been like that forever. I think her irises look the same as they did before. If we lift her in the air she paddles her legs, so they both move but she just seems to throw herself backwards if she tries to use them. It's so great you're helping with this. Sorry not to reply earlier, I made sure everyone was ok and went back to bed for a little nap - sleep's been in a bit of short supply around here. Look forward to hearing your ideas. She's not making it easy
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  3. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "The heterogeneous population of lymphoid cells in MD lymphomas, as seen in haematoxylin-and-eosin-stained
    sections, or in impression smears of lymphomas stained by May–Grünwald–Giemsa, is an important feature in
    differentiating the disease from lymphoid leukosis, in which the lymphomatous infiltrations are composed of
    uniform lymphoblasts. Another important difference is that, in lymphoid leukosis, gross lymphomas occur in the
    bursa of Fabricius, and the tumour has an intrafollicular origin and pattern of proliferation. In MD, although the
    bursa is sometimes involved in the lymphoproliferation, the tumour is less apparent, diffuse and interfollicular in
    location. Peripheral nerve lesions are not a feature of lymphoid leukosis as they are in MD. The greatest difficulty
    comes in distinguishing between lymphoid leukosis and forms of MD sometimes seen in adult birds in which the
    tumour is lymphoblastic with marked liver enlargement and absence of nerve lesions. If post-mortems are
    conducted on several affected birds, a diagnosis can usually be made based on gross lesions and histopathology.
    However there are other specialised techniques described. The expression of a Meq biochemical marker has
    been used to differentiate between MD tumours, latent MDV infections and retrovirus-induced tumours (Schat &
    Nair, 2008). The procedure may require specialised reagents and equipment and it may not be possible to carry
    out these tests in laboratories without these facilities. Other techniques, such as detection by immunofluorescence
    of activated T cell antigens present on the surface of MD tumour cells (MD tumour-associated
    surface antigen or MATSA), or of B-cell antigens or IgM on the tumour cells of lymphoid leukosis can give a
    presumptive diagnosis, but these are not specific to MD tumour cells."

    http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Health_standards/tahm/2.03.13_MAREK_DIS.pdf
    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/neoplasms/lymphoid_leukosis_in_poultry.html

    Okay...the first link is the one associated with the excerpt above and the bottom link has me more baffled than before. Symptoms aren't adding up. Again, I'm missing something.
     
  4. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would you mind giving a history on her? From the pictures, she certainly doesn't look like any Marek's bird I've ever had. You're in the UK correct? There are different forms of Marek's there than here. I am not sure if the signs are different or not, but from some reading I have done, it sounds as if they could be. Please, as detailed a history as you can, including any vaccinations, medications and why, suppliments, feed....anything. There's a part missing to this puzzle. Oh and kale would fall into the same catagory of calcium inhibiting greens as spinach.
     
  5. genilou

    genilou Out Of The Brooder

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    She has us all, including the vey, stumped. She's also occasionally trying to preen and missing her feathers, which could be down to the calcium absorption issue. At this point I really can't see a happy ending but I'll keep doing everything I can for her. The vet said she wouldn't be in any pain so to wait til next week and see if she goes upon down. Still hoping for some kind of breakthrough, but I can't see what it could be.
     
  6. genilou

    genilou Out Of The Brooder

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    Wouldn't Kale be ok as it's a brassica? I'm in Australia. We got her from the market when she was six weeks old with another isa brown (ruby) they were meant to be vaccinated, but the vet reckons that it's 50/50 whether they actually were. She started laying at 21 weeks, all fine for a week. The second week she went into massive overproduction with lots of soft shells which she couldn't,t pass. She went on antibiotic, metacam and calcium supplement. She was good for a week, then i think had a couple she couldn't pass, so we upped the anitbiotic thinking it was an infection n her uterus. a week layer and we had one night with 4 eggs she couldn't pass herself, so it looked like it wasn't an infection. She finished the metacam, and on Friday (a week ago) she had a hormone implant to stop her laying for a while and give her system a rest. Saturday I didn't keep a really close eye on her, but every time I checked she seemed fine. Sunday I lifted her from her perch and she she spun around I'm circles on the floor and couldn't get up. I put her outside on the dirt and she just lurched everywhere like she couldn't use one of her legs properly. Bf took her to the vet Monday morning, he thought because she was laying all those eggs that she wasn't absorbing enough calcium and gave her a strong shot of multivitamins. Tuesday she lurched around a little in the morning, but stayed where she was from lunch when I came to check on her to when I got home. Wednesday she couldn't walk, stand or sit properly but was still eating, although she doesn't want to drink. Thursday same with the body but she didn't want to eat. Yesterday, same with the body but she wanted to eat again. This morning so far, no change, but it's taken her a while to want to eat on other mornings, so I'm not too worried yet. She's fed an organic layer mash (country harvest) made up with warm water every morning and evening and available all day, a handful of scratch in the morning between the two of them, sometimes corn on a very cold day or night, grated up carrot and beetroot, and some eggs with the shell mixed in as well as fresh greens, and they free range over a big area all day, so lots of grass. I did mix a raw egg through their food last week and left it out for them and it was quite warm, which I've been worried about, but that was well over a week again and I think the symptoms would have shown up much earlier if that was it. They also have free choice oyster shell and ground egg shells. I've kept her on a liquid calcium supplement, about 4ml per day given in 2 batches. She's been the same now for 3 days. I'm at my wits end trying to think of anything else I can do for her. I hold her for a few hours each day so she's in a different position, drip water onto her beak so she does drink some, have been grating apple and beetroot for the juice, and sometimes she'll eat scrambled egg. I had her on yoghurt, which she loved, but I was worried about her getting too much. She's still eating some layer mash, but prefers it dry. She sleeps quite a bit, but has a look around if there's something going on. Apart from being very quiet and not having much of an appetite she's interested in what's going on.
     
  7. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    My Coop
    Her posture very much lines up with the Marek's I experienced with my rooster. HOWEVER... I am not saying it is Marek's based on that alone. I'm just saying that this posture and behavior is heart-breakingly familiar.

    All I can tell you are my experiences. I do not claim to be an expert nor again am I saying that this is what your chicken has.

    His physical symptoms were:

    -Inability to move legs voluntarily. He rested back on his ankles or fully down on his keel. He often leaned back a bit. We had to form a "doughnut" around him with towels to keep him from rolling backward and onto his side (the laundry basket is brilliant!). Despite the towels, when he had to pass a poo, he would attempt to stand. He had the power but no motor control, and would throw himself backward and sideways. He could not recover from this position without our help. Once his heart started to go (from Marek's lymphomatic tumors growing into it) this caused him immense distress and he couldn't breathe. We had to tend to him at all times.

    -As his diet decreased, at one point he would only eat mealworms, and then nothing at all. I tube fed him a few times. Despite getting the correct hydration and "gruel" fed to him this way, his poos became more sickly over time, turning more green. They were eventually quite a bright green.

    -He was alert, very friendly, and bright-eyed the whole time, right until the moment we had to put him down because he could no longer breathe/get enough blood circulation (heart tumors). Very curious, tracked out movements, even looked at food-- just wouldn't take any. He was very quiet and would only make a noise when he'd tumble over.. a very quiet little cluck one or twice as if he were asking for help (which we obviously were tending to him at all times).

    Even on the two hour ride to the vet to have his final evaluation he was bright eyed and made tiny mutters every time he saw a hawk or crow fly over the car.

    I don't know if his wings were similarly without motor control-- he didn't attempt to use them in the final days.

    Strangely enough, he had one droopy eyelid like your hen (no pupil changes), but he had that since day one. I don't think it was related to the Marek's. It was enough for the vet to ask me about it, though.

    We noticed his lowered appetite on a Saturday (before this he seemed 110% healthy and vigorous)... Monday he went to the vet (and had surgery Tuesday), Wednesday he developed the paralysis, and by Friday he was very sick indeed. He went downhill very rapidly.
    So, he went from "fine" to "paralyzed" in 4 days, and from fine to knowing his quality of life was gone in 7. When he was struggling so very hard to breathe and the diagnosis of lymphoma came in we felt it was necessary to put him at peace. I honestly don't know how long he would have lived had we not, but the vet was grim, and I know avian physiology well enough to know that he was dying.
    If he wasn't struggling so badly for breath (and I got the diagnosis of lymphoma from the diagnostics lab while at the vet's office), I would have absolutely continued to try to save him the way you are with your hen.
     
  8. hogster160

    hogster160 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I went to several pharmacy's today to get the charcoal. NO one had any. They thought I was crazy, if I needed charcoal for poisoning, I needed to go to the ER. Well this one man heard what I was asking for, came over to me and asked me how I knew about charcoal. So I told him about my daughter eating her grandmothers valium when she was but 1.5 years old, she thought they were candies I guess. Well the er gave her charcoal. And I told him about my chicken. He told me I wouldn't find any locally, that I had to go to an Indian Reservation to get it. He is Indian and he uses charcoal all the time as a cleans of his system along with the sweat hut. He said I should just burn a log and let it burn out, when cool put it in their coop, should they need it, they will find it. He said that he suspects they will use that log quite a bit at first, then less and less. Just not to use any fire starter fluid, just some brush. He also told me not to use the stuff that comes in a bag, its really not charcoal, and I had to laugh. But he was serious, he said too many people think it is.

    Deb
     
  9. genilou

    genilou Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] this is what she looks like if left to her own devices (she was only there for long enough for me to put the blanket she messed all over in the wash & get another one). Nambroth yours is the story that concerns me most as there are definite similarities with the sudden onset & the posture & behaviours. She's not eating much today but she's quite bright & chatty, which may just be because I have her out in the sun and she feels a bit more like a chook. The washing basket has been our saviour, she can't tip herself over or out of it and when things go right she poos out through the holes and it just needs a quick wipe down with the blankets left clean (not last time though). The strange thing is that she plummeted so quickly (staggering badly on Sunday, unable even to sit on Wednesday), but then plateaued. The vet has said she'll either go downhill rapidly or recover, but she doesn't seem interested in doing either of those things. I guess we'll know next week (although we were meant to know by Thursday, then by the weekend, now by next week). The vet has said that she's not in any pain, and whilst he's not hopeful, he thinks it's worth giving her more time, so I will. I got some vitamin B into her too, but I can't see that it will help now of it didn't after her shot on Monday. Just trying anything I can, really, and hoping that someone might have experienced something similar and had it come good, or that others know what they could be dealing with if we ever find out ourselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  10. BigECarter

    BigECarter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should be able to find charcoal in a good pet store, in the salt water aquarium section. I would think that would work just fine.
     

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