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Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Haunted55, Feb 3, 2013.
Julie, please keep us updated and I hope we are wrong about his prognosis.
I hope not! I am still worried I have it too. It sucks
Thanks deb and schnebbles. I am just sick about it. Four of my chickens are aged 2 to 6 so I am sure they will be fine but I have 12 under 6 months old including the two I suspect mareks. I also have 4 that just hatched here under a broody a couple of weeks ago. I can't stand the thought of them all (or a lot of them) getting sick. I hope I'm wrong but it sure doesn't look good. I have ONE that is vaccinated.
Checking here to see if there are any users frequenting this thread who have a Marek's flock in Phoenix? I need to rehome my flock, we are moving to Indiana. I would rather not cull them. PM me. Free.
For some reason, silkies are very prone to Marek's. Something about the eye color and their general make up. I'd have to find the articles and links again to give you chapter and verse, but this is what I got out of the reading. How old are these birds? I see that you gave the vitamins and probiotics but have you tried the Super B Complex yet? You would use this with the others. You could have a blood sample taken and sent off to Texas A&M for testing to find out for sure if this is Marek's or something else.
Here's a link to check out for the info. One thing I would caution you about, with a local Vet, the testing for Marek's can be very limited. They just can't afford the specialized equipment needed to make a spot on diagnosis of Marek's. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You know your birds, you see them everyday and you also know there are quite a few other things that can mimic Marek's symptoms. I would seriously take a look at the above link and contact them and find out what you would need to do to get the testing through them done. I know the blood sample has to be in the purple topped tube and sent overnight and kept cold. How much it would cost you is going to depend on your location and who does the blood sample.
I am sorry this is going on with you. It's never nice, but if this is the start of it showing up, it's down right scary. Trust me, we're here for you and will help you as much as we can. One thing to remember, if you think it's Marek's...act like it is. Do not go out to the grain store wearing your chicken shoes, or to any place in public for that matter. Carry a small can of spry Lysol with you and spray your shoes even if they have never seen the inside of the chicken coop. You have and you've walked in the same places with your chicken shoes and without. Biosecurity....for yourself and others you come in contact with is extremely important. You don't want to be a Typhoid Mary.
You could always vaccinate them all. There have been studies that have proven revaccination and first time late vaccination has helped with building a strong resistance to this disease. You could do this yourself at home if you purchase the vaccine and needles.
I know there is more han one mareks vaccine. Could you recommend a particular one since all of my birds are over 3 days old? I've never vaccinated anything (needle) but there is a first time for everything.
The only one that we as home flock keepers can get is the turkey Marek's vaccine. I get mine from Jeffers and will include the link below.
THANK YOU. I will look up dosages, etc unless that info is included when I buy the vaccine? And should I just pick up the syringes at a feed store?
I am trying not to panic. Although I have to admit I haven't hardly slept at all since this all started last Wednesday. I have formed a plan - I'm taking my little roo to the vet tomorrow. The vet has chickens of her own and I am hoping she can offer a little insight after seeing him personally. After reading the other accounts and considering his age (18 weeks) and breed (silkie) I am pretty convinced it is mareks. Especially after I noticed that slight limp on my 30 week roo. His seems to come and go. I thought I noticed it a couple of weeks ago but it went away. I'll keep an eye on him.
I'll take the paper work for the blood test with me (Texas A&M) but I'll decide if I should do that or have him euthanized and have a necropsy done after she evaluates him. He is not progressing at all physically but it breaks my heart because he is eating well and so alert. I can tell he just wants to fly out of that box but can't. I hate it. I have not tried the b complex yet. I hadn't done anything else yet as I am afraid it is mareks and I don't want it to give myself false hope.
In your experience, is the blood test as reliable as the necropsy in diagnosis?
Lastly, I will follow your advice and vaccinate the rest of my flock. I know it will not be as effective as if I would have done it day one, but it certainly can not make matters worse. I am a little nervous about the different size needs and different dosages for the different aged birds. One thing at a time, though. Don't panic Julie!
Thanks so much for your help.
Blood testing for virus markers via DNA is absolutely much more reliable than necropsy. Some birds do not show visceral tumors in necropsy (especially if they have been vaccinated). Also, though lesions on the sciatic nerve is what causes the paralysis in our birds legs (during Marek's disease) these can be very hard to see even for an experienced vet under microscope. I will say that I had ALL tests run on my bird including the sciatic nerve sent out for full analysis by professionals. His sciatic nerve showed NO signs of Marek's, and yet he was paralyzed and had confirmed Marek's via gross necropsy and blood DNA test.
I am not an expert! But in my opinion the blood test is the most definitive test one can have run, if one an afford it.