Pekin duck and mareks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by grygon, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. grygon

    grygon Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Jul 8, 2010
    Albuquerque
    I have a pekin drake who has always lived amongst my girls. He was hatched in 2004 so is quite the old duck and until this past week has never shown any signs of being sick.

    My brood has had mareks for a very long time. The initial outbreak of it happened about 6+ years ago and after lots of research I found that nutritional yeast is the permanent, forever answer... so I have always supplemented them with nutritional yeast flakes to ward it off. It has worked for several years with only two old roosters succumbing to the paralysis (one made a come back after I dosed him heavily with flakes for several days, but later succumbed again) and perishing.

    My duck has had trouble moving around for about two weeks, and last week started to use his neck and bill as a cane. Then today I noticed one leg was barely moving and the other one has made a lot of scratch marks near his side. Since he's a large duck, he wouldn't show the typical symptoms that my chickens do when they are succumbing to the partial paralysis of mareks (falling on their sides and unable to right themselves), I suppose?

    I am posting this just in hopes that maybe someone has some other insight to his symptoms. And is there another think I can supplement him with to help him over this hump?

    EDIT: Fridays are and always have been Flake day. Today I thought maybe a cup of flakes a day to see is he improves? The girls can get their usual Friday Flakes, but I am planning on giving the duck a cup a day for a while...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    505
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi. I think I will try the yeast thing. Where do you buy it and what is it packaged in? How much do they get on Fridays?

    I've never heard of a duck get chicken Marek's. I think it's near impossible since a duck is not a chicken. I think it's breed specific. But we get Marek's vaccine from Turkeys, turkey Marek's does not pass on to chickens. It's a very interesting question, and I'll let my fellow scientists know about your post.

    I hope you can think about sending the duck for a necropsy. It would be great to know for sure.
     
  3. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    2,758
    538
    261
    Apr 7, 2011
    Boonies of NY
    My Coop
    AT this time (meaning, based on the most up to date research I have read, which admittedly is mostly a few years old because of the way acedemic papers are released to the public), it is thought that chicken Marek's disease, known as serotype MDV-1, is not zoonotic to ducks.

    Unless it has mutated significantly and make the 'jump' to ducks, which despite being poultry are genetically very different than galliformes (chickens), it is pretty much impossible your duck has Marek's from your chickens.
    There is, of course, always a chance! I am not saying this is the end-all-be-all answer. Viruses can do scary, unexpected things sometimes. If you truly suspect Marek's, you may want to contact some poultry experts to find out if they can test him as this would be a significant medical finding, but if it was my duck, I would be looking at other diseases or injury as your poor fellow's problem. I truly hope you get an answer. I am not familiar enough with the diseases of ducks to give you an educated guess. :(

    Thank you for letting us know about the yeast. I will look into it!! If anyone else uses it, please let us know your results...
     
  4. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,818
    219
    218
    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    Since ducks have a normal temperature of 106 degrees or there abouts, Marek's would not have much of a chance of survivng in them. There have been reports of ducks and geese getting Marek's in the past, but have never been proven.

    Having Pekins and Grand Pekins myself, I know as they age, especially the Grands, they have trouble with their legs. They have been so geneticaly altered for their meat production, that some of them just don't have a chance for a long life with both legs under them. Another thing that can cause problems with ducks and geese are Bumbles, a staph infection, which if bad enough, can go systemic and invade the leg bones. This can cause lameness and eventually the duck can not use the leg. I think I would be looking for that before I think Marek's.
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,298
    12,748
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    From The AAAP Avian Disease Manual

    "OCCURRENCE
    Marek's disease is important primarily in chickens, to a much lesser degree in quail, and has been rarely observed in turkeys, pheasants and jungle fowl. Turkeys and other species have limited susceptibility. The disease most commonly occurs in young, sexually immature chickens 2-7 months old, but can occur at virtually any age beyond 3 weeks. The disease occurs throughout the world and virtually all flocks are exposed to the causative virus."


    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    505
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Did Avian flu jump to humans? Or no?
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    505
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I just heard that Circo (sp?) virus that only pigs and birds got is now affecting dogs. Vomiting and bloody diarrhea. I think so far, they haven't isolated it, it's more like when everything else is ruled out, etc.......

    Brings up some interesting questions.

    Grygon, I've ordered yeast flakes (Frontier) on amazon, which is loaded with B vitamins. Maybe it will help with resistance, or just be a healthy treat. My chicken's diets are getting better than mine.
     
  8. grygon

    grygon Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Jul 8, 2010
    Albuquerque
    Thank you all. I will look at him closely for any bumbles. But now knowing that marek's can't affect him, I think I know what happened... a while back he was physically chased. He was already quite heavy or "fat" and old and the woman just kept chasing him. Ever SINCE then his leg use has gone down. If I cannot find any bumbles, I am considering immobilizing the leg for a few days. Maybe he injured his hip while being chased? I don't know...
     
  9. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,818
    219
    218
    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    That sounds like the trouble right there. It may be too late to help but I am wondering if some glucosamine chrondroitin might help as well as a super B complex vitamin. Ducks do eat meat so the glucosamine shouldn't be an issue. If allowed, you can always try massaging it as well. They will fight you at first, but then they discover that "Hey...that feels pretty good!". Warm, deep baths will also go a long way in helping with any stiffness and pain. Needs to float to get the weight off of the leg.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by