perhaps Mareks virus?

Kattee

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
46
0
82
Fowlerville michigan
I have a hen that started limping 4 day's ago. She is one of the more feisty ones so I assumed she twisted it trying to jump out of her fenced area, (Her and one other are the only one's that occasionally decide to do that and then try to figure out how to get back in 5minutes later. The pen is 6' so it's a big jump) anyway now another one started limping this morning, they both are 100% normal acting, and no one is picking on them.I am hopeful it's not mareks, but I got them from TSC and from reading that mightnot be a good place to purchase chicks. The winter was really bad and most of the winter none came out from the top floor of the coop, not to mention the mountain size poop pile that was frozen stiff and I couldn't clean up until after it thawed out, could it be infection? Bacterial? I can't find anything wrong with their feet....
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,961
1,079
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Western NY
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I am so sorry that you are experiencing this! It might be Marek's (as Marek's is fairly common), or it might be something else. There are some things that can be treated, so I always like to suggest trying to treat for them just in case. The thought here is that If it is Marek's, there isn't much that can be done. But if it's something that only looks like Marek's, it might help to treat for it.
I always suggest vitamin therapy with water soluble vitamins (especially B complex) because it can not hurt.

How old are the birds, and what is your flock history? Meaning, what is the origins of all of your chickens, and have you ever had any illnesses or deaths in your flock?

Sorry to copy and paste such a large block of text, but maybe something here will seem familiar to you. I'd do what you can to prevent them from jumping down from such heights-- especially if they are a heavier breed, as a 6' jump can cause leg/hip injuries in heavier birds!

  • Avian Lymphoid Leukosis is a disease that can cause Marek's like symptoms, though signs are usually only visible upon necropsy. This virus causes lymphomas, much like Marek's disease, throughout organ tissue. Most chickens with this virus will experience weakness, and will "waste away" over time, becoming more and more emaciated as the tumors spread. This viral disease is often thought to be the 'sister disease' to Marek's, as it is very similar in many ways. Unlike Marek's disease, it can be transmitted through the egg (vertically) from parent to chick. Of important note, there have been some signs that in individual chickens with a genetic predisposition, that Serotype-2 Marek's vaccine (only hatcheries have this vaccine) may cause this disease to more rapidly harm the infected chicken. http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/neoplasms/lymphoid_leukosis_in_poultry.html
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity in chickens (and other fowl, such as ducks) can look very similar to Marek's paralysis. Lead toxicity seems to be the most common for birds like chickens, that unlike other pet birds such as parrots, generally do not chew on metal objects but may swallow small metallic objects whole. Lead shot, BBs, pellets, (etc) are often mistaken for stones and ingested to aid the bird in digestion. A single BB or piece of lead shot is enough to cause serious illness in a large fowl chicken, or even eating old lead paint flakes, or finding them in the soil is enough to harm a chicken-sized bird. Heavy metal toxicity is one of the leading medical problems that vets and wildlife rehabilitators see in ground dwelling birds such as chickens, ducks, and geese, so it can be somewhat common. Symptoms include neurological issues such as partial or total paralysis of one or both legs and sometimes the wings. With lead toxicity, lesions of the nervous system and elevated white blood counts can also mimic Marek's infection. X-rays and/or blood tests might be necessary to diagnose this problem. Treatment generally involves injections of a chelating agent such as Calsenate. Large metal objects may need to be surgically removed. This problem is very hard to diagnose without veterinary help. For more reading: http://www.birdclinic.net/avian1.htm http://www.avianweb.com/heavymetalpoisoningbirds.html
  • Botulism in fowl can also mimic the symptoms of Marek's, in that it often causes neurological distress and paralysis. Often birds with botulism will present leg weakness, and neck weakness or paralysis. This can come on quite suddenly or gradually, depending on how much of the Botulism toxin has been consumed by the bird. Botulism is caused by the consumption of the toxin, either from decaying material (usually decaying carcasses) or eating an abundance of invertebrates that have been infected with the Botulsim toxin (such as maggots that have been feeding on decaying material). Generally, if a bird survives more than 48 hours, it will recover, so if Botulism is suspected in birds with sudden paralysis, immediate treatment is necessary. For more reading on Botulism consult the following: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/botulism/overview_of_botulism_in_poultry.html and http://www.avianweb.com/botulism.html
  • Avian Encephalomyelitis is a disease that can cause paralysis in chickens. It can also affect turkeys, quail, pheasants and pigeons. Like Marek's, this disease can show up as birds losing coordination, leg paralysis and/or weakness, including sitting on the hocks, neck spasms, and tremors. This disease is mostly observed in chicks, under the age of three weeks. As chicks less than three weeks can not develop Marek's paralysis, be sure to investigate the possibility of Avian Encephalomyelitis if you experience these symptoms in young chicks. Read more: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...itis/overview_of_avian_encephalomyelitis.html
  • Viral tenosynovitis is a viral form of arthritis that is transmitted in chickens and turkeys. Transmission is generally via fecal material of infected birds. Infected birds experience lameness and hock inflammation, swelling of the tendon sheaths (the 'tubes' that the leg tendons are encased in), and general lack of mobility of the legs. It is most commonly seen in commercial meat birds and has been reported less commonly in commercial leghorns in the past. Photos with more info (warning, necropsy images): http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/200/reovirus-infections
  • Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) is another disease of poultry that might look like Marek's. This bacterial disease affects chickens and turkeys, but may also infect other commonly kept fowl. It is a relatively common disease, and easily transmitted. Like Marek's, symptoms include lameness/paralysis of the legs and reluctance to stand and walk, as well as blue/purple comb and or wattles due to respiratory distress. The hock (ankle) and wing joints may become swollen. Birds may also experience rales (roughness of breath, rattling, wheezing) and may have some respiratory discharge. http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...nfection_in_poultry_infectious_synovitis.html
  • Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is similar to MS, in that it is a mycoplasma infection, is very common in chickens, and is easily spread. It can cause paralysis and lameness in birds, similar to Marek's, but is generally accompanied by respiratory distress, sometimes severe in nature. Respiratory distress can include but is not limited to: rales (rasping, wheezing), coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, bubbling or discharge around the eyes, expelling mucus, and overall difficulty breathing. http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...lasma_gallisepticum_infection_in_poultry.html
  • Mold or Moldy Feed is a serious problem, as mold in grain, especially corn, is known to grow aflatoxins. Most of the aflatoxin problems on corn are caused by Aspergillus flavus, and the most potent toxin produced by this mold is called aflatoxin B1. These toxins may have degenerative effect on the nervous system of birds, causing signs similar to Marek's such as weakness, paralysis, or spasms, along with pale combs, weight loss, and lethargic behavior.... so it is very important to investigate feed, both bagged and in the bird's environment, to make sure it is fresh and free of mold. Molds may not be visible to the naked eye, so when in doubt, discard old feed and supply birds with fresh feed. If you find moldy feed or suspect moldy feed and see any changes in health in your flock, immediately discontinue access to affected feed! Read more: http://www.mycotoxins.info/myco_info/animpy_sr.html More information, and treatment: http://birdhealth.com.au/flockbirds/poultry/diseases/mould_infections.html
  • Injury to the body, and especially to the head, can cause paralysis-like symptoms that look similar to Marek's. It is important to carefully check for hidden injuries, gently palpate bones for breakage, and observe your bird carefully to determine if injury is a factor. Injuries may be internal and not visible via simple physical exam. Head injuries can cause paralysis or weakness, and loss of motor control. Breeds with vaulted skulls (such as Silkies) are especially prone to brain damage, and can sustain brain injury and swelling that can create physical disability.
  • Bumblefoot and other leg and foot issues can cause chickens to limp and favor their feet and legs. Carefully investigate for bumblefoot, and consider leg sprains and other injury when assessing your bird.
  • If you suspect ocular Marek's, be aware that there is a condition that may look like ocular Marek's, called Coloboma. Colomba is a physical irregularity in the iris, which usually looks like a black 'notch' or sometimes a 'drip'. The notch is caused by genetics or trauma to the eye. It is possibly hereditary and may show up in chicks too young to have Marek's symptoms. Not much is known about Colomba in chickens; in humans, Colomba of the iris does not cause blindness, and so if your chicken seems blind in the irregular eye, it might not be Colomba.
 

Kattee

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
46
0
82
Fowlerville michigan
Thank you, I researched everything you sent me and I think the most possible cause could be the vitamin deficiency. I bought some electrolyte and vitamin supplements to add to the water as well as some earth DE to add to their food. Hopefully one of these things can help. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.. thanks for taking the time to respond!
 

Kattee

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
46
0
82
Fowlerville michigan
@Nambroth, so I started thinking and remember that about a month ago one of the eggs was bloody two days in a row and then seemed okay. It also seems like someone is laying more than one egg a day. Is that possible? I also would like to send you a picture of my coop to see if the ramp is maybe too steep. One of the limpers is sun bathing right now and pecking the ground around her. Maybe her leg is hurting, should I give her baby aspirin? No one is picking at her, I think she's the leader.
 

Nambroth

Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
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@Nambroth, so I started thinking and remember that about a month ago one of the eggs was bloody two days in a row and then seemed okay. It also seems like someone is laying more than one egg a day. Is that possible? I also would like to send you a picture of my coop to see if the ramp is maybe too steep. One of the limpers is sun bathing right now and pecking the ground around her. Maybe her leg is hurting, should I give her baby aspirin? No one is picking at her, I think she's the leader.
From what I understand, two eggs in one day is not impossible, but pretty uncommon, as hens egg cycles are on a 25-hour cycle (on average).
Please do post photos to this thread, I hope others are able to help as well. It is very useful to get many different perspectives on potential problems!

Does your hen seem to be in pain? Signs of pain include: panting, especially when they try to use the injured body part; flinching or crying when trying to move or use an injury. Sometimes they don't show signs of pain though. You can give baby aspirin if you think she is in pain.
 
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casportpony

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I've had two soft-shell eggs in one day a few times, but never two shelled eggs that I know of. Not saying it isn't possible, just that I haven't seen it.

Here are two pictures that I like:







-Kathy
 
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KayTee

Songster
7 Years
Sep 21, 2012
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Two eggs a day is not impossible - I have had 4 eggs in one day from 3 chickens! However, it is really not common, and definitely wouldn't happen over a long period of time.

From my (limited) experience I would describe it as a kind of 'egg constipation'. On the two occasions that it's happened in my flock it was with a pullet who had just started laying. Each time she didn't lay one day, because she got disturbed on the nest, but then laid twice the next day (once early in the morning and once in the afternoon). It's as if because she's been unable to lay, the eggs back up, then get pushed out in quick succession the following day.
 

Kattee

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
46
0
82
Fowlerville michigan
Thanks for the info, they all seem back to one a day. Perhaps it was just my imagination. The two are still limping but everything else is normal. I did notice one shaking her head yesterday, it was really windy and I thought (hoped) it was due to pine shavings blowing in her face. I may just be observing to intently. I have been giving them electrolyte and vitamin water, the Earth DE calcium in their food and I'm putting amoxicillin in scrambled eggs. Seems like a lot to give them but I think most of it is healthy and natural so hopefully that's okay. Don't know what else to do, it's supposed to warm up tomorrow so I'm going to give everyone a nice long Epsom bath any ideas would be great? ?
 

Kattee

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
46
0
82
Fowlerville michigan
I've had two soft-shell eggs in one day a few times, but never two shelled eggs that I know of. Not saying it isn't possible, just that I haven't seen it. Here are two pictures that I like:
I did notice that one was so soft that it felt more like a membrane and was a bit 'cracked' from mama laying on it, which has never happened before because she is very good with the eggs.
-Kathy
 

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