Please Help!!! Rooster stumbling, no balance, sitting on hocks.

MissLavender

Songster
Sep 21, 2018
138
211
126
Clarkdale, Arizona
So yesterday morning I noticed my 8 month old Mosaic cockerel Valentine sitting in the food dish (unusual), so I watched him for a few minutes and noticed he was stumbling a lot, falling over, etc. He seems to be able to stand, but when he tries to walk he takes a few steps and falls over. I immediately panicked and thought "MAREK'S!!!" so I took him to the vet. She said that she doesn't *think* it's Marek's and that it doesn't have the usual Marek's paralysis presentation, but to monitor him and let her know of any changes. She says it's definitely neurological but beyond that the cause is nearly impossible to diagnose with anything short of a necropsy. For the time being she has given me Gabapentin and recommended poultry cell and vitamin B, which I got from TS.
No other birds are showing signs of illness...yet.
I will try to post a video so everyone can see what I'm talking about.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
Apr 3, 2011
48,447
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southern Ohio
Sorry about your lame rooster. Did your vet xray his left leg or look for an injury? At this point, I would hope that it is an injury or sprain, but I do think that Mareks might be a possibility. Poultry Cell does contain riboflavin (vitamin B 2) and other B vitamins, and riboflavin deficiency is good to rule out. If it is a sprain, it can take several weeks to get better. A vitamin B 2 deficiency should improve within a couplemof weeks.

There is a testing facility that can test a feather shaft or blood for Mareks while a chicken is alive, but the best results come from having your state vet do a necropsy after death opif you should lose him. The most important thing is to keep him near food and water, and I would limit his activity to force him to rest his leg if it is injured. Be aware that the other chickens may attack or bully him because of his limp. Separate him if they do. A dog crate with food and water, but kept inside the coop with others may keep him a part of the flock. Here is where to contact for Mareks testing on live birds:
https://vet.uga.edu/diagnostic-service-labs/pdrc-diagnostic-services/?doing_wp_cron=1576279735.9491329193115234375000

Here is a list of state vets to contact for a necropsy to get testing in a bird that has died:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
 

MissLavender

Songster
Sep 21, 2018
138
211
126
Clarkdale, Arizona
Sorry about your lame rooster. Did your vet xray his left leg or look for an injury? At this point, I would hope that it is an injury or sprain, but I do think that Mareks might be a possibility. Poultry Cell does contain riboflavin (vitamin B 2) and other B vitamins, and riboflavin deficiency is good to rule out. If it is a sprain, it can take several weeks to get better. A vitamin B 2 deficiency should improve within a couplemof weeks.

There is a testing facility that can test a feather shaft or blood for Mareks while a chicken is alive, but the best results come from having your state vet do a necropsy after death opif you should lose him. The most important thing is to keep him near food and water, and I would limit his activity to force him to rest his leg if it is injured. Be aware that the other chickens may attack or bully him because of his limp. Separate him if they do. A dog crate with food and water, but kept inside the coop with others may keep him a part of the flock. Here is where to contact for Mareks testing on live birds:
https://vet.uga.edu/diagnostic-service-labs/pdrc-diagnostic-services/?doing_wp_cron=1576279735.9491329193115234375000

Here is a list of state vets to contact for a necropsy to get testing in a bird that has died:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
She didn't do an x-ray but felt his feet and legs and can't find any swelling or a fracture. There have been no reported cases of Mareks in my area for several years (which I know doesn't mean it isn't Mareks). It would be a horrible shame if it is Mareks though, because I had planned on breeding these birds and selling chicks. :hit I'm so sad because I love my birds very much and feel like it's my fault they got it in the first place.
 

Suedan

Songster
Sep 18, 2019
240
461
157
Maryland
She didn't do an x-ray but felt his feet and legs and can't find any swelling or a fracture. There have been no reported cases of Mareks in my area for several years (which I know doesn't mean it isn't Mareks). It would be a horrible shame if it is Mareks though, because I had planned on breeding these birds and selling chicks. :hit I'm so sad because I love my birds very much and feel like it's my fault they got it in the first place.
I'm so sorry he is going through this. This isn't your fault in any way. Give him some time and maybe he will surprise you. Hugs to you! Hang in there. :hugs
 

MissLavender

Songster
Sep 21, 2018
138
211
126
Clarkdale, Arizona
It's only been 2 days but he doesn't seem to be getting worse. I started him on poultry cell, B12 and gabapentin this morning. I also put nutridrench in his water. I gave him scrambled eggs and yogurt this morning, which he wolfed down with gusto, and I've been keeping him in a large dog crate indoors covered by a sheet. I have puppy pads in there that I change twice a day to keep him from getting covered in his own poo.
 
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