Possible Mareks Disease... Could use some help/info


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 10, 2013

Well, Went out to the coop to tuck everyone in for the night and one of our Silver-laced Polish was standing in between 2 milk crates facing the wall. I picked her up and held her for a bit and she felt cold. I set her down to see what she would do, and she just stood there, she can't really walk, one leg seems to be affected. I decided to bring her in so I could check her out more closely. She still will not walk, just stands there. I can't find anything wrong with her leg, but she appears to be pulling it up towards her body. And then she started to "wheeze" a little, like she needs to blow her nose. I called the local vets, but no one does chickens after hours! How prejudiced! Seriously! UGH! Now I don't know what to do. I have her in a tote in the house, and she did eat and drink. But I fear the worse and I am terrified for the rest of the flock (I have 16 birds in total) The only new thing I can think of is that we are using hay now in the coop rather than pine bedding. Maybe the hay is tainted with something bad, like mold or something?! I am going to clean it all out in the morning just in case! I have read that there is no cure for Mareks, I assume that means that any bird with the disease will die? Cant believe this.
I hope you can figure out what is going on with your chicken. There are many knowledgeable people here on the emergency forum and BYC who had Mareks in their flocks. Maybe she just injured the leg. I would at least start her on vitamins--PolyVisol baby vitamins are good--2 drops a day by mouthor chick vitamins that you put in water. Resting her leg in a crate may be helpful. and you can watch her better.
check out the mareks threads, especially the mareks in flock, not an emergency, lots of knowledgeable people there and they can help you decide if this is or not and help, even if it isn't mareks. The only real way you can know is if you have her tested or necropsied....but they can give their opinions and know the right questions to ask!

Hope all turns out well for you !
I had a similar scare with a pullet back in July. Suddenly couldn't stand up. I separated her, fed her in the small box she lay in and feared the worst but in two days she was fully recovered. The guy at the feed store (when I was stocking up on antibiotics, since I'm new to chickens and didn't have anything!) said she probably stepped on something and injured her foot. She, and the rest of the flock, have been just fine since. Not precisely your situation, but hoping for the same recovery for yours.
Well, she made it through the night. She has been eating and drinking. She had a little bit of green diarrhea last night, but has had 2 normal stools since then. I have called practically every vet in Michigan. No local vets see chickens. There is one possibility farther away, but they are closed for the weekend. Her eyes still appear normal, (no sign of Mareks there), but she does stand with one of her legs stretched out in front of her, (sign of Mareks). The flock is 17 weeks old, but I read that it is still possible to contract Mareks (?!) I guess I just have to wait and see. I would like to know if anyone can tell me of an approximate time frame with Mareks, the course of the disease after onset of symptoms, etc.
Okay, new symptom/discovery... I just checked on her again and decided to pull her crest feathers back to see if her eye color has changed at all. Well, she appears to have some missing feathers at the very top of her beak. The area looks sore and reddened. (Maybe due to a roosters attack?!) I decided to apply some triple antibiotic ointment to the area. THEN, when I put her down, she started to extend her neck and open her beak (sign of Mareks) But, it could also be a sign that I accidentally got some ointment in her nostril which could have constricted her breathing. I obviously have no idea what I'm doing, if it's Mareks, or what else. Nobody has really given me much information here...
Sorry that you feel that way. Saturdays are kind of hard to get a lot of attention due to people being gone away from the computer. I would suggest that you Google Mareks disease, and start reading as many university and government sites as you can. Then read some of the BYC threads. No one knows that much about it unless they have experienced it. Seminole Wind, Nambroth, and others on here write about it or have info on their page about it. Sorry that I couldn't help you more, but just can point you in a direction to find info. Here is a good site to look at for pictures (go through all 14 pages of pictures) of symptoms: http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
Thanks, I have been checking out numerous sites and forums. I have read some on here by the people that you mentioned. Nothing really pertaining to my situation. I guess I want to know specifics about onset of symptoms, symptom progression, and approximate mortality schedule. I'd like to know what I'm dealing with here. Like, how many symptoms would indicate Mareks. Right now I think it's just the leg issue. My bird hasn't really moved for 2 days. This is my first flock, so I have little experience, and I am probably over-attached to my birds. All of my Polish especially are friendly and docile and I need to prepare myself if this is as serious as it might prove to be. I am really hoping that I am freaking out for nothing, but it doesn't look good. And if she gets worse, am I supposed to end her suffering for her? Ugh, so sad!

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