1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

respiratory problem? Mareks? Pox? Nothing at all?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by williamsl77, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    284
    0
    99
    Sep 15, 2011
    Northeast
    I went to a chicken show a month or so ago... one of the birds that went with me came back (not sold). Although he was not put back in a pen with the rest of my chickens, he was in a pen nearby. He went to another home a few days later and that person contacted me to tell me he was sneezing. She put him on antibiotics and he apparently recovered fine. Then about two weeks later, some of my birds started sneezing. One wheezed for literally one day. I put them all on Duramycin for ten days. Another of these birds became lethargic and stopped eating. I separated her and she died a few days later. All of the rest of these birds are now asymptomatic. No one sneezing, no one wheezing. Everyone's eyes are clear and normal looking. These are all silkies, about 10 weeks old.

    Now in the pen next door over (marans, 8 weeks old), a few of those birds started sneezing. I started them on Duramycin, too. One of these birds has squinty eyes with what looks like a very small amount of discharge. Another bird has little black spots on its lower eyelids. No other spots anywhere else and I'm not even sure the black spots on its eyelids aren't its usual pigment (though I think it isn't). All of these birds are active, eating and otherwise behaving normally.

    I've looked at tons of pictures of foul pox and these spots really aren't looking like pox to me. I should have taken the one bird that died for necropsy, but I didn't.

    So... I know Marek's affects eyes, too. These birds have lived in my basement and garage since I hatched them. The only outside exposure they had was this chicken show I went to. I have wild turkeys come through my yard on a regular basis and I usually open the garage for fresh air for the grow out pen. I have an outdoor coop with adult birds and some chicks that do not appear ill at all.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I don't know whether this link will help or not: https://www.backyardchickens.com/gallery/album/view/id/6168595/user_id/3891

    I'm terribly inexperienced in disease or infections. The only thing I've ever treated was repiratory infection (which can also cause eye issues sometimes) and bumblefoot.
    Going to shows or swaps scares me, because I do worry about carrying something back. And remember, your clothes and shoes can transmit just as much as birds that you may bring back or purchase.
    I suppose because I've only dealt w/basic URIs, that's where my thoughts jumped when I read your case. I remember worrying about mareks as a possibility for my own birds too then. In my case, I coincidentally found a roundworm right around that time, and found that if your birds had internal parasites, their resistance was lowered to other infections. I treated with Tylan 50 injections for a few days (only with birds showing sypmptoms) and wormed the entire flock. That was two months ago and I've seen no symptoms since. Worst case for me was pullet with a squinty, runny eye and sneezing.
    Could the dark places you're seeing be pecked places??
     
  3. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    284
    0
    99
    Sep 15, 2011
    Northeast
    Well, I have way too many babies coming up to not know, so I took a bird in yesterday to the UNH veterinary diagnostic lab. I REALLY hate having to sacrifice a bird for that, but if it's something serious, I want to know. Anyway, the pathologist said she would call me by late afternoon if she saw evidence of something serious (like Marek's or pox). I have to wait until early next week to get the exact diagnosis because that's how long it takes to get the histology set up and read. I'm holding out great hope that it ISN"T something serious since I didn't hear anything yesterday afternoon.

    I appreciate your feedback teach1rusl. I'm still quite new to chickens-- not even a whole year yet! I don't think I'm going to do chicken swaps or shows anymore. Maybe a show or two to get established, but not frequent stuff. It's just not worth the worry for me. I went because I wanted to find homes for some of the birds I hatched that I wasn't going to keep. Guess I'll stick to craigslist for that?

    The other comment I wanted to make is that in reading all the BYC forums about chicken illness, there is a lot of variation in opinion. Some say that any chickens showing signs of illness should be culled because any illness is disease. Then there are people that go to great lengths to save chickens with known fatal and extremely contagious diseases. I honestly cannot imagine that any backyard flock doesn't get the occasional basic URI from not too virulent strains of whatever is floating around in the air. So I'm not going to cull at first signs of illness. BUT I do want to be responsible about the serious stuff and make sure I never send a bird home with someone that could infect their flock with something actually deadly. It's a balancing act, I guess.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by