Ruby has suddenly gone blind..

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Suzie, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    So,,Ruby is my last surviving ex battery hen...she is approximately three years old...two days ago she did not leave the coop as usual, I took her off the roost and observed her behavior...she strutted across to her usual daytime area and walked straight into an obstacle which was so apparent to all of the others....I stood her at the edge of a small step..she had no inkling that it was there...she stumbled and I knew that she was blind...I passed my fingers across both of her eyes and no reaction whatsoever...

    Is it true that some Red feathered chickens go blind for no apparent reason ? She is the third of the ex-battery hens that has gone blind...I thought she may have ingested something toxic...but there is nothing in the area she frequents that could have attributed to this happening...

    Ruby is safe and secure...she eats and drinks well..she has freedom to roam within limits...yet another special needs girl...I am so l frustrated...any suggestions as to why this happens ? I hope she does not have Mareks...her pupils look normal and her general demeanour is normal....any pointers here from any of you who know details of Mareks and what other signs she may display if that is the potential reason?

    Any other suggestions are more than welcome for reasons or treatment for her to enhance her now limited life...

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  3. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the above links..great reading!

    None of the attached links seem to pinpoint the reason..the coop is cleaned and disinfected daily...I have a sinking feeling that this may be an early sign of Mareks..she is isolated from the main flock although I realise that she was co-habiting with them up until I noticed her blindness...I will continue with keeping her away from any of my others and keep a keen eye for any further developments in all of them...

    Thanks again Eggcessive!
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Hi. Mine have Marek's. What I've noticed in the past is some lose their depth perception. Right now I have a silkie who was pecking at treats on the ground but pecking the air. At least she can find the feed bowl and water. I keep an eye on her and make sure she's getting along. I have not seen blindness, just the off-perception. But Marek's doesn't stick to any rules.

    What can help is thinking over your flock history and think about the possibilities that a chicken came in with Marek's. And if you have any unexplained deaths .

    There's a link at the bottom of my posts called the Big Marek's FAQ by Nambroth , and it might answer some questions for you.
     
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  5. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks so much Seminolewind...I am observing her closely, she's quite happy eating and drinking and pooping normally...so far.

    I know there are rats here and wild birds that may have contributed to this...Mareks or not, she will live out her days here and I keep a closed flock.

    I have had a few deaths here this year...two Silkie's both six years of age, a bantam hen ( age unknown ) that was given to me some three years ago and two of the ex-battery hens that had symptoms of EYP...all had been living here for at least two years...none of which I can think showed any symptoms of Mareks...but as you know, symptoms do not always show.

    The links are incredibly informative...thanks again!
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Suzie, Let me know what happens and if you notice something.
     
  7. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    So eight days later there are no significant changes to any of the flocks...Ruby is still with me and she eats and drinks well...like a pig chicken actually..as soon as she hears the signal of her feed and drinking dishes...she pecks in all directions until she makes contact with a solid container...her poop is so far perfectly normal.

    I have cried many tears over the prospect that my girls and boys may have Mareks....I feel I am now resigned to the fact that if they do have "it" that they will have all the love and affection that I can give..and I will not let any of them suffer if they show any symptoms of distress..

    Any pointers here as to when Ruby may show any significant deterioration in her wellbeing that will lead me to the conclusion that she may have Mareks?

    Thank you so much seminolewind for being so supportive and giving me the wonderful link to...nambroth ,,,amazing for your so very comprehensive and informative research and eggcessive for your pointers...

    Any further changes I will keep you up to date..

    I cannot express my gratitude to all of you...

    Thanks...Suzie



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  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Suzie, I think if she has Marek's, she will waste eventually. Even with eating. She may survive it or not. They all go in their own time. I feel that if they keep losing weight that would be deterioration. I used to euthanize at wasting. Now I let nature takes it's course if possible. And I give them lots of treats up to the end whether they eat them or not.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Hi Suzie, I am optimistic that Ruby just has some sort of blindness from who knows what--maybe an infection, but not from Mareks. There seem to be a lot of blind hens out there that aren't necessarily Mareks. You sound like you are very kind to your birds. Is there any where you could get testing or a necropsy on Ruby one day if she dies?
     
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    If she's your 3rd battery hen with it, I would imagine it's the strain. Who knows what their genetic makeup is aside from being an egg laying machine for a year or two.
     

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