Second chicken...same symptoms. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Charlie241, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Charlie241

    Charlie241 New Egg

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hello folks.

    I posted pre Christmas about a Barred Rock being un well. It presented with a floppy/weak leg and a listless wing. I presumed it had injured itself even though I could not locate a injury. It become progressively worse and I had to help it on its way 2 days before Christmas [​IMG]

    Two weeks ago my Redco started limping. Once obvious injuries. But it seems to be following the same path as the other. It seems un-aware of its foot which makes me think 'neurological'. Sometimes it chooses to put the foot fully open to the ground but it does this funny swinging movement from the hip to actually get the foot down. I imagine it would be a similar movemnt if you were wearing a loose false leg. And other times it leans forward on the stump of the bottom of the leg and does not even seem aware of the foot, which ends up curled up under the stump.

    There is no involvement with the wing. She seems ok. Good colour, eating, laying and chatty.
    I finally managed to locate a vet who was willing to see her - she agreed no injury and she thought neurological also.
    We have tried a week of anti inflammatories with no difference made. To be honest the vet did not have any idea really and I think I was more informed than she was with my reading on the internet.

    I was startled as to how light and skinny the chicken was when I picked her up. She is at the end part if the pecking order I know but I always thought they were well fed. I leave food for them and give them two extra feeds a day with treats (blimey they can eat better than me somedays!) They are over due a worming feed...but I am sure it is not that as the other chickens are heavy.

    I tried resting her on her own but she was soooo distressed and frantic, When I eventually returned her to the pen the other girls were so damn nasty to her for ages. So I did not do it again. I am isolating her in the mornings and feeding her on her own. She is loving it by the way!

    The only odd thing I have noticed with the feeding is that she occasionally leaves a small vomit (I think it is vomit...I have not witnessed it) of green biley type liquid behind in the feeding dish. Is that normal? Also is there anythng that chickens can eat that might make them unwell from the soil? I know about the normal food stuffs and berries.

    Sorry for the long winded novel. I am concerned. I really don't want to loose another chicken. I paid quite a lot of money for these lovely ladies and it is up setting to see them suffer. So I am posting a few photos of the leg in the hope that some body may be able to help? You were all so helpful last time...actually you were all really fabulous last time. I have learnt so much from you all.
    Have a good day everybody x[​IMG]
  2. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    This looks like it could be Mareks disease. Vitamin defiency can also cause these symptoms. I would try a good poultry multi vitamin.if you don't see improvement with that then my concern would be that it's Mareks. Mareks is a highly contagious airborne disease that is everywhere. It can present itself in several ways. It can present as a limp curled toes or even full blown paralysis. What happens with the Mareks virus is it produces tumors which press on nerve endings that causes the limping and symptoms. With Mareks in the flock it does not necessarily mean all your birds will become symptomatic but it does mean that because they are exposed they are likely carriers and can infect other birds. It's recommended to vaccinate any birds brought on the property because Mareks can live on the land for years. Once the new bird is vaccinated it MUST be kept from exposure (outside or adult birds) for the very least 14 day's while it develops antibodies and immunity or it can catch the virus before the antibodies had a chance to form. Vaccine is not 100% effective but it's all we have in the lines of defense as of now.were your birds vaccinated for the Mareks virus? With Mareks the only way to be 100% certain it's Mareks is through testing but the symptoms are pointing to the virus. With Mareks knowledge is power so learn as much as possible about the virus. I do hope I'm wrong and it's not Mareks but it does look like the symptoms to me. I'm very sorry to say.but do try the vitamin and see if it helps. If it doesn't I would think it's likely Mareks disease. I hope this is helpful and I wish you the very best of luck.
  3. Charlie241

    Charlie241 New Egg

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hello Realsis,

    Thank you so very much for your reply.

    I had actually wondered this and I did mention it to the vet when I went and I honestly don't think she knew what I was talking about.

    The breeder I got them from did say that they were fully vaccinated. But then apon reading it seems the vaccination is only 90 percent successful anyway.

    It is bad news indeed...blimey, my other batch of hens were ex factory resuce chickens and they were never ill and lived a good life with me. Now I have splashed out and got some fancy girls there seems to be nothing but trouble.

    I have ordered some vitamin tonic solution and will give that a go. She does not seems to be any worse at the moment. If she does not improve with the tonic and the wormer I guess you will be right.

    Just a couple of qestions....obviously I can't add to this group in case the new chucks are not immune. After the last one here has long do you generally have to wait till you can get some more. I read some where that it is air borne and you should wait at least a that right? And lastly - I presume it is ok to still eat the eggs?

    Once again...big thank you for your time, help and explanation. x
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    There are many other people on this forum who know more about Mareks than I, but I have read that Mareks dander can be in the area for 7 years or more. I believe the thing to do is to only get vaccinated chicks and isolate them for 2 weeks so they will build up immunity, or get already vaccinated hens. Apparently even with vaccination they can get the disease and become a carrier, but not develop the tumors later on. Here is a great thread and a couple of links to read:
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Ditto what they said... You could ask your vet to consult with an avian pathologist and that might help him/her come up with a diagnosis/treatment plan. f your vet is willing, I can provide you with the name of one that I use, he's available by phone or email.

  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    If it looks like Marek's, assume it's Marek's, but treat for other problems.

    What I mean by this is, one should assume it's Marek's if it fits the symptoms, because 1. Marek's is very common (sadly) and, 2. It is safer to act as if you have this disease until you find out otherwise, so that you can avoid spreading it.

    But, since Marek's has no cure, and look-alike diseases sometimes do, it's worth investigating other problems! The Marek's FAQ that Eggcessive linked (it's in my signature as well) talks about some of the other things it can be, including Vitamin deficiencies. Because of the timelines we are looking at, I don't suspect Botulism, but it's probably worth it to make sure that they don't have access to decomposing organic matter (animal or vegetable!). Wet conditions can make this problem worse.

    Have you checked their feed for signs of mold?

    Worming would be a good idea, just for the overall health of your flock, and not just for the skinny limping bird.

    Can you check with the breeder and ask what vaccine they used, and at what age?
  7. Charlie241

    Charlie241 New Egg

    Dec 11, 2013
    Thank you all so very much for your time and replies. As suggested by Nambroth I contacted the breeder today and asked about vaccination programmes....
    He actually got back to me this time - here is what he sent

    Thank you for your email.

    Mareks disease supplement is fed to all chicks within their crumb feeding ration plus the following chick vaccination programme:

    Day 1 Mareks injection
    IB vaccination
    Salmomnellaenterides and typhimurium
    Day 5/7 Coccidiosis
    Day 20Infectious Bursal disease Gumbro
    Day 28 Infectious Bursal disease Gumbro
    Week 5 Classical infectious Bronchitus Newcastle disease
    Week 6 Salmonella enteritidus & typhimurium
    Week 7 Mycoplasma galliseptieum
    Week 8 Variant infectious Bronchitus
    Week 9 Avian rhinotracheitis
    Week 10 Classical infectious Bronchitus Newcastle Disease
    Week 11 Variant infectious ronchitus
    Week 13 Avian encephalomyelitis
    Week 15 Mycroplasma gallise
    Week 16 Salmonella enteridiustyphimurium
    Week 16 Inactivated Newcastle, Infectious bronchitus, eggdrop syndrome.

    So it looks as though they were well tended to and have been vaccinated.

    I change their feed every day and they don't have access to organic matter. There has been no signs of mold but it has been excessively wet for weeks here in the UK and there pen is just full of mud really.
    I will worm and supplement with vitamins when they arrive,.

    So after looking at the vaccination list am I still to think Marek's? Any further thoughts?

    BTW - The links on Marek's are great, thank you. Wow, what a horrible disease!

    Have a good evening everybody. Jude x
  8. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    That looks like a pretty through vaccination list!! I have only studied (personally, not professionally) a few of those diseases/vaccinations so I cannot offer too much advice on that.

    In my time researching Marek's, I have never heard of a Marek's disease supplement as something that can be fed. Maybe he was mistaken and meant he fed medicated chick starter? It contains amprollium as a way to combat cocci. If he did feed this, it interferes with the cocci vaccination, I think?? Anyhow it is a moot point as, if this list is correct, the chicks were properly vaccinated against Marek's disease at one day of age.

    That's good news, of course, but if you read the link you'll know that it's not a guarantee. It depends on the health of the bird, and what strain of Marek's they get exposed to. Some of the Very Vriulient strains can challenge the vaccine and have a higher chance of causing symptoms. Still, it would be pretty bad luck to lose two vaccinated birds to it.

    I'd continue to treat for other possible problems, but keep a close eye on your birds for any additional symptoms. If you lose another one-- and I truly hope you do not-- do you have access to any state or regional vet/poultry department that could test for you? I am not sure where you are located, forgive me if I missed that information.

    All my best for you and your birds!!
  9. Charlie241

    Charlie241 New Egg

    Dec 11, 2013
    Just wanted to say that my Redco passed away yesterday. She died peacefully in her bed.
    She had been doing ok - I had made an effort and was feeding her seperately and giving her treats.
    She went down hill very fast. Friday, she went off her food and Saturday she died.
    I was very startled as to how skinny she was when I got a good look at her.

    Pretty sure I have had Mareks in my flock.
    I have been so unlucky with loosing 2 out of 6. Quite heart breaking really.
    I was so excited in getting chucks again and now this within six months of them arriving.
    I certainly won't add to the flock now, that is something I had considered.
    What is the general census as to how long I have to wait till the last one dies before I can reintroduce onto their plot?
    Can I make a new run elsewhere in the garden and will that be alright?

    Also wanted to say a very big thank you to everybody on here who gave me so much support and advice.
    I am sincerely thankful to you all xx

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