Share your experiences with Marek's Please

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by IroquoisEgg, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. IroquoisEgg

    IroquoisEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2010
    Fair Oaks, CA
    Please all who have had this terrible disease hit one of their chickens, I want to hear your story of what the 1st signs were and on from there. I think it will help me diagnose what is going on with one of my girls, and also help others who don't know what to look for. Of course there is the general description you get from googling it but it's hard to really know from that. I suspect that's what it is, but another part is saying maybe she just hurt her leg.
  2. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    My experience: Stunted growth, weakness, unable to walk, squinting or closed eyes, fluffed, diarrehea.

    Friend of mine had 3 Mereks cases (all purchased from the same place). Vet checked; was treated with steroids 1 needed to be put down the other two survived. All 3 started with symptoms of slight limp, thought she hurt her leg, then severe limping, then unable to walk.
  3. grassfedeggs

    grassfedeggs Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    I'm pretty sure that one of my 4 month old Plymouth Bard Rock hens has a bad case of Marek's. She went lame about 6 days ago, for a few days she ate and drank and was alert. After that she started gasping, became lethargic, she sounds congested, and she cannot move her self around or stand at all. Every now and then she jerks her body a bit. She now has a flattened comb, and looks like she is in pain. I read somewhere on here to treat Marek's with Hypericum, so I went and bought a vile of homeopathic pills this morning and gave her two doses so far. I will let you know if I see any improvement. I have also been feeding her egg yolk, and water by hand every few hours since she stopped eating a few days ago. I am keeping an eye on all of the other 12 girls and crossing my fingers that they don't get it as well.
    Good luck!
  4. RedRoosterFarm

    RedRoosterFarm **LOVE MY SERAMAS**

    Mar 25, 2010
    Eatonville, Washington
    Last year when it hit me here I noticed my 4 and 5 month old birds doing the splits or 1 leg in front and then they acted drunk. Also squinted eyes. They eat like a horse but could not stand much at all. Lost weight too. I put them all down and now vaccinate all my birds. Sometime mareks can be mistaken for a vitamin defficency too so might have your state extention/vet do some tests.
  5. grassfedeggs

    grassfedeggs Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    I forgot to mention that my BR has a nickel size, hard, ball under her skin on one side of her neck. It's feels like a hard marble but it isn't red or discolored.
  6. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:I have not heard of lameness as a sign of Mareks. Though .... I am inexperienced. I was thinking more of Mycoplasma Synoviae ????

    Marek's Disease (Visceral Leukosis)

    Marek's disease is characteristically a disease of young chickens but older birds can also be affected. In contrast to the lymphoid leukosis tumor response, Marek's disease may be observed in more diverse locations.

    Marek's disease is caused by a virus belonging to the Herpes virus group. Much is known about the transmission of the virus; however, it appears that the virus is concentrated in the feather follicles and shed in the dander (sloughed skin and feather cells). The virus has a long survival time in dander since viable virus can be isolated from houses that have been depopulated for many months.

    The usual mode of transmission is by aerosols containing infected dander and dust. Young birds are most susceptible to infection by Marek's disease; however, since the incubation period is short, clinical symptoms can appear much earlier than in the case with lymphoid leukosis.

    Marek's disease may produce a variety of clinical responses, all lymphoid in character. These are acute visceral, neural, ocular, skin or combinations of the responses that can be seen.

    Marek's of the visceral type is characterized by widespread involvement with lesions commonly seen in gonads, liver, spleen, kidney and occasionally heart, lungs and muscles. The disease is often acute, with apparently healthy birds dying very rapidly with massive internal tumors. The disease may appear in broiler-age birds but the most severe losses occur in replacement pullet flocks prior to onset of egg production.

    The neural type of Marek's is typified by progressive paralysis of the wings, legs and neck. Loss of body weight, anemia, labored respiration and diarrhea are common symptom. If lesions are present, they are confined to the nerve trunks and plexes enervating the paralyzed extremities. Frequently no gross lesions can be observed.

    Ocular (eye) leukosis or "gray-eye" is usually seen in early maturity. Morbidity and mortality are usually low but may approach twenty-five percent in some flocks. It is characterized by the spotty depigmentation or diffuse graying of the iris in the eye. The pupil develops an irregular shape and fails to react to light. Emaciation diarrhea and death follow.

    Skin leukosis produces the most severe losses in broilers. The losses result from high condemnations at the processing plant. Enlargement of the feather follicles due to accumulations of lymphocytes is the typical lesion. This is the most infective virus since it is produced in the regions of the feather follicles and is shed with the skin dander.

    Acute Marek's disease can be extremely rapid in its course, producing mortality in apparently healthy birds. However, in some cases the lesions may regress and clinically affected birds may make complete recoveries.

    Diagnosis is based upon flock history and disease manifestations. Accurate diagnosis may depend on results of laboratory procedures. As is the case with lymphoid leukosis, there is no treatment for Marek's disease.

    A vaccine is available that is extremely effective (90% +) in the prevention of Marek's disease. It is administered to day-old chickens as a subcutaneous injection while the birds are in the hatchery. Use of the vaccine requires strict accordance with manufacturer's recommendations in a sterile environment.
    Mycoplasma synoviae infection, M.s. Infectious Synovitis

    Infection with Mycoplasma synoviae may be seen in chickens and turkeys in association with synovitis and/or airsacculitis. It occurs in most poultry-producing countries, especially in commercial layer flocks. Infection rates may be very high. Spread is generally rapid within and between houses on a farm, whilst illness is variable and mortality less than 10%.

    Infection is via the conjunctiva or upper respiratory tract with a long incubation period, 11-21 days following contact exposure. Transmission may be transovarian, or lateral via respiratory aerosols and direct contact. Survival of the infectious agent outwith the bird is poor but fomite transmission between farms is important. Predisposing factors include stress and viral respiratory infections.

    There may be no signs.
    Ruffled feathers.
    Swelling of hocks, shanks and feet (sometimes severe and bilaterally asymmetrical).
    Faeces may be green in acute infections.
    Effects on egg production appear to be minor under good management.
    Post-mortem lesions

    Joints and tendon sheaths have viscid grey to yellow exudate.
    Some strains can lead to amyloidosis.
    Swollen liver, spleen and kidney have been seen in the past but are not common now.
    Green liver.
    Exudate becomes caseous later.
    Sternal bursitis.
    Airsacculitis - usually in heavy broilers and associated with condemnations.
    Lesions, serology, isolation (difficult - requires NAD) and identification. Differentiate from viral arthritis, staphylococcal arthritis, Mycoplasma gallisepticum infections, Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale, viral respiratory disease with colibacillosis.

    Serology: SAG used routinely, Elisa in some countries - PCR and/or culture used to confirm. False positives post inactivated vaccines are, if anything more common than in the case of M.g.

    Tilmicosin, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, tylosin.

    Eradication of this infection is also possible using similar techniques as described for Mycoplasma gallisepticum. These are based on purchase of uninfected chicks, all-in/all-out production, and biosecurity. Maintenance of Mycoplasma synoviae free status seems to be more difficult than for Mycoplasma gallisepticum. In some circumstances preventative medication of known infected flocks may be of benefit.

    Vaccines are not widely used though they are available in some countries. Infected birds do develop some immunity to the effects of repeated inoculation.
  7. IroquoisEgg

    IroquoisEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2010
    Fair Oaks, CA
    well, she doesn't seem to be getting any better-just worse. She can't walk at all anymore and the glimmer of hope is gone from her eyes. I am giving her that homeopathic therapy as instructed though I don't how long I can watch her waste away...why does it always seem to be the sweetest most beautiful ones that get sick? Here's a picture of my "Fern" just last week when she was well.

  8. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    I find that cranassure gel caps (for people with chronic urinary tract infections) works well if you catch the symptoms early on. Gel caps work but capsules filled with powder do not. Now is the time to break out the shop vaccuum and get all the feather dander moulted feathers out of your enclosures. Spray down with turpentine water solution and then fill your shelters with dry leaves.
  9. grassfedeggs

    grassfedeggs Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    I just wanted to give you a little hope. My sick 4 month old BR has now been on Hypericum for 2 days and she is doing much better. She stared with symptoms about a week ago and this morning is the first time in 5 days that she has fed herself and made an attempt to sit up. I still have to force water and I have been giving her warm baths every night ( when the rest of the family is asleep, I have two little boys who would love to "help") One other thing that I'm giving her is Duramicin, it's an antibiotic. I started giving it to her about 3 days into the illness because I wanted to rule out infection. I know it isn't cocci because she has and was treated for that as a young chick plus she didn't have the symptoms. Her legs are still splayed out into a split, I don't know if she will ever walk again. She has been living in our spare shower, my husband just looks at her and sighs..... He doesn't really know what to think of having a chicken in the house. I hope she can rejoin the flock if she recovers. I really hope that your chicken pulls through!
  10. IroquoisEgg

    IroquoisEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2010
    Fair Oaks, CA
    That is very encouraging thank you GrassFed! Resolution thanks for the tips, Right now I have a dirt floor, are you saying to replace it with leaves from the yard, or throw them on top of new dirt that I will haul in after the deep clean? When I got home from being out for 4 hours, she was eating again, she had stopped for the last 18 hours or so. I gave her some scrambled eggs earlier and she wouldn't touch them. But now they are gone!! Trying to stand still, and when I had her on my rug to see how she was doing, she even tried to fly...didn't get very far, but it shows some spirit! Funny, my DH would rather have her in the bathroom instead of a bin on the kitchen table! We have no spare rooms, and it is getting in the low 40's here at night so I have been mainly keeping her inside and giving short trips out to bask in the sun for a bit. Fern's left leg is splayed out behind her, and her right leg is still in place but appears very weak. 2 days ago she could still walk/hop but now she can't keep them sturdy enough and the left just lays there. I hope she isn't in any pain. I will be thinking of your little one too GrassFed, sending prayers.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by